REVIEW Bloodlands (S2 E2/6)

Consider Bloodlands: it’s about a cop who just happened to be an assassin, and who, whenever a case is linked to his alter ego, gets right to it and tries to throw the police – ie his team – off the scent. Yes, there’s a central mystery to solve, but really this is a cat-and-mouse chase. DCI Tom Brannick has and will stop at nothing to preserve his other identity.

And so it proved again in this episode.

Focus switched to Rob Dardin. Ex-army, he was Olivia Foyle’s driver and the perfect suspect for Colin Foyle’s murder. And didn’t Brannick know it. I bet he couldn’t believe his luck. If I’m understanding all of this correctly, we know that Brannick originally stole the gold from paramilitaries and he must have dealt with Foyle in Goliath mode. But now – with the gold missing and Foyle dead – it was up to him to finger someone for the murder to keep attention focused elsewhere, and get the gold back himself. (We still don’t know what this gold is, and why it’s important by the way.)

An armed unit, led by Brannick, raided Dardin’s hideout and there was one moment that made me laugh out loud when it should’ve been a very tense scene – when an armed camouflaged officer emerged from the undergrowth to snare Dardin, he looked like more like a yeti and/or the Honey Monster with his arms aloft and wearing what can only be described as a furry fleece.

Aaaanyway, Dardin was in custody. But before he was ensnared he had a conversation with Olivia, who told him to keep calm. Obviously, she had him wrapped around her little finger and they were in cahoots. Dardin ended up dead, thanks to Brannick – Dardin revealed he knew he was Goliath, in Goliath’s presence, and you knew instantly he was done for. Even though Dardin boasted he was the one who knew where the gold was, a bullet soon entered his head at top speed.

As for Olivia, she also seemed to intimate she knew Brannick’s other identity. Sitting in the interview room, dressed in red and wearing bright, red lipstick she was indeed the absolute personification of a femme fatale. The question is now whether Brannick, desperate to get his hands on the gold, will reveal himself, climb into bed with Olivia (literally and figuratively) and work with her.

As much as I like the idea of Olivia and Brannick’s twisted toing-and-froing – Victoria Smurfit is really rather good as Olivia – I’m not sure I care too much about the other elements or characters in this story. Brannick will continue to manipulate everyone and keep everyone at arm’s length, but there’s only so long until that schtick wears thin.

A side story might be his undoing. We got quite a bit of Brannick’s daughter Izzy and his colleague Birdy, who started dating, which was very sweet. Building up these characters to knock them down, one might suggest. Making emotional connections before their demise hits harder, even. Or… they both find out about her father and his boss respectively and bring him down.

Food for thought.

Paul Hirons

Rating: 3 out of 5.



2 Comments Add yours

  1. Keith says:

    I found the handy presence of a hefty weight to help the body sink to be a bit too convenient this week.

    Those plot holes are opening up again…


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