The explosive death of Keeley Hawes' character in Bodyguard left the show's viewers wondering how the multiple mysteries can be resolved
A record 7.2million viewers tuned in to see the latest bombshell episode, which also stars Richard Madden as David Budd – the Home Secretary’s Bodyguard.
Many couldn’t believe one of the two leads could have been bumped off and there is a suspicion Jed’s assurances are a clever double bluff in this savvy drama.
With the penultimate episode airing on Sunday, it is hard to see how the multiple mysteries will ever be resolved.
1 — Is Julia’s death just a massive ruse?
Show creator Jed Mercurio insists she’s a goner but many fans still believe he is bluffing.
They reckon her death could all be a Secret Services plan to make the Home Secretary disappear, avoid an inevitable terrorist assassination and give her an anonymous new life.
We didn’t see Julia die, or her corpse.
High-profile figures have tried the same trick in real life — British Minister John Stonehouse in 1974, and Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko, who “came back from the dead” this year.
2 — What was really in that briefcase?
The police inquiry seems to be focusing on the briefcase brought into the auditorium by aide Tahir Mahmood just before the bomb blast.
It was examined by DS David Budd beforehand, but viewers never got to see the contents.
It may simply have contained documents, as David insisted, or a cleverly disguised device.
Some conspiracy theorists think DS Budd clearly saw it was a bomb but nodded it through to the hall anyway.
If that was the case, perhaps when he sprinted towards the stage right before the blast it wasn’t to stop Tahir but to prevent his protection officer colleague, Kim, thwarting the explosion.
Or perhaps the suitcase is a red herring — one of the police detectives commented that from the CCTV “it’s unclear if the explosion originated from the briefcase”.
3 — What was David up to just before the blast?
DS Budd made a suspicious phone call just before the explosion. It may have been an innocent conversation, or perhaps he was in communication with the conspirators, letting them know the perfect moment to activate the device.
In slowed-down CCTV footage he also appears to throw something on stage as he races towards it just before the blast.
It might have been something to prevent the explosion . . . or trigger it.
4 — Was David the target of the bomb, not Julia?
The Home Secretary, who had never faced a serious attempt on her life before, suddenly finds herself the victim of not one but two assassination attempts in quick succession.
And both are right after she gets a new bodyguard — whose children’s school just happens to be the subject of another attempted terror attack.
Is it just bad timing — or could vengeful terrorists be out to get DS Budd after he foiled their suicide bomb bid on the train in episode one?
If he’s not responsible for the attacks, then perhaps he’s still the reason they are happening.
5 — What did Julia discuss with the Prime Minister?
Her mysterious late-night meeting with the PM at the country retreat of Chequers seemed a fateful turning point for Julia.
It enraged the Secret Service and her political rivals and she was blown up shortly after.
The chat could have been about a scheme that would allow her to disappear, or perhaps she was forcing him to step down and make way for her by blackmailing him with scandalous information.
There is a strong suggestion that she was about to launch a leadership bid in her key speech right before she was killed.
6 — Whose MI5 profile did she read at the hotel?
Julia was supplied with a damning summary of someone who was dependant on drugs and alcohol and accused of sexual assault.
Who that person is might explain who had it in for her.
Apart from the Prime Minister himself, it could have been about DS Budd, or someone else in her inner circle.
The confidential information was provided on a secret tablet to leave no trace on her devices — suggesting this is explosive information.
7 — Will David’s links to the sniper be revealed?
It seemed only a matter of time before this is discovered, yet nobody has yet found any evidence to link DS Budd to old Army pal, Andy.
The two shared a grudge against the likes of Julia, with Budd once telling his friend: “You said it in Helmand: If you ever found yourself alongside one of those bastards who sent us out there, you’d close your eyes and pull the trigger.”
Did DS Budd really want to kill Julia, like Andy did? Or was he just telling his friend what he wanted to hear?
8 — How did David get the bodyguard job?
Why would the authorities allow the Home Secretary to be protected by an ex-squaddie suffering from PTSD as a result of a war that she supported? Or perhaps it was the best combination for rivals who wanted her killed without getting blood on their hands.
We see Met police chief Commander Anne Sampson attempt to recruit DS Budd to spy on Julia, but perhaps he had already been recruited by someone else — the secret service, for example.
9 — What’s the relevance of the fired aide?
Remember Julia’s sacked PA, Chanel? She tried to stick the knife into her ex boss by going to the papers.
After that she was picked up by a mysterious driver in a flash car.
When she dawdled getting in, the driver, played by Jamestown actor, Matt Stokoe, ominously said: “Are you getting in? Do you want me to call someone?”
Both seem connected to other shadowy figures — and are sure to be crucial characters.
We still don’t know why Chanel was fired, and she certainly has an axe to grind.
10 — Who is behind the terror attacks?
The attempted suicide bombing on the train seemed like the work of a group of Muslim radicals, but the two subsequent acts of terror — the sniper attack and the college bombing — means nothing is for certain.
All three acts of violence could have been committed by separate individuals or organisations, but it’s clear that they must all be connected — who is the link between them all?
11 — Who is the mastermind of the blast?
There are many shadowy figures to choose from — MI5 boss Stephen Hunter-Dunn, Julia’s aide Rob Macdonald and Met police chief Commander Anne Sampson.
But terror minister Mike Travis is now emerging as front-runner.
He might harbour ambitions for Julia’s job — and has just been made acting Home Secretary. He is clearly in league with Sampson and Macdonald.
12 — Why would Macdonald want Julia killed?
He seems to be involved up to his neck in the conspiracy to kill Julia, but why? Julia spurned his romantic advances, and he suffered the indignity of being paired up with a much younger aide, Tahir.
But would that be enough for him to conspire to kill Julia?
Perhaps the answer is that he’s just doing the bidding for a much more powerful figure with the promise of some kind of payback.
Crucially, acting Home Secretary Mike Travis menacingly told him to stick to the “simple, plausible story” in his police interview.
13 — Who exactly is Richard Longcross?
He is the sinister figure, supposedly from the Secret Service, who delivered the damning dossier to Julia at the Blackwood Hotel.
All record of him visiting her has been mysteriously wiped from the hotel’s CCTV system and DS Budd can’t find him on police files. But we know he works with MI5 boss Hunter-Dunn, and we know he suggested “putting a plan in place” following Julia’s surprise visit to see the Prime Minister.
He could be the real power behind the throne at MI5.
14 — Will David get back with his estranged wife?
Being reunited with wife Vicky might help get DS Budd’s life back on track, and his suicide bid could convince her he needs her more than ever.
But the identity of the new man his wife is seeing might prove crucial — particularly if he is a secret services agent or undercover cop getting insider information on DS Budd. It might explain how Julia found out so much about the cop’s son needing the special education school she secured for him — or why someone seemed to know about his hidden gun.
15 — Who changed the bullets in David’s gun for blanks?
After discovering the gun, his wife Vicky might have made the swap sensing he might be about to use it to kill himself.
It may have been one of his conspirators who wanted to ensure he was still alive to be of use to them.
Or it could have been someone from the secret services, or the police, ensuring he couldn’t use the gun on the Home Secretary.
One way or another, DS Budd is being watched — during the police search of his home, a detective seemed surprised the gun was not hidden in the cubby hole.