REVIEW Line Of Duty (S6 E6/7)

If it was any other series of Line Of Duty, episode six would signify the end of the series.

However, with an extra episode tacked on to season six, and an almighty cliffhanger (another one!) to resolve, it’s just as well there was an episode seven.

Last week, we saw Kate Fleming in a stand-off with bentest of all bent cops Ryan Pilkington. As the credits rolled we heard two shots, but didn’t know who fired them. Or indeed who copped them.

Thankfully the cliffhanger was resolved almost immediately.

As AC-12 (and Carmichael) descended on to the lorry park, there lay Ryan Pilkington – two very neat holes in his thorax – and Kate and Jo Davidson not to be seen.

It was a fairly ignominious end to a character who had been in the series since the very first season, and I did wonder if Pilkington deserved more. I know that sounds slightly insane because he’s been a character that has attracted almost pantomime baddie levels of ire, but he’s been there since the beginning. Yes, the stand-off was extremely tense, but the way his death was glossed over was slightly… meh.

As for Kate, she went to Steve’s apartment complex, took his car and off she and Jo sped. My initial reaction was… why? Why not hang around and face the consequences? She was lawfully issued with a firearm and Pilkington and Davidson were known associates of the OCG, so surely she would have been in the clear.

She only got a sense that she was being set up when the police appeared.

Aaaanyway, Jo was keen to prove she wasn’t bent, so she suggested going by the print shop, which sat across the road from Terry Boyle’s flat. Why this proved she wasn’t bent I wasn’t entirely sure – if anything it proved she knew the OCG’s cover businesses and the framing of Terry Boyle.

No matter. After a chase through the streets of Midlands City (Kate in full action movie mode here) the cops had caught up with them. At the scene of the shoot-out, Carmichael had issued arrest warrants for the both of them, and when they were finally cornered Kate knew something wasn’t quite right – how did the cops and AC-12 know where they were?

What happened next could have been a disappointment to some. Such has been the pace, the levels of information bombarding us, and the twists and the turns during episodes four and five, episode six began to resemble getting off a fairground ride you didn’t want to end.

For the next 40 minutes Jo Davidson was interrogated by Arnott, Hastings and Carmichael in one of the show’s longest interview scenes in recent times.

And I understood the need for a pause. As I’ve mentioned before, these interrogation scenes work on different levels – they’re riveting and intimate, but they also serve a purpose in terms of recapping a case. Exposition-heavy, yes, but necessarily so.

This interrogation scene in particular went on for a loooong time, and those 40 minutes went by in a flash. It was yet another bold move by Mercurio after all the excitement and breakneck speed of the last two episodes, and you have to take your hat off to messrs Dunbar, Maxwell Martin, Compston and Macdonald for performing such a long scene. However, there was no real pay-off – no huge twist, no huge piece of new information, or no Dentonesque table-turn. The nearest we got was when Davidson saved Kate’s bacon and took the rap for Ryan Pilkington’s death.

Back to the interview.

Everything was laid out – Davidson’s family and her connection to Tommy Hunter, how she was groomed by him from a young age to become a policewoman, how the OCG turned against him.

And yet questions remained (mostly after the ones she answered ‘no comment’ to).

Are we any closer to finding out who ‘H’ or ‘The Fourth Man’ is?

A little. Marcus Thurwell turned up dead in Spain so he’s off the list. Everything points to CC Philip Osborne, which would make sense – throughout this series we’ve had callbacks galore to past series, and another huge one calling back to series one would fit with this general theme. Osborne was right in the thick of it right at the start of that first series, so if Mercurio is tying things up a villain from series one would represent some serious symmetry.

As for this episode, it felt like the calm before the storm – a pause and a deep breath to make sure everyone’s on the same page.

And in a series like Line Of Duty, you need it sometimes.

For your consideration:

• Kate’s full-on action movie moment harked back to the end of series three, when she captured Dot Cottan.
• Kate and Jo on the run = Thelma and Louise vibes.
• Jo’s face during her interrogation scene when she found out that Tommy Hunter was pretty heartbreaking. She genuinely didn’t know this information.
• Kelly Macdonald = very good actress.
• If she didn’t know that Tommy was her father and believed someone else was, who was it? She mentioned he was also a bent copper, so could it be that he has something to do with the overall conspiracy?
• Also, if Davidson knew pretty much everything about the OCG and their attempts to sabotage everything, why didn’t she know about Gail Vella’s investigation into the Lawrence Christopher murder?
• Ted is not completely off the hook either. He was seen losing his marbles by the episode’s end, but he looked incredibly sheepish when Lee Banks was mentioned in the interview.
• And Carmichael… is she just so obviously into power and willing to shut down Ted and co at any opportunity, or is she deliberately sabotaging interviews because she’s part of it all? She often mentioned Osborne in this episode…
• Osborne is really looming over this series like a spectre. We’ve only ever seen him in video news footage form, but surely we’re all steeling for an enormo confrontation in next week’s finale. What are the odds on Arnott bringing down his old boss?
• The bent prison officers’ faces when they realised they couldn’t lay a hand on Jo Davidson as her prison cell shut were priceless.
• Kate and Steve, reunited: “Alright mate, cheers mate… I’LL DRIVE!”
• What are they going to find beneath that workshop floor?

