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Death In Paradise season 13 episode 8 recap: do Neville and Florence leave together?

 Death In Paradise season 13 episode 8: DI Neville Parker (Ralf Little) stands on the beach with the ocean behind him, looking pensive, with his hands in his pockets.
Death In Paradise season 13 episode 8: DI Neville Parker (Ralf Little) stands on the beach with the ocean behind him, looking pensive, with his hands in his pockets.

Death In Paradise season 13 episode 8 wrapped up the latest series in fine style, giving us an uncanny mystery to ponder as DI Neville Parker (Ralf Little) was left wondering whether he could trust his own memory.

The case brought him back to Saint Marie after last week's premature departure, giving him a chance to resolve things with DS Florence Cassell (Joséphine Jobert), who had confessed to Officer Darlene Curtis (Ginny Holder) that she had developed feelings for Neville, but didn't get the chance to tell him before he left. But what happened when the pair finally opened their hearts to each other — and does the tale of DI Neville Parker's time in the Caribbean ultimately have a happy ending?

Here's what happened in Death In Paradise season 13 episode 8...

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Death In Paradise season 13 episode 2 recap
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After a recap of last week's events, we skip back in time 20 minutes from Neville's departure and join him in the departure lounge, along with a few other travellers. He strikes up a conversation with Kurt Henderson (The Rig's Calvin Demba), taking him to be a fellow nervous flier — dropping in the fun fact that the landing is the part of the flight where there's most likely to be a mechanical malfunction, which is exactly what everyone wants to hear right before they strap themselves into a metal box and get propelled thousands of feet into the air. Neville says he always takes a couple of antihistamines to calm his nerves, and offers some to Kurt, who demurs and heads to the toilet, either for that all-important pre-flight pee or simply to get away from Neville, who can say?

Eventually, it's time to board and Neville heads out to the tarmac, where first officer Monette Gilbert (Champion's Rachel Adedeji) is a little distracted on the phone sorting out her childcare arrangements, though not so distracted that she doesn't notice Neville's anxiety. She asks if he's okay, and he explains that he'd forgotten that antihistamines wouldn't mix well with the rum punches he had at his leaving do, so he's a bit light-headed — but it's fine, he'll sleep it off on the plane. Neville heads up the steps and takes a last look out over Saint Marie — so he thinks, anyway.

A generic shot of Monette Gilbert (Rachel Adedeji) in her first officer's uniform, standing by the plane and smiling at the camera
A generic shot of Monette Gilbert (Rachel Adedeji) in her first officer's uniform, standing by the plane and smiling at the camera

As Neville takes his seat and grows increasingly groggy, Kurt — who's in the seat behind him — asks if he's okay and offers him some water, but Neville tells Kurt he just needs to sleep, and the small plane takes off for Dominica.

Back on terra firma, Florence has finally made it to Saint Marie, where she's greeted by Catherine (Élizabeth Bourgine), who is sad that Florence didn't make it in time to see Neville. Florence says it's exciting that he's going travelling, and that she's pleased for him, and heads off to greet her family.

Up in the air, pilot Peter Holcroft (Nolly's Richard Lintern) announces that they are about to descend into Dominica just as Neville wakes up from his nap — to discover that the seat behind him is now empty. He asks Monette what happened to the man who was sitting there, but Monette has no idea what he is talking about: she tells him there were only two passengers on the plane, Neville himself and Raphael Coty (Jules Miesch). When they land, Neville calls Commissioner Selwyn Patterson (Don Warrington) to alert him to the missing passenger, and when he describes Kurt, the Commissioner has some peculiar news for Neville: his body has just been found on a beach in Saint Marie with a bullet wound in his abdomen.

