The End of Inspector Lewis: “Intelligent Design,” Episode 06.03

"Intelligent Design" is the final episode of Inspector Lewis, featuring Kevin Whately as Lewis, guest star Edward Fox, and Laurence Fox as HathawaySo that’s it then. The last episode of Inspector Lewis leaves us with plenty of food for thought, plenty of beautiful Oxford scenery, and plenty of dead bodies.

Because punctuality is a Lewis hallmark (the show, if not the character), our first corpse arrives promptly within ten minutes of the opening credits. It’s Professor Richard Seager, a biochemist found in his own driveway, under the wheels of his own car. Dr. Hobson informs Lewis that the good professor was knocked down and driven over several times, and the murder inquiry is officially open.

Of course the “good” professor isn’t so good after all. We already know this, because when we meet him he’s in the process of packing up the contents of his prison cell and preparing for his release into society. (The book on his shelf is The Atmosphere of Heaven by Mike Jay about the Pneumatic Institution, a late 18th-century scientific research lab.)

Seager’s been incarcerated for running over and killing a young girl while he was driving under the influence of alcohol.

Although he was sentenced to three years, he only served one, which isn’t much justice as far as the family of his victim is concerned. But they’re merely among the several people who might have wanted the professor dead.

His wife, the Reverend Martha Seager, is withholding some pertinent information about the state of their marriage. (Blessed union? Perhaps not.) And Seager’s colleagues appear to be less than enthused about him. The episode’s many allusions to molecular bonds and chain reactions underscore the fact that in criminal investigation, as in scientific research, one thing will always lead to another.

Or, you might say, everything’s related. In this episode, that’s especially true since Professor Seager’s boss is played by Edward Fox, the real-life uncle of Laurence Fox. (Was that a little Hathaway smirk I saw in the first scene they do together?) He does play a wonderful doddering don.

Another familiar face for telly spotters is Miranda Raison (aka Jo Portman from MI5, she of the bottomless blue eyes) as Stella Drew, a brilliant young chemist conducting research into Alzheimer’s disease, and in particular the Amyloid Hypothesis—a genuine area of study in the pursuit of a treatment for Alzheimer’s.

Despite the fact that we encounter four dead bodies along the way, the mystery isn’t especially surprising and you’ll probably figure out the killer—or at least have a hunch—about halfway through. But the criminal investigation isn’t really the point in this episode. We have more important issues to address, such as what’s going to happen to our friends Lewis and Hathaway?

As always, I won’t spoil the secrets, but I will say that we do have a pretty good idea of what directions they will follow and the paths they choose could make it difficult to bring them back for future episodes.

It was the sort of bittersweet ending you’d expect from Lewis and Hathaway. I’ll admit I shed a tear over that last pint. How about you?

Leslie Gilbert Elman is the author of Weird But True: 200 Astounding, Outrageous, and Totally Off the Wall Facts. Follow her on Twitter @leslieelman.

Read all of Leslie Gilbert Elman’s posts for Criminal Element.



  1. Scott Adlerberg

    The ending was nicely bittersweet. I’ll miss Lewis and Hathaway poking around all the nooks and crannies of Oxford. On a separate note, I didn’t realize Edward Fox (aka The Jackal) is Laurence Fox’s uncle. So Laurence is clearly continuing quite a distinguished acting line there, considering Edward and his brother James Fox…..

  2. Lance Charnes

    This episode played out more like the prelude to the end rather than the actual end of the series. I’d expected more buildup to Lewis’ decision over the past few episodes, or at least the previous two in this season.

    Hathaway’s decision came as no surprise because he’d had plenty of time to work it out over the past couple seasons. I wonder why he got to think about it publicly for so long, when Lewis only got 90 minutes to pull the trigger?

  3. Leslie Gilbert Elman

    @Scott Freddie Fox, Laurence’s cousin/Edward’s son, was in “[url=]Generation of Vipers[/url]” last year. Emilia Fox, also Laurence’s cousin and Edward’s daughter, was a regular on Silent Witness. Seems like there are Foxes everywhere. 🙂

    @Lance I sort of agree, although I felt like Lewis’s decision was a natural progression, and after the previous episode it became apparent that things couldn’t remain as they were for him. Hathaway had more inner conflict so I wasn’t surprised that it took him longer to determine his next step. Anyway, I’ll miss them both.

  4. Tatiana deCarillion

    Indeed, bittersweet. However, my tears didn’t fall until they played Morse’s music at the end.

  5. Leslie Gilbert Elman

    Ah Morse… What do you think about Endeavour @decarillion?

  6. Tatiana deCarillion

    @Leslie–Endeavour is wonderful 🙂 It’s so interesting to have ‘explanations’ for some of the characteristics of Morse’s personality (and peculiarities), and Shaun Evans has done a terrific job with showing us the growth of the character of Morse that we have come to love.

  7. Betsy Murgatroyd

    I was disappointed in Hathaway for scolding that distressed lad prior to his suicide. The story didn’t directly address his guilt but it seemed to be implied as a possible reason for his resignation.

Comments are closed.