REVIEW Bloodlands (S2 E3/6)

So far in this uneven series, we know that DCI Tom Brannick (aka assassin, Goliath) stole some gold back in the 1990s, and now the accountant he’d asked to move it on – Colin Foyle – is dead.

We didn’t really know where the gold was from or who it was intended for, up until this point. Now, at the halfway stage of the series, we know pretty much everything about the gold.

As ever, there was plenty of skullduggery from Brannick as he waged his – now traditional – crusade to clear away anything that would link back to him, as well find the gold for himself. Olivia Foyle, the femme fatale of this piece, is also after the gold.

In this episode, Brannick logged into Birdy’s computer to instigate a search for Foyle’s silver Mercedes, which he duly found.

The breadcrumb trail led to a jeweller, a friend of Foyle. Upon inspection of her workshop, Lauren Fitzpatrick turned out to be an armourer for the IRA, which was more than enough for her to be hauled into the station for questioning. While she was giving them the ‘no comment’ treatment, one bar of the missing gold was found in her safe.

It turns out the gold was American, owned by an Irish-American crime family who had donated it to the IRA. That’s when Goliath stepped in and nabbed it for himself.

Because of the American links, the FBI got involved and you can bet your bottom dollar that the Savage family will also want their gold back.

As ridiculous as this all sounds – and it did, mightily – at least attention turned back to Goliath. I’d been thinking during this episode that the whole gold story was deflecting our attention away from the story that we all want to be told – that of Goliath, Brannick’s wife and whether he would get his comeuppance.

And this is the thing about Bloodlands. Even though you’re thinking that you might turn off at any moment, a little twist keeps you in the game. In this case, Niamh McGovern is now thinking that Goliath may still be around. That’s bad news for Brannick.

As for Brannick and Olivia Foyle, they – finally – ended up tearing each other’s clothes off. What’s to say this carnal diversion might just cause Brannick to take his eye off the ball? What’s to say Niamh might start finding some things out for herself, especially as Twomey is STILL refusing to acknowledge the existence of Goliath or to even entertain the idea that he might still be alive?

I still think Birdy will become involved (and perhaps have to make a choice between the truth and causing Izzy emotional distress), and absolutely think that Olivia Foyle will get a Goliath special in the back of her head before the series is out.

It’s a bit of meh story, but there’s just enough here to make you keep coming back.

Paul Hirons

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.



Bloodlands is shown on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in the UK

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Keith says:

    I have always had a feeling that Twomey knows perfectly well who Goliath is. His outward refusal to believe he could still be alive doesn’t sit well with a senior police officer.

    Is there anyone in this series who Olivia (played beautifully by the classy Victoria Smurfitt) isn’t “in it together” with? If they all meet up it’ll be quite a party!

    I agree that Birdy is likely to be the one to play a key role in the eventual denouement, providing he’s still alive by then. But is this the final series or is there a third in the pipeline?


  2. A main character with no redeeming features. We gave up on it – the scenery/setting, the Irishness, big yes, but….


  3. A. Pearson says:

    Surely Goliath is the missing wife?


    1. Keith says:

      No review of the explosive episode four?


  4. Elaine says:

    I finally caught up with the series, as it had been sitting on my planner for ages. It was one of the series that I wasn’t sure I would watch after a lukewarm s1, but I thought I’d give it a go. Paul, we know you have been super busy, so not sure if you will ever do a full series review where we can all have a good vent, but my spoiler free (just in case someone reads this and hasn’t seen eps 4,5,6) mini review is that I liked it more than I thought I would. Yes there are plot holes, and yes, I am not sure if the writer wants to set Brannick up as a flawed hero (I think he is a cold hearted, greedy, self serving killer who deserves the book thrown at him, personally) but I actually enjoyed watching it and I give it 8/10. Two big flaws, however; the first is James Nesbitt. I am not a fan. His ‘acting’ range is so limited. At times it’s hard to watch, especially as there are far better actors on the screen. And secondly, in one of the latter episodes I thought the writer took the easy way out, and tried to make Brannick sympathetic when the writer could have made it more shocking. That was disappointing. But overall a strong series.

    Liked by 1 person

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