Paul Hirons

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.







13 thoughts on “REVIEW Line Of Duty (S6 E6/7)”

  1. I can’t work out if I would prefer to see Episode 7 wipe the smug smile off Carmichael’s face or for her to turn out to be one of the good guys after all. She’s definitely blocking any delving into the darker side of the Chief Constable but maybe there’s one of those parallel investigations going on that’s being kept from AC12?

    I was half expecting Steve to have snuck Carmichael’s water glass from the interview room away for DNA testing…

    I’m still puzzled by Thurwell though. Why introduce Jimmy Nesbitt as a character right at the end then kill him before he’s even said a word? Or is this another twist heading in our direction…?

    It’s going to be a long week!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’ll eat my hat if Thurwell is dead. Grainy bodycam footage of a dead body does not a positive ID make.

    Overall this was a bit of a dud for me. Some nonsensical behavior to do a runner after the shooting which would have been lawful. Agree it was a poorly framed ending for Ryan who has been an excellent villain. He deserved better.

    I still maintain there’s another season in there. I can’t believe they can wrap this up in a satisfactory manner with one episode to go. I almost wonder if Ted has a heart attack and is sidelined leaving Steve and Kate to sort out the aftermath.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Agreed Andy. Actually found myself clock watching a bit last night whereas I’m usually engrossed. It felt like the long interview scene was there just as a bit of a recap for viewers. Yes it confirmed Jo was Tommy Hunter’s daughter and perhaps Thurwell her substitute father as she certainly seemed to recognise him plus I liked Ted’s squirm when Lee Banks was mentioned but nothing much else revealed. I was looking forward to Kate being grilled and giving as good as she gets but it never happened. The other thing that rankled was the readiness of AC12 to immediately accept the dead body in Spain was Thurwell’s but maybe that’ll be addressed next week.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I agree. I’ve just rewatched the whole lot from the beginning and I’m now back to series 6. The last episode was quite odd. I just don’t get Kate and Jo doing a runner – there must be some explanation (hopefully). I’ve not been a fan of Kelly O’s performance all along, but she was convincing in the interview scene. Also agree that there is likely to be another series……maybe!


  3. My thoughts are the same about Thurwell. The footage was grainy, the bodies were in a state and surely there are bent coppers everywhere.

    The one thread that didn’t fit was Kate and Jo doing a runner after a lawful shooting, and Kate handing over her gun to Jo, knowing Jo set her up. That’s a lot of trust, foolhardy even. But it got Jo’s prints on the weapon which may have been Jo’s intent and Kate’s too, for all we know. Just very odd unless there is more to it.

    I’m leaning towards the big twist with Carmichael isn’t a twist after all and she really is running interference for someone. Unless as Keith says, there is a parallel investigation, she is too quick to shut down any lines that would lead to the 4th person. I, too, want to see that smirk wiped permanently off.

    And Ted. What can you even say after “Jesus, Mary and Joseph and the wee donkey”, a new high of frustration. Ted is melting down from the clock running down. Between that, Arnott’s impending suspension and Kate on the outs with Carmichael, I think the finale will be total rogue with an unexpected appearance by Thurwell.

    And what do we make of Steph and the money in the attic, still unaddressed?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You nailed it Paul, calm before the storm, or ‘the joining episode’ as I like to call it. Regarding Thurwell, we’ll know if it’s not him as they will check DNA etc, but he is looking as if he was the father figure in Jo’s life. Felt sorry for Davidson when she found out about Tommy, and Carmichael…Wow! Is she bent or just hitched her wagon to Osborne. Looking forward to next week!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Some folks are saying the lead Spanish cop looked like James Nesbitt (it’s all in the eyebrows apparently), which would be a neat if far-fetched twist. Maybe Thurwell is getting set up by Osborne et al as the big bad, and plans to come back to the UK to wreak revenge or see Jo? I could even see a Thurwell/Hastings & Co rogue operation to rout Osborne!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Anyone got any ideas about what’s hidden under the workshop floor?

    A pile of red herrings or something significant?

    For the life of me I can’t think what or who’s missing that would be the key to this


  7. A lot of people seem mystified by Jo & Kate leaving the scene. I thought & still think that they left as they thought OCG could have been watching. Also Kate’s gun was not lawfully in her possession as Hastings had given it to her for her dagger without the usual protocols. I love the interview scenes.


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