Liar series 2 review: The killer is revealed – but will the show return for series 3?

Fans were glued to their sets as the ITV drama concluded its six-week run by finally revealing who killed Andrew Earlham.

By Alex Fletcher Published: 7 April 2020 - 12.58pm
ITV

Liar has kept drama fans hooked on Monday nights over the last six weeks as we tried to guess who murdered Andrew Earlham (Ioan Gruffudd).

There were a seemingly never-ending list of suspects and our heads were spinning with possible theories and explanations.

Across the six episodes, the show had jumped between numerous timelines, keeping us on our toes as we tried to figure out who managed to get their hands on Earlham.

The final twist of the series was revealed in the closing 20 minutes of episode 6 as the killer was identified.

*SPOILERS AHEAD*

Who killed Andrew Earlham?

Joanne Froggatt in Liar ITV

After her series-long prime-suspect status seemed to have been ruled out once and for all, it turned out that it was Laura  Nielson (Joanne Froggatt) who killed Andrew after all. 

However, it also turned out that Andrew’s murder was neither planned nor premeditated. Laura was involved in an epic action-packed struggle on the marshes after she realised someone had moved around her possessions at the boathouse while she had been out on her canoe.

After appearing to take a sip of a bottle of water that Andrew had spiked, Laura faked being unconscious and attempted to attack Andrew with a knife as he dragged her 'body' out of the boathouse.

As he gained the upper hand in their struggle, school teacher Laura fled to the misty marshes and after a struggle in the mud, managed to get hold of the knife again and slashed Andrew's throat as he threatened to kill her.

Fearing that the police wouldn’t believe her story, Laura ran from the crime scene. However, at this point she wasn’t aware that Andrew had been plotting to frame her and that evidence was being left which would place her at the scene of the crime.

What was Andrew’s plan?

Ioan Gruffudd and Joanne Froggatt in Liar ITV

Andrew’s guilt as a serial rapist was confirmed in series one and Laura handed over the tapes she discovered of all his victims to the police.

However, after going on the run, Andrew decided that he didn’t want to leave without taking some final revenge on Laura.

“You stole my life. Now I’m going to steal yours,” he warned.

Using some help from Oliver, an old university friend from Edinburgh, Andrew was able to pull together a plan to place Laura at what looked like the scene of a crime.

He planned to spread his blood around a shipping container to make it look like a crime scene, plant evidence such as Laura’s stolen necklace and then steal Laura’s car to park it near the container.

Andrew would have then done a runner and got Oliver to alert the police to Laura’s ‘crime’.

But before Andrew could carry out his plan, Laura sensed that something was amiss and ended up in a violent showdown with her tormentor.

Who was arrested?

Oliver in Liar series 2 ITV

Oliver, who was revealed in the final episode to be a primary school headteacher, was arrested for blackmailing a police offer and conspiring to frame Laura for the crime before being charged with Andrew's murder.

After Andrew was killed, Oliver wanted to avoid being caught up in the crime, so he continued with the plan of framing Laura.

He planted Andrew’s car keys in Laura’s bedroom and used information that Andrew had got on DS Rory Maxwell’s son to force him into reprogramming the satnav in order to place Laura at the shipping container.

How was Oliver caught?

DS Rory Maxwell in the Liar finale ITV

Oliver was being blackmailed by Andrew, who had video evidence of him sexually assaulting a young man.

The fear that this footage still existed prompted Oliver to take drastic action and he chose to speak with Luke, Andrew’s son.

He made up a story about the death of Luke’s mum in an attempt to get him to hunt down and destroy any tapes in their house. However, Luke didn’t trust Oliver’s story and when he found the footage on a USB stick hidden within a photoframe featuring a picture of Andrew and Oliver, he watched the footage and handed it over to the police.

DS Rory Maxwell and his son Greg also confessed to their crimes and they co-ordinated with Laura, who visited Oliver in Edinburgh, to extract a confession from the headteacher. Laura breached her police bail to confront Andrew's accomplice but the plan worked - after she confronted him about his relationship with Andrew, Oliver phoned up Greg to put more pressure on him with the blackmail, but this time the call was being recorded by DI Renton herself.

Will there be a series 3?

Katherine Kelly in Liar ITV

Before Laura's confession to DI Karen Renton, the detective had worked out that Laura was the real killer, but then revealed that she'd stepped down from the case and would choose to keep that revelation to herself.

The detective's own history with domestic violence had led her to change her perspective on the justice system after her abusive ex had been released from jail to kill another woman.

That ending means the series was neatly wrapped up with no obvious direction for the show to continue with the current cast. The punishment for Oliver and the sense of justice and sense of new beginnings for Laura at the end of the episode gave the dark crime drama a relatively happy ending.

Liar was planned as two series and it’s highly unlikely the central characters from this series will return.

Katherine Kelly’s DI Renton was an impressive addition to the cast for series two and if the writers did want to tell a similar story in the Liar universe, the detective's past or future career could be an avenue to explore.

Liar series 1 and 2 are available on the ITV Hub.