Bloodlands Season 2 Episode 2 review: From rubber boots to shelters…why Jimmy Nesbitt’s series continues to impress
It’s clear that not all of Northern Ireland’s criminal class were glued to Line of Duty when it hit our screens. A key lesson in success written by Jed Mercurio was that a safe house would always be compromised. Another was that not all cops could be trusted.
In the second installment of that other Mercurio-related hit, Bloodlands, ex-soldier Robert Dardis learns both lessons, but it costs him his life – thanks to increasingly happy DCI Tom Brannick (Jimmy Nesbitt).
Dardis, who fled after Brannick and his team discovered he was related to dodgy accountant Colin Foyle’s widow, Olivia (Victoria Smurfit), is arrested by police following a tense raid on a abandoned house in the woods. But Brannick seizes the opportunity to surreptitiously steal Dardis’ gun after he surrenders to armed officers.
Armed and of course dangerous, Brannick returns to the impressive Foyle estate to assess what she knows of her late husband’s illegal schemes and, more importantly, the whereabouts of the $43 million worth of gold bars. pound sterling. Olivia surprises the killer cop by revealing the message she received from a mysterious sender (who viewers know to be Brannick) as she fled the storage unit empty-handed — a detail she doesn’t. not reveal.
Anxious to dig deeper, he reveals that there has indeed been talk of gold in the past, asking if Goliath’s name means anything to her, given that he may have been a client of her husband’s. Hiding, of course, that he is in fact Goliath, he lies to her, informing her that the paramilitary killer was Pat Keenan. But then, in a twist, adds that he was the one who sent her the text on the pretext that he was testing her in connection with the murder investigation . “Oh Olivia, you did the right thing,” he told her with a rather sinister look, his signature eyebrows working overtime. arranged to make the date of Goliath’s first disappearance. His boss is understandably dismissive of the link and is supported by DCS Twomey, who orders Dardis to be their number one suspect. During Dardis’s police questioning, Brannick evenly remarks to him that if he can be linked to the Foyle shooting, social services can take his son.
For local viewers, the scene may recall an actual PSNI controversy when Chief Constable Simon Byrne found himself embroiled in a controversy in 2019 after he suggested the children of paramilitary members could be cared for – he later clarified his remark, emphasizing that this was not his intention.
With Twoney glowing with anger at Brannick’s interview tactics, he concludes that there isn’t enough to hold back Dardis, who will now have to be offered protection.
As the investigative unit prepares to escort Dardis home, a scheming Brannick seizes the opportunity to snap a photo on his phone of the single print recovered from the scene of Foyle’s murder. As Brannick’s daughter Issy and her DC subordinate Birdy continue their grumpy flirtation in a subplot that’s sure to end in tragedy, Nesbitt goes shopping for rubber boots that match those found at the crime scene. And it quickly becomes clear that Brannick has a devious plot afoot, which begins to unfold when a Molotov cocktail (thrown by Brannick) sets fire to Dardis’ garden shed, prompting the police team to transfer him to a safe house.
From this point on, it’s clear that Dardis is living on borrowed time.
Under the surveillance of an overworked cop who falls asleep, Brannick – dressed in his new rubber boots – slips into the bedroom (located on the ground floor, of course, since this is a shot of police television procedural security) where he finds a nervous Dardis.
Informing him that there is a leak from the investigation team, a frightened Dardis flees with Brannick and is taken to another “safe” house.
Alas, it’s a ruse and after a tense interrogation outside among the trees, Dardis – who reveals he knew gold and had warned Foyle that an ex-IRA man wanted to meet him – assembles parts and concludes that Brannick is Goliath.
But he believes his knowledge of where the gold is is enough to secure his life. Brannick thinks otherwise and shoots him in the back with what appears to be Dardis’ own gun.
With Dardis deep in Strangford Lough, the next day Birdy gets a lead on the case, discovering Foyle’s secret storage units. At the same time, the now fully rested officer discovers that Dardis has disappeared, causing panic in the unit.
Olivia is back in the police interrogation room, dressed on all fours and giving off a femme fatale look. Previous viewers have seen her in a tense exchange with Dardis via her cell phone, making it clear that the pair did indeed plot to kill Foyle. With Brannick now in possession of the burn phone, he used it to text Olivia, making it seem like Dardis was still alive and knew where the gold was. With his lawyer on the way, Brannick takes the opportunity to cut the power to the camera in the interview room – the red light going out on the security camera piques Olivia’s interest, making it clear that she knows. that Brannick is ready to do dirty tricks. “Where did he hide it?” You can help me find it,” he told Olivia.
Sensing that an alliance can be made, she places her hand over Brannick’s, who ignores her, dismissing her claims that she knows the location of the gold. “I’m very good at keeping secrets,” she whispers, leaving Brannick to ponder his next move.
The first series of Bloodlands suffered from moments of implausibility to push the plot forward, and again there were signs of that progression in the final installment – would an officer be left alone in charge of a house secure?
Hopefully these are just minor quibbles in what was a tense episode. Let the games between Olivia and Brannick begin.