The Suspect: Ending explained and will there be a season 2?

**SPOILERS** As The Suspect comes to a dramatic end, we recap everything that happened

A still of Aiden Turner from The Suspect ending
(Image credit: ITV)

Need The Suspect ending explained? The ITV thriller has come to a close after five explosive episodes. 

Joining other gripping ITV dramas Ridley and Karen Pirie with keeping viewers hooked this autumn, The Suspect on ITV has seen the welcome return of Aidan Turner to our screens. The actor plays the lead role of clinical psychologist Doctor Joe O'Loughlin, who is battling with onset Parkinson's disease. The thriller revolves around an unsettling murder investigation of a young nurse and comes from World Production - those behind stellar dramas Line of Duty, Vigil, and The Pembrokeshire Murders.

On Tuesday 27 September, the five-part series came to an end, but many fans had some unanswered questions after the credits rolled. So if you want The Suspect ending explained, read on...

The Suspect: Ending explained

In the final instalment of The Suspect, Joe O'Loughlin's name was cleared and the truth behind the conspiracy to frame him for the murder of Catherine McCain was finally exposed. 

The real murderer also killed Joe's former patient Cara (played by Bronagh Waugh) as well as several others.

The majority of the series had seen Joe protesting his innocence, suspecting his patient Bobby Moran - who Joe later discovered was actually called Bobby Morgan, had something to do with the murder.

But it's only in the final episode that DI Ruiz and DS Devi started to believe that he was being framed and we discover who the real killer was.

The final scenes show a happy ending of Joe, his wife Julianne and daughter Charlie settling into a new home and expecting another baby.

Who killed Catherine McCain?

It turns out that Joe was actually right all along and Bobby did have something to do with Catherine's murder - although he didn't physically commit the murder himself, but was the mastermind behind it.

It was actually DJ (played by Tom McKay) who committed the murders. DJ was revealed to be the older brother of Bobby Morgan, with his full name being David Jean Morgan. He used his position as a plumber to infiltrate the O'Loughlins' home, which allowed Bobby to know Joe's whereabouts and get himself an alibi for the night of the murder.

DJ also earnt the trust of Joe's wife and planted a bomb in their basement, with the aim of kidnapping and killing the entire family.

During their showdown in the last episode, Joe was strapped to a chair with his wife and daughter tied to the fridge, and he used his skills as a psychiatrist to get the truth out of Bobby.

Eventually, DJ's conscience got the better of him and he released Joe and his family, before returning to the basement and perishing in the resulting explosion. Bobby escaped, but was taken into custody by the police.

And in case you were wondering, DJ was also the mysterious figure who had paid £500 to outbid Joe for his daughter's drawing of a whale in an earlier episode.

The Suspect ending explained

(Image credit: ITV)

Why was Joe framed?

Bobby Morgan created the mastermind plan to get revenge for his father. Years earlier, Joe had made a mistake when he falsely accused Bobby's father of abusing his son – unaware that it was actually Bobby's mother inflicting the abuse. 

Bobby and DJ's dad, Lenny Morgan ended up being separated from Bobby (DJ had already run away from home) and later took his own life.

Having accessed his social services file, Bobby read up on who was involved in his father's case and decided to take revenge. A social worker who pushed through the paperwork saw his daughter poisoned, the wife of the judge who ruled that Lenny could no longer see his son was deliberately knocked off her horse and broke her neck, and Bobby's psychologist Rupert Erskine was attacked, gagged and left to die of dehydration. While Joe's colleague Melinda lost her partner Boyd in a deliberate traffic collision.

As for Joe's fate, Bobby decided to make sure Joe was convicted of a crime he didn't commit. This is why he got DJ to murder Catherine – someone that the police would believe Joe would have a motive to kill, as she had previously falsely accused him of sexual assault. 

Her body was dumped in the cemetery around the time he knew Joe would be visiting his mother's grave. Thanks to the smell of chloroform Joe noticed on Bobby, it's likely he dumped the body rather than DJ, who committed the murder.

The Suspect ending explained

(Image credit: ITV)

How many episodes of The Suspect?

  • Episode 1 - 60 minutes
  • Episode 2 - 60 minutes
  • Episode 3 - 60 minutes
  • Episode 4 - 65 minutes
  • Episode 5 - 60 minutes

The Suspect is made up of five episodes altogether and they can all be watched on the ITV Hub.

Will there be a season 2 of The Suspect?

ITV are yet to announce whether there will be a second season of The Suspect. However, there is definitely scope for a season 2, as The Suspect is the first in a book collection written by Michael Robotham, centred around characters Joseph O'Loughlin and DI Michael Ruiz.

There are currently nine instalments of the book, so if ITV do decide to continue the story, there is certainly plenty of material to work with.

The Suspect (Joseph O'Loughlin) by Michael Robotham £7.99 | Amazon

The Suspect (Joseph O'Loughlin) by Michael Robotham £7.99 | Amazon

Read the best-selling psychological crime thriller now a major ITV series starring Aidan Turner.

It's likely that ITV will evaluate whether the first season of The Suspect has performed well enough to justify re-teaming with producers World Productions for a sequel.

Given that a second season hasn't yet been green-lit, the earliest we might expect filming to begin would be 2023, meaning it probably wouldn't hit our screens until 2024. Stay tuned for more updates!

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Robyn Morris
Entertainment writer - contributor

Robyn is a freelance celebrity journalist with ten years experience in the industry. While studying for a degree in Media and Cultural Studies at London College of Communication, she did internships at Now and Heat magazines. After graduating, she landed a job at Star magazine, where she worked her way up to features editor. She then worked at Future as Deputy Celebrity Content Director across Woman, Woman’s Own, Woman’s Weekly and Woman & Home magazines.