The Tourist season 2 ending explained: Who Elliot Stanley really is, what was in his file and why we think there’ll be a season 3

The Tourist season 2 ending delivered many revelations - including one that we feel sets up a potential season 3 storyline

Elliot Stanley (JAMIE DORNAN)
(Image credit: BBC/Two Brothers/Steffan Hill)

The Tourist season 2 ending raised the stakes like never before for Elliot and Helen as family secrets were revealed and the final scenes teased even more to come.

Returning two years after The Tourist season 1’s epic finale aired, fans might not have known exactly what to expect from the second instalment. It changed the setting and the corresponding location where The Tourist season 2 was filmed as Elliot and Helen arrived in Ireland in search of answers about his past. These they definitely found and there were many occasions in season 2 where they might’ve wished they hadn’t as they were caught amongst feuding families. 

The Tourist season 2 rounded things off with so many intense scenes and revelations and even included a final twist that we didn’t see coming and which could have left some people searching for answers.

*Warning: The Tourist season 2 spoilers ahead*


(Image credit: BBC/Two Brothers/Steffan Hill)

How does The Tourist season 2 end? 

If there’s one thing The Tourist season 2 ending proves it’s that families are seriously complicated. Going into episode 6 the stage was set for all-out war between the notorious feuding families, the Cassidys and McDonnells. Throughout The Tourist season 2 ending intriguing (not to mention downright disturbing) pieces of Elliot’s past have been put together for him. 

This includes the fact that he’s not Elliot Stanley at all - he’s Eugene Cassidy. Eugenie is the son of the Cassidy family matriarch Niamh and he left Ireland years earlier, but not before getting entangled with the McDonnells.


(Image credit: BBC/Two Brothers/Steffan Hill)

Eugene had an affair with the daughter-in-law of the McDonnell family patriarch, Frank. This affair led to her falling pregnant with Eugene’s son and her husband Donal reacted murderously when he found out. Although he raised the son, Fergal, as his own, he went after Eugenie, only to murder the wrong Cassidy. Donal killed Eugene’s brother by mistake and in The Tourist season 2 ending, Eugene confesses to Niamh that he believes that’s why he left Ireland - the guilt over what he’d inadvertently caused.

The repercussions continued to haunt him as Eugene was arrested for Donal McDonnell’s murder in episode 5, leading Helen to confess that whilst she loved him, she was afraid of the man he was. The Tourist season 2 ending saw him released but only because Frank wanted him free so he could kill him in revenge. 

After a series of twists and turns, including a car chase and Helen teaming up with Garda Ruairi and Ethan to find something Frank believes Niamh stole years earlier, the two families come face-to-face in the Cassidys' pub. Frank revealed that he’d tried to get Fergal to kill Eugene but Fergal hadn't gone through with it.

Just when things are looking dangerous, Helen arrives having found what Frank wanted - a suitcase that had been rescued from a sunken plane. Frank’s father had been on the plane and had told him he had something big to tell him but had died before he could say what. Helen explained to a room of confused and shocked Cassidys and McDonnells that Niamh and Frank were half-siblings as her mother and his father had an affair.


(Image credit: BBC/Two Brothers/Steffan Hill)

Niamh had found the love letters that proved it in a suitcase on the plane and had buried them instead of telling anyone. When Frank asked her why in The Tourist season 2 ending, she couldn’t because they were her mother’s - “and you can’t just burn your history”. 

“If you can’t forget the past, then what hope is there?” Frank said after reading the letters. But whilst he was prepared to let the feud go, Niamh couldn’t. A few seconds earlier Eugene had prevented her firing her gun by telling his mother that she’d have to shoot him first - before telling the room that one of her men had killed Frank’s son Donal, not him.


(Image credit: BBC/Two Brothers/Ray Burmiston)

“You don’t get your man to do it like you did with Donal,” he declared, leading to her surrendering the gun to him before she ran out of the pub leaving Eugene and Helen to happily reunite. Echoing Frank’s question about the past, they kissed and everything was put gloriously back on track for them in The Tourist season 2 ending.

