LINE OF DUTY

Acting as Senior Investigating Officer of Operation Trapdoor, Huntley finds herself at the centre of an AC-12 investigation for mishandling evidence. During a short interim in her leadership of the case, she becomes Duty S.I.O. of Major Crimes, and must head the investigation into the death of a Forensics Specialist named Tim Ifield.


Line of Duty has once again (for the fourth time, in fact) delivered an incredible finale, full of twists, and turns, and mystery. [*Spoilers ahead*]

After concluding series three last year, it was hard to believe this show could get any better. With the outing of Matthew “Dot” Cottan, aka the Caddy, in a let’s-fire-bullets-through-AC12-before-fleeing scene, Line of Duty really hit an all time high. But after that, there was always the lingering question of where can they go from here?

Skip forward to present day, the finale for series four aired on Sunday at 9pm on BBC One. Somebody made the very right decision of moving the programme from BBC Two, and it managed to rake in around 7.5 million viewers, ready for the big reveal.

Series four centred around the murders and abductions of several women – one being rescued in the opening few minutes. It did not take too long for the prime suspect to be revealed: a young man, mentally challenged, named Michael Farmer. DCI Roz Huntley had been running the operation for months – known as Operation Trapdoor – and needed to make an arrest.

Cue AC-12 and our three favourite, flawed heroes, ready to get to the bottom of this case. AC-12 had been visited by a forensic investigator named Tim Ifield, who had been working with DCI Huntley and believed she was setting Farmer up in order to avoid further pressure from her superiors [*yes, the return of the very dislikable Derek Hilton everybody*]. And by the looks of it, Tim was very right to be concerned. The infamous balaclava man, spotted on CCTV, did not match Michael’s height or shoe-size, so why had Roz looked over this vital information?

In a confrontation written straight out of the do-not-confront-coworkers-in-their-homes handbook there was a fight to the death in which Tim is accidentally killed by Roz. And this is where everything escalates to a whole new level of crazy. If you thought DCI Lindsay Denton from series two was a calculating, methodical master-manipulator, DCI Roz Huntley may just have just snatched away her crown.

Over the six one-hour episodes, so many threads start to unfold that it gets difficult to keep count. Who is balaclava man? What has happened to Roz’s arm? Why is Maneet [*of all people, why her?*] secretly delivering files to Hilton in the middle of the night and blaming newcomer Jamie? [*Can I just say before we go any further that I had a feeling Jamie was going to be a bad egg. It was the height thing. If there is one thing I’ve learnt from Line of Dury it’s to never trust the tall ones*].

By the time the finale had come around, my brain was in active, ridiculous theory mode. I’d re-watched every previous episode in three days, trying to piece together who I thought ‘H’ was, more so than guessing balaclava man’s identity.

What I love about Jed Mecurio’s ideas is that nothing is ever done without reason. Every move Roz makes is devious and selfish, leading to the set-up of her own husband, and every move AC-12 makes is a calculating counter to try and crack Roz’s deception.

Moreover, and what I love even more about Mecurio’s decisions, is that every season is still tied together nicely with one reoccurring name: John Thomas Hunter, aka “Tommy” Hunter. In season one he was the mastermind playing Tony Gates, in season two his death led to an investigation into Lindsay Denton, in season three you realise he was involved I’m the abuse of young boys [*did anyone else grit their teeth as much as I did when a picture of Jimmy Saville appeared on the AC-12 evidence screen?*], and then in season four we return to the Moss Heath area, where it is clear that his criminal organisation is still prominent and ever growing.

The scripts are gritty, clever and even contain a bit of humour [*”the wee witch”*] in places. I’m just feeling a little sad now that we have two wait until 2019 for the final season.


Favourite characters: Matthew Cottan (he was in that brief clip, therefore I can still count him as a favourite this season), Ted Hastings, Steve Arnott (yes, shock horror that my most hated character has now be upgraded to a favourite. That fall really made me realise that you need the annoying wee fella around), Roz Huntley (the final showdown against Lakewell had my feeling butterflies)

Hated characters: Jodie, Derek Hilton, James Lakewell

Overall rating: 5/5

My bizarre theory for ‘H’: As we cannot know for sure that H stood for Hilton, and I never in a million years want to believe it stands for Hastings, I therefore think it’s Hargreaves.

In season one, Ryan (one of Tommy’s helpers) had a social worked called Jane Hargreaves, and I feel it’s a pretty big coincidence to have two characters with the same surname that has never been addressed [*at least not to my knowledge*]. Jane and Les Hargreaves – together – would be able to pull something like this off. Plus the fact she is a social worker could lead to linking the social worker’s death in season three, the abused boys at the boys home, and the young children they are recruiting [*such as Ryan in season one*] together. Jane could be finding neglected kids to help groom and join the criminal network, while Les Hargreaves helps cover up when needed in his position.

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