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Shetland Series 8 Ending Explained: Who Killed Ellen Quinn?

Kieran picked Ellen up in his car on the night she died, after she’d argued with Grace at the farm and revealed the truth about her parentage. Ellen told him about the gangsters following her from London, and he tried to take her to the police station but she refused to go. To stop him in his tracks, Ellen told Kieran that he wasn’t her father and that the Bain family had been lying to him, humiliating him, and laughing at him for years. In a fit of rage, Kieran strangled Ellen in his car and when he came to, she was dying and passed away before he could revive her. He drove her body to a beautiful site where he’d once planned to build a family home, and left it there.

What Happened Between Stella and Bobby Quinn?

In September 1998, Stella Bain (Dawn Steele) was a Shetland teenager who’d been seeing her serious boyfriend Kieran for a few months, and her brother Bobby Bain (Russ Bain) was in his early 20s and working in Newcastle. When their father Kenny died, their mother Grace fell apart and Bobby flew home to pick up the pieces. For three days, the pair locked themselves away from the world and grieved, one night getting pass-out drunk on their father’s whisky and collapsing on Stella’s bed. When she awoke to the sound of Bobby crying, Stella comforted him and in their drunken, grieving state, the brother and sister had sex. It was a one-off and the cause of a great deal of shame, and afterwards, Bobby moved to the farm workshop and no longer slept in the family house.

When Stella discovered she was pregnant, she sought help from Rev. Calder at the local church. He consoled her and urged her to tell the truth, but she didn’t and married Kieran Quinn (Barry O’Connor) when she was four months pregnant, reasoning that the baby could just as well be his as her brother’s. The secret was kept for over 20 years, until Bobby finally told his niece and biological daughter Ellen on the anniversary of his father’s death, and the news – along with finding the body of little Akmal Azir – sent Ellen spiralling.

When the police found out what happened between the brother and sister, Stella insisted that it wasn’t Bobby’s fault and she wasn’t a victim, while he tried to protect her by sacrificing himself and having it recorded that he had forced himself on her when that wasn’t the case.

Why Did Bobby Tell Ellen the Truth?

A melancholic Bobby, on the anniversary of both his father’s death and Ellen’s conception, felt that he had failed in life. (“I was 45 years old and I had nothing to show for it. All I had was Ellen. She was the only thing in my life I was proud of.”) On the brink of losing the family farm, he confessed the truth to Ellen which sent her on a downward spiral that eventually led to her death.

Why Did Rory and Grace Lie About Having Seen Ellen?

Rory (Jakub Bednarczyk) lied because Ellen made him promise that he wouldn’t tell anybody about her visit to the farm that night, and that he never would (““And remember, don’t tell anyone I was here, ever”). The little boy was keeping a promise to his sister.

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