What was in Elliot’s file in The Tourist season 2 ending? 

The Tourist season 2 ending finally drew to a close with a segment set six months after the revelations in the pub. Eugene and Helen had moved to Amsterdam so it seems that he is no longer under suspicion for Donal’s death. He presented Helen with a file on Eugene Cassidy and asked her if she wanted to read it and find out everything about him that she might not yet know. In the end, Helen chose not to.  


(Image credit: BBC/Two Brothers/Steffan Hill)

After she confirmed she was sure, Elliot stood up and threw the file into the fire. The final scenes of The Tourist season 2 ending gave fans a glimpse at the contents though. It was just visible that he was a ‘special agent’ at some point and the swelling Swan Lake music that the show ended on heightened the drama of this moment as it cut between the burning file and Eugene dancing, having remembered some of his former skills.

Who was Elliot Stanley in The Tourist? 

It was confirmed in The Tourist season 2 that the real Elliot Stanley was an Irish diver and that Eugene Cassidy had started using the diver’s name when he left Ireland. The real Elliot Stanley met an untimely end after he and Niamh Cassidy went out together to the site where Frank McDonnell’s father’s plane had crashed. 

Frank had paid Elliot to dive and see what could be found but he unfortunately brought Niamh along and sealed his fate. She was there when he discovered love letters in a suitcase written by Frank’s father and Niamh’s mother who’d had an affair. Horrified that she and Frank were half-siblings, Niamh had killed Elliot and buried the evidence. 


(Image credit: BBC/Two Brothers/Steffan Hill)

Elliot’s widow Deirdre told Helen the story of the day Elliot went “missing” and how she was certain Niamh had murdered him. She’d heard people talking about her husband and Niamh and learnt that the last time he was seen was getting into a taxi with the Cassidy matriarch. Niamh later got another taxi back into town covered in mud and completely alone. The final earth-shattering detail revealed by Deirdre has even more implications for Eugenie, though. 

After being asked what she knows of Eugenie, Deirdre mentioned that Elliot had “put it about a bit” before adding, “Let’s just leave it at that”. Whilst it’s not confirmed, it seems that Elliot Stanley in The Tourist could have been Eugenie’s father. His decision to use Elliot Stanley’s name going forward might not have been an intentional tribute, but it certainly has more significance and poignancy if the diver had been Eugenie’s dad.

Will there be The Tourist season 3? Our prediction based on the season 2 ending 

Sadly, The Tourist season 3 hasn’t been confirmed yet but The Tourist season 2 ending has got us convinced that this might not be the end of Eugene and Helen’s story. The first season of the BBC drama was intended to be standalone - until the popularity of the show and the change in setting convinced them all to come back for season 2. 

The second series could easily be the last one with everything pretty much wrapped up, but that final reveal was intentionally put there and very intriguing. That suggests that the show-makers were at least willing to leave the door open and lay possible groundwork should The Tourist season 3 be greenlit.


(Image credit: BBC/Two Brothers/Steffan Hill)

Helen might have assured Eugene she didn’t need to know more about his past, but we as the audience want to and the fact that he appears to have been a secret agent could inspire so many plot-threads in any potential The Tourist season 3. A third season would also be a great way to link up the events of seasons 1 and 2. In The Tourist’s first series Eugene had forgotten who he was and was in Australia, where he met Helen. 

The Tourist season 2 took us no closer to finding out what else he might have done in the years since he left Ireland and arrived in Australia. This period of time could be explored further if the show is renewed for another instalment.


(Image credit: BBC/Two Brothers/Ray Burmiston)

Helen is also now a private investigator - as was revealed in the final moments of season 2 - and so it’s likely she would be able to look into things and find out more if the need arose. Until a final decision is made over whether there’ll be The Tourist season 3 it seems we’ll just have to keep our fingers crossed that The Tourist season 2 ending’s final reveal will be explored further in the future.

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!