The finale of this series of ‘Death of Paradise’ found DI Jack Mooney permanently installed on the island, with occupation of both the beachside shack and the inspector’s desk, but with hints of a shift in tone for the next series.
The last couple of weeks have seen Ardal O’Hanlon’s Irish detective and his daughter “on holiday” in Saint Marie, following their introduction in the London double bill. However, Jack was moved to solve two murders - strange, but true - even before he’d put his suitcases down, and it seems he’s earned his stripes with the commissioner.
Now, the last episode in Series 6 has made it official, with Jack’s daughter persuading him they both needed a new start, following the death of Jack’s wife only months before.
Little has changed with the seamless transition from DI Humphrey Goodman to Jack. The extraordinary crime rate on the island has remained the same, with a similar list of suspects each time and the faithful white board being deployed.
However, Jack has exhibited his own MO when it comes to solving the crimes, with an anecdote to share with every character, and a deceptively cheerful demeanour, in contrast with Humphrey’s deceptive clumsiness.
The bigger shift for the next series has already been hinted at, however, judging by the last two episodes. While much of the down-time between investigations previously focused on Humphrey’s love life (or lack thereof, pre-Martha), Jack’s focus is firmly on his teenage daughter. Any unrequited love on the part of Humphrey has been swapped for bonhomie and dad-dancing by DI Mooney. Writers have been careful to make it clear their fresh grief for Jack’s wife, so any fans hoping for a romance between Jack and, say, Katherine, aka the new mayor, may have to wait for a while.
The end of the series saw Jack’s colleagues toasting his permanent arrival with a cheerfulness almost unseemly only a fortnight after saying goodbye to Humphrey, although it has to be said the new inspector’s good humour is contagious…
He told them in the closing moments: “Like it or not, you’re lumped with me. I can overdo it a bit on the toasting, but if there was ever an occasion to raise a glass, this is it.”
As an actor, being given the gig of filming in the Caribbean for six months of the year (before the novelty wears off and the rum starts to run dry), no doubt Ardal O’Hanlon shares similar sentiments.
Catch up with ‘Death in Paradise’ on BBCiPlayer.