The Tourist Season 2: What Was in Elliot’s File? Theories

Netflix’s ‘The Tourist’ follows the story of Jamie Dornan’s character, who suffers from amnesia after a car accident and forgets everything about himself, including his name. He has no memories of the life he had before the accident, and it is only through the pieces provided by others that he gets a fractured sense of picture to understand himself. The first season reveals that the Man, as he is referred to due to the lack of a name, has a checkered past, and while he might come off as a good man, he hasn’t done anything to be proud of in the past.

His streak of bad things in the past is discovered further in Season 2 when he goes home to Ireland, but even that offers only a part of his life. At the end of Season 2, he receives a file that offers a complete picture of his life, but he and Helen refuse to look at it. What was in that file? What did it reveal about Elliot? SPOILERS AHEAD

Elliot’s File was Another Pandora’s Box of His Secrets

Whatever you think you may know about the Man, who now goes by Elliot Stanley, it is just a speck compared to his actual life, all of which has been erased from his mind. The second season further proves that whatever Elliot finds out about himself reveals to have even more secrets behind it. To begin with, his real name is not Elliot Stanley but borrowed from a man his mother killed forty-two years ago. His real name is Eugene Cassidy, and he belongs to a crime family that has been at odds with another crime family, the McDonnells.

While his family’s history fills some gaps for Elliot, a lot still remains hidden. His mother mentions that she hasn’t seen him for years, even before he lost his memories. She had no idea where he was or that he’d been to Australia and been in an accident. She certainly didn’t know anything about his work with Kosta. His absence has been painful for the family, but no one knows why he left and where he went. An explanation is proposed for his sudden departure, but even that seems a bit frail once the truth about his file comes into the picture.

Elliot always wondered why he worked for Kosta. Even in the first season, one of the flashback scenes had a character wondering why Elliot was choosing to work with Kosta when he could just go off on his own and be free of any connection to Kosta and his criminal activities. At the end of Season 1, even Helen wonders how Elliot could come off as such a good person and yet have done so appalling things in the past. If he really was that bad a person, shouldn’t that behavior have seeped into him even when he had amnesia? A person can forget their name, but they cannot erase their true nature. If Elliot was a bad person in the past life, how could he suddenly turn good?

The answer to these things is found in Elliot’s file, which he and Helen refuse to look at because they believe they need to let go of the past. While Helen has been obsessed with finding out more about Elliot to find something, anything that would help her justify his actions and convince her that he has always been an inherently good person, by the end of Season 2, she has learned a solid lesson: it doesn’t do well to live in the past. They went to Ireland for answers, but it only landed them in more trouble. Neither Helen nor Elliot wants that to repeat.

Once Helen refuses to look at it, Elliot immediately throws the file into the Dutch oven. He and Helen don’t get to see its contents, but the audience gets a glimpse, just enough to know that he had been working as a secret agent and was deep undercover. This might explain why he was working for Kosta at the time, and it might even deliver answers to many more questions Elliot had about himself. Above all, it might give Helen the consolation that Elliot had been a good person all along. But then again, we don’t know the full picture. Why and how was Elliot recruited by the secret service he was working for? Was it really because he was a good guy or because he was so deeply embroiled in something bad that he became a turncoat and decided to aid the law in return for his own freedom?

Considering the disappointed look on Helen’s face, it’s clear that she would have eventually peeked into the file. Elliot knew this, too, which is why he immediately destroyed the file. Still, it doesn’t prove that he didn’t read it himself, though he told Helen otherwise. Moreover, the burning of the file doesn’t mean that the things Elliot did or the people he was involved with are gone, too. Past has a way of catching up with him, and this part of his life might come knocking in the third season of ‘The Tourist.’

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