Written by Hannah Dunleavy


Duty Calls

Episode three of Line of Duty and, as Hannah Dunleavy discovers, Dot’s got more mobile phones than Jackie’s got versions of events. Contains SPOILERS.

Supt Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar), DS Steve Arnott (Martin Compston) and DC Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure): here to catch bent coppers, apparently. Photo: Steffan Hill/World Productions.

Supt Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar), DS Steve Arnott (Martin Compston) and DC Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure): here to catch bent coppers, apparently. Photo: Steffan Hill/World Productions.

In the six-episode BBC drama format, number three is usually the place-setter and it was true here, with both a lot and not much happening. Until the very end when Denton was loosed from jail, but more on that later. OBVIOUSLY.

Episode three worked more in some places than others but let’s start with…

Danny’s mission

So, the horrors of Danny’s time in care, hinted at in the first episode, were given a little more detail, but I’ve got to say this story didn’t work for me. Even though Steve’s intervention in the case was clearly too little, way too late, at the same time it felt rushed.

If you’re going to tackle endemic and widespread abuse of children in care – particularly if you are going to be as on-the-nose as to have a morbidly obese local politician involved – you’ve got to do it well and I’m not currently convinced. But, we’ve still three episodes to go, so I’m happy to believe it’ll improve. Onwards.

Kiss me, Kate

Dear. God. NO. Kate and Dot. NO. In truth, I’m not sure what’s happening here. One minute she’s put on round-the-clock surveillance of Harry, the next she’s knocking back the wine with that bad bastard.

Line of Duty has gone out of its way to show lonely single women as unhinged so maybe Kate did listen to the contents of Dot’s Cooking for Divorcees and his story about the bookies and think ‘take me now’. Or maybe she’s sussed him and is luring him into her trap with her gorgeous Caramel Bunny eyes. You never know with this series. All I do know is this: NO.

In other news Kate blew her own cover, which was a different way to go, for reasons that aren’t immediately clear to me, but hopefully don’t invalidate the results of the office sweepstake Dot surely started on how long she’d last this time.

I don’t want your freedom

OK, maybe I do. We had to wait half an hour before even a sniff of Denton, but her incredible mix of self-righteousness, ingenuity and persistence made her despicable and admirable at the same time. Her answers were so wonderfully rehearsed and evasive I’m starting to suspect she’s got money in Panama.

Join the Dots

Busy week for Dot; he indulged in a bit of half-arsed woo, hit himself in the face, grandstanded the fuck out of that meeting with Harry and got a standing ovation at work. Plus a cracking scene at the end with his work phone, his personal phone, his bad bastard phones and his landline all ringing. And at least one of them will be someone asking if he or anyone he knows has been in an accident in the last five years.

If I’m inaccurate, I’ll be corrected

Best bit of the week: Steve shouting “Secure that phone” and a policeman running and standing next to it.

The numbers

Neil Morrissey sightings: 0 (where are you Neil?)

Use of the words “we’re here to catch bent coppers”: 1

Red notices: 1

Times Jackie said “54”: A lot.

The big questions

How many times do we reckon Denton rehearsed that “I forgive you” bit?

How is Polly Walker’s hair so bouncy?

What does Dot have with the chilli on night three?

Read all of Hannah’s Line of Duty blogs here and catch up on previous episodes via BBC iPlayer here.


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Written by Hannah Dunleavy

Hannah Dunleavy is the deputy editor of Standard Issue. She likes whisky and not having to run anywhere.