DS Naomi Thomas (Shantol Jackson) and Commissioner Selwyn Patterson (Don Warrington) stand on the beach inside a perimeter of crime scene tape. Naomi is holding a British passport, and the Commissioner is holding a mobile phone
DS Naomi Thomas (Shantol Jackson) and Commissioner Selwyn Patterson (Don Warrington) stand on the beach inside a perimeter of crime scene tape. Naomi is holding a British passport, and the Commissioner is holding a mobile phone

DS Naomi Thomas (Shantol Jackson) and the Commissioner survey the crime scene, but Naomi finds nothing unusual on the victim's body. Officer Dwayne Myers (Danny John-Jules) has searched the beach, but found no murder weapon. The Commissioner asks Neville if he is sure that Kurt was definitely on the plane — Neville is, and asks if it would be okay if he came back to lead the investigation, just to get to the bottom of all this. As he hangs up, Raphael comes up and asks how much longer he will need to be kept, as he has drinks scheduled at six. Neville tells him he's going to need to speak to him again, as well as Peter and Monette. Neville tells them that the man he saw on the plane has now been found murdered on the beach in Saint Marie, meaning the plane is now a possible crime scene and will be sealed today by the local authorities before being flown back to Saint Marie for processing. Peter asks the obvious question: if the body is in Saint Marie, doesn't that prove Kurt wasn't on the plane?

Not to Neville, it doesn't. Peter checks the flight manifest and confirms Kurt was meant to be on the flight. Monette says that Kurt checked in, but he never presented for boarding — she looked for him at the gate, but couldn't find him. Neville shows them all a picture — Peter doesn't recognise Kurt, and Raphael remembers seeing someone else at the gate, but not on the plane. Peter asks Neville if he imagined it, and Monette reminds Neville that he had been mixing alcohol and antihistamines. Peter thinks that explains the whole thing, but Neville is sure he definitely didn't hallucinate Kurt being on the plane.

At Catherine's Bar, Florence has a long-overdue reunion in person with the Commissioner, and wants to check he is okay after being shot. He assures her that he is, and that that's all in the past. Florence's phone goes off — it's a message from Neville saying he's coming back to Saint Marie for the investigation. Realising she'll get to see him after all, she smiles to herself.

The following morning, Neville returns to the police station where the Commissioner gives him an update: the post-mortem confirms Kurt's death was indeed a gunshot to his abdomen, with the gunshot residue suggesting the gun was fired close to his body. Dwayne says they have CCTV footage from the airport showing Kurt Henderson going through passport control and towards the departure gate, but nothing showing him actually boarding the plane — so they only have Neville's word for it. Neville can't explain why everyone else's account contradicts his: none of these people had met until yesterday, because Monette was on her first ever shift working with Peter, and Raphael lives in Paris and has never visited the Caribbean before. Naomi has checked the victim's phone and emails but there's nothing to suggest he knew any of the people on the plane — and the same for his social media activity. The only lead they have so far is that Kurt had been staying with a married couple on the island for the last four months, Taylor Fielding (Deep Heat's Richard Fleeshman) and his wife Chelsea (Professor T's Emma Naomi), and Naomi found texts on Kurt's phone revealing that he and Chelsea had been having an affair. However, shortly before he was murdered, Kurt had been texting a friend saying that Chelsea was getting too intense, saying she wanted to leave her husband for him.

A generic shot of Chelsea Fielding (Emma Naomi) standing on the beach and smiling at the camera
A generic shot of Chelsea Fielding (Emma Naomi) standing on the beach and smiling at the camera

Neville and Naomi go to interview Chelsea, who explains she and Taylor ran into Kurt a few months ago: Kurt had been travelling and was running low on money, Taylor warmed to him right away and offered him a job with his property development firm. Chelsea downplays the nature of her relationship with Kurt and claims not to have noticed that he left all his clothes behind, so Naomi shuts that down by showing her the texts between Kurt and his friend. Chelsea admits to the affair, saying that she got bored with her idle lifestyle of sitting by the pool all day, and she wanted a bit more from life. She remembers telling Kurt she'd leave Taylor for him, but thinks she probably just said that in the moment without really meaning it. She was a bit angry when he left, but not to the extent of wanting him dead.

