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'Trigger Point' episode 1 recap — what happened and our theories

Trigger Point episode 1
Wash and Nut have known each other since serving in Afghanistan together. (Image credit: ITV)

Trigger Point episode 1 arrived with a bang this evening as Lana 'Wash' Washington (Vicky McClure), Joel 'Nut' Nutkins (Adrian Lester), and their colleagues in the Metropolitan Police Bomb Disposal Team were called in to investigate a suspected bomb factory. 

Yet when they arrived on the Westhaven Estate in London, things didn't quite go to plan. Here is how the first action-packed episode went down and our theories on what's to come...

*WARNING - spoilers for Trigger Point episode 1 below*

Trigger Point episode 1 — who planted the bomb in Andy Phelan's flat? 

The action began with the team of expos being called to a block of flats on London's Westhaven Estate, with Inspector Lee Robins and DI Samira Desai - who was in charge of the operation - advising Wash and Nut of a suspected bomb factory in the flat of Andy Phelan on the fourth floor. 

After Wash collects her lucky snippers from Nut, she and the rest of the team enter the flat, which seems to be empty until Nut alerted his colleagues of someone underneath the bed. 

Inspector Lee Robins was about to open fire until Wash takes a look beneath the mattress to find a woman and child tied and gagged. It soon became clear this was Andy Phelan's partner Angie and daughter Evie, who was forced to call in the bomb threat while someone held a gun to the young girl's head.

A bomb was then discovered in the bathroom and Angie revealed that it was planted by masked intruders speaking a mix of Arabic and English, who entered her property at 4 am. She suspects used Andy's keys to get into the flat. But who are these intruders, where is Andy Phelan and why did they choose to plant a device in his home?

Trigger Point episode 1

The police cordon off the block of flats. (Image credit: ITV)

Wash nearly hits the kill switch...

After taking a look at the device, Wash and Nut realized they needed to move the crowd back before beginning their work, but with the locals growing increasingly hostile to the police presence, it was clear that wouldn't be easy. 

With the boys in blue off to do some crowd control, the two expos entered the flat and found the device had a pressure plate, which would set off the bomb if stepped upon, underneath a rather crusty-looking bath mat. We're bet they were glad they had their gloves on! 

Wash then switched the light on to help her colleague out, but Nut realized the danger just in time and told her to hold the switch halfway, as if she'd switched it on or released it, the circuit would have been completed and the bomb would go off. It was at that moment the pair started to think they were up against some highly accomplished bomb-makers, as that was no ordinary trigger. 

After conducting our own experiment during the ad break, we can confirm that holding a light switch in this position - neither on nor off - for a long period, is very tricky! Give it a go now, then imagine you could wind up dead if you let go! 

Wash told Nut to flee and save himself, but he refused and found the power source by the boiler. But he needed Wash's mirror to disarm it, which meant the pair were forced to reach out to each other without letting go of their respective switches. It was like the most high-pressure trust exercise we'd ever seen and luckily Joel managed to disable it just in time... and breathe. 

Trigger Point episode 1

DI Samira Desai takes charge of the operation. (Image credit: ITV)

What does '1912' mean? 

After preparing to neutralize the device, Lana discovered the number '1912' carved on the door frame. The pair have no idea what it means, but we're certain it will be important.

Back on the ground and Joel is gazing lovingly at a picture of his family, before telling Lana he and his estranged partner have "turned a corner", which usually isn't a good omen in any show Jed Mercurio's involved in. He might as well be one day from retirement after a glittering 40-year career and telling his colleagues about his plan to move to the country and keep bees. The poor guy's basically doomed. 

Yet as the expos move to neutralize the device, they discover it's far less deadly than it appeared and they'd feared. It's basically a firework, which opens a new can of worms. Why would someone go through all this effort for a low-threat device? ...especially when they've proved themselves capable of rigging such a technically complex trigger? What kind of game are these people playing? ...And what does '1912' signify? Is it an address? A code? Or was the bomb set by a bunch of Titanic aficionados?

Trigger Point episode 1

Wash checks out the car before finding Andy Phelan in the boot. (Image credit: ITV)

Why did the terrorists choose Andy Phelan? 

