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Passenger viewers asking the same question about 'confusing' ITV thriller after episode two

The series marks Broadchurch actor Andrew Buchan's screenwriting debut

Wunmi Mosaku as Detective Riya
Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
26 March 2024
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ITV's compelling new thriller Passenger continued on Monday night, leaving viewers asking the same question about the plot. 

For those yet to catch up with the series, it's set in the quiet and close-knit northern village of Chadder Vale and follows former Met DI Riya Ajunwa, who after years of searching for her "one big crime", is faced with the mysterious disappearance of local girl Katie Wells.

The village barely has time to take notice before Katie returns home safe and well. While life resumes as normal for the town, DI Riya is convinced there's more to it than meets the eye. What follows is a "series of strange happenings and increasingly horrific crimes". 

WATCH: Are you enjoying ITV's new thriller Passenger?

In episode two, DI Riya continued to investigate and, despite objections from her boss, tried to link Katie's disappearance to an old case: the vanishing of Swedish tourist Nina Karlson.

WUNMI MOSAKU as DC Riya Ajunwa in Passenger© Matt Squire
Wunmi Mosaku plays Detective Riya in Passenger

Viewers were left a little confused by the plot and took to social media with the same question. One person asked: "Does anyone know what's going on?" while another wrote: "Has anyone figured out what's going on yet?"

A third person penned: "Just finished episode 3 of #Passenger and WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?!?!" while another asked whether it was worth continuing with the series: "37mins into #Passenger and everyone on screen seem to know what is going on. I don't! Does it start to make sense or should I abandon ship?"

Rowan Robinson as Katie Wells© MATT SQUIRE
Rowan Robinson plays Katie Wells

Other viewers, however, were gripped by the mysterious story. One person wrote: "No idea what's going on but at least it's keeping me on the edge of my seat. Loving it!" while another added: "Ep two even better. In its flow now. Everything about it is so beautifully shot and a great ensemble. There's something bubbling under the surface... but what?"

NICO MIRALLEGRO as Ken Jackson in Passenger
© Matt Squire
The series is set in the quiet town of Chadder Vale

The show's writer and creator Andrew Buchan addressed the drama's mystifying plot ahead of the series debut. Speaking about the juxtaposition between the quiet town of Chadder Vale and the strange ongoings that keep occurring, Andrew said: "I think the thing about the plot is I did want to juxtapose the epic and the traditional. I thought that would be fascinating. I thought if I could make something extreme happen to that village, just kind of out there in the background enough for them to go, 'Wow, actually, what is that? What is going on there?' But tonally I wanted to take that to the extreme. 

ELLA BROCCOLERI as Ali Day in Passenger© Sister Pictures for ITV AND ITVX
Viewers were left a little confused by the plot

"I wanted to be bold. I think sometimes you will watch a show that will dare to do something different and sometimes they fail, or there'll be other times you will watch them succeed. And so, I wanted to take that risk."

Passenger continues on ITV1 on Sunday 31 March at 9pm, with episodes available to stream on ITVX.

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