All this time we’ve been chasing ‘H’ in Line of Duty, and it turns out we had just misinterpreted the whole thing.
What DI Dot Cottan was trying to tell us in his dying declaration was that there were FOUR Dots, that is – four ‘H’-es or four ‘Caddies’. And it all came down to a morse code hand signal, caught on police body-cam and finally noticed by DI Steve Arnott… from a still image.
“Now the frame it was frozen on during your interview made me spot something we’ve all missed,” Steve (Martin Compston) said in the final moments of Line of Duty series five. “Look at Dot’s left hand. Dot was trying to tell us something before he lost consciousness.”
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Looking at Dot’s tapping fingers, DI Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure) explains: “It’s Morse code. Dot dot dot dot.”
Steve adds: “The letter H in Morse code is four dots. ‘H’ is not an initial, it’s a clue. Four dots. Four caddies. Four police staff in league with organised crime.”
“Dot. Hilton. Gill,” says Kate. “Plus one more.”
But fans were NOT fully convinced by the twist…
— David Brown (@MrDavidEBrown) May 5, 2019
#LineOfDuty Ok, the Morse Code thing? How did they get 4 from his finger tapping?! I get 4 dots is ‘H’ but how did they get to 4 bent coppers from that?? ?
— Andrea Liotta (@LiottaRia) May 6, 2019
So he blinked on H to tell them it was morse co—what? #lineofduty
— Steven Perkins (@stevenperkins) May 5, 2019
The (possibly unfair) disapppintment for me is that Mercurio clearly hadn’t decided who H was when Dot was dying. Or if he had, he’s changed it. Cos there’s no way he was thinking about the Morse code when he wrote that scene#LineofDuty #LineofDutyFinale
— Amy (@AmyxJean) May 6, 2019
Plus, there was this very fair point:
DS Steve Arnott , is the only person I know that can spot that someone is signalling in "Morse" code…. From looking at a "freeze" framed image of a video clip !!! #LineOfDuty
— Mitch (@_MM1965_) May 6, 2019
Could he not have chosen a more… obvious way of communicating his message?
— Annie (@annieflores_) May 5, 2019
Still trying to figure out why Dot Cottan decided to tap out the letter H in Morse code rather than hold up four fingers. Seems like an unnecessary, and frankly convoluted, effort for a dying man ? #LineOfDuty
— Jason McIntosh (@JasonMcIntosh88) May 5, 2019
— Marco (@markbatley) May 5, 2019
If he could move his hand, why didn’t he hold up 4 fingers instead of going dot dot dot dot?.have I missed something?#LineOfDuty
— Alice Arnold (@alicearnold1) May 5, 2019
And there were some people taking the micky…
How did we miss it?
Before he died Dot left £6.00 in his desk drawer.
The exact amount needed to buy four teas from the office vending machine.
Four teas, four tees.
Four tees equals four caddies…#LineOfDuty
— Paul D M Gibson (@PaulDMGibson) May 6, 2019
End of next series: Dot wasn’t using Morse, he was using binary, and there are FIFTEEN Caddies #LineOfDuty
— Scott Matthewman (@scottm) May 5, 2019
When I, on the point of death, want to pass on a great secret then I'm going to do so by tapping out the message in Morse Code with my fingers in the hope that it's all being filmed and, years later, someone will realise what's happening from a still image. ?? #LineOfDuty
— Ewan Smith (@ewanandsmith) May 6, 2019
That said, some VERY SMART fans did work this out in advance, over on the Line of Duty Facebook page…
— BBC One (@BBCOne) May 5, 2019
But overall, the finale was a BIG hit with Line of Duty fans:
MOTHER OF GOD. Proving that if a series is as good as #LineOfDuty we will come back each week, it doesn't have to be all on demand! The build up of weekly tension has been superb. Best series so far. I hope Ted and his unflappable hair are content. I am. #LineofDutyFinale ? pic.twitter.com/87JbtF0SiK
— Paul Dunphy Esquire (@pauldunphy) May 5, 2019
BRILLIANT acting from Anna Maxwell-Martin – jeez she was sinister, patronising, intimidating, clever, sarcastic. OUTSTANDING performances from Adrian Dunbar, @Vicky_McClure , @martin_compston . What a series @jed_mercurio #LineofDuty
— Victoria Derbyshire (@vicderbyshire) May 5, 2019
— Liam O'Dell (@LiamODellUK) May 5, 2019
And everyone did love this ICONIC line, including McClure herself. Compston commented: “I can’t tell you how many times I ran this with Vicky McClure, not because she needed any practise she just loved saying it…”
— Angela Harvey (@harvatious82) May 5, 2019