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'Trigger Point' episode 2 recap — what happened and our theories!

Trigger Point episode 2
Have the expos discovered the terrorist's bomb factory? (Image credit: ITV)

Trigger Point episode 2 saw Lana dealing with the fall-out from last week's blast and struggling to process the death of her partner Joel Nutkins. But we were offered a few more clues about who could have been behind the attack and have our suspicions about one of Lana's old friends! 

'Trigger Point' episode 2 - can Danny step up? 

If we had any hopes that Joel 'Nut' Nutkins might have survived the devastating blast at the end of last week's first episode, they were quickly extinguished when news of his death flashed up on the radio in the opening moments of tonight's second episode. He died along with 17 others in the bombing at the Westhaven Estate, proving no one is safe in a drama Jed Mercurio has worked on.

Yet there was no time for Wash to mourn her pal as she and Danny were immediately called to deal with another suspected device on a London bus. Danny seemed pretty nervous when he was assisting Wash and Nut last week, but he has big shoes to fill now and Wash now needs him more than ever. 

Just moments before his death, Nut joked about how many lives Wash had and it looks like his passing hasn't changed her reckless approach to the job, as Danny insists that she wears full protection to check out the bomb on the bus. Well done Danny! Luckily the bomb scare proves to be a false alarm and the wires are simply a pair of headphones and an iPhone charger. What a relief. 

If Andy Phelan was the target, how did he survive? 

Wash then makes her way to an SO15 counter-terrorism briefing at New Scotland Yard, where Commander Bregman is chairing a meeting on the Westhaven attack that happened four days previously, and where DI Youngblood updates everyone on what the police know about Andy Phelan, who's flat was initially reported as a bomb factory. 

It seems Andy Phelan was a known right-wing activist, with a history of violent assaults on members of the black, Asian and LGBT communities. He claims he was the subject of an attack from an Islamist terror cell, but DI Youngblood says he's cautious about those allegations. 

The security services also have no clues as to the meaning of the number '1912', which was carved onto the wall of the flat, yet despite CCTV from the estate being damaged the day before the attack, the police believe they have an image of the vehicle the terrorists used to escape. SO15's working hypothesis is an attack by an Islamist terror cell on a known white supremacist, yet as Andy Phelan and his family survived the blast, we're not so sure. 

Wash is also sceptical about that theory and still has Nut's words about the first device being a 'come on' ringing in her ears as she gives her briefing, before Sonia Reeves from the bomb data centre confirms the devices were made with substances commonly used by Islamic terrorists in previous attacks. 

After the briefing Wash talks to DSI Marianne Hamilton about her belief that the attack was planned by sophisticated bombers and not as part of a grudge against Phelan. After all, Phelan was allowed to survive the attacks, despite the attackers showing the ability to bypass the expos jamming equipment. 

But why would someone plan a bombing campaign and make it look like Islamic terrorists? Do they want to stir up racial unrest? Do they have targets of their own and believe framing an Islamist group will help them escape the authorities? Do this group have an axe to grind against Wash and Nut from their time in the army? Or is Wash wrong and it is an Islamist group with a score to settle against Andy Phelan, who made a mistake when trying to set off his suicide vest? 

Trigger Point episode 2

The suspected bomb on the bus proved to be a false alarm (Image credit: ITV )

Is Lana and Thom's romance doomed? 

DI Thom Youngblood picked Wash up and drove her to the funeral, but when they hit a traffic jam she decided to get out a walk the rest of the way, saying she didn't want the 'work crowd' to see them together, as they don't yet know the pair are an item. She's obviously cautious about taking things too fast with her new boyfriend and maybe she's subconsciously trying to keep him at arm's length due to the precarious nature of their jobs. Or maybe she just doesn't like commitment? Either way, we can't help but notice how he tells her he loves her and she doesn't say it back. That's got to hurt. 

At the funeral, we met Wash's mum, dad, and brother Billy, who doesn't seem too pleased to see her, and Nut's partner who painfully talks about how he always insisted she and their kids came second best as "his team needed him". It's a bitter pill for Wash to swallow as she's confronted with how her family might react if she were ever to die in the line of duty, which considering her reckless nature, isn't unlikely...

Is Lana's old friend Karl all he seems? 

At the wake Wash spends a bit of time with her family, where tensions seem to be running quite close to the surface. Her parents beg her to hang up her snips and stop taking chances, yet she quickly dismisses her concerns, before inviting Thom to come and get smashed with her. 

Unfortunately he had to get back to work, so Wash is forced to drown her sorrows with some old army pals that she and Nut knew from their time in Afghanistan. Things quickly escalate and before you can say 'shots!' Wash is forgetting who Karl is. She and Nut spent a few months with him at Camp Bastian, but now he's a mechanic. We'll come back to Karl later, as will Wash by the looks of it. 

Meanwhile Wash's poor brother Billy falls foul of Wash's army mates and their squaddie banter. It seems he failed to get into the army a couple of times. Could this be important? Does he have a grudge against the army? Hmmm... It would be quite a twist if Wash's unemployed little brother was behind the bombings. 

