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The engagement of DS Jim Strange and Joan Thursday in Endeavour might’ve disappointed fans hoping for her and Morse to get a happy ending, but did the couple ever marry?
From the Endeavour finale gunshot mystery to knowing we'd see Endeavour end at season 9, the final season was full of intensity and emotion. Alongside the case DCI Fred Thursday and DS Endeavour Morse were investigating in the finale and another old case that resurfaced was the build up to the wedding of DS Jim Strange and Joan Thursday. The couple got together during the show but with Endeavour’s enduring feelings for her it was all-too easy to wonder if they’d really end up tying the knot.
Here we reveal whether Jim Strange married Joan Thursday in Endeavour, if Morse ever confessed his feelings for her and if Jim also appeared in Inspector Morse.
*Warning: Spoilers ahead*
Did Jim Strange marry Joan Thursday in Endeavour?
Despite the will-they-won’t-they journey of Endeavour Morse and his boss’ daughter he never confessed his feelings and Jim Strange married Joan Thursday in the Endeavour ending. DS Strange and Joan had known each other for a while, grew even closer from season 8 and romance soon blossomed between them. All of this happened despite Morse’s feelings for Joan and hers for him earlier on in the show’s run. Jim and Joan’s wedding had long been planned with Morse set to step up as Jim’s Best Man and be the one looking after the ring.
There were several moments even in the finale, though, where there were hints that perhaps we'd never see Joan Thursday in Endeavour actually become Mrs Jim Strange. Before their wedding day Jim and Joan were in the churchyard and the DS told her, “If you’ve changed your mind I wouldn’t think any less of you”, intercut with a shot of Morse walking nearby.
Joan was quick to reassure her husband-to-be, “I’ve never been more sure of anything in my life”, though the fact he said that to her at all might’ve had some people worried for the future.
When the day finally came for Jim Strange to marry Joan Thursday in Endeavour, Morse ended up being unable to make it to the ceremony as he continued to investigate a particularly intense case.
Luckily, Endeavour’s DS Jakes had returned from the US in the penultimate episode and took Morse’s place as Best Man. Although Jim was disappointed his "matey" had been there, it was attended by all our favorite familiar faces including the bride’s family, Win, Sam and Fred Thursday, and retired Superintendent Reginald Bright.
However, for a brief moment it appeared as though Joan might run off into the sunset with Morse even after becoming Jim’s wife. Endeavour introduced a heart-stopping scene where Morse arrived at the wedding and went over to Joan at the reception. During their conversation Joan told him that she didn’t think he’d ever called her by her actual name, always Miss Thursday. He then responded that this was “probably for the best”.
“Because if I had said it once out loud I don’t think I might ever have been able to stop. Truth is… I love you,” he declared. “I’ve loved you from the moment you opened that door. Oh, I should have told you. I should have said something. I should have said something. But now it’s too late”
Joan’s eyes filled with tears as he made his confession and fans of Morse and Joan Thursday in Endeavour might well have been shocked and delighted when she replied that it wasn’t too late at all and they began to kiss. Thankfully for Joan-Jim fans this sudden twist soon turned out to be an alternative reality scene as Morse allowed himself to imagine what might happen if he made this move.
Afterwards, the scene started again from the point Joan told him he’d never used her name and he called her Mrs Strange before sharing a hug that went on for a long time until Jim interrupted them, joking that she was a married woman now. She and Jim then departed and Morse was left sitting alone in the reception hall.
Does Jim Strange appear in Inspector Morse?
Although the Endeavour season 9 finale was also the prequel show’s last ever episode, it technically isn’t the last fans will - or already have - seen of Jim Strange. He appeared in the original Inspector Morse series where the character was played by James Grout alongside John Thaw as the older Endeavour Morse, now a DI with Robbie Lewis as his DS. By this point in the timeline his ambitions to climb the career ladder had led to him rising to the rank of Chief Superintendent.
Whilst Jim Strange started out as Morse’s equal, in Inspector Morse he was his boss though they still maintained a good relationship for the most part. However, Joan Thursday - along with her entire family - never appeared in Colin Dexter’s book series or the Inspector Morse show. Joan Thursday in Endeavour is a character that was entirely created for the prequel show, which is the reason Inspector Morse book fans would’ve already known there was no possibility of her and Morse having a happily-ever-after moment.
In Inspector Morse he has never married and dies without a partner or children in the final episode, The Remorseful Day. So even if he had confessed his feelings in Endeavour and it all went as we saw in the alternative reality scene, something awful would have had to happen to Joan at some point in his timeline to explain why he never mentioned her or saw her again later on in life.
But whilst anyone hoping for a romance between Morse and Joan Thursday in Endeavour might have been a little disappointed, it’s nice to think that they at least parted as friends. Morse even promised her father DI Fred Thursday that he'd keep an eye on her and Jim and check they were alright after the Thursdays had to relocate to avoid being tracked down by a dangerous biker gang. And when they watch Inspector Morse, Endeavour fans will know that anytime Jim’s wife is mentioned, it’s Joan, happily living her life with him.
Emma is a Royal Editor with seven years of experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas including literature, the British Royal Family and knowing all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and every streaming service out there. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, you can find Emma cooking and watching yet more crime dramas.
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