Unforgotten has always excelled as an understated drama that, unlike some of its counterparts, shied away from soap opera moments and focused on the task at hand - solving historical murders.
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Of course, over the course of four seasons, we have grown to love Cassie Stuart and Sunny Khan for more than their crime-solving antics.
We've followed their personal lives - as Sunny thrived with a new partner while Cassie increasingly struggled to cope with the brutal impact that her job had on her mental health - and perhaps it was this promise that Cassie had almost reached the light at the end of the tunnel when her life was brutally snatched from her - not by a suspect or anything remotely tying into the plot - but a sheer, horrible misfortune - that made her fate such a bitter pill to swallow.
WATCH: Sunny rushes to the hospital in Unforgotten finale
Of course, Unforgotten is a drama, not a melodrama, and so this moment - while shocking - didn't seem gratuitous or silly, because moments such as these really do happen. Cassie was overworked, exhausted and anxious about her father, and made the mistake of pulling out as a car thief sped down the road. These things happen, but it doesn't make it any less of a devastating ending.
Cassie was forced to work the final months of her job to receive her pension in full
The final moments of the show saw Sunny deliver voiceover eulogy while he visits his friend's gravestone - and encourages us to appreciate that Cassie's life was a life well-lived, that she committed her life to her work and helped a lot of people - but we can't help but reflect that - throughout the entirety of season four - that isn't actually what Cassie wanted at all.
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She loathed what time she had left in the police. All she wanted was to retire and live her life with her handsomely chiselled boyfriend in the countryside after decades of dealing with every terrible crime you can imagine.
What did you think of the ending?
This final case, compellingly solved by Sunny Khan having a lightbulb moment as well as the engraving on the famous fountain pen providing the final evidence, had sent Cassie into peak misery.
Her hatred of the job at hand - though focusing on it with all the professionalism that she could muster - led to her making rash decisions in her personal life resulting in a fall out with her father, who now has to deal with the crippling guilt of ignoring her final phone calls as well as his rapid-onset dementia. In his final moments, as he listened to her final voicemail over and over, it was him that we felt the sorriest for.
The show is likely to end following Cassie's fate
In a way, we perhaps would have found it difficult to believe that Cassie would have settled into retirement after her life in the police, and so perhaps that was the intention of this episode; that Cassie lived and died as a great police officer. But then again, we knew she had a future. A future with her partner, and with her dad, and with her sons.
Many may applaud this creative decision as a poignant conclusion to another brilliant series of the criminally underrated crime show, but we think we will always feel just a little bit cheated, on Cassie's behalf. After all we've been through with her, the least she deserved was to crack the case, get that retirement pension and the house in the Cotswolds.
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