Spoilers ahead for Bloodlands episodes one. Brand new detective series Bloodlands has got off to a strong start, filling a Line-Of-Duty-shaped hole in our TV schedules. Set 20 years after the Northern Ireland Good Friday Agreements, it stars James Nesbit as Tom Brannick, a Belfast detective who is attempting to catch a mysterious assassin named 'Goliath'. The Bloodlands' villain is said to be responsible for four disappearances and deaths since 1998, including Brannick's wife, but who is Goliath? It's expected to be some time before we find out, but here are some of the best theories about who Goliath is...
Well, the four-part series begins with a car being recovered out of the water as DCI Brannick and partner Niamh McKenna watch on. The car belongs to former IRA operative Pat Keenan and Brannick soon concludes that Goliath is behind the mysterious disappearance. But why has he or she appeared more than a decade later?
What We Know So Far
Right from the off, it’s made clear that Goliath had access to “insider” police intelligence and was able fact to make the disappearances of their victims look like runaways
Brannick has supposedly been chasing Goliath since the end of The Troubles back in the 1990s when his wife Emma was kidnapped along with three other people mixed up in the conflict (or so we've been led to believe, anyway).
The only other thing we know is that Pat Keenan – who is eventually found alive in a hotel at the end of episode one – may be the key to finding out who Goliath is. The assassin's calling card (a postcard featuring the crane he or she was named after) was found at Keenan's feet. Whether Keenan managed to get a look at his kidnapper remains to be seen, but he is certainly an important player in this mystery.
So, that's what we know. Now let's dig into some of the theories we've got so far about who exactly Goliath is.
Theory One: DCS Jackie Twomey Is Goliath
As soon as the DCS Jackie Twomey is introduced, he comes across as a bit suspicious. But what clues do we have that he could be Goliath?
For one, he's been on the force since the '90s, meaning he was around at the time of the crimes and was aware of everything going on.
Most importantly, however, is that Twomey consistently discourages Brannick from even thinking about Goliath, and instead tries to draw his attention to focus on the disappearance of Pat Keenan. When Brannick goes looking for the bodies of Goliath's victims (including his wife) on the island on Strangford Lough, Twomey flips his lid and immediately tries to shut it down.
In episode one, Twomey seemed like the number one suspect for Goliath. But it all seems a bit.. obvious? And that’s not really how Jed Mecurio (the writer) operates. But you never know, perhaps he wanted to have Goliath hiding in plain sight...
Theory Two: Tom Brannick's Wife Emma Isn't Really Dead
Brannick had always been told that his wife, who worked for an intelligence agency, went into hiding after her cover had been blown. But we are led to believe that, really, she was kidnapped and killed by Goliath in 1998. But perhaps both explanations are wrong?
When bodies are eventually found on Strangford Lough, one of them is wearing a necklace with an owl pendant that once belonged to Emma. Brannick has a matching one. So it must be her, right?
Well, no. In episode two, we learn that all three bodies were identified to be male. So, does this mean Emma is buried somewhere else or is she still out there? We know Pat Keenan has been connected to a mysterious woman who picked him up from a hotel before he was kidnaped. Could the mysterious woman be Emma...? Is she somehow involved with Goliath?
Back to the necklace. By the end of episode two, we know that it was actually David Corry, one of Goliath’s victims, who was wearing the necklace when he died. Which leads us to our next theory...
Theory Three: Tom Brannick Is Goliath
Now this one I definitely didn’t see coming. In classic Mercurio style, it turns out that Goliath may have been staring us in the face all this time.
At the end of episode two, it becomes clear that David Corry and Emma Brannick were having an affair before both of them disappeared. When Corry’s brother (who’s been searching for him for the past 20 years) confronts Brannick about this and asks him if he is in fact Goliath and the person behind the murders in the 1990s, Brannick shoots him.
I mean, that has guilty written all over it, right?
Well, we don’t know. There's still so much to uncover in Bloodlands and I, for one, can't wait to keep digging.
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