We’ve made it. After seven agonisingly long days, the series finale of Bodyguard is finally upon us. Hurrah!
I’m Susanna Lazarus and before we start I have some important questions – like, are you ready? Seriously. Have you got a comfy seat and a recently refilled drink? Have you had dinner? Popped to the loo? Because you’re not going to want to miss a second of this.
We’re going to be live-blogging the ENTIRE series finale, trying to get our heads around the twists and turns as you do the same. And aiming to finally get our hands on the answers to some big questions, like…
Who was behind the attack at St Matthews? What’s on Julia’s mysterious device? Is she REALLY dead?
Follow all of our recap and reaction below….
22:27: Right, that’s everything from me. I hope you enjoyed this live blog – what a series and WHAT a finale. Were you satisfied?
If you’re in the mood for more, I highly recommend this hot take from my colleagues Eleanor Bley Griffiths and Sarah Doran:
(Now, excuse me while I pour myself a stiff drink and re-watch that Line of Duty trailer a bajillion times…)
22:23: And if you found the events of that series finale just a little bit too absurd, you might want to have a read of our review – should David really have diffused his bomb next to a load of tall buildings? Would he have been allowed to walk through the streets of London strapped into a suicide vest? We unpack it all here.
22:22: If you’re struggling to get your head around everything that’s happened, my colleague Eleanor Bley-Griffiths sneaked a peek of the finale in advance and wrote this VERY comprehensive explainer of everything you’ve just seen. You can read that here.
22:21: So, the biggest question of all right now – will there be a Bodyguard series two? We gathered together everything Jed Mercurio has said on the subject, both in the pages of Radio Times and on the likes of Newsnight and This Morning. You can read it all here.
22:20: So, if you’re just coming to this live blog you can scroll down and read my thoughts – we can all agree on one thing: That. Was. Dramatic. But what did you lot think?
The first-take social media reaction is looking pretty positive – we’re betting Jed Mercurio is giving himself a big ol’ pat on the back right now:
Thank goddess for an ending that wrapped up the story! No trendy “hanging in suspense” looking forward to series 2! #Bodyguard
— Jackie Day (@JackieMDay) September 23, 2018
22:16: AT LEAST WE CAN CHEER OURSELVES UP WITH A LINE OF DUTY TRAILER.
22:15: Oh, and Julia really is dead by the way. In case you hadn’t got that by this point. Sorry, folks. I know you’re gutted…
Very gutted that Julia actually is dead and there was no big passionate reunion with David – but bloody hell, what a series!! Incredible programme that made me forget to breathe multiple times & I am now very in love with @_richardmadden. Bring on series 2?! #Bodyguard
— Phoebe Barton (@PheebBarton) September 23, 2018
22:14: A dab of hair gel and David’s looking back to his usual self. He picks up the kids, invites Vicky along and she accepts – could it be happily ever after for the Budd family?
22:13: “Some say you should get a medal, others say you should be kicked off the force. We’ll see…” That’s a subtle hint at the status of series two if ever there was one. The smart money’s on a swift recommission from the BBC – whatever you think of this finale, Bodyguard has been a stonkingly big hit for them. In the meantime, David checks into occupational health for the help he needs.
22:12: She was looking all sorts of fishy earlier in the episode but Anne’s come out of this smelling of roses. She’s leaked the kompromat, forcing the resignation of the PM and her rival Stephen Hunter-Dunn and ensuring new Home Sec Mike Travers will kick Julia’s RIPA 18 vision into touch (so the police can retain their powers).
22:10: I’m not sure I buy this one. The brainwashed, nervous wife of a terrorist mastermind who transforms within seconds into the chilling plotter who sent suicide bombers in the direction of a school playground. She’d seen pictures of Charlie and Ella and heard their names, sending her “organisation” to kill off his kids. It’s bleak stuff and a complete 180 on everything we’ve seen of Nadia so far. But – we’re told – Nadia built the bombs, teamed up with Luke’s organisation and killed off Julia Montague in exchange for money to further her cause. It just seems a bit… off.
Twitter is suitably impressed, though…
— Lloyd Rees (@Lloyd_Rees) September 23, 2018
22:05: It was Lorraine who shared Julia’s itinerary. Lorraine who passed that info onto Luke. And Lorraine who was responsible for Luke’s associates bypassing security measures to reign terror down on the Home Sec. Police officers are easier to bribe, you see, and Luke had no intention of letting power transfer to security services as her RIPA 18 legislation had promised. And David was set up as the “perfect fall guy”.
