9 burning questions we have after Line of Duty series 3 episode 3

How is Tommy Hunter linked to Danny Waldron? Who is calling Dot? And what will DI Denton do next?

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She’s out. After 585 days inside – and two years of Keeley Hawes deceiving us all  – DI Denton was cleared of conspiracy to murder and walked free. With her time already served behind bars counting towards her sentence for perverting the course of justice, Denton left her appeal a free woman – and the first thing she did? “Forgive,” DS Steve Arnott for “planting” the evidence that convicted her.

Did she really mean it? The glint in her eye – and her telling glance towards Steve during her barrister’s statement to the press – suggests otherwise, which leads us to suspect that Denton spent all those long hours inside plotting her revenge. As for Steve, will his actions – “showboating” in the words of Ted Hastings – lead to any repercussions? At the very least a summons into Ted’s office and another very loud dressing down, surely?

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Tommy Hunter, the villain of series one, was among series two’s body count thanks in no small part to Denton’s decision to help hand him over to the shady gangland figures determined to silence him. She was framed for his murder and we moved on to series three and the story of unhinged Danny Waldron. Separate stories, or so we thought, but when Danny Mays’ loose cannon was killed off, he left what looked like a hit list for Steve Arnott.

Arnott never saw it – the list was pocketed and burned by corrupt copper Dot Cottan (Tommy’s one-time man on the inside) – but we got a brief glimpse before it was set alight. On it were Sandsview staff Ronan and Linus Murphy along with known abuser Dale Roach, and… Tommy Hunter.

What’s the connection?

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On the subject of that list, who are Patrick and Gary? Presumably shadowy figures from those dark days at Sandsview, but without Danny’s tip off will Steve ever track them down and win justice for Joe and the rest of the young residents?

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We had our suspicions that it was Dot on the end of that phone. The bent copper at the heart of the police anti-corruption unit was revealed as the mystery texter dictating orders to an increasingly agitated Hari.

Why? Well, the answer to that question is probably caught up in the yet-to-be-revealed connection between Tommy and Danny. With Dot committed in his quest to keep his murky dealings with Tommy and others under wraps, the abandoned mobile phones in Hari’s house suggest it was the AC-12 insider who ordered the killings of both Danny and Rod. How long have he and Hari been in communication? Well, that’s yet another unanswered question for you to chew over…

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VC53 finally cracked under Kate’s pressure and arranged an interview with AC-12 to ‘fess up. She looked pretty upset as she revealed her ‘real’ version of events – but was she telling the truth this time? This is, after all, her third account of the day of Danny’s death.

And even if this is what she remembers from that day, it still doesn’t tell us who killed Sergeant Waldron. Did he engage his firearm as he entered the room? Or is Hari’s version of events not to be trusted? More on that below…

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Despite Dot’s best efforts to conceal it, the second post mortem revealed that Rod had in fact been murdered – and someone had taken special care to make it look like he’d committed suicide. But who did the deed? The police are sold on the evidence pointing towards Hari, but we’re not so sure. Yes, he met with Rod in the abandoned warehouse (where all bad things happen) the night before his death, but Hari told Dot (on the return to said warehouse) that “he was fine when I left him”.

“I never killed Rod,” he says – suggesting he did do away with Danny. But if Hari didn’t kill Rod, who did? Dot, presumably.

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Known aphrodisiacs: oysters, chocolate, red wine. Questionable aphrodisiacs: a leftover bowl of chilli. Nevertheless, Dot’s proposition to Kate – “I’ve got a pot on the simmer” – led to the pair bonding over a meal of leftovers and conversation soon turned to foods that compliment mince meat (“one night you might have it with rice, another a baked potato”) and their sad, lonely lives. As Dot did the dishes, the pair’s eyes met and lingered just a little longer than usual. Presumably he’s getting Kate on side so she’s blinded to his misdeeds – but will she fall for it? She certainly had a fond look on her face as she applauded Dot’s ‘valiant’ efforts to arrest Hari.

And while we’re on the subject of colleague couplings, what about Ted and Gill? Surely he can’t keep up this ‘married man’ ruse much longer…

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It’s been a series and a half since we, the viewers, learned that Dot “the Caddy” Cottan was the corrupt officer at the heart of the police force.

Said police force have got no closer to finding him out – you’d think in a building full of coppers, at least one of them would twig – yet tonight’s episode saw Dot’s cool grip on AC-12 stutter just a little. His failure to carry out Kate’s request for a second post mortem did not go unnoticed by Steve who glared at Dot’s empty desk as he pondered why his colleague hadn’t been doing his job. Dot may have come out of Hari’s arrest a hero, but we imagine it won’t be too long before another slip-up puts Steve on his tail.

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The end of tonight’s episode saw Lindsay Denton’s release from prison, a scenario clearly not in the best interests of Dot who was seen sat in front of the TV, surrounded by ringing mobile phones.

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First one went off, then another and another, as a visibly distressed Dot turned up the volume and screened the calls. Who’s so desperate to get hold of the Caddy? We can only imagine it’s the shadowy gangsters with whom Dot associates beginning to crowd in on him.