Spoilers ahead for Bloodlands episodes one and two. Right from the beginning of Bloodlands episode one, we're led to believe that Emma – wife to our lead investigator Tom Brannick – was kidnapped and potentially killed by a secrete assassin named Goliath during the final months of the Northern Irish Troubles. It seems Tom will stop at nothing to find out what happened to his wife and the mother of his daughter – but is Emma Brannick really dead or are we in for yet another major plot twist courtesy of Jed Mercurio?
Everything We Know About Emma Brannick
Let's start by looking at what we know for sure. We know that Emma worked for an arm of the police force called the 14 Intelligence Company. While it hasn't been made clear exactly what the company did, they seem to have had some sort of link with The Troubles and uncovering people within the IRA. We know that around about 1998 Emma went missing and hasn't been heard from since.
Emma's disappearance is shrouded in mystery. The official police records state that she's simply in hiding, her cover having been blown during an operation with the 14 Intelligence Company. But in episode one, Tom tells his partner DS Niamh McGovern that he thinks she was kidnapped and killed by Goliath.
However, when Tom, Niamh, and their boss DCS Jackie Twomey discover three bodies on Strangford Lough, all of whom are linked to Goliath, Emma's body is not found – only her necklace with an owl pendant and the letter "E" engraved on the back. Which leads us on to another big twist in this tale...
The Emma Brannick & David Corry Affair
In episode two, we learn that the owl necklace was hanging around the neck of someone who wasn't Emma when they were killed. Or else it was placed there after the bodies were dumped. But how did the necklace get to be on Strangford Lough?
Well, things start to become a little clearer towards the end of episode two, when the police hand over the possessions of David Corry, another man kidnapped and killed by Goliath, to his brother, Adam. Within the envelope, Adam finds an owl necklace with the the letter "E" engraved on the back.
When Adam and Tom visit Strangford Lough together, Adam begins to piece together some of the story. He says his brother was having an affair with a married woman before he died. He realises that woman was Emma and accuses Tom of murdering his brother in revenge and covering it up with the Goliath story. Before we can hear any more from Adam on this theory, Tom shoots him.
Where Is Emma Brannick Now?
There are a few possible places Emma could be now. Although we know she's not buried on Strangford Lough, perhaps her body has been hidden elsewhere. It's possible Goliath (whether Goliath is Tom or someone else) killed and buried her in a location far away from his other three victims.
Alternatively, Emma may be out there somewhere, alive and well. We know that Pat Keenan (a former IRA man who was kidnapped at the beginning of episode one) has been seen driving around Belfast with a mysterious woman with brown hair. Could this perhaps be Emma? It's not yet clear what the connection between Pat and Emma could be, but it's possible they crossed paths during The Troubles at some point.
Let's hope episode three reveals more about Emma and her whereabouts.