Director: Jennie Darnell
Starring: Kelly Macdonald, Martin Compston, Vicky McClure, Adrian Dunbar
If this was the last episode of a TV drama Jed Mercurio was to ever write for TV, then it would leave one Hell of a legacy. When it was announced that Line Of Duty was coming back to our screens, some of us were perhaps more joyous than others. (Because – and hear me out – it’s hard to not get too attached to socialising and pub visits, when a full global pandemic is raging, you have yet to be vaccinated, and the expectation is that you’ll go out and be stupidly reckless.) No thanks. Line Of Duty was calling me back to safety.
Episode four was left on a huge cliffhanger, with key cop Jo Davidson being the relation of some hotly anticipated person. And episode five just got even weirder. Spoilers are beyond this point, and, as per usual, if you have not seen Line Of Duty, go back and watch from episode one.
Hastings Seems To Be At The Centre Of It All
For a little while now, the head of AC-12 has been accused of being H, a member of a group of four corrupt officers known to command a clandestine network. We have seen three already caught, prosecuted (largely), but a fourth person is still at large. We don’t know if it is a man or woman – which raises the question it is a female, a person right at the top.
Hastings seems to be at the centre of it all – but it would be far too obvious to say that he was H, by a long shot. He has been forced into early retirement, ousted from his position. The man in charge of the three almagamated units we know to be corrupt from series one, as he covered up an operation where an innocent bystander was shot dead.
The bribe money has not been explained yet – and why the widow of John Corbett was given such a huge sum. But Hastings is at the heart of it.
It All Goes Back to The Very Start Of The Franchise
If you have not watched this from series one, you should do – or at least start with a very basic recap. This was the episode where questions raised right back in the first series were starting to be explained, and some things finally started to make sense.
We now know that Jo Davidson is a relative of Tommy Hunter, thanks to DNA analysis carried out by AC-12. They are blood relatives – and likely closer than most would seem to suggest. Hunter was the original leader of the organised crime group, where he dealt in acts such as trafficking young women and girls; Lindsay Denton and Jane Akers got together, directed by Matthew ‘Dot’ Cotton (as the Caddie) to kill him. He eventually gave in and entered into witness protection, yet the question as to motive for him being killed was never really fully established. His son was also probably protected on his orders by a police officer who has been missing a long time, seemingly played by James Nesbitt. (Yes, you read that right.)
A little bit confusing at time, the tension was building ever so slowly, in a brilliantly captivating way.
And The ***** Is Back
Stars are needed – but just like Britney, the ***** is back. And in brilliant, passive-aggressive, totally unsubtle fashion too. Patricia Carmichael really had it in for Hastings in the previous series, but really screwed up in her crusade to prove he was H. Her armed officers were also corrupt, as was a junior rank who attacked a witness. Hastings’ current boss was reviewing the operation with Carmichael in the last series, too – and this suggests they both have it in for him.
But is she H? It seems a bit too obvious.
Trigger Warnings Are Needed
Line Of Duty adds details in the from reality to bring the series alive, such as by referencing a podcast about the murder of Daniel Morgan. A little while ago, a series was criticised for flashing a photograph of Jimmy Savile on screen, for one of the longest interrogation scenes.
Trigger warnings are not a form of censorship, as you are still broadcasting your thoughts/opinion/etc. The show really needs this – because of references to child abuse, and themes such as addiction.
Patrick Fairbank was convicted for his activities in child exploitation from a boys home, while in a position of power; in other words, he sexually abused and enabled the sexual abuse of minors. However, by the time he was caught, he was diagnosed with Dementia. Steve and Chloe question him while in hospital, and Steve loses his cool and begins to shout – and the man wets himself.
This is uncomfortable viewing. Content warnings are needed.
Poor Kate Fleming
In the last few minutes, a set up for a shootout began to build. Jo Davidson had to set up Kate Fleming to kill her, overseen by Ryan. The dodgy ‘H’ computer had returned, at the same time Carmicheal kills surveillance in her possessive overtaking of the anti-corruption units. She knows something is up, with Arnott and Hastings quickly scrambling to her location.
Fan theories suggest she is well and truly alive, as a trailer shows her and Jo running towards Hastings, in the same clothes. But Ryan has confessed to the killing of two others, too.
Poor Kate Fleming. She was just trying to be a decent police officer. And ended up in the line of fire, too.
The Banks Question Was Finally Explained
Lee Banks is the brother of the man who wound up dead. He alleged to Steve Hastings was the one who told him about John Corbett in the last series, too, hence why he ended up dead.
Well, this was explained – but what will be done about it? Another bombshell was dropped – but a solution not presented.
But What About Corruption Culture? What will be done? Two episodes left, and all to play for.
What do you make of this review of Line Of Duty Season 6 Episode 5?
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