The expos then located Andy Phelan's vehicle, which they suspect the bombers had the keys for and discovered a bomb had been planted underneath. 

The expos deployed the robot and pushed the cordon back even further back to safeguard the public. This was also a good idea because the terrorists could well have been in the crowd and watching their every move, as Inspector Lee Robins astutely pointed out. 

Meanwhile, Danny was in charge of the robot and he seemed pretty tense, so Wash took over. "It just feels like everything's going wrong today!" he said, presciently, as the expos lost control of the robot. Wash recklessly took matters into her own hands and decided to do a manual check, only to discover the wires of the device weren't connected. Was it a false alarm or was someone "playing with us", as Lana put it. When the boot opened and a bound, hooded man with a suicide vest stepped out, it seemed certain to be the latter. 

That man was Andy Phelan and he'd taken a bit of a beating from the same people who planted the bomb in his flat after abducting him. Wash made the decision to deal with the suicide vest herself, which Joel thought was a very bad idea, but she soon discovered that someone else was in control of the bomb as there was a mobile phone attached. But why have they gone to such trouble with Andy Phelan? These terrorists must really have it in for him to put him through this.

Trigger Point episode 1

Danny was jamming the airwaves as Wash tried to disarm the suicide vest. (Image credit: ITV)

How did the terrorists make a call when Danny was jamming the airwaves? 

As the police desperately scoured the area for whoever had their finger on the trigger of this bomb, Nut ignored Inspector Lee Robin's order and collected the kitbag for Wash, yet as she approached Phelan she heard a phone ringing. 

It wasn't coming from the first phone they discovered - otherwise, the bomb would have gone off - so the bombers must have hidden a second mobile phone on Phelan's person. In a desperate few moments, Wash managed to find the phone and neutralize the bomb, while Nut comforted a frantic Andy Phelan. He's in pieces and we have to say we can't blame him. 

Yet as the dust settles the expos are left wondering how was any call came through to either phone with Danny jamming the frequencies in a bid to prevent the terrorists setting off the bomb? These terrorists are obviously no mugs and must have access to military-grade equipment, but how did they get their hands on such hi-tech gear? Is this some sort of inside job or is this a covert attack by a hostile foreign power? 

Leaving that aside, we very much enjoyed Danny telling people 'We jammin' - in a tribute to Bob Marley's famous song. In fact, we have a joke for you... How does Bob Marley like his doughnuts?... Oh never mind.

A deadly twist in the tale... 

As DI Samira Desai tried to trace the mobile number that made the call she believes attempted to set off the bomb, DI Thom Youngblood turned up on the scene and he looked like he meant business. Wash debriefed him on what had been going down and they shared a tender moment in the front of the police car, as she pondered how close the second device was to going off. 

After Youngblood left, DI Desai told him the two calls that penetrated Danny's jamming tactics were made from different phones in different locations, which implied the attack was the work of a highly organized terrorist cell, rather than one individual, something they suspected after Angie Phelan's story about people raiding her flat. 

Nut joked that Wash had used up so many of her lives that she's started to take his and his words are about to prove tragically accurate. After suggesting the first device was simply a method of luring the expos in to create a bigger target, a tactic the pair saw during the time in Afghanistan, Nut wandered over to the only remaining vehicle waiting to have its registration checked. It proved to be a fatal move and the van exploded, engulfing him and locals who were returning to their homes after the police gave the all-clear. Lana survived and is rushed to safety by DI Youngblood, but not before she spotted Joel's arm lying on the floor. 

But is Nut dead? Why was the police cordon released before all the vehicles were checked? And why did the bombers go to all this trouble when they could have just bombed the flats and killed just as many people? Are they sending the expos a message?

Sean Marland
Sean Marland

Sean has been writing about all things telly for over 10 years and in that time he's been lucky enough to interview stars like Ian McKellen, Tom Hardy and Kate Winslet. His favourite shows are The Great British Bake-Off, People Just Do Nothing and Succession and in his spare time he enjoys drinking tea, doing crosswords and watching football.