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Shetland viewers issue same complaint about series 8 finale 'red herrings' as show hints at Ruth Calder's future

Alison O'Donnell as DI Tosh McIntosh and Ashley Jensen as DI Ruth Calder
Alison O'Donnell as DI Tosh McIntosh and Ashley Jensen as DI Ruth Calder (Jamie Simpson)

Shetland viewers have taken to social media with the same complaint about the series eight finale.

The latest series of the popular crime drama drew to a conclusion on Wednesday night in an episode that saw Ellen Quinn's killer revealed, while DI Ruth Calder, played by Ashley Jensen, pondered her future in Shetland.

Warning! Spoilers ahead.

The episode ended with a dramatic twist that saw Ellen's father, Kieran, unveiled as her murderer.

It was revealed that Kieran had strangled his daughter during a heated argument after Ellen delivered the shattering news that her uncle Bobby is her biological father, not Kieran.

Ashley Jensen as DI Ruth Calder
Ashley Jensen as DI Ruth Calder (Jamie Simpson)

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Elsewhere in the episode, Ruth discovered the truth behind Cal's death following a car crash. Despite previous theories that Cal was run off the road or had his brakes tampered with by Bobby, it was revealed that Cal was two times over the drink-driving limit, making his death an accident.

Viewers who tuned in to watch the final episode shared their opinions on X, with some complaining about the red herrings in the plot.

One person wrote: "So basically everything we saw was a big fat red herring. So many loose ends," while another added: "This could've been one episode. There's a red herring and there's a red herring."

Ashley Jensen as DI Ruth Calder and Jamie Sives as Cal Innes in Shetland
The truth behind Cal Innes' death was revealed (BBC)

A third viewer tweeted: "Far too much going on, less would've been more - too many characters and subplots -  by the time it ended I'd forgotten all about the missing money or that the minister ever had a wife."

However, not all viewers took issue with the plot, with many applauding the compelling episode.

READ:Everything Shetland's Douglas Henshall has said about leaving the show

Heaping praise on the dramatic episode, one person wrote: "Another terrific series of this brilliant program comes to another humdinger of an end. Didn't see that dramatic twist coming at all... Great writing, great acting and of course the wonderful settings," while another added: "Did not expect the final #Shetland episode to go that way, didn't predict that at all and my feelings are very conflicted on the whole thing! What a series though, again."

Ashley Jensen as DI Ruth Calder in Shetland
Fans praised Ashley's performance (Jamie Simpson)

Commending Ashley's performance as the lead detective, another viewer penned: "Flipping brilliant series of #Shetland and love Ashley Jensen in this, more please"

At the end of the episode, DI Ruth discussed her future in Shetland whilst chatting to DI Tosh.

"It's still too small and the weather's awful and everyone knows your business," said Ruth.

Alison O'Donnell as DI Tosh McIntosh and Ashley Jensen as Ruth Calder in Shetland
Will Ruth stay in Shetland? (Jamie Simpson)

Tosh replied: "But it's home," to which Ruth added: "I suppose it is."

Many viewers took this as a hint that Ruth will stick around.

One person penned: "The end of the series obviously set up for Ruth to get the job and remain," while another added: "Well that is Ruth staying on."

While the BBC has yet to give the green light for season nine, Ashley said she would "absolutely" return for another series. We've got our fingers crossed!