Line of Duty: Is forensics expert Tim Ifield the balaclava man?

A breakdown of what happened in those last few minutes – and what we know about Jason Watkins' character and the possible identity of balaclava man

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We need to talk about what just happened on Line of Duty. One moment Thandie Newton’s Roz Huntley was confronting her forensic expert – and whistleblower – Tim Ifield (Jason Watkins). The next he’d knocked her out cold and presumed she was dead. Except she wasn’t… (seriously, you’d think you could rely on a policeman to work out whether someone is alive or not?)

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As Ifield prepared to saw her body in half, Huntley’s eyes flickered open – and the scene cut to the credits, leaving the audience with a whole LOAD of questions. Chief among them: is Tim Ifield the balaclava man?

Balaclava man is the culprit behind two murders and a kidnap – crimes currently being pinned on Michael Farmer by chief investigator Huntley. But in the moments after flooring his colleague, Ifield pulled several evidence bags he’d filched from work and – crucially – a black balaclava from his bag, before heading out for supplies clad in the disguise.

Is he the real dangerous criminal? Let’s investigate…

So, IS Tim Ifield the balaclava man?

Three clues point to the theory that Tim Ifield is fishy: 1) he has taken police evidence back to his home, 2) he owns a balaclava identical to the one worn by the murder suspect, and 3) he goes to dismember Huntley like one of the previous two victims.

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But if he is balaclava man – then why would he be trying to free Michael Farmer?

If Ifield is the killer, it would be a strange move for him to divert Huntley from the suspect in custody, Michael Farmer, as a conviction would mean Ifield was off the hook. Surely he’d just go along with the police’s charges?

Or, is he NOT balaclava man and things just got out of hand?

It’s possible that after believing he’d killed Huntley, Ifield decided to try and frame balaclava man for the murder. The way he panics when he thinks she’s dead certainly makes it seem like he’s not a seasoned killer – and the scuffle all comes across as rather accidental. So instead of simply hiding the body, he attempts to pin the crime on a criminal everyone’s already after.

This is the theory we’re more inclined to lean towards – there’s something about the idea of Ifield as the serial killer that doesn’t quite click. Yes, he has a balaclava in his bag which is unexplained and more than a tad sinister and forces us to at least pose the question of his guilt. But surely he wouldn’t call AC-12 into an investigation if he wanted to keep his real identity hidden? No one’s that ballsy.

So why on earth did he have a balaclava?!

It’s the very question on our lips. We simply don’t know. And this being Line of Duty, we reckon we’ll be kept guessing for a good while longer…

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This article was originally published in March 2017