When Taylor returns home, he reveals that he knew about the affair — he'd suspected something was going on, and then when he got back from work to find Kurt gone without saying goodbye, that confirmed his suspicions. He got very angry with Chelsea, but decided that he didn't want to lose her, so they're going to try to work through this. He didn't go after Kurt, he says — he just wanted to focus on his relationship. Neville asks where they were around 5 pm the day before, when Kurt was last seen alive, and Taylor says that the two of them were at home together all night. After Neville and Naomi leave, Chelsea tells Taylor that she's really sorry, and he tells her they will get through this and be stronger for it.

Driving back into town, Neville's excited to see Florence — so excited that he tries to jump out of the truck without undoing his seatbelt. They gleefully greet each other with a hug, and Florence tells him she was just on her way to see him. She asks if he's free for a drink, and Neville says he will absolutely make time for her.

At the police station, Dwayne gets news that the plane has been returned to Saint Marie and heads over to the airport to start processing it. Darlene briefs Neville and Naomi on what she's found out — Kurt's bank statements show no financial connection to the other travellers, and Raphael works for a travel website and doesn't earn much but gets to travel a lot. Darlene notes that she doesn't have Raphael's witness statement in the file, and Neville explains that Raphael had a prior work commitment in Dominica which he let him go to, on the understanding that he would come to Saint Marie to give his statement afterwards. There's no connection between Peter and Kurt other than Kurt having a ticket for the flight, but that was bought via an online booking company. Monette is recently divorced and has custody of her six-year-old daughter but again, no connection to Kurt. Neville's still adamant that Kurt was sitting behind him on the plane, but the fact that nobody else remembers it is making him start to doubt himself.

DI Neville Parker (Ralf Little) and DS Florence Cassell (Joséphine Jobert) hug each other goodbye on the beach
DI Neville Parker (Ralf Little) and DS Florence Cassell (Joséphine Jobert) hug each other goodbye on the beach

After work, Neville goes for drinks with Florence at Catherine's Bar, and she tells him that she's thinking of following his lead and doing some travelling. Neville says he never thought he'd say this, but he's really excited at the thought of seeing the world. Florence tells him she's proud of him, and Neville says that the change in his nature is down to her — he was afraid of so many things when he came to Saint Marie, but Florence kept encouraging him and pushing him to broaden his horizons. He says she's a very important person in his life.

Afterwards, they go for a walk on the beach, where Florence summons the courage to tell Neville that she thought about him a lot while she was away. She tells him she's aware he will be leaving soon, but asks if there is any chance they can spend some more time together, the two of them. She says she isn't sure exactly what she's asking for, but she's liking being there with him — she can't make any promises and she doesn't want to hurt him, but she's still figuring this out herself. Neville thanks her for her honesty, and asks if he can think about what she's suggesting. Florence, slightly disappointed, says that's fine. They hug, a little awkwardly, and say goodnight to each other.

The next day at the airport, Naomi quizzes Neville on how his evening went, and is slightly surprised by his flat response that it was "fine". Neville makes it clear he would rather discuss the case, so Naomi gives him an update: Darlene and Dwayne finished processing the plane last night, but despite focusing on Kurt's seat/armrest/safety belt etc found no sign of his fingerprints. Naomi has asked them to check the plane again, because she's done further background research into Taylor and discovered that he has a criminal record in both the UK and the US for drug smuggling. He was suspected of importing drugs from the Caribbean to the US, but fled the States before they had enough evidence to arrest him — however, one thing the authorities did have on their radar was the likelihood that Taylor was using Peter Holcroft's charter planes to transport the drugs, because Peter's business was in severe financial trouble.

