Bloodlands season 2 review: Gold bars, dead accountants and old secrets

James Nesbitt's duplicitous cop Tom Brannick is joined by Victoria Smurfit's grieving widow for Bloodlands season 2, a twist-filled thriller set in Belfast.

By Alex Fletcher Published: 16 September 2022 - 5.56pm
BBC James Nesbitt with the cast of Bloodlands season 2

If you've enjoyed the head-spinning thrills of The Capture in recent weeks on BBC One, the return of James Nesbitt's Northern Ireland crime drama Bloodlands should be the perfect replacement on Sunday nights.

James Nesbitt's DCI Tom Brannick was revealed to be the mysterious killer 'Goliath' in season one, but viewers were left to make up their minds over whether he was truly a villain as he claimed that it was his only choice if he wanted to save his wife and daughter.

A flashback sequence to the Goliath killings at the start of the new season reminds viewers of the dual nature of Nesbitt's character, who is once again at the centre of Bloodlands' latest mystery.

Season 2 throws in a dead accountant, a hunt for gold bars and most importantly, the arrival of a flirtatious and highly suspicious widow, played with obvious glee by Victoria Smurfit.

Victoria Smurfit as Olivia in Bloodlands season 2 BBC
Victoria Smurfit as Olivia

The battle between Smurfit's new character Olivia Foyle and the shifty eyebrows and constant twitching of Nesbitt’s Brannick gives the new series just the right level of spice as a frequently confusing mystery unravels around them.

If you didn't watch Bloodlands season 1, you could in theory pick up the story from the start of season 2. However, you’ll probably be wondering why everyone keeps making eyes at Brannick and why he’s in a constant state of mild panic as the truth about his past comes ever closer to being revealed.

Whether the series can maintain the balancing act of Brannick’s dual character over the six episodes remains to be seen, but the cat-and-mouse game between the detective and Smurfit's 'grieving' widow ensures you’ll want to go along for the twist-filled ride.

BT.com review rating

Three stars out of five rating

Where to watch Bloodlands

Season 2 of Bloodlands will air on BBC One and iPlayer on Sunday, 18 September.

Bloodlands season 1 is available to catch-up on the BBC iPlayer in the UK and on Acorn TV in the US.

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