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Bloodlands episode 2 recap – questions and theories about Goliath

Contains spoilers for Bloodlands episode two – you've been warned!

Published: Sunday, 28th February 2021 at 10:00 pm

Jed Mercurio drama Bloodlands continued tonight on BBC One, with episode two ending on an absolute shocker of a cliffhanger.


After finding three bodies on an island in the Belfast Lough, DCI Tom Brannick, played by James Nesbitt, carried on with his investigation into Goliath – a serial killer responsible for four deaths leading up to the Good Friday Agreement and believed to be somebody within the police.

Tonight's episode was full of twists, turns, on-foot pursuits and shoot-outs – so if you're still a bit confused about what's going on, we've answered some of the biggest questions to come out of Bloodlands part two.

Make sure to read up on all our Bloodlands episode one theories before reading below, and check out our four-star Bloodlands review.

**Warning – spoilers ahead!**

Which bodies were found on the island?

At the end of episode one, we discovered that Niamh (Charlene McKenna) and her team had found three bodies, one of which was wearing an owl pendant similar to one Tom's missing wife Emma usually wore.

However, Niamh reveals that the first CSIs couldn't tell if any of the skeletons were women, and Dinger (Michael Smiley), a crime scene investigator on the case, later tells Niamh that the three bodies belonged to Joe Harkin, David Cory and Father Simon Quinlan – all of whom were presumed to be victims of Goliath.

Where is Tom's wife Emma?

With the body of Tom's wife Emma Branning, an undercover spy working for the Special Reconnaissance Unit presumed to have been killed by Goliath, currently unaccounted for, it's difficult to know whether she is in fact dead.

While it's possible that she has been dead for 20 years, Tom reveals in episode one that he was told that Emma's cover had been blown and she had to go underground – a story he didn't believe but could well be true.

Dinger later hints to Niamh that Emma could have engineered her own disappearance being a spook. "If anyone could, she could," he says in the pub.

Why would Emma want to fake her own death and allow her family to believe she'd been kidnapped? In a shock revelation at the end of the episode, David Cory's brother Adam, who's been searching for answers about his brother's death for 20 years, tells Tom that David had been having an affair with a married woman and while he didn't know her identity, he'd been given an owl pendant with the initial E on the back of it. "They loved each other," he tells a furious Tom on the island.

Is it possible that Emma faked her own disappearance as she was planning on running away with David but the plan went horribly wrong when David was killed by Goliath?

While Emma's body has not yet been found, she may have been killed and hidden somewhere else considering she'd allegedly been involved with David, a protestant paramilitary godfather, and was working undercover for 14 Intelligence Company, the Special Reconnaissance Unit.

Who kidnapped Pat Keenan?


While Tom and his team managed to rescue Pat from his captor in episode one, they're still none-the-wiser as to who the kidnapper was, considering Pat Keenan won't reveal their identity.

Tom manages to track Pat's steps on the day he went missing when Birdy (Chris Walley) hacks into his phone, revealing that he'd visited Belfast Hospital in the morning for an appointment about the blurred vision he'd been suffering with, then stopped by a cafe before heading to a conference for haulage associations in the afternoon.

CCTV from the conference reveals that Pat made a 20-second call to an employee at 4:19pm, before messaging his wife a minute later to say he was staying overnight at the Europa hotel and heading outside, where he spots someone (who conveniently happens to be out of shot), jumps in his car, briefly stops the car just outside of the camera's view and then heads to the hotel he was held captive at.

While Tom is unable to identify the person Pat picks up in his car, the person appears to be a dark-haired woman who is also seen leaving the cafe shortly after Keenan does by CCTV cameras near by.

Tom tries to blackmail Pat into revealing the identity of said woman with photos showing Pat had viagra and condoms in his hotel room – which could hint he was having an affair with his captor – however, Pat doesn't given into the threat and retaliates by threatening Tom's daughter Izzy.

While we currently don't have much to go on as to who took Pat Keenan, Keenan sends one of his men to kill Siobhan Harkin, the widow of Goliath victim and IRA quartermaster Joe Harkin, believing that she was involved in his kidnapping. Harkin seems to have an alibi when questioned by Tom, but we know she's involved with something dodgy after she meets up with Tom's boss Jackie Twomey, who tells her they "need to be careful".

Were Siobhan Harkin and Jackie Twomey involved in Pat Keenan's kidnapping? We'll have to wait to find out.

Who is Siobhan Harkin?

Siobhan Harkin (Cara Kelly) is the wife of Joe Harkin, an IRA quartermaster murdered in 1998 by Goliath. His body was amongst those found on the island.

While she initially appears to be just Harkin's grieving widow, Keenan sends one of his men to kill her as he believes that she was somehow involved in his kidnapping, and later on, she secretly meets up with Jackie Twomey, presumably to discuss something related to murders and the attempt on her life.

Could she have been involved in Pat Keenan's kidnapping? She tells police that Keenan claimed that her husband owed him money when in actual fact, Keenan owed money to them – could she have kidnapped Keenan to intimidate him into repaying his debts?

