Unforgotten series three finale recap – the killer is finally unmasked

Hayley’s murderer confesses all without batting an eyelid – a charming psychopath with ice in his veins

They always get their man … Sunny and Cassie.
 They always get their man … Sunny and Cassie. Photograph: Des Willie/ITV

The victim

In the end, there was no twin switcheroo, bad boyfriend or secret pregnancy that did for Hayley. It was dumb luck that saw her run into Tim Finch on that particular night, he in that particular mood, she being his particular type. When the underwear in his box is matched to murdered teen Alison Baldwin, Tim confesses to her and Hayley’s murders over a cup of tea. He mentions breezily, by the by, that there are more bodies out there.

It all becomes too much for Cassie, who walks away from the case and into a much-needed sabbatical. She’s been neglecting self-care for some time and takes the opportunity to reconcile with her father and kickstart what looks like a very promising romance with former DCI John Bentley (a man shamelessly libelled in the comments – I expect full retractions below the line). After all the horror, it’s good to end on a positive note. We finish in a gorgeous woodland cemetery, Cassie and Sunny joining Jessica and Suzanne at Hayley’s final resting place, facing into the sun.

Doctor Tim Finch


Tim hates a sordid circus. The very last thing he wants is for his murderous campaign against teenage girls to be turned into some kind of media feeding frenzy. Dignified is the watchword. Once he starts talking, he is not easily stopped. You have to be impressed at how unflappable he is. He goes from absurd lies about knicker scrunchies and summer fetes to a full confession, without batting an eyelid. He is quick to school Sunny on the difference between paedophilia and hebephilia, and has some very interesting thoughts on the nature-nurture debate. He even takes time out to explain how Hayley likely felt very little pain as he killed her. He would like that info passed on to her relatives. You can trust him – he’s a doctor.

Perhaps the most chilling thing in all of this is that he could have quite easily never been caught. As dogged as Cassie and Sunny are, they would have got nowhere near him were it not for his own hubris in burying Hayley among the roadworks just to see if he could get away with it. Even incarcerated, he exercises control over how his terrible legacy plays out. Trading information on burial places for prison privileges is his latest game, one played on his terms for as long as he finds it amusing.

James Fleet as Chris Lowe.
 James Fleet as Chris Lowe. Photograph: Des Willie/ITV

Chris Lowe

Chris finds Jamila hard to track down, but his fiancee is doing some detective work of her own. A mother can’t afford to take chances. She takes a trip to the station where the plod confirm his innocence in the child-abuse material case. With the last remaining blemish on his character removed, it’s full steam ahead on the unlikely romance of the year. Asif can now look forward to a new father figure, a sibling and something approaching stability.

Peter Carr

Death becomes Pete. Apart from being a lot more tolerable now he is no longer alive, his funeral prompts Eliot to resurface and provides an opportunity for the two remaining amigos James and Chris to have a nice moment together, silently celebrating that they are both still breathing and not guilty of murder. It’s great when you outperform your schoolfriends.

James Hollis

James begins the episode wracked with guilt and with Eliot nowhere to be found, he has lots of time to contemplate how much he contributed to his child’s plight. It takes Melanie to tell him not to destroy himself over it – Eliot’s problems began long before millennium eve, after all. Pete’s funeral, Jamila’s pregnancy and the unfolding saga of Tim’s depravity seem to give him some perspective. At least his problem child is still alive.

Notes and observations

Sasha Behar as Jamila Faruk.
 Sasha Behar as Jamila Faruk. Photograph: Des Willie/ITV
  •  I don’t think anyone saw that coming. Unforgotten is typically about ordinary people making bad choices under terrible pressure. Serial killer, rapist and beloved GP Tim Finch is anything but ordinary. At no point though, does it feel like a betrayal. The revelation is played brilliantly and I am happy that each Unforgotten series has its own flavour, so we are kept guessing until the very last.
  •  There’s nothing showy about Alex Jennings’ work in this episode, but it is still a stunning turn. The charming psychopath with ice in his veins is nothing but compelling. We won’t forget Doctor Death in a hurry.
  •  Sunny brings Usha’s proposal to his daughters and breathes the biggest sigh of relief when they tell him they want him to stay with Sal. This may be the best news of the entire series.

Were you happy with the finale and the revelation of Tim as a serial killer? Will we see Cassie again? Please let me know below.

About the author

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *