Line Of Duty has become so complicated I now have a wall in the living room covered in photos of the characters with hundreds of links between them in red marker pen that hopefully will come off.
Viewers struggling to follow it did have one consolation though: at least they were in good company.
‘It’s even more complex and troubling than we first thought,’ Superintendent Ted Hastings told the Police Crime Commissioner, confirming he was better at summing up the programme than actually understanding what was actually happening.
Or he appeared to anyway.
Line of Duty: ‘It’s even more complex and troubling than we first thought,’ Superintendent Ted Hastings told the Police Crime Commissioner in Sunday’s episode of the BBC drama
Whether the venerable AC-12 boss knew too little or too much was fast becoming one of Series 5’s biggest issues.
To say Supt. Hastings looked nervous would be an understatement, particularly in scenes involving: former love interest Gill Bigeloe, Steve Arnott’s briefing on Robert Denmoor, and a meeting with retired DCI about something called ‘The Kettle Bell Complex.’
By the time DS Arnott and DI Fleming started interrogating DS Jane Cafferty and she supposedly identified ‘H’, poor Ted was watching from his office sweating like the pilot in Airplane!
Tense: By the time DS Arnott and DI Fleming started interrogating DS Jane Cafferty and she supposedly identified ‘H’, poor Ted was watching from his office sweating
What it all meant, and whether it meant Hastings was ‘H’, remains to be seen.
Of course Episode Two did provide us with some clarity, mostly in regards to DS John Corbett who hadn’t gone rogue but was still undercover in the organised crime gang (the UCO in the OCG) and still trying to identify the ‘bent’ cops at the top. At least he said he was…
As last week’s piece suggested, Corbett had authorised the killing of Maneet Bindra and three officers shot in the opening hijack because they were corrupt – not because he was.
Is it him? What it all meant, and whether it meant Hastings was ‘H’, remains to be seen
‘How else do you expect me to keep my cover!’ he raged to DS Arnott. Probably not like that…
‘I’d never get an honest copper killed!’ he objected, as if offended. ‘The bent coppers deserve it! They’re vermin!’ he insisted, in a particularly heavy Scouse accent.
For the most though, as usual with Line Of Duty, only created more uncertainty and intrigue.
Episode Two saw Mercurio set a new Personal Best for Horribly Complicated Storylines, smashing his own British record (created last week).
Ex: To say Supt. Hastings looked nervous would be an understatement, particularly in scenes involving former love interest Gill Bigeloe
For a start he added even more characters/cops that could yet turn out to be corrupt – the likes of: Police Crime Commissioner Rohan Sindwhani, his senior counsel Gill Bigeloe, Deputy Chief Constable Andrea Wise, and DS John Corbett’s former Covert Ops Manager, Inspector Cameron.
More importantly/confusingly, Mercurio expanded the scope of his storyline(s) further to include DCI Roz Huntley, her Federation rep DCI Mark Moffatt (now retired), and even the notorious villain-turned-informer assassinated while being escorted to a new safe house by Lindsay Denton all the way back at the start of Series 2.
‘This unit used to be run by Tommy Hunter,’ Lisa McQueen told Corbett. ‘Hunter got immunity, witness protection, the works. We still got to him. That’s what happens to a rat.’
Undercover: Corbett didn’t know whether Hastings was ‘H’ but he considered him ‘one of the top brass’ who wanted his undercover operation stopped
By the time Mercurio had joined the dots between McQueen’s colleague Lee Banks, Robert Denmoor, DCI Roz Huntley, PC Maneet Bindra, and ACC Hilton, D.I. Kate Fleming concluded: ‘there’s a proven association between Corbett’s Organised Crime Gang and all the corrupt officers we’ve been investigating all these years.’
Steve Arnott had reminded the squad/the viewers that ‘forensic evidence had linked Denmoor to OCG interference into an operation led by Roz Huntley.’
Unfortunately the fact that Denmoor had been shot dead by Ted Hastings meant the Superintendent was a link too.
In on it? There were even more characters/cops that could yet turn out to be corrupt including Deputy Chief Constable Andrea Wise
Corbett didn’t know whether Hastings was ‘H’ but he considered him ‘one of the top brass’ who wanted his undercover operation stopped, pointing out to Steve Arnott that the Superintendent ‘forced Maneet Bindra out’, and killed the OCG operative Robert Denmoor unnecessarily.
‘There were a dozen AFOs with weapons on him. Are you seriously telling me they couldn’t have brought Denmoor in for questioning?!’
A good question neither Steve nor we had the answer to.
Whether it was reassuring that Ted Hastings wasn’t the only character who didn’t know what was going on is another one.
After all, if the likes of Steve Arnott, John Corbett, and the head of AC-12 couldn’t follow the storyline, what chance did we have?
More twists to come: Whether it was reassuring that Ted Hastings wasn’t the only character who didn’t know what was going on is another issue