Similarly, she could have kidnapped him and made it look as though Goliath did so to force police to reopen her husband's case.

What is Jackie Twomey up to?

From episode one, we've been getting suspicious vibes from Detective Chief Superintendent Jackie Twomey. Tom's boss and former colleague on the Goliath investigation has so far been strongly averse to re-opening the serial killer's case and following any leads connected to it whilst looking rather shiftily out of his shuttered office window.

In tonight's episode, we finally had some confirmation of his shady behaviour. After Siobhan Harkin was brought in for questioning, we see Jackie head to a dilapidated mobile home where he retrieves what seems to be a hidden burner phone and asks to meet up with someone who turns out to be Siobhan.

"We need to be careful," he tells her during their clandestine meeting, hinting that they're possibly working in cahoots to detract from the Goliath case.

Later on, Dinger suggests that Jackie may have manipulated the Goliath victims' files, while Adam Cory writes in his diary that he believes Jackie is in fact Goliath.

Could Twomey himself be Goliath? So far he's the biggest suspect but given we're only halfway through the series, the answer can't be that simple.

Who does the discovered owl pendant belong to?


While viewers were led to believe that the owl pendant found with one of Goliath's victims was Emma Branning's, considering that Tom has a matching necklace to his missing wife, we later find out that the necklace was found with David Cory's body.

According to David's brother Adam, Emma was having an affair with David and gave him the necklace – but can we believe Adam's story?

Who is Tori Matthews really?

Viewers meet Tori Matthews (Lisa Dwan) in episode one, when she's introduced as a doctor who returned to Belfast to look after her ill mother and also happens to teach Tom's medical student daughter Izzy at Queen's University.

While episode two teases a romantic spark between Tori and Tom, we soon discover that she's actually the daughter of Father Simon Quinlan, an IRA arms dealer who was murdered by Goliath.

With Tori now knowing the truth about her father's disappearance, could she use her connection to Tom and Izzy to get closer to the case and find out more about her father? Or does she already harbour ulterior motives relating to the Goliath murders?

Who was Adam Cory speaking to about Goliath?


David Cory's brother Adam plays a big role in episode two and towards the end, he confirms that he was somehow involved in Pat Keenan's kidnapping but won't reveal who did the deed to Tom.

We find out that Adam had been inquiring about the Goliath case four months prior under the name Frankie McFeel – someone Tom immediately recognises as the local First World War hero his grandfather told him about who was also Adam's uncle.

While Adam claims that he heard about the top secret Goliath case from "loose-lipped peelers (police officers)" and Tom suggests that Adam was linked to Pat's kidnapping as shortly after he finds out about Goliath, there's been a similar crime with "all the hallmarks of the man himself" and the reappearance of Goliath's calling card, which may have been designed to make police reopen the case.

Whilst visiting Adam with Niamh earlier in the day, Tom notices that there were dirty teacups on Adam's kitchen counter, suggesting that he'd met up with someone prior to their arrival – someone who knows about the Goliath case judging by Adam's diary entries that Tom reads without permission.

While the diary momentarily flashes up on screen, it reads: "It seems to me that Jackie Twomey has something to gain from inserting himself into this investigation again.

"Jackie Twomey either knows who Goliath is, he's concealing the identity – maybe an old IRA contact – or he is Goliath. Is that entirely impossible? The man has been in all the right places at the right [time].

"And in Tom Brannick we have a willing police officer who shares our desire for justice. We talked about possible Goliaths. Whether or not the man is stills Erving? I have heard that Jackie Twomey has replaced the head of Dunfolan, to control the hunt for the bodies."

From the diary entries, Tom gathers that Adam has been meeting with someone and trading theories about Goliath – however Adam refuses to reveal the person's identity, even when Tom threatens him with a gun.

How was Adam connected to Pat Keenan's kidnapping? And does that mean the actual Goliath isn't connected to Pat Keenan's case at all? Hopefully we'll get more answers in the upcoming instalments.

Why did Tom kill Adam Cory?

In a shocking turn of events at the end of episode two, we watch as Tom shoots Adam Cory on the island after Cory reveals that his brother was having an affair with Tom's wife.

The killing appears to be cold-blooded and impulsive, with Tom shooting Adam after Adam accuses Tom himself of being Goliath and killing his own wife whilst recording their conversation.

While it doesn't seem as though Tom knew his wife was having an affair and has been earnestly looking for Goliath for the past 20 years, it seems unnecessary and messy to kill Adam in the broad daylight on an island we already know is regularly watched by nearby farmers. Was this a killing done out of anger or is Tom secretly hiding information we know nothing about?


If Tom is capable of murdering a seemingly innocent bystander who has been assisting him in his search for Goliath, then what else could he be capable of?

Bloodlands continues on Sundays at 9pm on BBC One. If you’re looking for something to watch tonight, check out our TV Guide or check out our Drama hub for all the latest news.

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