The Death in Paradise season 8 premiere proved itself to be what we love the most about this show, and about mysteries in general. Our favorite shows in this genre have always been those who introduce a murder at the start of the episode, and then spend the bulk of it allowing us to guess who could be responsible. It’s always nice to be in the shoes of the detectives for the better part of this hour.
The deceased at the heart of this episode was a mysterious man named Paul, someone who died while on the back seat of a bus with only a few people on it. Nobody was sitting close to him and, beyond just that, nobody got up and moved on the entire bus ride. The only thing that happened during the ride was that at one point, the driver got out of the bus to shoo a goat off of the road.
So who could’ve killed him … and why? As the episode went along, it actually turned out that many of the passengers, and even the driver, had either a motive to kill him or an understanding as to who he was. One of the women wanted to kill him but didn’t; meanwhile, another may have known about a massive amount of money that he had via a casino robbery years before. The driver herself was going to be doing business later on some fake identification documents, though she didn’t realize that this man was her client. (Her fake ID business was a side gig.)
Through most of the episode we saw our cast try their best to figure out the identity of the murderer, interviewing suspects at every step of the way and collecting evidence. This led them to them determining that none of these people could have killed him. The only way to get to Paul was via the emergency exit in the back of the bus, which only one person could have opened: Paul himself. He was set up by the true murderer: The owner of the bus company in Harold set him up by planting a key to where Paul would find some of the casino-heist money in the back of the bus. From there, he knew the he could convince Paul to open the door. While everyone was leaving the bus at the end of the journey, that’s when Harold killed Paul. Everyone else was distracted and nobody would ever suspect him.
This was an excellent story to kick off the season, and beyond that there were a couple of fascinating side plots — most notably Florence and Patrice debuting themselves as a couple. Death in Paradise is first and foremost a murder mystery, and when it comes to that very thing, it succeeds almost constantly. We don’t know how the show manages to come up with new mysteries eight seasons in, but they somehow find a way to succeed with it.
What did you think about the Death in Paradise season 8 premiere on BBC One Sunday night? Be sure to share right now in the attached comments. (Photo: BBC.)