Your Line of Duty series four episode three questions – answered

Baffled by the latest developments of the BBC1 cop drama? Let us (try to) explain...

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There were a lot of surprising twists and turns in Line of Duty – the identity of balaclava man became even more mystifying, and it turns out people we thought were “good” are actually… bad.

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Here, we’ve posed our biggest questions from series four, episode three, and – to the best of our knowledge – provided some answers to help you make sense of it all…

1. Why has Hana been arrested?

Hana was the last person to have seen Tim Ifield alive, so was taken in by Roz Huntley’s team for voluntary questioning. Roz’s theory that she put to Hana, rather manipulatively, was this: Tim began to groom Hana as a victim, he invited her back to his flat, gained her trust, and lured her there to kill her. She then killed him in self defence.

But the scene in the interview room felt a little strange. On the one hand, the cops working under Roz’s command seemed to be purposefully taking a hard line with Hana, overwhelming her with relentless questions and theories. On the other, they seemed to be unsure, and when ordered by Roz to arrest Hana, there was a noticeable hesitation from Jodie. It’s like she knows they’re clutching at straws.

The subsequent search of Hana’s flat uncovered bedsheets, towels and condoms with Tim’s DNA on them, plus a stash of money, suggesting that the two of them had been sleeping together before he was killed. This, and a number of suspicious calls from Hana to Tim’s phone, gives the police (or – more importantly – Roz) the opportunity to label Hana as a prime suspect in the investigation into Tim’s murder.

2. What is Michael Farmer actually guilty of?

Poor Michael. A lot of serious accusations have been thrown his way but – despite Roz’s best efforts – it’s becoming increasingly clear that he is not ‘balaclava man’: he’s got the wrong shoe size, he’s prone to false confessions, and – most important of all – there’s a man in a balaclava causing a lot of havoc out in the world and it’s definitely not Michael, because he’s in custody.

Although, Michael isn’t entirely innocent. Episode three saw saw a girl come forward to police and identify him as a man who had assaulted her on the way home “a while ago”. When questioned about this, Michael said he didn’t mean to scare her and he was just lonely – it was the only charge he could properly understand that was brought against him.

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3. What is the gash on Roz’s arm?

That nasty, deep-looking laceration on Roz’s arm looks to be a result of the struggle that we presume she had with Tim Ifield – and due to its severity, we’re betting that it was caused by the chainsaw he was holding. Our working theory is that Roz woke up to see Tim about to dismember her and in the ensuing tussle was caught by the weapon (although she got off lightly – it was Tim who sustained a fatal wound to his neck).

But it looks like her nasty gash might be the undoing of Roz – the more we see it, the worse it looks and she can’t see a doctor without attracting unwanted attention. There’s only so much an antiseptic spray and a bit of wrist massaging can do…

4. Why did Roz ask Kate to extend her secondment?

Roz may suspect Kate but she’s too clever to simply show her the door. This is a case of keep your friends close, but your enemies closer. Roz’s keen protégé Jodie spotted Kate looking into KRG13 – the forensics bag that was written over when Roz swapped her own DNA for Tim’s.

Jodie told Roz that she had seen Kate snooping around in the evidence room, and now it seems like Roz wants her to remain on the team so she can keep a close eye on her. How long till she twigs that Kate is AC-12 and working undercover?

5. What is so important about Roz’s phone records?

Voicemails left on Roz’s phone by her kids on the night of Tim’s murder, asking if they could order a pizza, suggest that she had left them alone – a direct contradiction of her account that she was at the house unwell. It suggests to AC-12 that Roz’s phone may have been at home on that night (as it was) – but she wasn’t.

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6. What is on Tim’s burner phone?

When the police seized Hana’s phone, they found that she had made several calls to an untraceable number around the time of Tim’s murder. She admitted that Tim had a secret phone, and that’s where the number came from – but the police are yet to uncover it (perhaps it’s one of the items Roz swiped from the crime scene?).

Does Tim’s burner phone contain communications between him and Hana that might reveal clues about their relationship? It’s still very unclear why Tim approached her in the café she worked in – a woman whose abduction and attempted murder case he’d been working on. And the fact that Hana was seemingly unaware that he did the forensics on the case makes it all the more creepy… 

7. What was Nick Huntley’s car doing outside Tim Ifield’s flat?

This is where it gets really confusing. If it was Nick driving the car to pick up Roz, then why would they be having conversations in the kitchen with him desperately asking her where she was that night? It would make a lot more sense if Roz just went to Tim’s in Nick’s car that night – but then why did Tim’s neighbour say it was a white man she saw driving?

8. Who beat up Steve Arnott? Is he dead?

The million dollar question here is who beat up Steve – answer that and it looks like you’ll have the identity of balaclava man. It could be Nick, but it seems unlikely as he was in a suit mere seconds before the attack, on a different floor – and if he’s so guilty then why is he unaware of what Roz is up to? We know it’s not Tim Ifield or Michael Farmer, given that one is dead and the other locked up. Could it be the unseen “criminal solicitor” named Jimmy Lakewell? Or maybe it’s a mystery party – someone Roz has been paid to protect; the real perpetrator of the crimes poor Michael Farmer is being framed for.

Whoever it is, it’s unlikely Steve will be able to identify them. When last we saw the AC-12 detective, he was lying unconscious, looking like he might never wake up again. Will he survive? He’s made of tough stuff but he wouldn’t be the first of Ted Hastings’ officers to fall to their death from a height.

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This article was originally published in April 2017