Bloodlands season 2 finale: When is it on, what can we expect and could this be the last we see of the BBC's intense James Nesbitt show?

We can’t wait for the Bloodlands season 2 finale and the tense conclusion might well see DCI Tom Brannick facing a nightmare situation…

Bloodlands season 2 finale stars James Nesbitt as Tom Brannick
(Image credit: BBC/HTM Television)

The Bloodlands season 2 finale has plenty of details to wrap up and it’s not clear how far our favorite characters will go as DCI Tom Brannick’s life and case gets even more complicated.

Back this year with plenty of dark twists and emotional scenes, Bloodlands is set in Northern Ireland and stars The Secret star James Nesbitt in the lead role of tormented detective DCI Tom Brannick. Already Bloodlands season 2 has seen multiple deaths and an investigation that has the police determined to get to the truth. Though with stolen gold, a vengeful criminal and painful secrets complicating things, the final episode of the second series promises to be seriously suspenseful. 

But when is the Bloodlands season 2 finale on, what might we expect from it and could episode 6 be the last we see of the show? We reveal what you need to know…

*Warning: spoilers ahead*

Tom Brannick (JAMES NESBITT), Niamh McGovern (CHARLENE McKENNA)

(Image credit: BBC/HTM Television)

When is the Bloodlands season 2 finale on? 

The Bloodlands season 2 finale will air on Sunday October 23rd on BBC One at 9pm keeping to the same scheduling slot as all five previous episodes. Unlike the first series, season 2 has had two extra episodes, meaning that there are plenty of plot-threads needing to be unraveled by the time the finale reaches its final stages. Each of the previous episodes are available to watch on BBC iPlayer now and episode 6 will become available after broadcast.  

What can we expect from the Bloodlands season 2 finale? 

If fans thought Bloodlands season 1 was intense then they’ve likely been transfixed by how much the stakes have been upped in the second installment of this dark BBC drama, building to the Bloodlands season 2 finale. And whilst we might not know what lies in store, there are plenty of potential directions the finale might go in, if we consider what's already happened. DCI Tom Brannick’s secret identity as Goliath in Bloodlands was the central mystery in season 1 and his attempts to keep his murderous past hidden from his colleagues and daughter Izzy has had consequences in the second series. 

Tom Brannick (JAMES NESBITT)

(Image credit: BBC/HTM Television)

Whilst we might not yet know exactly what’s going to go down in the Bloodlands season 2 finale, Tom can surely only keep his secret identity hidden for a little while longer. After all, he’s been run ragged trying to cover his tracks all series long, as well as trying to cover up his partnership with Olivia, the not-so-grieving widow of crooked accountant Colin Foyle. 

The pair have been attempting to track down gold originally sent by the Savage crime family in the US for the IRA which was later intercepted and given to Colin by Tom. The DCI had stolen it on the night he killed Joe Harkin and Father Simon Quinlan. 

He was unmasked as their murderer to viewers in the Bloodlands season 1 finale, only for a series of manipulations, a frame-up and some skilful lying to save him from being found out. Though in season 2, DC Bird AKA Birdy caught him and Olivia finding the gold and when he attempted to arrest Tom, he sealed his fate.

Birdy' (CHRIS WALLEY), Tom Brannick (JAMES NESBITT)

(Image credit: BBC/HTM Television)

Olivia shot him dead in episode 4 and in episode 5 she sold Tom out to Ryan Savage, who’d arrived to reclaim his stolen gold. After sending someone to kill him and failing, Olivia was all out of options and told Savage about Tom having a daughter he loves more than anything. 

In the closing moments of episode 5, Savage is seen silently watching Tom leave his daughter Izzy’s home after the police officer promised her he’d find out what happened to Birdy and punish the people responsible if he's come to harm. She and Birdy had a blossoming romance and she was left shattered when he supposedly disappeared, little suspecting that the DC was killed and that her own father was there when it happened. It’s heavily hinted by this ending scene that Savage is planning to use Izzy to get to Tom.