Ah, but – crucially – Lorraine had nothing to do with the school attack. It was… NADIA! The terrified would-be suicide bomber who everyone assumed was under the spell of her husband.
22:04: There’s still hope ?? Could Julia still turn up alive? (Please, please, please!)
Right, there’s 12 minutes left for Julia to turn up alive and live happily ever after with David/Dave #bodyguard
— Katie (@kate_yorkie) September 23, 2018
22:03: You lot don’t know what to make of that “big reveal”. Mrs Brittas, eh? Who’da thunk it?
Mrs Brittas you sneak #bodyguard
— Dave (@DavidMackayy) September 23, 2018
22:02: Louise is looking repentant. She offers David a handshake and a lame “great work mate”. Personally I’d be a bit miffed if I’d been knocked unconscious, strapped into a suicide vest and forced to go on the run, reprimand the real culprit and clear my name and all I got was a limp compliment. A pat on the back would have been nice.
22:00: “Did you kill Julia?” a shaky David asks Luke. “It was business, nothing personal,” comes the smarmy reply. David just about holds off the urge to lodge a bullet in Luke’s head and instead ensures both Luke and Lorraine end up in custody. But there’s still 15 minutes to go in this extended special episode so this can’t be “it” just yet…
21:59: It worked! Murderous Luke led them right to the door of…. Lorraine Craddock! It was David’s boss all along.
21:57: You wouldn’t want to be MIC lookalike Chanel either right now.
There is literally nothing more awkward than getting involved in a plot to set up your date as a suicide bomber and having him turn up at your flat to confront you about it #bodyguard
— Katie Grant (@kt_grant) September 23, 2018
(I wouldn’t mind her swanky high-rise flat, though. NB: this blog is typed from my boxy London bedroom in zone six.)
Julia’s ex-aide does a poor job of expressing sympathy for David but redeems herself by agreeing to dupe Luke – she’ll tell him his police insider is about to talk, he’ll head out to neutralise them leading David to the real copper behind the various attacks. Let’s hope he has better luck with double-crossing Chanel this time around…
21:56: Calm down, everyone. There’s an extra 15 minutes – this is a special extended 75-minute episode!
Are they going to devote the whole extra 15 minutes to defusing? Blimey this is tense. #bodyguard
— Dr Clare McCluskey Dean (@claremcdean) September 23, 2018
21:55: He’s done it! David’s out of the vest and on the run. Poor Deepak looks on the verge of shedding actual tears. Meanwhile, Stephen and Mike are sweating that David’s on their tail.
21:53: Christ. This is tense.
And…..breathe. Until the next bit. #bodyguard
— Roz Laws (@rozlaws) September 23, 2018
21:50: Can we get Ted and AC-12 here ASAP please.
How long before Ted and the AC-12 gang appear in #Bodyguard?
— David Friel (@davidfriel81) September 23, 2018
21:48: OK, brief break from all this tense stuff so I can have a whine – Deepak’s a wise man and he was the first one to spot truth in David’s story. So why is he allowing the diffusion of this “extremely” risky bomb next to a tall apartment block. It’s a wee gripe but one that’s bugging me…
21:47: You know those Jed Mercurio interview scenes in Line of Duty where you as good as hold your breath for minutes on end? Bomb diffusion is the Bodyguard equivalent. Sit tight folks, this could be even more nerve-crippling than episode one…
21:46: David tasks Vicky to retrieve some rope and a spade so she can dig up the kompromat from its hiding place in a cemetery. Yup, Dave dug a hole and dropped it in some ground next to his flat. Not as stealthy as I’d expect from a man who constructed a pepper spray booby trap. But the kompromat is in the hands of the police and – as long as that ‘inside man/woman’ doesn’t get their paws on it – the PM’s crimes and the cover-up is about to be blown wide open. In exchange, can David convince them to diffuse the bomb?
21:44: Side note, if you’re wondering where David’s apartment is, my colleague Eleanor Bley Griffiths has done a deep dive and dug out its location – it’s the Whittington Estate, backing on to Highgate Cemetery in North London. How did they walk through the streets of central London, you ask?
Was this filmed at 4am? #Bodyguard
— Mabele Dubh (@Mabe_666) September 23, 2018
21:42: Anne’s got a theory. She reckons Stephen and Mike Travers have a lot to lose if the material on the kompromat is revealed – she theorises that their cover up includes Julia’s murder. Is she onto something? Or is she covering her tracks…?
