‘The Tourist’ Season 2 Ending Explained & Series Recap: Does Eugene Kill Donal Mcdonnell?

Season 1 of the Stan original, The Tourist, immersed us in the story of an amnesiac man trying his best to recover his memories, only to unveil a rather problematic past. The entire season was about this man’s predicament while being caught in a game of cat and mouse and his adversities. I suppose, as the audience, it was quite relatable to how agitated this man really felt in this situation. But then, the first season was also about a utopian scenario where this character gets a second chance at life, which again comes with baggage when he gets to know more about who he really was in his previous life. However, the second season was a betrayal of everything the viewers knew about Dornan’s character, his past, his identity, and whatnot. I didn’t even expect that the second season would be something entirely different. I had made certain speculations about what I thought would happen in the second season, but I clearly missed the mark there. The second season of The Tourist feels like a spinoff. I would’ve liked it more if it maintained a stronger connection with the first season, but except for maybe a few recurring characters, I don’t think it did.


Spoilers Ahead

Why Do Elliot And Helen Go To Ireland?

Following the events of the first season, Elliot Stanley and Helen Chambers are now in a relationship and have been traveling the world together for quite some time. Elliot has begun to embrace living in the moment with his girlfriend, and seeing this as a second chance at life, he has moved on from uncovering his past. While journeying through Southeast Asia on a train, Helen reveals that she received a letter addressed to Elliot at her police station. The letter was sent by Tommy, a close friend of Elliot’s from Ireland. Initially hesitant to disrupt Elliot’s newfound peace, Helen holds onto the letter but eventually decides to disclose its existence after witnessing his emotional recovery. She suggests that perhaps, after their extended vacation, it is finally time for Elliot to confront his true identity. Despite being reluctant, Elliot agrees to travel to Ireland to meet with Tommy. However, tragedy strikes again when Elliot is abducted by masked assailants.


What Is Elliot’s Real Identity?

Despite his endless attempts to flee from his captors, he finds himself imprisoned on an island off the coast of Ireland. The masked assailants are revealed to be Donal McDonnell, his sister Orla, and his son Fergal, who seem to harbor some serious animosity toward the ‘Tourist.’ Shockingly, it’s been uncovered that his real name is Eugene, the son of Niamh, and the matriarch of the Cassidy family.

What Is The Feud Between The Two Families?

The Cassidys, led by Niamh Cassidy, and the McDonnells, led by Frank McDonnell, are two warring families involved in drug trafficking rings in Ireland. This feud has been going on for generations, with the main reason for the conflict between the two leaders stemming from a specific incident. Forty-two years prior, Frank’s father had sent files containing crucial information to him, but the plane crashed outside mainland Ireland. In an attempt to retrieve the files, Frank hired a diver who was also acquainted with Niamh Cassidy. However, Niamh ultimately murdered the diver and stole the information for herself. Ever since, Niamh has held onto this information, which the McDonnells have been trying to reclaim.


Motivated by this long-standing vendetta, Frank’s son, Donal, devises a plan to lure Eugene/Elliot to Ireland, intending to use him as leverage to retrieve the stolen files from Niamh. Niamh, seeing her son’s abduction as an act of war, mobilizes her family to take up arms against the McDonnells.

What Is Eugene’s Relationship With Fergal?

During his captivity on the island, Eugene was reluctantly aided by Fergal McDonnell to reach the mainland. Unlike his family, Fergal lacked violent tendencies and was not as astute. A DNA report, based on a blood sample from a broken bottle when Eugene fell off the truck during his abduction, showed that the samples belonged to him and Fergal, suggesting a first-generation match between the two. In other words, Eugene was Fergal’s real father.


In his younger years, Eugene had a relationship with Donal’s wife, Claire, which resulted in Fergal’s birth. Donal later learned about this affair but chose to raise Fergal as a McDonnell to save his own reputation, further increasing his animosity towards Eugene. To seek vengeance, Donal plotted to ambush Eugene at Hotel Lough Tamar, accidentally causing the death of Eugene’s brother instead. The grief of this loss made Eugene leave Ireland for good, ultimately leading to the events of the first season.

Does Eugene Kill Donal Mcdonnell?

In his quest to reunite with his son Fergal, Eugene and Helen locate him at his Irish school. However, Donal becomes aware of this and decides to take drastic action. He apprehends Eugene and Helen, transporting them to a forest with the intention of eliminating them. Amidst this confrontation, Lena Pascal, the Russian woman from the first season seeking revenge on Eugene, emerges in the forest. Driven by her desire for Eugene to suffer the way she did, she shoots Helen. Eugene manages to overpower Donal, escaping his captors and rushing Helen to the hospital in time.


