**Warning: Spoilers if you haven’t seen Line of Duty series 4 episode 2**
So, Roz Huntley has sensationally got the upper hand.
In an episode which opened with us not even sure if she was still alive, we discovered that not only did she kill meddling forensics co-coordinator Tim Ifield, she managed to put herself on the case investigating his murder.
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Smart work, if you can get it. Or if you’re as smart as she is.
She was also cunning enough to tamper with the evidence in Ifield’s flat after he was discovered drained of blood – firstly replacing an evidence bag with her DNA on it from the murder scene and then putting Ifield’s DNA on the dismembered corpse of Leonie Collersdale (which was also discovered this episode).
Now it looks to the outside world as if Ifield was tampering with evidence, allowing Huntley to end tonight’s proceedings by convincing her boss, ACC Derek Hilton, that AC-12 need to call off their attack dogs.
That was despite a near-miss after she misheard the evidence code as KRG-30 not KRG-13, realising her error while she was in the middle of submitting a different sample at the police station and re-writing the code on her new bag.
With Huntley in the ascendance it was a bleak end to an involving episode which felt far more satisfying than last week’s opener with less flabby dialogue and exposition.
The AC-12 team started off by cornering Huntley in one of those classic Line of Duty interview scenes we know and love, proving that she had overlooked key evidence suggesting suspect Michael Farmer’s innocence.
Ted Hastings sat in on the interview (yes, we even got the really long bleeps!) and seemed cock of the walk, ticking off Huntley’s lawyer – “Federation rep or not you will address me as sir” – before successfully seeing to it that she was taken off Operation Trapdoor and replaced with DCI Ian Buckells, a cop you may recognise from series one.
But it seems likely that Buckells will be relieved of his duties in episode three and Huntley will be put back on Trapdoor after planting the fake evidence on Collisdale’s body. She intends to show that Tim had a vendetta against her and may be the killer after all.
In other news, Kate passed her inspector’s exams – but Steve got the promotion. She wanted to have a drink with Hastings to celebrate her achievement, something he felt he couldn’t do in a scene of chronic awkwardness, later explaining to Steve – at the pub, incidentally – that he couldn’t take a female colleague for a bevvy. It’s clearly still very much a man’s world in the police service.
Sexism is clearly a theme of this series, and there was a sense that on that score Huntley has her virtues. When she’d been taken off the case, Hilton was overheard telling the team investigating the two murders: “At least we’re allowed to call them prostitutes”. Under Huntley’s watch that would never have been allowed, as she made clear in episode one.
But we also saw the human cost of her nefariousness – poor Michael Farmer was left alone in an excrement-stained cell with the word BEAST painted across the walls.
The way things are going he could be there for a long time to come.
This article was originally published in April 2017