'Roadkill' Ending Explained: Can Helen get Prime Minister Peter Laurence sacked?

If you think about it, Peter Laurence did very little for his most desired promotion as the Prime Minister

                            'Roadkill' Ending Explained: Can Helen get Prime Minister Peter Laurence sacked?

Spoilers for 'Roadkill' Finale

PBS' political thriller, a BBC One original, 'Roadkill' has reached its finale. Peter Laurence (Hugh Laurie) is finally Prime Minister - the most coveted position in the government. And no sir, the position didn't just fall into his lap. Or did it? 

If you think about it, Peter did very little for his most desired promotion as the prime minister. Everyone around him who was out to get him was suddenly uninterested, cared more about other aspects, simply gave up or was accidentally, tragically killed (as in the case of Sarah Greene's Charmian Pepper). Let's break that down. Pepper had gone to Washington to gather evidence about Peter's presence there. She might have lost the libel case, but there was nothing that could have come in her way. Till a van ran over Pepper killing her, making it the end of her quest. 

When the evidence reaches Britain, Pepper's editor Joe Lapidus (Pip Torrens) is eager to run it in. But a disappointing visit from the proprietor of the paper Dame Vanessa Pollard (Sylvestra Le Touzel) ruins all plans. Vanessa doesn't want to run the so-called evidence against Peter Laurence. Why? Simply because doing that would make the paper come across as vindictive and in a bad light. Pepper's efforts had already lost them millions, why should she go forward with this too? 

After her refusal, this evidence manages to reach Rochelle Madeley (Pippa Bennett-Warner), who sets on her own quest. She visits Helen Laurence (Saskia Reeves), Peter's wife for lunch. The idea is to convince her to "betray" Peter and make use of the evidence that Pepper collected by sacrificing her life. It was Rochelle herself who had won the libel case for Peter, but when presented with this opportunity to correct her actions, it seems like she simply didn't want to. After Helen walks out on her, Rochelle sits in her office and argues with Luke Strand (Danny Ashok) about morals and truth, but eventually, she refuses to do anything about the situation. 

Coming to the next big scandal - Rose Dietl (Shalom Brune-Franklin), Peter's illegitimate daughter. In the previous episode, all of his family had sat down to confront him about Rose. No prizes for guessing it was an uncomfortable, awkward meeting. And the next day, Peter acknowledges his illegitimate daughter on television primetime news. Thus also taking care of Dawn Ellison's (Helen McCrory) aggressive methods of safeguarding herself. This means that with little support, she now faces a confidence vote and is out. After all, Julia Blythe (Olivia Vinall) had successfully leaked information out to Adam De Banzie (Nicholas Rowe) - jumping ship and all that. 


Adam had previously met Peter to ensure that he dissolves that offshore company he set up to transfer funds for the think tank. Their discussion ends in Peter's decision to do so. Only this time, his wife isn't by his side. At the end of the show, Helen gives the papers back to Peter unsigned. And before walking out with all that she could muster, she tells him that she won't sign the papers. 

And so, while several other issues are taken care of, Prime Minister Peter Laurence still has one big skeleton in his closet - the privatization of the NHS. It is only a matter of time that someone begins digging into the company and revealing his involvement in the case throughout. 

Peter had used and disrespected Helen over the course of their marriage. He even had an affair with Madeleine Halle (Sidse Babett Knudsen) during Helen's breast cancer treatment. If this was going to be her only chance to screw him over, she took it in an instant. 

Now, there are only two ways that one perceives this ending. You may think Helen was right and Peter deserved what was coming. Or you can think that the makers - writer and creator David Hare - took the easy way out with a question mark at the end. 

Either way, Peter Laurence is Prime Minister - for better or for worse - even if the glory lasts only a few weeks. 

You can catch all episodes of 'Roadkill' PBS' official website. 

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