‘Des’ finale recap: What happened in Episode 3?

ITV’s ’80s true crime drama Des concluded in the UK tonight.

The three-part mini-series follows the arrest and trial of real-life serial killer Dennis Nilsen.

Based on Brian Masters’ book Killing for Company, Des dramatises one of the most infamous cases in UK criminal history.

The story is told through the prism of three men – Dennis Nilsen, played by David Tennant (Broadchurch), Detective Chief Inspector Peter Jay, played by Daniel Mays (Line of Duty), and biographer Brian Masters, played by Jason Watkins (The Crown).

Watch the trailer:


Here’s a plot recap for the third episode of Des, which aired on ITV at 9pm on Wednesday 16th September 2020:

Reeling from Des’ change in plea, Jay and the police throw themselves into proving premeditation.

If they can show the court that Des was undoubtedly of sound mind when he committed his crimes, he will go down and never be released.

If they fail, Des could get a cushier sentence on diminished responsibility and effectively escape justice.

As the trial begins and the defence start to tear strips off key witnesses, Jay and his team are shocked by just how flimsy their case against Nilsen seems to be.

Could this seemingly open-and-shut murder investigation really be close to collapsing?

Meanwhile, Brian is forced to watch the trial unfold in front of him, anxiously wondering how much of an effect his ‘friendship’ with Nilsen may have had on this turn of events.

Brian Masters’ book Killing for Company is available on Amazon.