On the airfield, Naomi (Shantol Jackson) and Neville (Ralf Little) interview Peter Holcroft (Richard Lintern)
On the airfield, Naomi (Shantol Jackson) and Neville (Ralf Little) interview Peter Holcroft (Richard Lintern)

Neville and Naomi speak to Peter, who says that no arrest was made and nothing was ever proven relating to the drug charges. Neville and Naomi point out that, even in light of that, Taylor has definitely chartered Peter's plane in the past, and that a young man vanished from the aircraft and was found murdered. Peter tells them that he's had no contact with Taylor for years, and reiterates that Kurt Henderson was never on his plane. He says that the fact that Kurt was scheduled to travel on it is merely a coincidence. Darlene comes over and tells Neville they've found something, so he heads over to the plane, where Darlene tells him that Naomi's hunch was right: he searched under one of the seats and found a secret compartment that was probably used for smuggling, which currently contains a weapon of the same variety that was used to shoot Kurt Henderson. Peter denies all knowledge of the gun, but doesn't have a good explanation of who else could have put it there.

Back at the police station, Neville wonders if this latest find means that Kurt was killed on the plane, but Darlene says that she and Dwayne found no traces of blood when they processed it. Dwayne adds that a gunshot on the plane would surely have woken Neville up, but Naomi suggests a silencer might have been used. Neville has another look at the gun and sees markings on it suggesting the use of a silencer — though, as he points out, if Kurt really was killed on the plane, the other three would have to have conspired to cover it up. But none of them had met Kurt before, meaning none of them had a motive to kill him, and likewise, there's nothing to explain why three strangers would agree to cover up a murder together. And even if all of that was true — how did Kurt's body ultimately end up on the beach? Neville's not sure, but is relieved that it's starting to seem more possible that Kurt was on the plane after all.

Catherine, Dwayne, Florence and Darlene are having a summit of sorts at Catherine's Bar over Florence's feelings for Neville, where Florence says that she understands Neville's apprehension — he was all set to go travelling, then she turned up out of the blue with her confession and caught him off-guard. Neville, meanwhile, is sitting on the beach and thinking back to the time he told Florence how he felt, only for her to say she considered him just a friend. Neville arrives at the bar and waves to Florence, who runs over to him. Neville apologises for his reaction last night, and says that what he's about to say might be just as bad: getting all formal, he "respectfully decline[s]" her offer to spend more time together. He says that if they were going to give things a go together — and there's nothing he wants more — he'd need Florence to want it as much as he does, and he doesn't think that's the case. He understands that she can't make any promises, and it wouldn't be fair of him to ask for them — but for the sake of his own preservation, he wants to back out now because "the fall back down would be even bumpier the second time around". Florence smiles, clearly disappointed, and kisses him on the cheek. The others are watching from the bar, and Catherine is little short of furious that Neville turned Florence down. Florence makes her way back to the group silently, and Neville turns to walk away in the other direction.

A generic shot of Kurt Henderson (Calvin Demba), wearing a red baseball cap and a loud Hawaiian shirt, standing in front of a grille at the airport
A generic shot of Kurt Henderson (Calvin Demba), wearing a red baseball cap and a loud Hawaiian shirt, standing in front of a grille at the airport

The next morning, Neville's at the police station reviewing files when Naomi arrives and greets him gingerly — Neville tells her that he appreciates everyone's concern but he'd prefer to just focus on work. Naomi says that the lab has confirmed the gun found on the plane was the one to shoot Kurt Henderson, but the murder may not have been committed on the plane because the prints found on it were Taylor Fielding's. Neville's been going through Taylor's files and found that he had a parking ticket from the airport dating from the day of the murder between 5pm and 5:20pm — so he must have followed Kurt to the airport after learning of the affair.

Neville and Naomi go to speak to Taylor about this latest evidence, and he confesses, claiming he followed Kurt to the airport and shot him. But as Neville's arresting him, Chelsea bursts in and says Taylor is lying to them — Taylor didn't kill Kurt, she did.

