Line Of Duty: 6 big questions we have after watching episode 4

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Gareth Watkins
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Vicky McClure, Martin Compston and Adrian Dunbar in the BBC TV series Line of Duty

From a shock death to a grisly freezer discovery – and yet more hints over the identity of “H” – we dissect the major plot twists from Line of Duty series 5, episode 4 (and warning: spoilers ahead)

Efforts to re-brand Easter as a full-on ‘event’ holiday have, in previous years, met with cries of derision. “Easter crackers?! Easter wreaths?! What bloody next?” is what your uncle Brian might say over Easter Sunday lunch. We’re having none of this though, we are fully on board. Easter has all the benefits of the festive season – wanton gluttony, over-indulgence, extra time off work, a family get together – without any of the downsides – the wanton gluttony tipping into wanton self-loathing, no January blues, zero family Brexit arguments, and you’ve got the weather. It’s a win-win win-win.

So it was with an air of benign contentment that we settled down to watch last night’s Line Of Duty, surrounded by the carcasses of empty Easter egg boxes, frowning slightly as we tried to focus on the screen through a red wine gravy-haze. That sense of quiet satisfaction did not last long. Comfort TV this is not. In classic Line Of Duty style, they only go and kill off one of the major characters right when we least expected it, and Corbett’s death leaves a lot of big questions hanging in the air. Now that we have woken up slightly more clear-headed, here are the things we’re asking ourselves.

1. Was Corbett a good guy or a bad guy?

So the episode starts off as dark as it ever has done in LoD. Poor Mrs Hastings has been tortured by Corbett, possibly as a warning to Ted. But Corbett and Ted’s past are somehow intertwined beyond this investigation, especially now that we know Corbett was originally an orphan from Belfast. This puts a whole new angle on why he was so fixated on Hastings being the real ‘H’. Was he really a good cop trying to bring down Mr Big by any means necessary or did he just have a grudge on Hastings? Good cops don’t torture people’s wives, though – he had to go.

John Corbett played by Stephen Graham in the TV series Line of Duty
Stephen Graham starred as John Corbett in Line Of Duty last year.

2. What is it we don’t trust about Biggeloe?

She’s a master at throwing people off balance with a carefully barbed quip then a ‘who me?’ innocent comeback. It’s pretty unfair of her to have a sly dig at Mrs Hastings when she’s lying in a hospital bed, before she goes on to defend Ted and his investigation. But Ted suspects her of some sort of distraction tactic which helped divert his attention while his wife was attacked. Then again, Ted, that’s a pretty rotten thing to suggest about someone you’ve just slept with and you’re a grown man. Come on mate, two to tango and all that, you didn’t have to invite her back to your crappy hotel.

3. Oh, God, who is that in the freezer?

As if the scene with Terry was uncomfortable viewing enough, who’s the dismembered girl in his freezer? 

4. Are Steve and Kate going to try and go after Hastings?

Hastings ordered Corbett shot in the Mexican stand-off with Arnott – admittedly he had good cause, but Kate and Steve wanted him kept alive for the vital info he had. Steve also directly disobeyed orders from Hastings and questioned Hastings authorising lethal force against Corbett. Hastings then forces Steve to tell him about the meet up in the shopping mall. When the meet up doesn’t happen and the high-ranking bent copper doesn’t show Ted has implicated himself as that very high ranking bent copper. Is this a case of misdirection from the makers of LoD? We all know they’re masters of this, or was it a final ploy by Corbett to finger ‘H’astings?

Ted Hastings played by Adrian Dunbar in TV series Line of Duty

5. So Ted must be H right? What did he say to Lee Banks?

Yeah, that’s got to be it, surely? There’s too much stacking up against him. Even so there’s part of us still rooting for Superintendent Side-eye and we don’t really want him to be the bad guy. I mean come on, you can’t not love the guy that delivers the line, “Sit down fella, this bastard’s got a thing or two to say to you. Trust me… you’ll be glad you did.”

6. Actually is Lisa the big gangland boss or is she another UCO?

So Lisa is either really good at being an undercover agent or she’s an incredibly bad-ass gangster. Either way, and much like all of us, there’s parts of the job she loves, and parts of it she doesn’t care for so much, such as killing people. She looks visibly shocked when Hastings, pretending (but not really pretending) to be H gives the order to “Bring things to a close.” Is that a code for her as a UCO to again use authorised lethal force to get rid of Corbett or is it an order from H to his gangland boss? He’s tried once as Superintendent Hastings to get rid of Corbett, now he’s trying again. Either way, the end game forces Corbett out in the open and he’s a goner.

Lisa McQueen played by Rochenda Sandall in the TV drama series Line of Duty

Phew, so that was a grisly end to a lovely Easter Sunday, wasn’t it? Corbett is dead but there is still plenty to trouble us. All leads seem to be taking us towards Ted’s past in Belfast and the dodgy money he has lost along the way, but as we know from previous experience, just when you think you are getting somewhere in Line Of Duty, someone gets bumped off and you’re none the wiser as to who did it or why. Oh well, only four days in work this week and then it’s the weekend again. We’ll try not to enjoy ourselves too much next Sunday – there’s a lot we need to concentrate on.

Line Of Duty continues Sunday, 9pm, BBC One, but if you want more Kate Fleming check out this week’s issue of Stylist for an interview with an off-duty Vicky McClure (unfortunately, we couldn’t get any intel about the show from her, there will be no spoilers); on streets from Wednesday 24 April 

Stylist magazine with cover star Vicky McClure
Credit: Jonty Davies

Images: BBC Pictures and Jonty Davies