'Bloodlands' Episode 3 Recap

(Photo: Courtesy of Acorn TV)

James Nesbitt as Tom Brannick, Charlene McKenna as Niamh McGovern, Lorcan Cranitch as Jackie Twomey - Bloodlands _ Season 1, Episode 3 - Photo Credit: Steffan Hill/AcornTV

© Steffan Hill 2020

After last week’s jaw-dropping cliffhanger, BloodlandsTom Brannick has a lot of track covering (and perhaps some finger-pointing misdirection) to do to get out of the mess he’s made. Let’s refresh our memories on the wild ride that transpired in episode two, shall we?

The remains discovered on the island in Strangford Lough have been identified and their families were notified by the ICLVR. Adam Corry, however, wasn’t satisfied. In other news, Pat Keenan, rather than cooperating with the police on his kidnapping case, briefly abducts Brannick’s daughter at a rugby match as a warning for the copper to watch his step. Tom realizes that Adam is working with Keenan’s kidnapper and tries to convince him to reveal his accomplice. When Adam starts throwing accusations his way, Tom kills the ill, defenseless man. His motive is unclear, but the damage is certainly done. You can check out the full recap here.

As we join Tom at the beginning of episode three, he arrives at a disused barn. He proceeds to hide the gun he killed Adam with under some flagstones in the floor.

The next day he joins Niamh at Corry’s place. Adam’s sister, Linda, had contacted the police when he failed to respond to her calls. The old man is not anywhere to be found so the house is designated a crime scene. Linda Corry is none too pleased that Brannick won’t allow her in the house and says she’ll be filing a complaint.

Inside the house, the forensic team is dusting for prints and fibers. When Niamh tells Tom that Adam’s diary is missing several pages of his most recent notes, Tom reminds her that he handled that item when they visited last time.

Back at the station, Twomey informs Tom that a woman reported to the police that she was abducted and thrown into a van near the hospital. She heard a man say, “That’s not her,” and she was released. As she resembled the woman in the CCTV photo in Keenan’s car, Brannick understands that Pat is retracing his steps to find his kidnapper.

Brannick also returns to the hospital but the receptionist doesn’t recognize the woman in the CCTV photo. She does see a note on the calendar from the day of Pat’s appointment saying Tori Matthews wanted to be alerted when the police follow up on Mr. Keenan. Tom is stunned.

To connect things even further, the DNA on the teacup matches the DNA in Pat Keenan’s car meaning the woman involved in the kidnapping was also at Adam Corry’s house.

Tom arranges to meet Tori for a dinner date. After some general chat, Brannick mentions his missing persons case, which visibly rattles Tori. On the way home, Tom confronts her about Adam Corry, listing all the evidence that implicates her in the kidnapping. As he begins to place her under arrest, Tori finally admits that she is Simon Quinlan’s daughter. The priest kept his secret family hidden away in the mountains.

(Photo: Courtesy of Acorn TV)
(Photo: Courtesy of Acorn TV)

Tory explains that Adam had heard about Goliath from a drunk police officer in the pub. He didn’t know what to do with the information, so Tori suggested the kidnapping. The plan was dangerous, but it’s moved the case forward and they’re closer to finding out who Goliath is. Tom tells her to leave it alone or he will arrest her next time.

Not long after, Adam’s body is found, washed ashore on the island where the others were buried. Twomey is annoyed with Brannick and McGovern for getting Adam involved in their investigations. As usual, his prime concern is keeping the peace.  Linda Corry, with her contingent in tow, expresses her displeasure with the handling of the case to the DCS himself- suggesting partisan politics are at work.

At the autopsy, Dinger describes Adam’s fatal gunshot wound to Brannick and Twomey. Weighed down in deep water, his body eventually washed ashore. There should be a boat out there with blood in it. Twomey is intent on getting Corry’s killer and making an example of him or her.

Back at the station, boxes of Corry’s files have been delivered. Niamh sees the Frank MacFeale plaque and realizes it was Adam who used the name as an alias to call the harbormaster. Twomey scolds Brannick and McGovern for putting Corry in danger by releasing the MacFeale name.

