Who killed Julia Montague? It's the question that at least seven million of us will be asking until Sunday, when the final episode of BBC One's Bodyguard__ - now the most-watched British TV drama of the last decade - will air and, we hope, finally provide us with some answers. As you'd expect from writer Jed Mercurio (the man behind the equally nerve-shredding Line of Duty), the last five episodes have been packed with internal corruption, political wrangling and characters whose motivations seem to exist in the grey hinterland between good and bad. As last night's penultimate installment provided us with yet more plot twists and question marks, here are some of the viewer theories that might illuminate what's to come...
Is Julia Montague really dead?
The death of Home Secretary Julia Montague (played by Keeley Hawes) was confirmed in episode four, but in certain corners of the Internet you’ll find fans who are convinced that she’s just biding her time for a big reveal in the show’s finale. Their Romeo and Juliet theory hinges upon – drum roll – the fact that the name Julia Montague is almost an amalgamation of Juliet, Shakespeare’s tragic heroine, and Montague, the name of the other rival family in the play. Juliet, you’ll remember, faked her own death, causing Romeo to take his own life, and some viewers have pointed out how David (Richard Madden) attempted suicide in episode four, following the news that Julia had been killed in the bomb blast at St Matthew’s College. It’s certainly a creative theory, albeit a pretty tenuous one – and one that writer Jed Mercurio seems to have already debunked in interviews. ‘I like to try to do things that move the story on,’ he told the Radio Times after episode four was broadcast. ‘With Bodyguard, I wanted to have this event mid-series that would completely alter the dynamic.’
Chanel and her driver are implicated in some way
Cast your minds back to episode one, when Julia’s assistant Chanel caused a scene in Whitehall after being unceremoniously fired from her job. Instead of accepting David’s offer of a taxi, she flounced off in a black Range Rover, complete with moody driver – hardly the usual mode of transport for a parliamentary aide, however upper class their accent. In Sunday’s episode, Chanel was back, coincidentally bumping into David in a coffee shop and asking him out for a drink, with her fancy ride still looming in the background. After a few investigations, we learn that Chanel’s driver is named Luke Aitkens, who is involved in organised crime and his car is registered to the Cayman Islands (a location that also crops up in the kompromat which David researches in the Internet café earlier in the episode). The implication is that the driver might be part of some criminal or terrorist network: look closely and you’ll realise that Aitkens attended the anti-war vets’ meeting back in the first episode, led by future sniper Andy Apsted. Plus, we know that Julia's RIPA 2018 proposals would have impacted upon organised crime as well as terrorist groups, giving Aitkens a motive - but how is Chanel tied up in all of this?
Does David have a multiple personality disorder?
Another popular fan theory posits that David might have Disassociative Identity Disorder, a psychological condition which fragments a person’s identity into two or more distinct personalities. According to those viewers, this might account for the sudden shifts in his behaviour, and in his attitudes to others. However, this just doesn’t seem likely: though the show has focused extensively on David’s PTSD following his stint in the army and has explored his fraught mental state, it would seem like lazy plotting on behalf of Mercurio to conflate two very different conditions. This theory, too, seems to hinge upon a 'different' David deciding to switch the bullets in his pistol with blanks - when it's far more probable that the police or security services swapped the weapon when sweeping his house earlier in the series.
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Hold the rousing rendition of One Day More: the BBC's new version of Victor Hugo's sprawling epic tale has been adapted (by Andrew 'Colin Firth Pride and Prejudice,' Davies, no less) straight from the book, meaning there'll be no singing the songs of angry men. What the series will have in common with the recent movie musical, though, is an impressive cast. Lily Collins will play struggling single mother Fantine, The Affair's Dominic West is troubled hero Jean Valjean and David Oyelowo is his nemesis Inspector Javert. Plus, a handful of The Crown's new royals will be joining in, too: Olivia Colman plays the villainous Madame Thernardier and Josh O'Connor (the show's new Prince Charles) takes the Eddie Redmayne role as student revolutionary Marius.
BBC One; expected later this winter
Julia's death was an inside job
It certainly seems that Julia knew too much, and that someone wanted rid of her – but who, exactly? The security services would seem like the prime contenders. After all, M15 head Stephen Hunter-Dunn and the supremely dodgy ‘Richard Longcross’ have definitely been framed as the villains so far: an ominous ‘bad guys’ theme tune might as well pipe up every time they appear on screen, swathed in shadows. They’re the only ones, surely, with the access and know how to keep deleting vast swathes of CCTV footage, and they seem very keen to retrieve the tablet containing the kompromat (details of various covered up scandals, including a historic sexual assault case and what appears to be tax evasion) following Julia’s death. One theory is that Julia got the security services on board by her RIPA proposal to curtail public freedoms, and they provided her with the compromising information about her political rivals in order to keep her sweet. Perhaps her late-night trip to Chequers (when, it seems, she must have blackmailed the Prime Minister) went beyond her deal with M15, and they bumped her off in retaliation? Seems a little far-fetched, yes, but it’s a theory that David himself seems to subscribe to, when he suggests that ‘Maybe the relationship went sour, and she became a liability.’ There’s always a chance, too, that the PM himself ordered the killing: at least one of the cases in the kompromat seems to pertain to him...
Bodyguard continues on BBC One on Sunday at 9pm