Death in Paradise returned to screens on Friday night, injecting this bleary January with some much-needed escapism in the form of sun, sea and suspicious goings-on in the picturesque Caribbean.
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The opening episode saw DI Neville Parker, played by Ralf Little, and his Saint Marie-based team solve the murder of a man killed after paying the ransom for his daughter's kidnap. However, there was also plenty of drama in his personal life too as it was revealed that DS Florence Cassell did not reciprocate his romantic feelings.
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At the end of the episode, the two had a heart-to-heart with Florence finally revealing how she really felt about her boss - leaving viewers far from happy after almost a year of waiting to see her response to Neville's romantic confession.
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"I love you as a friend and as someone I want to always be in my life but no more than that," she told Neville, before explaining: "I mean it when I say I care about you so how could I not tell you the truth, even if it makes you hate me."
Florence finally revealed how she feels about Neville in the latest episode
Taking to Twitter after the episode aired, one disappointed viewer said: "Poor Neville! Been waiting for months to see what happened only for him to get friend zoned!" while another outraged fan added: "How could she do that to him!!!!" A third posted a series of broken heart emojis and wrote: "I'm heartbroken. This is not the outcome we wanted."
However, other fans were more hopeful about the couple's future and are convinced that romance could still blossom this season. "Well, they weren't going to get together in the first episode. He needs to do something and she will see him in another light," someone pointed out. Another said: "Neville will get out of the friend zone. If anybody can do it, Neville can."
Did you enjoy the first episode of the new series?
What do you think? Josephine Jobert, who plays Florence on the show, has weighed in and it seems she's just as torn as the rest of us. Speaking to HELLO!, the star admitted that she "wasn't surprised" by her character's decision. She said: "I'm not surprised by the way she reacts. There's a part of me that wishes they can get together because they really would be so cute together.
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"But there's another part of me that thinks, 'Is it too soon? Is it going to ruin their relationship?' They're colleagues, they're friends, so if they become lovers maybe it's going to be too much. It's tricky. I cannot tell you what's going to happen for sure. It's on the very tiny wire between relationship and friendship. But we have beautiful scenes together."
The actress also hinted that Florence's decision may well change before the end of the series, teasing: "She loves him for sure. But does she love him? Is it friendship or more than that? Maybe both? I don't know. Well, I do know. But I cannot tell you! As for Catherine, she's desperate for them to get together. She's trying very hard."
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