Young detective Birdy is tasked with collecting the pertinent HR records for active officers who were serving back in ’98. He uncomfortably reports that only three officers in the district fit the bill - Dinger, Brannick, and Twomey. Twomey immediately declares he’s not the killer and, when pushed by Brannick, reminds him that he’s the only one who has ever met Adam Corry. Or are his protestations too vigorous?

Twomey’s files from 1998 are heavily redacted. Niamh finds a note in Adam’s jottings, alleging that a police officer back then unofficially ran Joe Harkin as an IRA source. And perhaps most damning is the connection between said officer and the number 2421, which Tom connects to Jackie’s post office box back in the day.  

While Brannick’s team traces Twomey’s recent movements, Tom goes to Tori’s place to examine the parcel Adam sent her before his death. It includes documents and the owl pendant found with David’s body. Tom says he’ll take it in as evidence. Despite what transpired at their last meeting, Tori says she can’t give up on finding her father’s killer. They discuss the possibility that Twomey is Goliath and Tom explains the difficulty he faces in gathering evidence against a powerful superior officer. Tori insists on helping him, saying she wants justice at any cost.

Since Dinger is on the list of three possible suspects, Niamh questions him regarding Adam Corry. (He has the most self-deprecating alibi- he had a lovely wee lasagna and watched a distressing nature program.) He explains his lab results are triple-checked so it would be impossible to manipulate the findings. He also confirms that the DNA at Adam Corry’s is not Siobhan Harkin. Niamh tells him they’re going after Jackie which doesn’t surprise him.  There are police officers and there are politicians in the police – Dinger’s never trusted the latter.

(Photo: Courtesy of Acorn TV)
(Photo: Courtesy of Acorn TV)

Twomey bullies Birdy into admitting that they are looking at him for the Corry murder. The DCS rushes home, but meanwhile, Tori is breaking into his caravan to plant a book.  The doctor gets out just in time and anyway Jackie is preoccupied with warning his old friend Siobhan Harkin that his officers know he ran Joe as a source. If it gets out, she’ll be in danger so she needs to go into hiding.

Once back at the station, Twomey receives an anonymous envelope containing a photo of his caravan with the words “Search the Caravan” written on the back. The photo is marked as evidence and tested for DNA. Turns out it’s a match for Adam’s teacup and the postcard in Pat Keenan’s hotel room. Twomey proclaims his innocence again and foolishly suggests they search his caravan to prove it.

As the officers wait outside the caravan, the planted book is located with a Goliath postcard tucked inside the pages. Forensic testing finds Adam Corry’s fingerprint on the postcard. Brannick arrests Twomey for the old man’s murder. Twomey is defiant, but Tom tells him not to make a scene as they walk through the station. Jackie walks along into the processing room and the window ominously slides closed.

So we know Tom killed Adam, but could Twomey be Goliath? He shut down the original investigation, ran unofficial sources before the peace agreement, and, in the face of the Keenan kidnapping, refused to reopen the Goliath case. Slightly less important, but why does Izzy insist on playing matchmaker between Tori and her dad? It’s just forced and weird, in my opinion. With only one more episode to go, where do you see the story going? Let’s talk about your theories in the comments!

Carmen Croghan

Carmen Croghan often looks at the state of her British addiction and wonders how it got so out of hand.  Was it the re-runs of Monty Python on PBS, that second British Invasion in the 80’s or the royal pomp and pageantry of Charles and Diana’s wedding? Whatever the culprit, it led her to a college semester abroad in London and over 25 years of wishing she could get back to the UK again.  Until she is able, she fills the void with British telly, some of her favorites being comedies such as The Office, The IT Crowd, Gavin and Stacey, Alan Partridge, Miranda and Green Wing. Her all-time favorite series, however, is Life On Mars. A part-time reference library staffer, she spends an inordinate amount of time watching just about any British series she can track down which she then writes about for her own blog Everything I Know about the UK, I Learned from the BBC.  She is excited to be contributing to Telly Visions and endeavors to share her Anglo-zeal with its readers.

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