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The Tourist season 2 ending explained - what was the file all about?

Here’s everything to know about how The Tourist season two left off


Jamie Dornan as Elliot in The Tourist© Two Brothers/Steffan Hill
Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
January 3, 2024
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The Tourist season two landed on BBC iPlayer - and like plenty of people - we have binged all six episodes in quick succession. So how did it all go down? From Elliott Stanley’s true identity finally being revealed to his mother’s link to the McDonnell family, there is the second season’s ending explained… 

As we know, Elliott and Helen journeyed to Ireland after being invited there by a man named 'Tommy', who promised to fill Elliott in on his past. It turned out that this was all a ruse, and Lena, a woman who was left with a brutal injury at the hands of Elliott before his accident was responsible for arranging his abduction in Ireland. Wanting revenge on him for his actions, she enlisted the help of the McDonnell family, who have long been in a war with Elliott’s mother’s family, the Cassidy’s. 

WATCH: Jamie Dornan returns as Elliot Stanley - watch it here

Elliott learns that he is called Eugene Stanley, and was a member of the crime family before fleeing after falling in love with Donal’s wife and fathering a son, Fergal, to keep them safe. After reuniting with his son, Fergal, Elliott promises to help him escape his bloodthirsty grandfather Frank, bringing him to his mother Niamh’s pub. However, the McDonnells arrive and it seems that a fight to death between the two gangs is imminent. 

However, the bust-up in the Cassidy pub does not go to plan as Helen arrives at the last second with evidence that Frank’s father - who died in a plane crash - was actually in love with Elliott’s mother. Decades earlier, Niamh dove into the aeroplane wreck with local diving expert Elliott Stanley - who was the father of our Elliott or Eugene Cassidy - and she traps him there, leaving him to die while taking a suitcase belonging to Frank’s father, and cementing the bad blood between the families. 

The Tourist season two lands on New Year's Day© Steffan Hill
Will there be a third season?

In the suitcase, Niamh discovered love letters from her mother to Frank’s father, with the letters confirming that they are half-siblings. The revelation puts a bit of a dampener on the wars, and Elliott and Helen reconcile. 

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Six months later, the couple have since moved to Amsterdam where Helen is now beginning a career as a private investigator. Elliott reveals that someone sent a file about him and his past and that he hasn’t looked it. The pair agree that his past doesn’t matter to either of them, as they know who he is now, and he throws it in the fire. 

Niamh was actually Frank's half-sister© Steffan Hill
Niamh was actually Frank's half-sister

Later, Helen tests the theory that Elliott remembers how to ballet dance - as his mother previously told her that he was a concert-level trained dancer. The moves come back to Elliott as he dances to Swan Lake. 

During his performance, the show reverts to showing the files burning in the fireplace, revealing that Elliott was a secret agent in deep undercover - explaining why he was Kostas’ accountant - and that he was a good guy all along, yay! But will the show explore Elliott’s secret agent past in a potential season three? 

The Tourist's final scene revealed Elliott's identity
The Tourist's final scene revealed Elliott's identity

Jamie previously joked that season three "will be set in Canada, the scripts are already written," with writer Jack Williams explaining: "We didn’t go to Ireland straight away, we wrote a whole draft set in Canada, similar elements. It was very similar. [New character] Detective Ruairi Slater would have still been in it as a Mountie, which would have been great. The same story, but with a Mountie." However, there have been no official plans to renew the show - yet!

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