So farewell Gene Hunt, you magnificent bastard! Forty episodes after you first appeared – and in a far clearer fashion than many of your television counterparts – you left are screens not with a bang (nor can it be said with a whimper) but in a way that was far more moving than we had a right to expect. Had the writers planned such an exit from the start? Looking back it seems hard to think that this hadn’t all been planned out beforehand.
It was pretty much the perfect end to a series, it told us everything we wanted to know without spelling it out too much so that we lost all of the mystery that had kept us gripped. We’re still not sure exactly what you are but we know that you’re definitely fighting for what’s right (even if we did doubt you during the last series) in your own misguided way, creating your own little reality to help people along to the great pub at the end of it all. It was at once silly, exciting, incredibly moving and far braver than we’ve seen for a long time.
Even better, the writers have well and truly put you to bed. No dragging on until an end is sought to finish the misery, no, just enough to ensure we got what we wanted. It would be far too easy to bring back Hunt for one last time, but now we know his secret it wouldn’t mean anything – instead we can all just imagine what you’re saying to that copper as he comes bursting through your door.
Really, this should now become the textbook example of how to finish a series…