Well, let’s get to it shall we? As good as Mercurio is, and I do think he is good, and as good as Bodyguard is, and I really do think it is, I’m not sold on the fact that the two main characters have to be having sex with each other. Especially when there’s barely any relationship there to begin with and one pretty much despises the other. I know I know, people will be shaking their heads at the idea that I can’t believe people would have sex with someone outside a normal healthy relationship, but I truly struggle to see what it possibly adds when already so much going on. Building on what was established in episode one, episode two introduces new characters and new stakes as the plot takes a different direction when the fundamental question at the heart of the series is answered.
As David and his wife struggle to get their son into the special needs school, domestic trivialities were violently disrupted when terrorists attempted to blow up David's kid's school with an I.E.D. laden truck. Thwarted by S015 Counter Terrorism Officers, though at the cost of their lives, David's children were saved from a grisly fate.
But the whole event added a layer of political intrigue to the game of 5D chess Julia seemed to be playing as Home Secretary with the Security Service and the Counter Terrorism Command. You see, Julia received intelligence that a London school was likely to be the target of an attack, with consideration being seriously given to the fact it might be a retaliatory effort against the officer that thwarted the train bombing from the first episode, or 1/10 as they're calling it as it took place on the First of October. So yes, whilst Julia may have later pulled some strings and got David's son into that special school, something which David was very grateful for, he later learned that she knew in advance that his children may have been at risk and not acted for fear that pre-empting the terrorists would have given away their intel. To say David has mixed feeling about Julia is an definite understatement.
We were properly introduced to Commander Anne Sampson (Gina McKee), head of the Counter Terrorism Command (SO15) who is horrified at Julia's plans to take the 1/10 investigation away from her and hand it over to the the Security Service (MI5), headed by Stephen Hunter-Dunn (Stuart Bowman), as the two politic and figuratively grapple for the reigns of the UK's security. She felt it set a dangerous precedent and seems willing to do whatever it takes to stop it from happening, which later lead Julia to make some pretty wild accusations based on action taken during an attempt on her life. With David caught in the middle, protecting Julia (and sleeping with her) he's also trusted by Sampson and his immediate commander Chief Superintendent Lorraine Craddock (Pippa Haywood) to use his position to spy on Julia, ironically almost proving Julia's point.
The real meat of episode two though comes in the form of the hitherto mentioned second act attempt on Julia's life. Whilst simply driving their usual route, something they've undoubtedly done many times before, a sniper opened fire on the Home Secretary's car, killing the driver (not Terry!). Whilst splattered with brains on the backseat, Julia was, completely understandably, frozen in terror as the sniper persisted in taking shots at the vehicle in the hopes of finishing her off. David's fast thinking coupled with the fact that the armed response vehicles were taking too long to get there (were they held off by someone?) meant he was able to ascertain the sniper's position and move the car right up to the building, out of the shooter's line of site. With “the P” (short for principal) safe, he proceeded inside to capture the shooter, as a dutiful police officer and former soldier should.
Upon finding that the shooter was his friend and fellow veteran Andy (Tom Brooke) I found myself mildly shocked, even if it only lasted a few minutes; so I guess it worked? His words earlier in the episode about Julia getting a taste of her own medicine gave me reason to believe he'd maybe end up making an attempt on her life at some point later in the series, coming up against his old friend David in the process. I just didn't expect it to happen within the same episode in which they foreshadowed it though.
Bodyguard really is moving along at breakneck speed. Refusing to be taken in, Andy offed himself, but not before imploring David to finish what he started. Though we weren't privy to any sort of debriefing on David, it seemed he was able to keep secret, at least for now, his connection to the shooter surely being grounds for him to lose his post by the Home Secretary's side. And then we wouldn't have a show any more.
It was in the wake of this attempt on Julia's life that she and David grew closer and in a moment of vulnerability on her part and God knows what on his, the two broke all protocol and slept together. He was warned that she'd do whatever it took to get him on her side. So we now have it that David is caught between multiple warring messages. Is Julia right in that the armed response was deliberately called back to leave her prone to a swift bullet to the head at the behest of the head to SO15? Are SO15 right in thinking Julia is plotting something with the head of MI5, to transfer over certain powers to the Security Service in exchange for aiding her leadership attempt? Is Andy right in that someone needs to take Julia out by whatever means possible?
And in the middle is David, the PTSD suffering, hard drinking, somewhat unhinged Principal Protection Officer. Recently moved back with his ex, albeit into a safe-house until the immediate threat to his family is deemed to be over, but also hiding a gun away at his place. Something common in American shows I'm sure but not in the UK, where (thank God) we don't have have ready access to guns, not even former army police officers. Why though? Maybe he fears he'll go “lone wolf” like Andy? Or even use it to take his own life?
Now caught in the middle of a Whitehall power play, it seems that all sides may have placed their belief the the wrong man as he is literally sleeping with the enemy. Still, I wish Mercurio hadn't felt the need to go there with this specific story. It really does have so much else going for it.