Written by Hannah Dunleavy


Duty Calls

After Line of Duty‘s explosive final episode, Hannah Dunleavy‘s just glad that Bring Your Baby to Work Day and Bring Your Cop Killer to Work Day didn’t clash this year. Contains SPOILERS.

DC Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure) finally gets her Die Hard moment. Photos: Mark Bourdillon/World Productions.

DC Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure) finally gets her Die Hard moment. Photos: Mark Bourdillon/World Productions.

Joining the Dots

Line of Duty is nothing if not densely plotted as evidenced by an epic pre-credits catch-up which felt like it took up much of the extra half hour.

In the end, it all hinged around those two long, long interview scenes: Steve facing his colleagues and, later, Dot (who had a legal rep who looked like Richard from Guess Who) attempting to get one over on Ted and Kate, while his heavily armed familiar lurked outside.

While it seemed insane anyone would believe Steve was responsible for the death of (aah, poor Lindsay) Denton, it certainly helped the audience identify with the pit-of-the-stomach rage Martin Compston did such a great job with. (At one point I actually shouted at the telly, “FFS, someone check the ANPR cameras in the area.”*)

*I worked for a long time in local news, as opposed to in crime. For the record. Although, it’s wise to stay on the ball since I work at home and would therefore be the perfect person to set up for a murder.**

** Please don’t.

Steve’s interview also contained the excruciating moment in which Ted had to listen to an audio recording of him and Denton dry humping. I can never unhear that.

Steve’s teary desperation and Dot’s unconcealed enjoyment made it pretty clear one of two things was eventually going to happen: Kate was going to switch sides or Dot was going to over-reach himself.

In the end it was both. Planting a phone is one thing, planting money is another; suggesting a man watches Homes Under the Hammer is unforgivable.

It was, however, the tee – the most convoluted clue pulled from an envelope since 3-2-1 went off the air – that tipped him into dangerous territory.

Line of Duty‘s tried to portray Dot as a bit more sympathetic than your average kingpin and nowhere more so than here, when he threw himself in front of Kate to save her life. Although, it was probably for the best since he was being haunted by Denton as that woman would never, ever give up.

So long Dot, the bent-est of all the bent coppers.

“Are you right there Ted?”

Admirable a performance as Compston and Craig Parkinson turned in this week, for me, Fatherly Ted had the episode all stitched up. A cracking selection of stern looks by Adrian Dunbar was aided and abetted by some lovely writing, from his opening “Mother of God” to talk of Grandma’s nightgown and that thundering “I’m totally bloody calm.” Loads more of this please Line of Duty.

“Steve’s interview contained the excruciating moment in which Ted had to listen to an audio recording of him and Denton dry humping. I can never unhear that.”

That is the kind of machinations up with which I will not put

So Gill of the Julii, as we suspected, is not just a fan of grammar, she’s a terrible human being. Although I’m not clear where that leaves Polly Walker in terms of whether we’ll see her again. Former Chief Superintendent Sideburns didn’t manage to escape the long arm of the law, despite his lawyer – and his sideburns – suggesting he was incapable of rational thought. I’m assuming it’s also the last we’ll see of George Costigan, who is rather excellent in everything he is in, which is everything.

Follow that man

I had a moan last week that Vicky McClure hasn’t had much to do this series and it remained much the same here, until those final 15 minutes. (I’m wondering now if that’s how they sold it to her: “It’s pretty much nothing for five-and-a-half hours but the last half hour you get to go a bit Die Hard.”)

McClure is excellent so I can only hope when we get more LoD, we get more Kate – although having attended two internal award ceremonies in the last two episodes, I’m guessing her chance of pulling off undercover work is going to be seriously limited.

I’ve got to say I still hate, hate, hate those fake ‘what happened next’ parts at the end and it was especially frustrating here, since it denied us the opportunity to see how Steve fitted back into AC-12, bearing in mind he’s now been on the other side of the table.

"I'm totally bloody calm": DS Steve Arnott (Martin Compston) and Supt Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar).

“I’m totally bloody calm”: DS Steve Arnott (Martin Compston) and Supt Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar).

Four and more?

Yep, there’s a new series coming next year, although where it can start considering they’ve tied a lot of stuff up neatly here, is anyone’s guess . Bearing in mind every single copper AC-12 has investigated has ended up dead – perhaps they could start there.

Other thoughts

Anyone else think that the final, long note of ‘drama music’ played before Dot’s interview sounded exactly like the noise at the start of the old-style taping system?

When Dot texted “job done” while sitting on the toilet, I half expected a minion to come to wipe his bum.

I like PC Bindra a lot. And not just because it was her who heard me screaming about number plates through the telly.

So the end-of-season round up (nope, never going to let it go) showed us Neil Morrissey mowing his lawn, but then failed to explain what happened to the guy Dot fitted up for Will Mellor’s murder. Odd choice.

Who here hasn’t blamed IT for professional incompetence?

I know it’s a coincidence, but it’s worth noting that the climaxes of both Happy Valley and LoD contained a female officer, chasing a male colleague to a road bridge and begging them to turn themselves in. And were both bloody great.

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.