Shetland series 8 episode 5

Shetland series 8 penultimate episode: Was Ellen murdered by one of her own family?

We're hurtling towards the climax...

Shetland series 8 continued with episode 5 this week, and Tosh and Calder finally seemed to be honing in on Ellen Quinn’s killer…

As next week’s finale creeps closer, it looks like the murder victim may well have been silenced forever by her own family. But why? And how many more reasons will DI Ruth Calder find to stick around her hometown?

Here are all the burning questions we have after watching the latest episode of detective drama Shetland.

***Warning: spoilers from Shetland series 8 episode 5 ahead***

Russ Bain as Bobby Bain in Shetland
Russ Bain as Bobby Bain in Shetland (Credit: ITV Studios/Robert Pereira Hind)

Was Ellen Quinn murdered by her own family?

During the tense penultimate episode of Shetland, DI Ruth Calder and ‘Temporary’ DI Tosh finally found out where Ellen had been before she was murdered.

The young girl returned to her home on the night she died (if Azir is to be believed). Funny that, as all the Bains denied seeing her. So who is lying, and why? Matriarch Grace Bain must surely be in the frame. She’s shown no remorse for her granddaughter’s death. In fact, she’s been more critical of her lifestyle, than sympathetic.

Bobby Bain looks guilty whether he is or not (sorry mate, it’s just your face). And now we know that he was in London three days before Ellen came home.

We’d also take a punt on Ellen’s dad Kieran Quinn (played by Barry O’Connor). He’s been too much in the background. Anyone who knows Shetland like we do, will know the likely suspect won’t be obvious.

Why she was killed remains a mystery. Although we know she had befriended Tom Knox, a member of a family the Bains has feuded with in the past. Surely that wasn’t enough of a motive for murder though? Could Ellen’s parentage be a factor?

Of course, it’s still possible that it wasn’t a Bain at all. We’d still love to see Ruth’s brother Alan in the frame. Now THAT would be a twist worth waiting for!

Did Stella Quinn and Reverend Calder have an affair?

Although it’s not necessarily relevant to her murder, we want to know if Reverend Calder Jnr and Stella Quinn had an affair. Although a DNA test has proved that Ellen was not biologically related to Ruth, that doesn’t mean Stella and Alan didn’t have an affair.

While we’re not sure this has anything to do with Ellen’s death, it may play a factor in whether DI Ruth Calder stays on the island.

Heather and Tosh talking in Shetland
Tosh discovered that Heather had been blackmailing the Sadat family (Credit: ITV Studios/Jamie Simpson)

Will DI Ruth Calder allow herself to grieve?

Ruth was clearly shaken after discovering her former flame Cal Innes was dead. We still don’t know if he was murdered, or if his death was an accident.

On a mission to discover what happened, DI Calder stormed around the place like a tornado with serious anger issues. When really we all knew she needed a big sob and a cuddle. Talking of which, Ruth needs to let go of all the anger from her past, too.

Perhaps staying on the island will be cathartic for her? Watch this space!

What else happened in Shetland series 8 episode 5?

In Shetland series 8 episode 5, we finally discovered that Ellen Quinn found Akmal Sadat dead in the loch behind his home. This was the cause of her emotional problems, which may have led to her death.

We also found out that Akmal drowned while his mother slept in the house. Farida fell asleep after her husband Azir gave her some strong pills to help her relax. The pills weren’t prescribed, so the coupled covered up the truth to protect themselves.

Of course, this is why Heather has been blackmailing them. Viewers also learnt the Azir was potentially the last person to see Ellen alive. However, he swears he dropped her off at the home of her family.

We don’t know about you, but we’ve loved the twists and turns of this latest series, and can’t wait to find out how it all unravels in the series 8 finale (Wednesday, December 06, 2023).

Read more: Love Shetland? Seven other Scotland-based crime dramas you must watch

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Shetland series 8 concludes on Wednesday, December 06, 2023 at 9pm on BBC One.

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Helen Fear
TV Editor