Chelsea tells Neville and Naomi that after Kurt left, she and Taylor realised he'd stolen money from their safe and she blamed herself for it. She and Kurt had burner phones that they used for the purposes of texting each other without Taylor finding out, so she messaged him and lied that Taylor had people waiting to jump Kurt in Dominica so that he wouldn't get on the plane. She then drove to the airport, found Kurt outside the departure hall and offered to help him — she knew Taylor kept a gun in the glove compartment of the car, so she then drove Kurt to the beach and made him give the money back. She was so angry at what he'd done to them that she just snapped, and she shot him. Taylor tells her that she should have let him go down for this because he wanted to protect her, and Chelsea tells him that she's hurt him enough already.

Neville wants to clarify whether Kurt actually got on the plane, and Chelsea says that he told her he didn't — which leaves Neville wondering who he could have seen on the plane if it wasn't Kurt. After Chelsea is arrested, Taylor tells Naomi that he wiped Chelsea's prints off the gun, and hid it on the plane after he knew the police had already searched it — he had access because he'd hired the plane from Peter before. Neville's really struggling at this point, wondering if Kurt really did never board the flight to Dominica and he just imagined the entire thing.

On the beach, Monette meets with Peter and tells him that the police have made an arrest, and they can breathe easy now. The plot thickens!

Inside the police station, Officer Dwayne Myers (Danny John-Jules) stands next to the Commissioner (Don Warrington), who is holding up a newspaper showing the headline 'British Woman Charged With Murder'
Inside the police station, Officer Dwayne Myers (Danny John-Jules) stands next to the Commissioner (Don Warrington), who is holding up a newspaper showing the headline 'British Woman Charged With Murder'

The Commissioner comes to the station house to congratulate Neville on solving his final case in Saint Marie, but Neville's feeling curiously unsatisfied because he hasn't been able to resolve what he's sure he saw. Raphael Coty arrives to give them his witness statement, which Darlene offers to take — but as the Commissioner is telling Neville that he's free to get back to his travels, Neville's getting that look in his eyes that means he's getting a crime-solving kind of idea. He tells the Commissioner that if his hunch is right, all the suspects are lying — they need to go and revisit the crime scene at the beach, and he needs to stop along the way to grab his metal detector from his shack. When they get to the beach, Neville does a sweep of the scene — and makes a discovery.

Neville gathers the suspects together, per tradition, and tells them that this case has tested him like no other, because he's never doubted his own memory as much as he has in the last three days. But his mind wasn't playing tricks on him: Kurt Henderson really did board the plane. When Monette went back to look for him at the gate, he emerged from the toilet and gave her his boarding pass — and he was still on the plane as Neville drifted off to sleep, but then he got off. Neville's theory is that Kurt didn't read Chelsea's text until he was already on board and, fearing what would be waiting for him in Dominica, wanted to get off, aided by Peter and Monette.

They ask why they would do something like that, and Darlene arrives, brandishing $50,000 which she just found while searching Monette's house. Neville's pretty sure they'll find a similar amount in Peter's house when they search it, and says that Raphael — as a passenger and therefore witness — would have been included in the plan as well. Naomi points out that Raphael's job is poorly paid, so $50,000 would make a big difference to his lifestyle — and Neville tells him that the giveaway was the fancy new sunglasses that he was wearing when he turned up at the police station, because he remembered Raphael wearing a much older and cheaper pair on the day of the murder.

Raphael Coty (Jules Miesch) sits next to Officer Darlene Curtis (Ginny Holder) at her desk in the police station, with a pair of expensive sunglasses resting on top of his head
Raphael Coty (Jules Miesch) sits next to Officer Darlene Curtis (Ginny Holder) at her desk in the police station, with a pair of expensive sunglasses resting on top of his head

So that's how Kurt got out of the plane - he bought his way off. Monette opened the door as the plane was taxiing to the runway, and Kurt jumped out, running round the perimeter of the airfield and jumping the fence. (If that is indeed the case, then Saint Marie Airport probably needs to beef up its security system.) Since the police didn't find any fingerprints, the others must have thoroughly cleaned his seat afterwards to remove all traces of him — and since Neville was asleep and had already admitted to feeling woozy, they thought they could get away with just claiming he'd been seeing things. Unfortunately for them, Neville was a dogged detective who notices the small details — especially things like people vanishing from an aeroplane.

