Review: Line Of Duty (S4 E3/6), Sunday 9th April, BBC1

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Huntley’s digging herself deeper and deeper into dishonesty, with the murder of Tim Ifield layered on her presumed framing of Farmer – but at the moment she’s in complete control of the situation, able to manipulate the evidence and investigations as she pleases. But we reckon that Kate, done down from every side by her own colleagues as well as by Huntley’s, will be the one to crack the case – possibly over a cosy coffee with Huntley’s increasingly dodgy-looking husband Nick.

NB: Spoilers ahoy!

We’ve got to the stage in the plot where the investigation seems to have stalled, and neither chippy Steve nor dogged Kate seems to have much idea how to proceed. Hastings, though, engages in a dick-swinging competition with Huntley’s boss Hilton, and, beating him by a good few inches, gives him fair warning that a full investigation is underway.

Steve is trying hard to make up for his weak performance in the Lindsey Denton case, and is playing the tough guy, always a problem when you’re 5’8” and sound like Phil Cornwell doing his impression of Michael Caine. His announcement to the Operation Trapdoor team is hardly intimidating, but it has Huntley’s jaw muscles twitching impressively, and her annoying mini-me assistant Jodie (Claudia Jessie) scampering about like a demented hamster. Is she hiding something? Perhaps she was Ifield’s secret sex toy? The mind boggles.

AC-12’s examination of the Trapdoor evidence reveals to them what they didn’t know before, that Ifield was lurking about in a balaclava and buying power tools; but they hold back from jumping to any conclusions. Time to question Farmer again, if his lawyer, who seems to be in a semi-coma, can stay awake long enough.

Unable to link Farmer to Ifield, Huntley’s team begin to wobble; but the Borg Queen is determined to keep them on track, so it sounds like a little more evidence tampering may be called for.

Steve’s unconvinced that Ifield was Balaclava Man, but prepared to think the unthinkable, that Huntley was involved in his murder. We’re still asking ourselves why no-one’s questioned her husband, who we reckon is guilty of something, even if it’s only of doing a bad clean-up job after she killed Ifield. Or did he do the deed himself, and chop off Ifield’s fingertips, realising that DNA evidence could implicate his wife?

Conveniently, no-one’s noticed the scratches Huntley keeps rubbing – but it’s a tell-tale that will become more obvious as it becomes more septic.

We can’t quite work out how Kate and Steve are feeling about each other at the moment – one second they’re bickering over the case like Wednesday and Pugsley, the next they’ve sharing a curry. Surely they can’t separate their work and personal relationships that clearly?

Her phone records can’t place Huntley at the scene of Ifield’s murder – but we know she left it at home, and her husband certainly noticed. So did he follow her to Ifield’s flat? Steve finally starts to ponder Nick’s movements, and if we needed confirmation of Nick Huntley’s dubiousness, it turns out he’s a corporate lawyer, so he’s obviously evil.

Steve gets landed with a sidekick, Jamie (Royce Pierreson); tall, handsome, charming, efficient and cocky, he seems perfectly designed to irritate the hell out of Steve. He certainly makes a good start by digging up a lead from a neglected witness. Meanwhile, Huntley is trying to divert the investigation further by framing kidnap victim Hana, who we thought knew nothing more than she’d said; but Huntley can place her near the scene of Ifield’s killing, and manufactures an excuse to search her flat.

This time, it seems Huntley doesn’t need to plant evidence; there are sticky mountains of it in the form of cash, condoms and man-juice indicating that Hana was on the game, and that Tim Ifield was a client. That’s a stunner, but it doesn’t seem to come as any surprise to the cops, and Huntley’s still hopeful of pinning Ifield’s death on Hana.

But when Steve goes to question Nick Huntley about CCTV evidence showing his car near Ifield’s flat, he’s attacked by Balaclava Man; is this Huntley, the mysterious Lakewell, or a third party? Either way, a battered Steve is dropped down a stairwell.

Surely the Pocket Rocket that is Steve Arnott cannot finally be dead? In a series that uses and discards its lead actors like tissues, it’s not implausible; and there’s a replacement waiting in the wings in the form of Jamie. But we won’t believe Steve’s dead until they screw the coffin lid down. And maybe not even then.

Chris Jenkins

 

 

 

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11 thoughts on “Review: Line Of Duty (S4 E3/6), Sunday 9th April, BBC1

  1. Lol – love your review, especially re: Arnott. He was just getting into full swing and Wham! I didn’t see that coming. How is it that everyone now seems to own a balaclava??? It must be Huntley’s husband who pushed Arnott (mustn’t it?), but how the hell does he think he’s going to get away with that and how can he be implicated in the Ifield murder if Huntley (who we presume did murder him) is keeping it all from him? The scratches on her wrist remind me of Fargo (Lester’s bullet wound), I think they’ve nicked it.

    I was a bit over-harsh about Thandie Newton last week, she was better I thought this week. The scene where she started to frame poor Hana etc.

    The 13/30 thing is surely going to come back to haunt her.

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  2. Mike Sargent

    Interesting. The killer must be Huntley’s husband as there are no other possibilities. It can’t be someone we haven’t seen yet. That’s how tv drama works. Silly of a serial killer to marry a cop though…

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      • Ok, so if he is the killer he has (supposedly) killed Ilfield after Huntley somehow got away from him (after she was close to being dismembered) and without her knowledge?? Maybe he followed her there then and killed him after she got away??

        Last night I had assumed she was driving his car…but maybe not.

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      • One thing puzzling me is the timeline – a hell of a lot has happened over March 17/18 and since. If Tim had left several ‘deposits’ with Hana, how many times did he visit her since what looked like the first meeting in her cafe? Either he made several visits – or he was in top shape for a man of his age!

        Also – who wrote the Post-It telling Huntley she was being watched – Buckells or Mini-me Jodie? Buckells is terrified of Ted Hastings, so it is unlikely to be him. The annoying Jodie is so far up Huntley’s backside that she is in grave danger of finding out too much; Huntley seems aware that she could be a liability. Could she be next over the bannisters?

        And didn’t the guy who attacked Steve look more thick-set than Nick Huntley? Patrick Baladi is in the cast list to play Lakewell next week and Ingleby is 5ft 8in, Baladi is 5ft 9in – so little difference in height but think he’s bigger than Lee Ingleby – and he could work in the same building if it is a large, multidisciplinary law firm. So is Nick the organ grinder rather than the monkey?

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      • Mike Sargent

        …and why write that on a post it? Anyone could have read it.

        Looking at next week’s cast list is cheating!

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  3. Nataly

    Sorry guys but Arnott is dead. i think. because

    Adrian Dunbar … Hastings (23 episodes, 2012-2017)
    Martin Compston … Arnott (20 episodes, 2012-2017)

    from IMDb…

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      • NATALY

        a spoiler) for people who haven’t seen the episode yet, who don’t read reviews, and only make comments on them))) definitely a spoiler!

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      • NATALY

        All I wanted to say that “But we won’t believe Steve’s dead until they screw the coffin lid down. And maybe not even then” is a bit…. I don’t believe in miraculous recovery after that kind of fall. In this series anyway.

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