Mother of God! What an hour of Line of Duty. Conspiracies old and new are suddenly in play. Kate and Rotten Ryan Pilkington have ended up in a Reservoir Dogs-style stand-off. And there are hints of a return of Evil Ted from season five. Strap in, as we bring you the talking points.
Prince Joffrey-lookalike and OCG insider Ryan knows AC-12 is on to him. And that Kate Fleming is funnelling information back to Ted and Steve. And so the time has come for Kate to kiss her last goodbye.
Those are the orders coming down from “H” to Jo Davidson. And so, in incredibly suspicious fashion, she invites Kate for a drink – and then at the last minute suggests switching locations to a lorry car-park.
No good can come of a late night meeting in a lorry car-park. Of course Kate didn’t get to season six of Line of Duty without being massively savvy and tips off Steve and Ted.
Just as well, too, as AC-12’s surveillance on Ryan and Jo has been stood down. That’s on instruction of the thoroughly nasty Patricia Carmichael (yes she’s back! more below).
Steve and Ted are en route. However, that’s little comfort to Kate who is in a gun-waving stand-off with Ryan, as Jo has a meltdown (we are all Jo, having a meltdown on our couches). And then two gunshots go off. But who fired first? The tension is unbearable.
As a side note, one question apparently answered is Jo’s connection to the OCG. DNA matches suggest she is a blood relative of Tommy Hunter, former leader of the OCG and a child abuser caught up in the police coverup (see below).
A look of disbelief flashes across Steve’s face when Lee Banks – brother of Carl and killer of overly-chatty solicitor-turned-inmate Jimmy Lakewell – reveals it was none other than Ted Hastings who informed the OCG of a “rat” in their midst last season. The double agent was of course John Corbett, who duly had his throat slit by Ryan Pilkington.
Series five of Line of Duty briefly framed Ted as “H” – the last of the four corrupt cops pulling the strings. That theory was later seemingly debunked. But if Ted is innocent, why would he have tipped off the OCG to Corbett?
If that’s unclear, what is obvious is that Ted is the source of the £50,000 hidden in the attic of Corbett’s widow Steph (how do you think she was able to afford that flashy new telly “with all the subscriptions”?). Steve traces the cash, which turns out to be the other half of the £100,000 Ted was accused of receiving as a bribe and was actually merely “resting in his account”.
AC-12 is being shut down – or at least downscaled massively. That’s on the orders of Chief Inspector Philip Osbourne. Enter Ted’s old nemesis Detective Chief Superintendent Patricia Carmichael, who last year tried to stitch him up on corrupt copper charges. Now she’s returned with a vengeance – and her first action as newly-appointed head of anticorruption is to cancel AC-12’s surveillance on Pilkington and Davidson. It’s almost as if the OCG is pulling the strings – and that Carmichael is their new representative on earth. But how does that fit into the “Ted-is-H” narrative – or explain his reluctance to order a swoop on Pilkington?
The murdered journalist had been investigating the unsolved murder of Laurence Christopher, a young black man set upon by racist thugs more than a decade previously. The police had mocked Christopher as he lay dying – though nobody was ever charged.
“A disgrace to the uniform, every single one,” fumes Ted. But what’s this – one of the officers was Ian Buckles, whom Hastings has just put in the clinker? (Carmichael has ordered his release, confirming her villainy). Another is Philip Osbourne, who, as Chief Constable, is systematically downsizing the force’s anti-corruption capacity and appears determined to put Ted out of a job.
Here’s another bombshell in an episode already primed to detonate. Ex-copper James Thirwell – seemingly played by James Nesbitt, last seen in Line of Duty creator Jed Mercurio’s Bloodlands – appears to represent a missing link between the Christopher case and the child abuse ring broken up by AC-12.
That investigation had led to the downfall of Chief Superintendent Patrick Fairbank. Steve and DC Chloe Bishop visits Fairbank at an old people’s home – but he’s too doddery to answer their questions. He isn’t putting it on, surely?