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The shocking Shetland season seven finale and what happened to Jimmy Perez explained

Warning, spoilers ahead for the season seven finale!


shetland douglas replacement© Photo: BBC
Eve Crosbie
TV & Film Writer
September 15, 2022
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Shetland aired its season seven final on Wednesday night, and finally delivered answers on how the BBC drama has written out its beloved star, Douglas Henshall.

MORE: Shetland viewers saying the same thing about Jimmy Perez's send off as series teases new lead

The actor has been playing the show's lead detective, DI Jimmy Perez, ever since it began airing back in 2013, but announced earlier this year that he would be stepping down from the role in order to explore other acting opportunities. So what happened at the end and how was his character written out of the show? Here's our explainer…

WATCH: Shetland is finally back for series seven - are you watching?

The last episode saw Jimmy and his team tie up a few loose ends from the series, including finally discovering the culprit behind the murders as well as putting a stop to the eco-terrorism unit.

MORE: Shetland's Mark Bonnar has a very famous wife - and you might recognise her!

MORE: Shetland star Douglas Henshall reveals reason behind shock exit

The beloved detective was also faced with a moral dilemma in his final investigation when he realised that American artist Lloyd Anderson, who was wanted for a murder that happened in the US back in the 1980s, might actually be innocent after all.

di jimmy police tape© Photo: BBC

Jimmy Perez's fate is revealed in the episode

In a bid to prevent the painter from being deported back to his home country, where he'd face the death penalty, Jimmy risks his career to do the right thing. "If the last thing I do is help an innocent man, I'm good with that," he is seen saying.

shetland tosh© Photo: BBC

Could Alison O'Donnell's Tosh take over as the show's lead star?

While his actions are noble, they are indefensible in the eyes of the law and result in Jimmy losing his badge and his long-running detective career. However, it's a bittersweet moment as it opens up the possibility for Jimmy to build a stable, long-term relationship with nurse Meg, who also made their true feelings known to each other in the episode.

MORE: Shetland's Alison O'Donnell shares emotional message to co-star Douglas Henshall

The final few moments of the episode also teased Jimmy's replacement, hinting that Sergeant Alison 'Tosh' McIntosh might be the new lead in the upcoming series. While saying an emotional goodbye to her mentor, Alison tells Jimmy: "I'm not sure I can do this without you."

It has long been predicted that Tosh, played by Scottish actress Alison O'Donnell, would be taking over from Jimmy. BBC bosses have already confirmed that the show will return for an eighth series in 2023 but have yet to reveal who will be taking over as the new lead.

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