REVIEW: Line Of Duty (S5 E3/6)

Has Operation Peartree gone pear-shaped? With undercover officer John Corbett making a success of ringing rings around the cops, corrupt officer ‘H’ may be even further embedded than we thought – clearly it wasn’t the deceased ACC Hilton.

Last week’s highly dramatic conclusion, implying that someone in AC-12 may have recruited corrupt officer Cafferty, turns out to be a bust – Cafferty identifies ‘Dot’ Cottan, who died in the last series. So that gets us precisely nowhere – but is Hastings’ relief more than incidental? His money worries are getting him into dangerous waters with his clearly dodgy ex-cop financial advisor Moffatt (Patrick Fitzsymons).

Corbett’s plan to raid the Eastfield evidence storage depot, with the aim of driving out of cover the next link in the chain of corruption forged by Lisa McQueen, seems destined to go wrong. But whoever ‘H’ is – just an anonymous contact on the end of a terminal – he (or she) can’t spell ‘Definately’. Is this a clue?

Corbett gives Arnott a burner phone number with which to track Lisa – who we’re still half certain is actually undercover herself. A contact of hers is Mincowicz (Tomi May), who tortured Arnott back during the investigation into DCI Tony Gates in series one.

Arnott’s not best pleased when Hastings resolves to raid the print shop Corbett’s using, and a block of flats used for prostitution – it’s too early for his liking, and he tips Corbett off. Big mistake Steve, that could be the end of your career. But Ted’s happy that AC-12 is now ‘sucking diesel’.

While the raids free some sex-slaves and capture some passport forgers, Corbett’s crime gang is well away, and he confronts Arnott with the suspicion that Hastings may be covering his own tracks. The big Eastfield raid is still on, though, and Corbett hopes to capture both the gang and ‘H’.

Gill Bigelow is putting the squeeze on Ted, but not in the way he’d prefer – is she pushing to stop Corbett because she’s on H’s payroll?

Steve finally confides in Kate that he’s working with Corbett, and of course Kate is not pleased at being kept in the dark – though she realises that if Corbett’s old boss Powell, or Hastings, is corrupt, then Steve had his reasons. But the planned Eastfield raid has put an end to the possibility of secrecy.

Hastings is in a panic about something after Steve and Kate fill him in – why is he disposing of his laptop?

When the raid goes down, a diversion draws the armed police away from the depot, then ‘H’ turns up and disables the trackers on the stolen goods. But seeing him about to escape, Corbett shoots ‘H’, and the gang escapes with a huge haul.

‘H’ is unmasked as DCS Hargreaves of Serious and Organised Crime (Tony Pitts), who we have previously seen in series two and four and has always been a bit on the dodgy side – he was always on the list of suspects for being ‘H’. Was he too obvious a choice for being ‘H’? We do wonder if this is the case.

While this gives Steve a great excuse for not calling on-off girlfriend Sam Railston (Aiysha Hart), who is in Hargreaves’ department, it doesn’t answer the question of who told H about the tracking devices.

Corbett confronts Arnott and claims he didn’t mean to kill Hargreaves – we had wondered why he didn’t just shoot to wound. But he’s now even more determined that the real H is Hastings.

Ted, meanwhile, is out on the town with sultry and ambiguous Gill Bigelow, little knowing that Corbett is after Mrs Ted – how will he react when he gets the call from the increasingly unhinged Corbett? What’s interesting here is that Bigelow, despite her obvious attraction to Ted, is messing with his mind, gently implying Ted should take early retirement. Make no mistake: with the cop-turned-property-developer making him an offer he may not be able to refuse (do you think this guy is bent too, or is at least more than he seems?), Bigelow on his case (in more ways than one), the mystery laptop and pressure to solve the case intense, it’s safe to say that Ted is all over the shop and definitely not sucking diesel. And he’s not completely out of the woods yet when it comes to the identity of ‘H’.

So will Hargreaves’ DNA turn up in the brothel, or was someone else Lisa’s mysterious visitor? And just what was on Ted Hastings’ laptop other than kitten videos? There’s a long way to go yet, and Corbett might yet do more damage before he’s brought to heel.

As ever, you just can’t take your eyes off this series – it’s still providing rollercoaster-style thrill and spills, and keeping us on our toes and guessing.

We’re half-way through the series, and Jed Mercurio is famous for not following the rules and producing breathtaking twists. We really have no idea where this is going.

Chris Jenkins



8 Comments Add yours

  1. Colin Cutter says:

    Hastings said that hte prostitute could not identify Hargreaves because he was dead. Nonsense.


  2. Jane says:

    We usually like LOD as it doesn’t do silly obvious plot things such as those seen in other crime dramas but Ted’s wife leaving the door on the chain rather than slamming it shut in the face of a stranger while she made the call to Ted was not believable.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. sel539 says:

    A few times during this episode I felt like the plot was being explained to us (usually by Steve) and it felt a bit clunky. Some great little touches though like Maneet’s colleague now doing the ‘in your folder’ meetings and Ted’s face when Gill announced she was just going to use his bathroom (I did wonder if he’d had the loo repaired!!). Surely he can’t be the bent coppper on the other end of the laptop, that seemed way too obvious as did taking it to a shop to be destroyed!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. The Barrow Boy says:

    Disappointed with the latest series. Way over the top. Complicated is not necessarily clever. And the shootouts in the streets….!!!!!!!! (think emoji of hand over eyes)


  5. Dan Campling says:

    I’m convinced that Kate is ‘H’ and that Mercurio has used Scorsese’s The Departed as inspiration. At the end we discover that Nicholson’s character actually had 2 moles in the police, not 1, and neither knew about the other. I think this is going to be the situation with Kate and Dot. If the big reveal is going to be that it’s one of the main characters I find it hard to believe that Steve would have had himself thrown down a stairwell, and all the stuff with Ted feels too forced. Whereas Kate has moved up from DC to DI across the 4 series so far and we’re getting more glimpses of her home life for reasons that I’m sure will be revealed. Unless Mercurio is throwing us a big bluff by making Ted so obvious a suspect that we think it can’t possibly be him, only for it to be revealed that it actually is. Looking forward to the next episode.


    1. Dan Campling says:

      And everyone keeps referring to the person in charge as ‘he’ and ‘the top man’ which again leads me to believe it’ll turn out to be a woman. Don’t forget that it was women that were in all the positions of control in ‘Bodyguard’ and I wonder if Mercurio will follow that same idea up here.


    2. sel539 says:

      I felt less convinced that it was Kate in this episode. If it is, she deserves an Oscar. I don’t think we’re going to find out as I heard there’s going to be another series. Maybe Ted will be the scapegoat this time….poor fella. Apparently the last episode is going to be 90 mins! So is Lisa a UCO too then?


      1. Dan Campling says:

        If Kate isn’t H then I’m sure she’s another mole. As for Lisa, bear with me here as this might get complicated. I think Lisa may well be a police officer but I don’t think she is on an approved undercover assignment. Instead I think she’s been recruited by the person in charge to sniff out whoever it is that is looking to expose them, in this case Corbett. If the person in charge is a police officer then they may know about Corbetts assignment but not know his identity, which is where Lisa comes in. And if I’m right about Kate then the person in charge will now know Corbetts identity so I expect Corbetts family to play a more important role in these last 3 episodes. Theres definitely something bothering her. She was very nervous through most of Episode 1 to the point where she looked like she was going to have a panic attack in a toilet cubicle. Oh yeah, and I’m sure that the incorrect spelling of definitely (definately) will be relevant.


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