Your Line of Duty series four episode two questions – answered

Confused by the latest plot twists of the BBC1 cop drama? Let us (try and) explain...

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If you’re anything like us, you’re left scratching your head after an episode of Line of Duty. You’re filled with questions and find yourself drawing ever more complicated mind maps to process what you just saw. It’s a slippery slope, so let us help…

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We’ve posed our biggest questions from episode two, and – to the best of our knowledge – provided some answers to help you get your head around it all.

1. How did Tim Ifield’s DNA end up on Leonie Collersdale dismembered body?

Towards the end of episode two, we saw the revelation that traces of Tim’s DNA had been found on the remains of Leonie – one of the two girls murdered by the so-called ‘balaclava man’. Episode one, of course, saw the forensic scientist don a black balaclava as he headed out for supplies (ie. a chainsaw) to dispose of what he thought was DCI Roz Huntley’s dead body. We now know she was still alive – but at the end of episode one, we found ourselves asking if Tim really was the balaclava man responsible for the horrific murders.

Skip forward a week and we’re all but convinced that he wasn’t – any evidence connecting him with Leonie was planted by Roz.

After her struggle with Tim in his flat – which ended with the forensic investigator sustaining a fatal neck wound – Roz stripped him of his bloody body suit and relieved him of three of his fingers to ensure none of her DNA was found at the crime scene. She missed one patch, though, and was forced to take a swab of Tim’s bloodied clothes and swap it with the sample taken from his flat in order to ensure she wasn’t implicated.

But devious Roz went one step further, sneaking into the forensics lab a second time and planting Tim’s DNA on Leonie’s remains. After nudging Rupal to re-examine the evidence, lo and behold, it was revealed that Tim was connected to the murder, giving Huntley the upper hand over AC-12 who were relying on his evidence to investigate her…

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2. How did Roz get reinstated on Operation Trapdoor?

With evidence planted that suggests Tim might be connected to Leonie’s murder – and by association the killing and dismemberment of a second girl – Roz marched off to see her boss, ACC Hilton. Now, Hilton didn’t seem to be the sharpest tool in the box as he willingly swallowed Huntley’s ‘suspicions’ that it was Tim who tipped off AC-12 in a bid to avoid being investigated himself.

It worked. With Tim’s evidence called into question, Hilton was convinced that Roz was the right person to lead Operation Trapdoor and put her back at its helm. So now she’s investigating a murder she’s responsible for and AC-12 are on the backfoot. Your move, Ted Hastings.

3. Who is DCI Buckells?

The man chosen to replace Roz on Trapdoor is DCI Ian Buckells. It’s clear from the off that we’re supposed to recognise him but Line of Duty doesn’t offer much by way of explanation so we’ve created a handy guide to Buckells and where we’ve seen him before.

4. How did Roz know that it was Tim who tipped off AC-12?

When she strolled into Hilton’s office, Roz’s hypothesis that it was Tim who had gone to the anti-corruption unit sounded like an educated guess. But, in fact, she knew full well that it was the forensics investigator who had blown the whistle. She found out as much when she paid a late-night visit to his flat – a social call that ended in Tim’s grisly death.

Roz had realised his deception when her young detective Jodie spotted Tim examining the forensic reports into Hana’s abduction.

And she was surely in no doubt during her AC-12 interview that it was Tim who supplied Ted and Steve with the body profiling evidence that determined the length of balaclava man’s size ten feet – a mismatch with suspect Michael Farmer’s size eight.

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5. What really happened between Roz and Tim that night at his flat? 

For now, this is going to have to be more of an educated guess than a presentation of hard facts…

Just before the credits rolled on episode one, we saw a newly-conscious Roz staring up at Tim as he held a giant chainsaw over her head, ready to dismember her body. We know that Roz came out the better with Tim found dead shortly after. But the nasty laceration on her wrist suggests a struggle between the pair before he ended up with that neck wound.

What happened next was clearly the work of a master investigator. With Tim bleeding out, Roz stripped him of the forensics body suit covered in his blood and mopped up a fair bit of the mess. As Steve and Ted pointed out, Tim – aware his time was nearly up – tried to claw at his killer to incriminate her but Roz was wise to it, removing three of his fingers in a bid to hide her crime.

Based on Steve’s theorising, it looks likely that she was either unable to move the body – or she was interrupted by Hana who had stopped round to clean Tim’s flat. Which leads us to…

6. Why did Tim get in touch with Hana?

This one is also a little hazy… It was one thing for Tim to make contact with Hana to establish what happened the night she was abducted, but why did he ask her to visit his home? It’s a detail that played into Huntley’s hands as she attempted to frame him as balaclava man – but what was Tim really up to? Maybe he was innocently trying to prove Michael Farmer’s innocence or perhaps there’s more to find out about him as the investigation presses on…

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This article was originally published on 2 April 2017