Death in Paradise season 11 episode 4 spoilers follow.
Those hoping for further romantic twists between Death in Paradise leads DI Neville Parker (Ralf Little) and DS Florence Cassell (Joséphine Jobert) have been left disappointed, as Florence just left in the show’s latest episode.
At the start of season eleven, the pair had an awkward encounter when Neville professed his feelings for Florence, only for her to gently reply that she loved him as a friend.
They eventually cleared the air, and Florence was later put at risk after agreeing to go undercover on an ongoing case. She posed as an au pair for a woman named Miranda Priestley (Victoria Ekanoye) – no, not the ruthless magazine editor from The Devil Wears Prada, but a murderous drug trafficker.
A fatal shooting meant the team were forced to cross paths with Florence without breaking her cover, and soon they were investigating not just one but three suspicious deaths.
Ultimately, the events that followed led to the detective leaving the island for the second time. But what does her exit mean for Death in Paradise going forward? Be warned, we’re unpacking some major spoilers as we delve into what’s next for Neville and co…
Florence’s exit explained
Following the murder of Otis Benjamin (Marcus Onilude) back in episode one, Florence was now embedded in prime suspect Miranda’s world. Originally based in Jamaica, Florence joined Miranda and her family on a trip back to Saint Marie, but their stay at a farm led to the death of owner Harley Joseph (Ben Onwukwe).
Initial evidence suggested it was suicide, but of course, the police had reason to suspect foul play.
Neville and Commissioner Selwyn Patterson (Don Warrington) were quick to prioritise Florence’s safety, while the woman herself delved further into the case and discovered just how dangerous Miranda really was.
It transpired that she had killed her own mother, and Otis knew the truth because his ailing aunt had seen everything. Harley had proof of this too, which explained why Miranda had taken the lives of both men.
Just as Neville had his weekly moment of inspiration and solved the mystery, Florence found the evidence and revealed her true identity to Miranda – leaving her trapped as the criminal held her at gunpoint.
To everyone’s relief, Florence had thought ahead. She knew where to find another gun in the house, and took it as a precaution in the short time before Miranda caught her out. As a gunshot rang out, we saw that Florence had fired it, hitting Miranda in the arm before arresting her for all three murders.
Throughout the episode, Neville had been coming to terms with the fact that Florence would almost certainly have to leave Saint Marie after her involvement in such a high profile operation.
Mayor Catherine Bordey (Elizabeth Bourgine) suggested that staying on the island might not be what was best for the young woman after all, referencing “difficult memories” for Florence after her fiancé Patrice was killed in season eight.
In the closing moments, Florence confirmed she was indeed moving on, and thanked Neville for his support as she overcame the trauma of her past.
In turn, Neville told Florence she had “made this island a home” for him, and declared how much he was going to miss her. They shared an emotional and heartwarming goodbye, and Florence headed off for her fresh start.
While we recover from all the drama, not to mention the loss of fan-favourite Jobert, we’re left wondering what’s in store for those left behind.
What does Florence’s departure mean for Death in Paradise?
Viewers will remember that Florence previously left Saint Marie in 2019, after surviving the shooting which claimed the life of Patrice.
She returned two years later when her colleagues required her help. Given that the door has been left well and truly open, could Florence pop back again one day?
Never say never!
Exits are something of a tradition on Death in Paradise, as the show replaces its leading man every few years.
The team’s detective sergeant role has also seen many changes – but Florence’s farewell is especially sad, by way of its conclusion to her ‘will they, won’t they?’ storyline with Neville. This element of the series has now been abruptly taken away, leaving room for new developments.
How will Neville adjust to Florence’s absence? They formed a strong bond as she helped him settle in on the island, conquering some of his anxieties along the way.
This has had a lasting impact on Neville. So will the change in dynamics set him back, or will he carry on feeling much more comfortable in his own skin, going on to embrace Caribbean life just as Florence taught him?
He could now solidify other friendships within the team – it’s not gone unnoticed that Neville and the Commissioner are on rather good terms at the moment. In fact, the prickly Selwyn seems to tolerate Neville more than his previous inspectors.
In time, perhaps we will also see Neville move on from his unrequited love story, finding romance elsewhere.
Of course, Florence’s decision to quit will leave a vacancy once again. So who will take her place?
Will there be another newcomer joining Death in Paradise, or might an old, familiar face surprise us? In recent years, we’ve been treated to surprise visits by former alumni Camille Bordey (Sara Martins) and Dwayne Myers (Danny John-Jules).
JP Hooper (Tobi Bakare) left to head up the Police Training Programme, but a comeback in a more senior role would be welcome. There’s also Madeleine Dumas (Aude Legastelois), who transferred to Paris but could find herself tempted back.
Alternatively, could a current character take on the detective job? Let’s not forget, Florence originally arrived as a uniformed officer before becoming a detective sergeant herself.
With that in mind, could police sergeant Naomi Thomas (Shantol Jackson) be in line for a promotion? She may not have had much active experience before her arrival, but she certainly makes up for that with her sharp skills and intuition.
While we await the impact on Honoré Police, there are two things we can rely upon: the presence of Commissioner Patterson and Catherine, the only original Death in Paradise characters to remain on the show.
Both were very fond of Florence, but in the wake of her departure they will no doubt provide some stability with their own differing approaches.
After all, the show must go on – and it will, as Death in Paradise returns next week.
Death in Paradise airs on Fridays at 9pm on BBC One.
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