Izzy Brannick (LOLA PETTICREW)

(Image credit: BBC/HTM Television)

So it seems reasonable to expect the Bloodlands season 2 finale might possibly include some kind of dramatic face-off between Savage and Tom. This could potentially see Savage use Izzy as some kind of hostage and could in turn lead to the rest of the characters or at least Izzy discovering that he's Goliath, although it’s possible that the bullet found in Birdy’s abandoned car could lead Tom’s colleagues to that conclusion anyway.

Fellow detective Niamh McGovern has been suspicious of the senior officer since season 1 and she discovered evidence that the gold once belonged to Goliath. With the bullet in the car traceable back to the gun that belonged to Tom and was used by Olivia, the clues could finally be slotted in place to form a correct but sinister picture. 

Either way with Birdy apparently missing the police will still be looking into what happened and whether they find out the truth about Tom or not, the Birdy case will likely end up being a focus of the finale. 

Olivia Foyle (VICTORIA SMURFIT)

(Image credit: BBC/HTM Television)

Elsewhere in season 2, there have been some hints that a previously-unseen character could make a dramatic entrance at some point and now there's only the Bloodlands season 2 finale left for that to happen in. In season 1 Tom’s wife Emma Brannick was assumed missing, though he confessed in the finale that he’d been manipulated into the murders of Joe Harkin and Father Quinlan because she’d been kidnapped by David Corry.

He later saw Emma with David acting like they were together and went on to murder David but apparently let his wife go. In Bloodlands season 2 Emma has been referenced a few times and she certainly knows what Tom is capable of and could be the one person who could convince Izzy too. If she does end up appearing in the finale it would make for some hugely dramatic moments. 

Tom Brannick (JAMES NESBITT)

(Image credit: BBC/HTM Television)

There’s also the loose end of Olivia who knows Tom is corrupt, helped him find the gold, killed Birdy and who put Savage on to the police officer’s trail. If Tom does attempt to give Izzy some kind of justice for Birdy then it’s likely that at least initially in the Bloodlands season 2 finale he could be putting together some kind of plan to implicate her - and only her - in the DC’s death. 

Regardless of whether any speculated plotlines based on previous events do end up happening, the Bloodlands season 2 finale is sure to be an unmissable watch. 

Will the Bloodlands season 2 finale be the last episode ever?

Very sadly for avid fans of the James Nesbitt drama, there’s not yet been any official confirmation of a Bloodlands season 3, meaning that it’s technically possible the Bloodlands season 2 finale could be the last episode of the show. Of course, if the demand is there and depending on where episode 6 leaves off it’s equally possible that a renewal announcement could come in due course. 

Tom Brannick (JAMES NESBITT)

(Image credit: BBC/HTM Television)

It would certainly be interesting to see how Bloodlands might be able to take the show if Tom Brannick is exposed to everyone as Goliath in the Bloodlands season 2 finale. However, it could be seen as unlikely that the show could come back if this is revealed as the Goliath mystery has connected both seasons and been such a key plot-point. If Tom is arrested and imprisoned for his crimes, it might make it challenging to keep him as the main character or to find ways he could be involved in future storylines.

Despite this, earlier this year it was confirmed that Shetland season 7 wouldn’t be the last although the main character’s actor Douglas Henshall was leaving. So even if Tom is arrested and if this leads to James Nesbitt taking a less prominent role, it doesn’t necessarily mean Bloodlands season 3 is completely off the table. 

Niamh McGovern (CHARLENE McKENNA), Tom Brannick (JAMES NESBITT), Olivia Foyle (VICTORIA SMURFIT)

(Image credit: BBC/HTM Television)

If Tom is only revealed as Goliath to someone like Izzy  in episode 6, then that could spark more plotlines as she would then perhaps be torn between her love for her dad and ensuring he faces justice. The potential return of Emma Brannick would also open up the possibility of new storylines concerning her relationship with her estranged husband, daughter and the backstory of where she’s been since he apparently let her go to disappear.

Ultimately, whilst it’s not yet known for sure if the Bloodlands series 2 finale will be the last we see of the current cast and connected storyline, there are plenty of directions that the drama could be taken if a series 3 is confirmed one day. 

Bloodlands season 2 finale airs on BBC One at 9pm on Sunday October 23.

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas including literature, the British Royal Family and knowing all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and every streaming service out there. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, you can find Emma cooking and watching yet more crime dramas.