Neville surmises that Kurt was looking to get a flight to another island, which is when Chelsea picked him and brought him to the beach and murdered him. But Chelsea's confused — she got all their money back from Kurt, so how did he have enough to pay off Peter, Monette and Raphael? Neville turns to Taylor, who admits that he lied about how much money Kurt stole from them, saying he didn't think it was important. Neville, however, thinks that Taylor didn't mention it because he knew what had happened to the missing $150,000 — because Kurt told Taylor right before Taylor shot him. Chelsea reiterates that she was the one who shot Kurt, but Neville doesn't think that's what really happened: he believes everything in Chelsea's story, but thinks she left out the part where Taylor followed her to the airport and subsequently to the beach. Neville doesn't think Chelsea actually shot Kurt, because he found a bullet in the sand and he thinks this is the one that Chelsea fired — but she missed.

A generic shot of Taylor Fielding (Richard Fleeshman) standing on the beach, smirking at the camera
A generic shot of Taylor Fielding (Richard Fleeshman) standing on the beach, smirking at the camera

Chelsea didn't actually check that Kurt was dead after pulling the trigger, she just dropped the gun and ran to the car. Taylor then emerged from the trees and said he was going to check the body for her — and Dwayne has just retrieved a silencer from the safe at Taylor's house. So, once Chelsea was out of sight, Taylor picked up the gun and put the silencer on, and then after he made Kurt tell him what he did with the rest of the money, he killed him.

However, Taylor now had a problem: if he tried to get his $150,000 back, then Peter, Monette and Raphael would know it was him who killed Kurt. But if someone else was arrested, he'd be able to go after the money freely — and given that Chelsea had betrayed him, then having her sent down for Kurt's murder would have been a fitting punishment as far as Taylor was concerned. Taylor knew that Chelsea truly believed she'd killed Kurt, so he planted the gun on the plane with his fingerprints intact, knowing that the police would come to arrest him and that guilt-ravaged Chelsea would feel obliged to confess the crime. Chelsea is appalled, and Taylor is led away in handcuffs. Naomi congratulates Neville on solving his last case, and thanks Neville for everything he's taught her over the past few years. The Commissioner tells Neville that the island is going to miss him deeply. (Aw, us too!)

Back at the shack, Neville packs up the last of his belongings, says a final goodbye to Harry the lizard and takes a taxi to the airport. On the way however, he hears sirens approaching from behind — and looking through the rear windscreen, he sees Dwayne and Darlene in the motorbike and sidecar waving at him to pull over, with Naomi and Catherine in the truck behind them. Neville pulls over and asks if something's wrong, and as far as they're all concerned, there is: they think Neville is making a mistake letting Florence go. Darlene says that he's turning his back on Florence because he's scared, and Catherine reminds him that the Neville who first came to the island always gave in to fear. Neville realises he's slipped back into his old risk-avoiding habits, and Dwayne offers him a lift to go and catch Florence before she leaves.

Neville arrives at the ferry port where Florence is queuing to board. She asks if he came to say goodbye, and he says no, he doesn't want to say goodbye — though he'd understand if she did, given his behaviour the other day. He tells her he doesn't need promises or guarantees — if all she has to offer is the unknown, that's enough for him, he just wants the two of them to take the leap together. The two board the ferry and step out onto the deck, looking at the world lying ahead of them as Florence puts her hand on Neville's and smiles at him.

And that's where we leave them, sailing off in search of adventure — and presumably leaving Saint Marie in need of a new Detective Inspector. But who will it be? Watch this space...