As episode two of the new Line of Duty leaves us teetering on a cliffhanger, here are the key things we need to gather intel on.
Fair warning: the article below contains spoilers about episode two of Line of Duty.
1. Is Ted’s personal and professional life about to come crashing down?
At the start of the episode we see the return of legal counsel Gill Biggeloe, with whom Ted had a thing in series three. He put a stop to it when it turned out she was trying to stop the flow of cases against corrupt officers, so as not to damage the image of the police. “That’s the problem with corruption enquiries,” she says portentously. “There’s always the danger you’ll find some.”
Now working with Police and Crime Commissioner Rohan Sindwhani (who’s been appointed to ‘clean things up’), could Gill make things tricky for Ted? Or now that his marriage is all but over, could he rekindle the romance? Either way, things could get very awkward…
2. Is Lisa going after Corbett?
Even though Corbett is running the OCG (read our guide to the Line of Duty acronyms here), he’s only been there a year. Lisa’s been grafting hard at the old crime game to work her way up to where she is. And ‘where she is’, we discover, is between Corbett and the mysterious Mr Big (presumably H). In effect, Lisa is Corbett’s criminal handler, even though technically he’s in charge of the gang.
Corbett is engineering things to pretend that there’s a rat in the gang. But this isn’t Lisa’s first rodeo, you can’t kid a kidder and she knows you can’t trust anyone – especially career criminals. Is she gunning for Corbett’s job because she feels she’s been overlooked for promotion? It just goes to show, whatever you do, you can’t escape workplace politics.
3. What will Steve’s next move be?
So Corbett has reached out to Steve Arnott because he doesn’t believe he has any honest friends left in the force. He proves he’s doing the right thing by making sure no honest coppers were hurt in the raid – no mean feat when there were that many bullets flying around.
But how does Steve proceed faced with the fact that he risks blowing everything if he tells Hastings, or even Kate? At the moment he’s keeping schtum, but he’s treading a very fine line (of duty… couldn’t resist it, sorry).
4. What’s with Peartree?
Corbett really hates bent coppers. We mean
5. Who will Cafferty pick out?
There are so many nudges for the audience this episode. Everything is pointing to Hastings, aka ‘H’, aka Count Von Side-Eye himself, being the corrupt man at the top.
But we never get to see everyone Kate puts in front of Cafferty. Dot is on there and Hilton – plus a few headshots from the drawer to make up the numbers. Could Hastings be in that pile?
As the tension mounts, please bear with me while I relay a brief anecdote. Several years ago, in the late Noughties, I worked on what was referred to at the time as a lads’ mag (now defunct). In one particular issue, we were due to feature the popular street magician Dynamo. He was going to come into the office, perform a few tricks for the team, and these would be photographed to illustrate the feature.
The day arrived and so did Dynamo – not as if by magic, but in a cab. (As a side note, he is a genuinely lovely bloke IRL.) The team gathered round, a volunteer was chosen and Dynamo did a few close-up magic tricks with cards and disappearing watches and coins. And then off he went, disappointingly not levitating, just in the lift.
A week later, the new magazine arrived in the office. We each grabbed a copy and were idly flicking through our hard work when the art director shouted, “Oh shit! Look at that!” On page 15, there was a picture of us all watching a coin trick. Dynamo was wafting his hands while we stared like bozos at exactly where he wanted us to look. But what the photograph had captured – and what none of us had noticed at the time – was that there, clear as daylight, resting on the shoulder of the volunteer, was the £2 coin. The same coin that Dynamo had earlier ‘disappeared’.
With some magician’s well-practised sleight of hand and good-natured stage-managed #bantz, Dynamo had placed a hand on the volunteer’s shoulder, saying something like, “Don’t worry mate, you’ll get your cash back.” And then he’d just popped the coin there, ready for when he needed to make it miraculously ‘reappear’. Then he simply directed our attention elsewhere while the coin sat there bold as brass, hiding in plain sight.
What has this rather longwinded tale got to do with this week’s episode of Line Of Duty? Well, Jed Mercurio is the master magician, the Dynamo of Duty. Ted Hastings can’t really be the bad guy, can he? Mercurio wouldn’t possibly be so obvious.
My suspicion is that we’re all being misdirected, looking the wrong way while the real corrupt officer is going about their business duping the rest of us. The coin is resting on the shoulder, hiding in plain sight.
Line Of Duty continues Sunday, 9pm, BBC One
Images: BBC One