21:40: Thank. God. For. Vicky.
David’s wife saves him by running to his side, leaving the police incapable of risking a bullet fired in their direction. David looks momentarily alarmed but shakes off any qualms and leads his spouse on a long walk to his flat so he can show the police the evidence that will clear his name. That’s gotta kick up a hell of a stink for security – I’m not entirely sure where David lives but I bet there are plenty of tall buildings en route.
21:38: Damn, this vest is looking sophisticated. And David’s thumb is awfully shaky on that button. Anne isn’t convinced it’s worth the risk of diffusing the bomb and orders everyone to leave the square – she’s behaving all weird again, just like an inside woman looking to frame a fall guy, eh? “It’s easier to pin things on David when he’s dead – she’s the one with links to Luke Aitkins,” Deepak mutters to Louise, but neither of them do anything to stop Anne.
He’s not the only one with suspicions…
said all along that sampson is the woman leading all of this and i still think it’s deffo her #bodyguard
— tash ☁️???????? (@tashajavanpey_) September 23, 2018
21:36: This is almost as stressful as the Bake Off tent. Almost.
— Tasha ⛄️ (@tashaalovell) September 23, 2018
21:33: David gets on the radio to Vicky and it’s emosh. His impassioned speech convinces Deepak to let bomb disposal give him the once over. There’s hope for David yet…
21:31: Scrap that, David neatly changes radio channels and reveals to Deepak that the hiding place ‘reveal’ was a set-up. Stephen can’t hear and Richard Longcross walks straight into a face full of pepper spray and is arrested. Bingo.
21:30: David’s started blabbing about the security service and the conspiracy to cover up the PM’s misdemeanours. That’ll irk Stephen HD who’s watching the whole thing play out. If David would…only…share…the…location…of…the…kompromat… oh, he has. Stephen tips off his man on the streets, Richard Longcross, who is “seconds away” (seriously, how is this man always mere metres from the action?). MI-5 are back in control.
21:29: David is trying to explain himself but Louise is spitting feathers. Sure, it’s kind of weird copper behaviour to start yelling at the man in the suicide vest but it’s ok – Deepak’s arrived and he’s the only one willing to give David’s story at least a cursory hearing. Good job, too, as with Vicky’s help it all starts to make a weird and twisted kind of sense.
21:28: You aren’t the only one exasperated by the old bill’s negotiating skills – Twitter is up in arms!
Why will they not just listen! It's so irritating! #Bodyguard
— Scott Hopper (@Scotthopper1) September 23, 2018
21:27: That CCTV footage Stephen Hunter-Dunn was after? It’s of the square! Does he want David destroyed so the bodyguard’s knowledge of the kompromat dies with him?
21:26: FYI if anyone’s wondering about the current state of affairs in my flat…
— Susanna Lazarus (@SusannaLazarus) September 23, 2018
21:25: This feels vintage Jed Mercurio – kind of mental but horribly tense.
Love that they're doing a Line of Duty style interview with walkie talkies & a suicide vest! #Bodyguard
— Blush Unseen (@TheMopingOwl) September 23, 2018
David’s in the square, finger on trigger, and Lorraine’s has arrived – Lorraine always has his back. Lorraine can talk this whole situation down. Lorraine can – oh, scrap that. Lorraine’s walked off and no one believes him. David is toast.
21:22: Look, it’s hawkish Stephen Hunter-Dunn with a twisted grimace on his face – he’s the man who first supplied Julia with the kompromat but saw her promise of increased powers for the security services snatched away from him when she was blown up. What’s he up to and what’s the CCTV he’s tracking?
21:21: They’re all here – Louise, Lorraine, Vicky – and David is forced to give himself up. With his finger perilously fixed on the trigger, the cops walk him away from all those high rise buildings towards a square. But his is a hard yarn to spin. How many of us can say we met a nice girl in a shiny suit for drinks and ended up strapped in a suicide vest? Surely the police aren’t going to buy it?
21:17: What do you do when you find yourself on the streets of central London involuntarily strapped into a suicide vest that will blow up if your finger lifts off a detonation button? You call the police. But as David soon twigs, the cops are on his tail and convinced he’s a Very Dangerous Man. And he’s just given away his location… Cripes.
21:15: David’s just woken up in a SUICIDE VEST. That explains the ginormous blanket he was wearing in all those promotional shots. Keep your finger pressed down firm on that button, David!
This is a right mess and there’s only one man who can fix it. Someone get Ted on the line. Stat.
