So, with a two-week opportunity to reassert itself, Midsomer Murders teases us with two marvellously ridiculous shows before it goes off air again, victim to some European football contest.
But, it was Barnaby himself who suggested why he is soon to make his way into the sunset. Three murders, he admits to his sergeant at the end, were committed "right under my nose."
(Don't worry, he is to be succeeded by his - Barnaby's - cousin. Whether European football will interfere with his career is to be seen).
What delightful plotting and characterisation. And let us not dismiss the fact that the ever-patient Joyce Barnaby (Jane Wymark) was at the centre from the start. She even got to play Queen Victoria.
She's in it every week, and often provides that "moment" when Barnaby has his flash of comprehension. Can't her agent negotiate a higher billing? You can't get much lower an alphabetical listing than Wymark!
Angry men who can't wait to punch each other's lights out, extra-marital and homosexual affairs, and a delightfully louche lord of the manner (Kevin R McNally) who's impregnated his own daughter-in-law. What's not to like?
However, producers please note: this is Midsomer - there really should be a body before the opening credits.