Several drinks later and Wash has keeled over at the bar, with Karl riding in as her knight in shining armour to save the day. We definitely think he could be a rival for Wash's affections, but after spending a few months with her and Nut at Camp Bastian, he may well have military explosive training, but why would he plan these attacks? He seems content with his life as a mechanic now, but is that all an act? He also mentioned he'd been in the gutter 'a few times' after leaving the army, so maybe he does have a bone to pick with the expos? We'll be keeping an eye on him for sure! 

Did the bombers make a mistake by using such a sophisticated bomb? 

The next day Wash reports to expo HQ, where she advises her colleague's that she's been made the new Senior, before heading off for a further briefing with Thom Youngblood and SO15. Sonia Reeves shows her a video, which reveals the blast produced very white smoke, indicating it was high-grade explosive and not some amateur bomb made in someone's garage. Yet if Wash's theory is correct, why would these sophisticated bombers reveal how capable they are by producing such a high quality blast, when surely a crude device would have been just as effective, while also throwing the police off their scent? 

Trigger Point episode 2

Lana has her suspicions about the bomb factory. (Image credit: ITV )

How did the bombers get military grade equipment? 

There's no time to ponder these questions though, as the bombers van has been discovered on a patch of industrial wasteland in Tooting. The van was blocking a doorway to a disused building and after Danny used the T9 robot to push the van away, before a team of armed officers went into the building to investigate. 

After the building is clear, the expos enter and soon discover an IED under a pressure plate - we're all experts in bomb terminology now - by a doorway. "Why would they want to blow this up? There's nothing here?" says Danny, which is a very good question. But no matter, because this kind of tense set piece is what we all love the most about this show and Wash is totally in her element. 

It's a battery pack explosive taped under a desk and while Danny checks to see if they made a secondary, Wash discovers what appears to be the bomb factory, along with some strange dark stains on the floor. As they use blow the device in a controlled explosion, Wash begins suffering flashbacks to the moments before Nut's death and we're left to wonder whether returning to work less than a week after the death of her best mate was a good idea. Outside Danny questions whether his pal is alright and she brushes it off. 

Later on Sonia Reeves arrives on the scene and discovers a bit of kit that suggests the bombers have had military training. But why have they left all this evidence around for someone to find? And if they've got hold of military grade equipment, how did they come by it? 

Outside Wash tells DI Samira Desai she's never seen a bomb factory so neat and tidy, while mentioning the jammers and high grade explosives used at Westhaven. She says it's a set-up and everyone is falling for it, however her colleagues aren't convinced.

What was that stain on the floor of the bomb factory? 

At the subsequent SO15 briefing, DI Youngblood explains how the booby trap was neutralised allowing the authorities to examine the bomb factory, while a detonator that is frequently used by ISIS was also found. Yet Wash remains convinced and says the lack of fingerprints suggests the factory was meant to be discovered, with the booby trap designed to mess up the scene and disguise the fact that it hadn't been used. But what was that strange stain on the floor? Does that hold the key to figuring out what's really going on here? 

Outside DI Youngblood reprimands Wash for implying that evidence has been planted, before she tells him to stick to detecting...

Meanwhile John, one of Wash's expo colleagues, subtly questions whether she's ready to be back at work and urges her not to go against the working theory that Islamist terrorists are behind the attack. Yet Sonia soon arrives and tells Wash the stain she spotted is HMX3-19, which matches the explosives from Westhaven. She believes this proves they planted evidence and abandoned the factory to make it look like Islamists, but how are the bombers getting military grade explosives? ...and why are all the other expos so skeptical of Wash's theory? 

Trigger Point episode 2

DI Youngblood helps evacuate worshippers from the mosque. (Image credit: ITV)

Why would Islamists bomb a mosque? 

Wash asks Sonia to keep digging before Danny comes in to say there's another bomb, this time at a Mosque. This really throws the cat among the pigeons, so to speak. If Wash is correct, why would they blow their cover by attacking a Mosque? And if she's not, then why would Islamist terrorists target their own community? It's a puzzler for sure. 

Anyway, it's time for some more 'devil-may-care' expo action from Wash and she enters the mosque to discover a nail bomb in a plastic bag, which has been attached to a door handle with a cable tie, on a five-minute timer. She orders radio silence to ensure no one accidentally sets off the charge, but when she gets to the device she finds someone has been tied up and trapped on the other side of the door! 

How did none of the worshippers see someone rigging up this bomb and locking someone inside? Meanwhile, with the clock ticking closer to detonation, Thom runs and urges her to get out before the whole place blows, but she refuses to leave and battles to disarm the device before time runs out. What a cliffhanger!

Also, why does no one ever listen to Wash when she asks them to stay quiet so she can disarm the bomb? 

Trigger Point episode three airs on Sunday, Feb. 6 at 9pm on ITV. You can also catch up on ITV Hub.  

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.