Flesh and Blood episode 4 review – the ending explained

Who was pushed off the balcony, what secrets were exposed, and after that final twist, is a second series of Flesh and Blood on the cards?

By Alex Fletcher Published: 28 February 2020 - 3.11pm
Drama Freeview

Stephen Rea

ITV

Flesh and Blood’s final episode didn’t disappoint fans who have been gripped by the ITV drama all week, delivering answers to the central mystery and sprinkling a delicious final twist on top.

Viewers had plenty of questions as the credits rolled, so here’s our whistle-stop guide to the closing moments from the seaside mystery and a handful of burning questions that we still need answering.

The ending explained

Imelda Staunton as Mary in Flesh and Blood

Vivien's birthday celebrations ended in bleak circumstances as she fainted amid a family row. Jake and Mark, who were both drunk, came to blows as the pair shared their true feelings for each other and it was Russell Tovey's personal trainer who tackled Stephen Rea's creepy retired doctor over the balcony.

Mark took a significant fall onto the rocks below, but he was able to open his eyes when Mary went down to offer some first aid to him. Unfortunately for Mark, Mary took the opportunity to add to his woes by covering his mouth and halting his breathing, rather than offering mouth-to-mouth.

The police closed their investigation into Mark's fall, despite seemingly not interviewing Vivien. The detectives seemed so impressed by Mary’s story about Mark 'slipping' after too much drink that they didn't see the need to keep questioning the family.

In a couple of final twists, the police confirmed that Mark's daughter does exist – maybe he was innocent all along?  - and in the closing shot, we saw Stephen Rea open his eyes on his hospital bed. The perfect cliffhanger set-up for a second series.

Who does Vivien believe?

Francesca Annis as Vivien in Flesh and Blood ITV

Mary ended up getting everything she wanted at the end of the episode as Vivien took the house off the market and all her family remained close and under Mary's care and watch.

But Vivien appeared distant and aloof, unwilling to even get ready for a Sunday family dinner.

Was she just distraught at what had happened to Mark? She was in the house, so probably doesn’t realise that Jake pushed him off the balcony. Or does she suspect that her family and Mary may have been involved in Mark's fall.

Was Vivien being drugged?

The cast of Flesh and Blood on the Eastbourne beach ITV

We saw the pot of drugs on the side of the kitchen and the medical pack in Mark’s suitcase for India, but she still don’t know whether he was behind Vivien’s bout of illness and fainting.

But presumably if she suddenly stopped feeling ill and fainting, while Mark was in hospital, that would be a strong indication that he was up to something fishy.

If she remained ill and experiencing light-headedness, it would clear Mark.

Why was Mark so secretive if his daughter was real?

The confirmation that Mark wasn’t inventing his daughter adds weight to the argument that he’s been totally innocent all along.

However, it still feels very odd that he would never have shown Vivien a picture and arranged a Skype call or even a quick chat of the phone to introduce the two women to each other.

Wouldn’t his daughter have been desperate to meet or speak to a woman who has married her father in such sudden fashion? It still seems fishy to us.

What would happen in series two?

Stephen Rea as Mark in ITV's Flesh and Blood

Mark opened his eyes, but would he actually remember anything about the evening?

And if he did recall exactly who pushed him and what Mary did when he was on the ground, could he prove it and would anyone believe him.

The second series is beautifully set up, as Mark’s innocence is still in doubt, but he could also toy and exploit Jake and Mary’s actions to his advantage.

Will any of Vivien's children get happy endings?

Russell Tovey in ITV's Flesh and Blood

Nadia is pregnant, but has walked away from the father because she is so wracked with guilt over what she has done. Helen’s marriage has fallen apart, she’s lost her job and she’s still drinking. And Jake’s relationship with Stella has been exposed, ruining any chance of a happy family reunion.

There are plenty of rich sub-plots and minor characters who could come to the fore if the show returns.

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