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"I just think of myself as an upstart who is trying to get better at what I do."

DIGITAL SPY – With Richard Madden’s volatile veteran David Budd eyeing every other character in BBC One’s Bodyguard with suspicion, it’s can be tricky to work out who’s actually up to no good.

But we’ve got some theories after a stunning second episode that saw Keeley Hawes’ formidable Home Secretary, Julia Montague, become the target of an assasination attempt, and later end up in bed with Budd.


Here’s what’s going to be keeping us up nights after the latest installment.

1. Who is behind the terror attacks?

With London under siege, the UK’s threat level soars across Bodyguard’s latest episode.

The investigation continues into the aborted October 1 bombing that Budd helped prevent, and while the culprit Nadia – apparently coerced by her husband – is “too intimidated to reveal much”, it’s suspected that the couple’s “accomplices… may still be at large”.

What’s more, the bomb used in the attack on Budd’s children’s school includes the same “sophisticated mechanisms” seen in Nadia’s device, suggesting that both operations were carried out by the same terror cell.

This is all part of something bigger.

2. Who is the leak?

The attack on the school was apparently a revenge plot, with the terror cell seeking retribution on Budd for thwarting their previous bombing.

How did the terrorists identify Budd as the officer in question? Honest(?) copper Anna Sampson (Gina McKee) argues that a witness at the scene of the train bombing, or an accomplice of Nadia’s, could have fingered Budd.

MI5, though suspects an “internal leak” within the police, and later – during the attempt on Julia’s life – the boys in blue are apparently given orders by “an executive officer at SO15” that prevent them from intervening.

Is there a police conspiracy out to get Budd? Was the intention of limiting police protection to have him and Julia knocked off in one fell swoop?

Or… could Julia have given the order herself? (More on our suspicions that the Home Secretary is actually a supervillain below.)

3. Did Julia stage the assassination attempt?

The Home Secretary makes it clear that she’s losing faith in the police’s ability to do their job, and threatens to have MI5 step in to lead the October 1 investigation.

Later, when she returns to public duty, Julia is quick to praise “the swift and courageous actions of the security services” – and is already having daily covert conferences with the head of MI5.

Bit of a leap, this, but stay with us – what if Julia staged the attack on her life, also somehow giving the order to limit police protection, all to make the police look feeble and the security services all-effective?

She’s quick to finger Anne Sampson as the one who gave the order for the police to hold back, and there’s more rumblings about Montague “attempt[ing] a leadership challenge” within her political party.

What if her ultimate aim is to become Prime Minister of a country governed by martial law, because she thinks that’s what it takes to protect the country?

4. Is Budd using sex as a weapon? Is Julia?

In the wake of the assasination attempt, a traumatized Montague reaches out to Budd for comfort. (Let’s be honest, Bodyguard was always going to go there.)

Later, David is approached by the police about spying on the “very dangerous” Home Secretary and he agrees, upon learning that Montague had prior knowledge that his kids’ school was a target for the terrorists.

Having signed up to act as a double agent, Budd decides to continue a sexual relationship with Julia – to throw her off the scent, possibly?

But then, if Julia is some sort of Machiavellian mastermind, it’s entirely possible that she’s likewise sleeping with Budd in an effort to neutralize him as a threat. (Similarly, her pulling strings to have Budd’s son Charlie, who has learning difficulties, accepted into an exclusive school might not be as philanthropic as it appears.)

5. Will Budd’s connection to the sniper be exposed?

“It’ll turn out to be a nut job, acting alone.”

Budd doesn’t disclose the fact that he knew Andy (Tom Brooke) – understandable, if ill-advised… though David (apparently) had nothing to do with the attack, it wouldn’t look at all good if it transpired he’d been spending a lot of time with the would-be hitman, who made no secret of his antipathy towards Montague.

(Side note: if / when the authorities identify Andy, surely it won’t be long before they realise he served alongside Budd in the military?)

6. Were the other veterans in on the assassination plot?

After the Bodyguard premiere, we voiced our suspicions about Luke Aitkens, the character played by Matt Stokoe, who was picking up Chanel after her disastrous meeting with the journalist and again, later, at the Veterans Peace Group.

Luke doesn’t appear in episode two, but as mentioned before, Stokoe’s too recognizable a face to be playing a background character. Clearly Luke has a larger role to play… could he and the other members of the Veterans Peace Group have been in on Andy’s plot to kill Julia?

7. Is Budd planning to strike at Julia?

Our previous theory that Budd might team with Andy to strike at Julia wasn’t on the money – it appears that David had no knowledge of what his old friend was planning.

That doesn’t mean, though, that Bodyguard isn’t heading down the route implied by the series opener – Budd eventually making his own attempt on the Home Secretary’s life.

“You’ve got to finish the job,” Andy tells him, moments before taking his own life. “Someone’s got to stop her, get it done.”

Budd’s troubled psyche is clearly tested all the more for his refusal to admit he needs help – it’s telling that he urges his bullied son never to cry or “show weakness”, and having Andy blow his brains out in front of him won’t make things any better.

David knows that Julia has lied to him, manipulated him… could he snap? This time, we’ve got a whole week to wait before we find out.

Bodyguard continues on Sunday (September 2) at 9pm on BBC One.

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