Shetland: What happened to Mary Perez? Why did Annie Louise Ross leave?
27th October 2021

Shetland: Douglas Henshall stars in season six trailer

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Shetland is back for its sixth season on BBC One, once again being led by DI Jimmy Perez (played by Douglas Henshall). Season six opens with the detective in mourning as he attends the funeral of his mother, Mary Perez (Annie Louise Ross). The character has not been seen for a number of seasons, leaving fans wondering what exactly happened to her.

What happened to Mary Perez?

Mary Perez was first introduced to fans way back in season two with the two-part storyline Blue Lighting: Part One and Part Two.

Jimmy was given an impromptu family reunion when a scientist was murdered in a bird sanctuary on Fair Ilse.

Near the place of Jimmy’s birth, he returns to his childhood home where he meets with his mother, someone he hadn’t seen in several years.

Mary played just a minor role in the two episodes, with Jimmy saying goodbye to her on Fair Ilse at the end of the second season.

Since then, she has not been physically seen in the series, with little mention of the character over the subsequent three seasons.

However, fans were reminded of Mary in the season six opening episode when Jimmy returned to Fair Ilse to attend Mary’s funeral.

During the funeral, Jimmy gives a eulogy, saying: “And when great souls die, after a period, peace blooms, slowly and always irregularly.

“Spaces fill with a kind of soothing electric vibration. Our sense, restored, never to be the same, whisper to us. They existed.

“We can be. Be and be better. For they existed.”

It is not stated why Mary has passed away during the episode, though it looks to be due to old age.

Why did Annie Louise Ross leave the show?

Following her brief appearance on Shetland, Ross continued to star in various projects.

Ross has not released a statement on why she was not in the show following season two, as it seems to be a decision made by lead writer Ann Cleeves.

Following Mary’s death in the show, Jimmy is now concerned over the health and wellbeing of his father, as he is now living alone with dementia (Bill Paterson).

His father has similarly not been seen in the series since 2014’s second season.

As for Ross, viewers may have recognised her from some iconic roles, including Gail’s mother in Trainspotting.

She is also known for starring as Dr Burns in Taggart, as well as Mrs Campbell in Whisky Galore.

Following her time on Shetland, Ross appeared in Katie Morgan, River City, Doctors, and most recently The Farm.

The overarching plot of season six remains to be seen, though it looks to be having a greater focus on Jimmy’s personal life.

However, as is the case for Jimmy, he is soon called away from his private life to deal with another horrific murder.

Episode two will see Jimmy continue to search for clues and he boards a dive boat to investigate the latest death.

Season seven has also been confirmed, though it is unknown if Jimmy will return to Fair Isle again, in six or seven.

Shetland season six continues Wednesday nights at 9pm on BBC One.

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