My review of the season 7/series 8 finale
Foyle's War isn't quite sure of its own purpose anymore. In the beginning, it was clearly a Golden Age whodunit. While Foyle was far too averse to melodrama to gather the suspects in the library, there was an inevitable confrontation. He would listen to the monologue of a self-satisfied killer, and then slice through their moral superiority with the blade of truth. Or something.
Now, Foyle is lucky if he even gets to meet the killer, much less drop a thundering rebuke to their faulty ethics. The stories have become howcatchems rather than whodunits. Season 7's final episode had Foyle guarding a former Nazi who, from stiff bearing to icy glare, obviously wasn't so former. Lo and behold, he's a very bad guy.
In the first episode of season 8, the villain is obvious from the moment Foyle says he's "an extremely wealthy man who runs an oil company." The plot thickened - and by that, I mean, thinned - when we found out he was not only American, but - horror of horrors - Texan.
When Del Mar the Younger's address is found in the pocket of a murdered man, along comes Foyle and, subsequently, Sam Wainwright, to investigate. Sam, whose red dress is the only spark of color in this dystopian landscape, is expecting a child. She's also decided that, despite her insecurities last season, she really wants to work, not stay at home and be a mother. Tensions are rising between her and Adam. He's broadminded about everything except Sam's desire to work - we're not sure why this bothers him. The most obvious answer would be the baby - but no one really mentions that by going into danger herself, Sam is also taking this child into danger. And into danger she does go, despite Mr. Foyle's objections, becoming Del Mar Sr.'s paid companion.
Adam is off saving the world, helping another woman who has lost her job to a returning male veteran. As it turns out, despite Feminism and all that, it seems she really did deserve to lose her job, although I'm not sure the narrative knows that, because her job made her feel all worthy and everything. So she says. Are we really supposed to feel sorry for someone so self-centered?
Anyway, Foyle gets the chance to do a little travel, going to both Germany and Poland, eventually ending up in Monowitz, a camp established by an unconscionable German chemical company. This truly horrific chapter of history, accompanied by stately, stark cinematography, adds gravitas to the latter half of the episode. However, it wasn't really in need of more gravitas, since the whole thing is deathly earnest. Hilda hangs around the corners of the story, and Sir Alec is nearly as blustery as Del Mar. Valentine provides a little eccentricity, but even Sam is more grim than usual.
That said, Michael Kitchen is still, as always, the reason to watch the show. He slips back into the character effortlessly. There could be a book written on the many ways he delivers his trademark line: "Yeah." He's the driving force in every scene he's given - and there should be more of those, by the way, because nobody cares about Adam and his terribly serious battle for political Utopia. In other news, however, one Elizabeth Addis was spotted accompanying Foyle off the screen - and she's credited for the next two episodes too. I'm off to do a background check on this ominous stranger threatening Mr. Foyle's bachelorhood.
My review of next week's episode: Trespass