As BBC thriller The Woman in the Wall reached its half-way point tonight (Sunday 3rd September), a number of new revelations came to light as further questions were raised.


Joe Murtagh's ambitious six-parter shines a light on the horrors of the Magdalene Laundries, which saw tens of thousands of young women imprisoned for their 'sins' in the religious-run institutions.

One of the so-called punishable acts was having a baby out of wedlock, which is how Ruth Wilson's Lorna Brady came to be incarcerated.

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The trauma of having her baby taken from her while inside the "training centre", which is how the laundries were described to protect their reputation, continues to haunt Lorna, her days a living nightmare as she attempts to stay awake to avoid sleepwalking.

But despite her efforts, she feels more out of control than ever before, particularly when she discovers that Aoife's body has disappeared.

What happened to Aoife Cassidy?

Lorna Brady (Ruth Wilson) in The Woman in the Wall holding an axe
Lorna Brady (Ruth Wilson) in The Woman in the Wall. BBC/Motive Pictures/Colin Barr

In the opening episode of The Woman in the Wall, we watched Lorna hide Aoife's dead body in her wall after discovering the deceased in her home.

The seamstress had no idea how the nun, who used to serve in the Sisters of the Seven Joys convent and was the woman who had carried her baby away shortly after she'd given birth, had died.

Did Lorna murder her? And if so, was it intentional or a horrible accident?

If she wasn't responsible for her death, who was?

But regardless of the truth, Lorna made the bold and unwise decision to conceal Aoife's corpse inside her home, or so we thought.

In episode 3, Lorna took her trusty axe and ripped into her wall once again while in the throes of a manic episode, yelling "I killed her" as Detective Colman Akande watched on in horror – only to discover that Aoife's body had disappeared, which certainly explains the lack of smell.

"I can't tell what's real anymore,' she previously said to Michael. "I'm seeing things and hearing things that aren't there."

We know that on Halloween night, a taxi driver took the two women to Lorna's home, but what unfolded after that is currently unknown.

Where is Aoife's body? Did Lorna take her somewhere else while sleepwalking, or are others involved?

Is Aoife even dead? Has Lorna imagined everything in her sleep-deprived state?

Who is Olivia Cassidy?

Close-up of Alexandra Moloney looking concerned
Alexandra Moloney plays Olivia Cassidy in The Woman in the Wall Red Planet Pictures/Denis Guyenon

One dark and stormy night, Lorna received a knock at her front door. Standing before her was Olivia, daughter of Aoife, or so she claimed, who was desperate to know what had happened to her mother. Olivia, who had attended Clemence's wake, knew that Aoife was looking for Lorna and hoped that she would know of her whereabouts.

Later that evening, the two women headed off to do some investigating at the wailing woman's house, the former late-night teen hotspot where Lorna and Michael had gone the previous night. Olivia had identified the hogweed burns on Lorna's wrists, and she recalled a similar mark on Aoife's wrist, which indicated that the former nun could have hidden evidence about the missing children at the abandoned property.

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While inside, Lorna discovered a blue plastic bag hidden beneath a floorboard containing envelopes addressed to multiple women (more on that later).

And she also learned that Olivia was lying about her identity.

The mystery woman's phone rang and she was hesitant to answer, eventually deciding not to, even after Lorna had encouraged her to pick up. She claimed the call was from her dad Dara, who was "at home, just sat by the phone ever since mam went missing". But Colman had previously informed Lorna that Dara was currently in prison awaiting trial, which immediately raised her hackles.

She continued to play along before making a break for it and driving off, leaving the woman stranded at the wailing woman's house.

Who is Olivia, if that's even her real name? And what does she want with Aoife?

Is she a force for good, working to expose the truth about the laundries and the mother and baby homes? Or is she involved with those who want to keep the past and all its grisly details buried?

The House of the Sacred Shepherd

Colman stood on a long driveway, wearing a shirt and tie, with a troubled expression on his face
Daryl McCormack as Detective Colman Akande Motive Pictures/Chris Barr

As Colman continued his investigation into the murder of Father Percy, he learned of The House of the Sacred Shepherd, another piece of the puzzle.

The organisation was an adoption agency who would join various religious orders with Catholic couples of comfortable means in order to reintegrate the children from the mother and baby homes back into society, in turn restoring the "moral character" of Ireland.

According to records, it closed in 1979, but as the detectives noted, Lorna gave birth in the mid-'80s and Aoife joined the Sisters of the Seven Joys in 1984.

It's likely the organisation didn't cease its operations but continued in secret, with Aoife terrified of what would happen to her if those responsible knew that she was contacting the victims to inform them about their children's fate.

Perhaps Olivia is connected to the Sacred Shepherd...

What happened to Lorna's baby?

Ruth Wilson stars in The Woman in the Wall, looking stressed
Ruth Wilson stars in The Woman in the Wall. Motive Pictures/Colin Barr

After discovering Clemence's daughter was alive, Lorna was hopeful that her child might also have survived and was out there, somewhere. But the envelope addressed to her that she uncovered from the blue bag hidden in the wailing woman's house contained a heartbreaking development: Lorna's baby had died.

The document, which had been filled out by Aoife during her time at the laundry, said that her daughter Agnes had died of "shivering" at one-year-one-month old – news which left Lorna bereft after years of hoping that she would see her daughter again once day.

But did Lorna's child really die?

In 2014, news of a mass grave containing the remains of almost 800 babies from a mother and baby home was uncovered in Tuam, Country Galway. Did Agnes suffer a similar fate?

Or was the document falsified?

There was mention of Aoife having a daughter, which is clearly not Olivia, but could the former nun have taken in Lorna's baby as her own?

Why were Amy Kane and Thomas arguing?

Close-up of Amy Kane looking very downbeat
Hilda Fay as Amy Kane in The Woman in the Wall Motive Pictures/Chris Barr

Following Amy and Lorna's altercation at Clemence's wake, the former stormed out of the function room, where she ran into Colman. She had previously told him that she had no intel on who had destroyed Father Percy's car, but after her spat with Lorna, Amy informed the detective that she saw the seamstress burn the priest's vehicle at the police lock-up.

A short time later, Thomas the horse farmer walked past and exited the pub, with Amy following him immediately. The pair descended into a vicious row, which Colman watched on a CCTV monitor.

Initially, Amy seemed too obvious a suspect to be involved in Father Percy's murder, but perhaps she did play a part in his demise after all, with Thomas also involved. Or perhaps the pair know what happened to Aoife.

During their initial interactions with the detective, they both made it clear that they had no time for one another, but clearly there's something more substantial behind Amy and Thomas's disdain for each another.

The Woman in the Wall episode 4 airs on Monday 4th September at 9pm on BBC One and iPlayer. Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.

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