Call Ted Hastings in quick. Only he can sort this out. #Bodyguard
— Tim Bolton (@timbolton1) September 23, 2018
21:12: Now, one of my biggest gripes with Bodyguard is how long it has taken for the cops to make a connection between Andy Apstead and David Budd. Remember: the assassination attempt happened way back in episode two! A month later, and the bill have FINALLY put two and two together AND they’ve got CCTV footage of Dave retrieving the kompromat from Julia’s flat. They think he’s been the inside man all along…
21:11: There’s are two important things to break down from that brief conversation between David and Luke:
- It looks like Luke supplied Andy with the gun used in the Thornton Circus attack on Julia. Cast your mind back to last week’s episode when David offered to exchange his six Makarov guns for an untraceable rifle like the one that fired shots from the roof of Pascoe House. The request was a subtle callout to Andy’s supplier – Luke – who thanks to the backstreet deal knows that the gun stashed in David’s pocket is a Makarov.
- Luke also looks to be the one who switched David’s bullets for blanks, rendering his suicide attempt unsuccessful. “Is that thing loaded?” he asks David before adding, cryptically: “it’s what it’s loaded with that matters”.
21:10: Oh dear. After a bit of small talk – which somehow included the verb “beefing” (nope, me neither) – Luke and his heavies have arrived. It’s not looking good for our Dave…
I knew That Chanel were up to no good #Bodyguard
— Katie Harrison (@harrisonkt_) September 23, 2018
21:08: Chanel’s back, and she’s dressed like the fifth member of Abba crossed with Made in Chelsea’s Louise Thompson. And David’s finally brushed his hair to meet her. “Richard Sadden” is no more.
21:07: Is Luke Aitkins bribing Anne Sampson? The counter-terrorism boss used to head up the organised crime unit yet played dumb when detective Deepak Sharma brought up new suspect Luke. Surely she’d have heard of him, what with his network of dodgy criminal associates and conspicuous Range Rover? Something’s a bit fishy…
21:05: OK, we’ve got David, a car and that coveted kompromat on his front seat. You’d think he’d hide it in the glove compartment or something given the fact that the entire security service is hell bent on retrieving it? But David looks all intense and determined, arranging to meet Chanel who you’ll recall from last week’s episode made a thinly-veiled attempt to flirt with the bodyguard before climbing into Luke Aitkins’ car. David snapped the pair departing so he’s fully aware that Chanel has an ulterior motive – even if he isn’t quite sure what it is…
Still, he’s got his gun (hopefully loaded this time) and the kompromat is safely stashed in his, er, boiler…? They’ll never find it, David.
#Bodyguard he must have to remember not to get boiler serviced ????
— Oli from Reading ???? (@OliReading) September 23, 2018
21:03: Ooh, the tense music has kicked in. That can only mean one thing: recap time. And just like he does in Line of Duty, Jed Mercurio kicks off with a detailed reminder of what we’ve seen so far:
The aborted 1st October bombing ✓
The bomb that blew apart St Matthews and killed the Home Secretary ✓
The mystery of who exchanged David’s bullets for blanks ✓
Mike Travers’ attempts to convince advisor Rob to stick to his “simple, plausible” story ✓
The identification of Thornton Circus shooter Andy Apstead ✓
Luke Aitkins’ connections with Andy and fired publicist Chanel ✓
Nadia’s Richard Longcross confession ✓
And David’s retrieval of the Kompromat ✓
Phew. Processed all that?
NB. Still wondering what Kompromat is? See here for our handy explainer.
20:58: The credits are rolling on Antiques Roadshow. We’re mere minutes away. And the question on everyone’s lips?
Julia Montague: dead or alive?
— Seb Patrick (@sebpatrick) September 23, 2018
20:56: You know what they say: you’re only a Bodyguard mega-fan if you have 10 Downing Street painted on your pinky finger….
— BBC Radio 5 Live (@bbc5live) September 23, 2018
20:51: Hello! I’m Susanna Lazarus and I’ll be live-blogging (aka manically typing) for the next 75 minutes of (hopefully!) gripping television.
Imagine how many Brits, desperate to ward off the Sunday night blues, have had the exact same thought today: omg it’s the finale of #Bodyguard tonight! A ray of glorious distraction before another week of hard slog.
Sometimes old fashioned tv scheduling beats box set bingeing.
— Jamie Crichton (@JamieCricht0n) September 23, 2018
Nine minutes to go. I get the sense Twitter is a little excited. Just a smidge…