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The Split season 3 fans heartbroken over shock death in the first episode

Deborah Findlay, Annabel Scholey, Nicola Walker and Fiona Button in The Split
The Split watchers couldn't stop crying after the death of a kind and lovable character. (Image credit: (C) Sister)

*Warning - this article has huge spoilers for the first episode of The Split season 3*

The Split viewers were left devastated after the first episode of the new season last night (Monday, April. 4) as a much-loved character was tragically killed.

It was an emotional introduction to The Split season 3  as fans discovered that Rose Defoe’s (Fiona Button) husband, James Cutler (Rudi Dharmalingam), had died after being hit by a car while riding his bike. 

Prior to the horrific event, Rose and James had an argument over whether to adopt children as Rose had changed her mind about it.

Later on, when James had not yet arrived at the party welcoming back niece Liv Stern (Elizabeth Roberts) from South America, Rose left James ‘Jimbo’ a heartfelt voicemail saying that she was 'all in' to adopt and wanted to have 'millions' of kids with him, assuring him that he was going to be the best dad.

It wasn’t long before Hannah Stern (Nicola Walker) received a phone call from Dr Leonora (Karen Bryson) telling her what happened to James and the Defoe family rushed to the hospital.

James Cutler riding a bike.

James was killed after being hit by a car while riding his bike. (Image credit: BBC)

Their world was soon turned upside down when the doctor announced the devastating news that James didn’t survive the accident.

A traumatized Rose broke down and was escorted out of the hospital by her supportive family.

Rose breaks down at the hospital surrounded by her sisters and mum Ruth.

Rose was distraught and broke down at the hospital. (Image credit: BBC)

Fans were in tears at his painful death and mourned the loss of the much-loved character…

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The dramatic first episode also saw Hannah find out that her husband Nathan (Stephen Mangan) is in a new relationship with child psychologist Kate (Laura Pulver), which left her crushed and destroyed her hopes of them having a ‘good divorce.’

Meanwhile, Leonora wants a divorce from her adored husband Felix (Clarence Smith) and Nina is having an affair with Zander’s (Chukwudi Iwuji) husband Tyler (Damien Molony), among many other things that occurred in the episode.

In other recent news regarding the popular BBC drama, The Split director Dee Koppang has teased some 'fun cameos' to look forward to in the last series.

Nicola Walker and Stephen Mangan in The Split.

Nicola Walker and Stephen Mangan in The Split. (Image credit: (C) Sister)

Speaking to Radio Times, Dee revealed: "There are some really fun cameos. We've got Lindsay Duncan and Jemima Rooper, and we've got Lily Cole and Tom Reese Harris."

She even hinted at an unexpected cameo from her husband, This Morning presenter Dermot O’Leary, who she has been married to since 2012.

Dee added: "And my husband pops up in a very, very funny blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo playing himself in it as well, which is good. Playing a breakfast TV presenter.

"It was just a very organic thing. It really is blink-and-you’ll-miss-it – it's a tiny, tiny moment."

The Split season 3 airs Mondays at 9pm on BBC One and is also available to watch as a boxset on BBC iPlayer.

Grace Morris
Grace Morris

Grace is a digital writer with WhatToWatch.com, where she writes series guides for must-watch shows and the latest TV news. She graduated from Anglia Ruskin University in 2020 with a degree in Writing and Film Studies, which only made her love for creative writing, film and TV grow stronger.


You'll usually find her watching the drama unfold in the latest reality series and much-loved soaps (usually with chocolate by her side!). Grace also likes to explore new places with her friends and family and, of course, watch and read about the latest films and TV series.