Director: Gareth Bryn
Starring: Kelly Macdonald, Martin Compston, Vicky McClure, Adrian Dunbar
At last, we finally got to see a return of the ‘classic’, early days of Line Of Duty.
Series 6 kicked off with something of a slow burn, and had some notable differences to all the prior series’.
The ‘Dream Team’ (yes, deserving of capital letters) had broken up, and we did not get the big case unfolding in the first episode.
In fact, the formulaic writing was turned exactly on its head.
As always, there are spoilers beyond this point – so go and watch the episode before reading further on.
A Return To Form To Make The Hearts Of Ardent Fans Sing
In the publicity run-up to the first episode being aired, we were told that this series would finally have some definitive answers.
So far, we are finally getting there – and even with some ‘Easter eggs’ to make the hearts of the most ardent fans of Line Of Duty hearts sing.
We had the creepy laptop where ‘H’ instructs and commands corrupt officers; references to the previous series are plentiful.
Jackie Laverty, murdered in series one, was also referenced – and AC12 has finally put together the pieces about Terry Boyle and his flat being invaded by criminals to store proceeds of their crime.
It was a true ‘cracker’ of an episode – and a return to true, top form.
What Is Kate Up To?
Name a more iconic on-screen duo – and I will wait.
Steve and Kate are supposed to work together; they are just *meant* to be together as work partners.
They have a brilliant chemistry, and are great under pressure, and when required to collaborate.
We don’t know why the iconic pairing split up, though – suggesting that some sort of conflict has happened off-screen.
Kate is also showing a kind of snobbish attitude, too.
But just what is she up to?
That is the most frustrating part of this episode – and whether she will go against her current boss to uncover semi-obvious corruption that is right under her nose.
She has recognised Ryan from his interview as a junior offender – and even looked up his file, as spotted by one eagle-eyed viewer.
She even tails a car transfer and subverts a murder attempt, too.
What is she up to? Is she under the thumb of Davidson, or will she refuse to fall into line?
That is the utterly maddening part – and it has just *got* to be resolved.
There Is Unity In Hating Ryan
If there has ever been hatred for an on-screen character, it will be the latest recruit.
Ryan Pilkington has stuck around since the first series, when he delivered burner phones.
He was seen taunting DCI Tony Gates with taunts like “bent bastard”; the smugness in his face later became hardness.
He is responsible for the deaths of at least two officers.
John Corbett died in a horribly graphic way on screen; we saw his throat viscerally slit, in trying to free women who had been trafficked against impossible odds.
He was later protected by Lisa McQueen who was sequestered into witness protection.
Ryan applied and was accepted into the police force – but is still a member of an organised crime group.
He is clearly up to more than just police work – as you can see when he attempts to drown Terry Boyle.
There is such a unity in hating this one character, as the world of Twitter can attest to.
There is something incredibly unique about this, as it is a very rare quality in on-screen drama.
Can Someone Do Something About Terry Boyle?
Read more: Line Of Duty Season 6 Episode 2 Review
Wouldn’t it be great if disabled people were more than just an ‘enabler’ of the plotline?
Terry Boyle is currently on police bail, but has not committed any crime.
Terry has Downs Syndrome – and the organised crime group has taken advantage of this, such as by making him a victim of cuckooing.
The downfall of Line Of Duty is that disability is largely just the ‘enabler’ of the plotline, in that people wrongly accused of a crime are often disabled – and they form no larger part of the dialogue.
The language of suffering should be changed, too.
But please, someone just hug this poor man – he has survived so much, in a system not designed for him.
Poor Steve Arnott – Just Give Him A Hug, Someone
In a return to true form, we see Steve Arnott talking to the widow of a former suspect – and ardent fans of Line Of Duty will know what that usually means.
However, the character development is really quite interesting – showing more of a vulnerable side to Arnott than previously thought.
We know that two series’ ago that Arnott was really seriously injured; he survived a murder attempt when thrown downstairs, landing with a sickening crash at the bottom of several flights of stairs.
(Re-watching it is always met from behind closed eyes.)
But Arnott clearly has developed a serious condition since, enough so he has stockpiled a huge amount of painkillers just to cope.
He is a lonely soul – and just needs a bit of a hug, really.
Maybe not from the widow of a former suspect, though – and one who he suspects has been paid some bribe money.
What The Hell Is Up With Hastings?
Hastings has retreated to become something of an elusive figure which is incredibly frustrating to watch.
But just what is his game, his deal?
The concept of ‘H’ and who that is is still ever-present, in kind of vague, puttering terms.
He was accused on multiple occasions of being ‘H’ but it was never proved.
But he gave £50,000 to Corbett’s widow, which Arnott found, having acquired double that from a corrupt officer.
It just screams ‘bribe money.’
Simply put, just what the Hell is up with Hastings?
He has ordered double drugs testing, is shady about talking to Corbett’s widow, and wants to continue investigating ‘H’ despite everyone standing in the way. Huh?
What do you make of this story? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages! And if you enjoy listening to film podcasts, why not check out our podcasts, Small Screen Stories and Small Screen Film Club wherever you get your podcasts!