** WARNING: spoilers. Do NOT read if you have not see Line of Duty series three episode three **
“Catching criminals is tough enough,” sighed Adrian Dunbar’s Supt Ted Hastings in last week’s episode. “But catching coppers? God, give me strength…”
Well, after another tense and intricately-plotted episode, we know exactly how he feels. But, fear not. I think I just about followed what was going on.
The investigation into the firearms unit that opened the series appears all but over – two are dead (Waldron and Rod), one (Hari Bains) is in custody while the other (Jackie Brockford) has lost her job and is facing imminent prosecution.
The only person smiling is Craig Parkinson’s Matthew ‘Dot” Cottan, the dodgy AC-12 detective who has escaped scrutiny thus far. But maybe not for long.
Things are rarely that simple with Line of Duty and we are only at the half-way stage, after all.
In one of the other more shocking plot developments tonight, Keeley Hawes’ Lindsay Denton was released. Acquitted of conspiracy to murder and having served her time for the conspiracy to pervert the course of justice rap, she was set free. Cottan will be sleeping a little uneasily tonight.
Denton, of course, was involved in the series two conspiracy (although she doesn’t know about Cottan’s complicity). Denton, if you recall, tried to back out at the last minute. She took the rap, her co-conspirators Akers, Prasad and Cole were variously dispatched, leaving Dot, “the Caddy”, still in clover and still under cover.
But now? Well maybe things will change with Denton’s release.
The sight of Dot’s face as his many “burner” phones rang following news of her release suggested he will be finding it quite sticky, what with the criminal underworld now on tenterhooks about the whole thing.
Still, for Dot, it had gone so well up to that point.
Rod Kennedy (Will Mellor) died in last week’s episode, killed (hanged, in a warehouse) presumably at the hands of the dastardly Dot. I say that because the other suspect, Arsher Ali’s Hari Bains, suggested he was not involved when he revealed “I never killed Rod” after being confronted by the dodgy copper. Of course this phrasing also suggests that Bains may have killed Waldron…
Meanwhile Jackie Brockford (Leanne Best) faced a bleak future after confessing her complicity in the Waldron cover-up. But instead of being on the receiving end of tea and sympathy from Hastings, she got a lecture in headmasterly stentoriousness – telling her off, firing her and warning her she faced charges. Oops.
You tell the truth in this world, you get it in the neck. You lie and kill like Cottan, you get a commendation. Yes, that’s right. Hastings is giving Cottan a prize.
Elsewhere Arnott dug deeper into the care home sex scandal, offering a ray of hope to Joe (Jonas Armstrong), one of its surviving victims.
”Is Danny the one …who’s got people listening to us at last?” asked a clearly still-traumatised Joe.
“Yeah, he is,” replied Arnott.
Well, in a manner of speaking, he is. It was a moving moment, and one of very few offering much of a glimmer of hope this episode.
But a number of questions remain.
You probably have a few of your own but for me, I am keen to find out the real meaning of the list of names left by Waldron for Arnott but destroyed by Dot.
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Included on the list were Tommy (crossed out because he is dead?), Ronan, Linus and Roach. But who are the others? Is this a list of criminal conspirators who were also involved in the care home sexual abuse affecting Waldron. Was poor Carly Kirk from series two a victim of the same ring as well?
And what did Denton mean by saying “I forgive you” to Arnott? Surely she doesn’t mean that? Not Denton. She wouldn’t forgive anyone anything.
I have more questions, of course. I bet you all have scores of your own. Tune in next week and things may be a little clearer. Only a little, mind. This man needs to be at the top of his game.