Subsequently, at the hospital, Claire visits Eugene and discloses details of their past relationship and the lengths he went to protect Fergal and herself from Donal’s abuse. She warns Eugene of Donal and Frank’s plans involving Fergal, which intend to put him in peril. Motivated by revenge for Helen’s critical condition and to protect Fergal, Eugene apprehends Donal and brings him to Lough Tamar, where Donal reveals his motive for killing Eugene’s brother and mocks him for being responsible for his brother’s death and even Helen’s condition. Though Eugene aims his gun at Donal, he ultimately refrains from killing him, realizing he’s no longer that person.

The following day, Eugene visits Helen, who informs him of Donal’s murder and expresses suspicion toward him, but before he can explain himself, Eugene is arrested by the police on suspicion of Donal’s murder. After being bailed out by Niamh, Eugene sets out to locate Fergal, eventually leading them to Niamh’s stronghold to protect the kid from McDonnell’s manipulation. However, upon reaching Cassidy’s pub, Niamh takes Fergal hostage as a bargaining tool, revealing that she was the one behind Donal’s death.


Who Was The Real Elliot Stanley?

Suspecting Eugene for the murder, she believes he is indeed the man she feared he would turn out to be. Consequently, she breaks up with him while he’s in prison, and she plans to leave Ireland. However, she runs into Ethan and Detective Slater, who reveal that Eugene has been granted bail, indicating he is likely to be targeted by the McDonnells. She persuades Detective Slater to accompany her to find Elliot Stanley’s widow, who happens to be Slater’s neighbor.

She discloses to Detective Slater that Niamh killed Elliot, who was a popular diver in his time. Elliot had been tasked by Frank to locate the wreckage of the plane, but Niamh had accompanied him as well. Additionally, when asked about Eugene Cassidy, she mentions that Elliot was notorious for his promiscuity, suggesting that he might be Eugene’s biological father. This revelation makes sense as to why Eugene had chosen this name as an alias after he left Ireland.


What Information Did The File Contain?

While the Cassidys and the McDonnells brace for an all-out war, Helen pursues the secret behind the file. She finally pays a visit to Diamond Express Cars, the cab company that Niamh had booked on the day she killed Elliot and buried the documents. It turns out that the original owner of the cab company meticulously kept records of their operations. After painstakingly sifting through endless piles of data, Helen eventually finds the receipt that reveals the address near the shore where Niamh was picked up that day. With assistance from Slater and Ethan, Helen finally locates the elusive document she has been searching for.

Meanwhile, back at the pub, tensions escalate as Frank arrives with a bomb, threatening to detonate it if Niamh harms her grandson. However, the situation takes an unexpected turn when Helen, Slater, and Ethan arrive, disclosing the contents of the document. The document actually contains love letters exchanged between Frank’s father and Niamh’s mother, which they had concealed due to the feud between the families. The letters suggest that Frank’s father impregnated Niamh’s mother, making Niamh Frank’s half-sister.


Niamh had also kept this revelation hidden, believing that their families had shed too much blood to reconcile. However, she couldn’t bring herself to destroy the letters, as they were precious mementos of her mother. This revelation casts a new light on the conflict between the two families. While Niamh remains adamant in her convictions and walks away in disbelief, Frank is left reevaluating his entire relationship with the Cassidys, unable to reconcile the idea of harming his own sister.

What Can We Expect In Season 3?

Season 2 of The Tourist ends with a rather unexpected turn. Elliot/Eugene and Helen move to the Netherlands and start a life from scratch. Helen gets a job as a private investigator, while Eugene has been contemplating reading a file on his past that he received from an acquaintance. They mutually decide that his past doesn’t matter to them anymore as Eugene throws the file into the fire. The ending scene reveals the file’s contents with information on Eugene, who was a special agent at least until 2005.


This revelation brings a plethora of possibilities to the table, but it also makes things even more complicated. Frank McDonnell’s fate can be speculated, but Niamh’s is still quite uncertain, as she walked away from the pub quite adamantly bent on continuing the family hatred. As for the file on Elliot’s past, it was sent anonymously, and it might open another arc full of murdering psychopaths that Elliot has probably exasperated in his past. Lena Pascal is still alive and might even return with a greater purpose in Season 3 of The Tourist.

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Shrey Ashley Philip
Shrey Ashley Philip
A teacher, photographer, linguist, and songwriter, Shrey started out as a Biotechnology graduate, but shifted to studying Japanese. Now he talks about movies, advocates for ADHD awareness, and embraces Albert Camus.

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