Looks like there might be hope for Ted Hastings yet, fellas. At least that’s what we can deduce from newly-released Line of Duty series five finale images.
Just to be clear, the article below is all speculation based on images released by the BBC – but if you want to go in to the final episode completely blind, look away now.
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While the close of the previous episode showed Adrian Dunbar’s Superintendent banged up and suspected of being a bent copper, in the final episode Hastings at least appears to be out of prison – but is he still being questioned by Anna Maxwell Martin's DCS Patricia Carmichael?
In the new images released by the BBC, Hastings is still wearing his snug prison jumper, but instead of sitting in an interrogation room he appears to be standing shoulder to shoulder with DCS Carmichael in a briefing room.
And unlike the last episode, Hastings here doesn’t appear to be accompanied by his Federation rep Joel Rossport (Peter De Jersey), and there’s no sight of a constable standing outside threatening to put Ted back in the slammer.
Instead of sitting behind a desk, he's is standing up, examining items on a table. And there’s also a huge map behind him – wouldn’t it be shown on a screen if it was being used as evidence against him, like other AC integrations?
This all suggests that Hastings could, in fact, be helping an operation. But what? The map indicates a search is taking place, meaning the hunt for OCG members – or even 'H' – could be on.
Also, the photo below could be very significant. Not only can we spot DI Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure) on her radio as if an operation is ongoing, but doesn’t that look like Gill Bigelow (Polly Walker) in the bottom left corner?
While the pictures don’t reveal much more, they do tease a scene with Carmichael and a stern-faced DCC Wise (Elizabeth Rider) sat in front of a monitor.
What could be on this screen? Evidence that finally reveals who ‘H’ is? Or, as Carmichael's defensive arm-crossing suggests, something that proves Hastings’ innocence?
Whatever the answers, we can expect plenty of developments in the series finale, the episode clocking in at a whopping 90 minutes.
As Vicky McClure recently said on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, we can expect a "lot going on" – but the actress wouldn't say either way if viewers will find out the identity of 'H'.
"I just want you all to enjoy it. I’m saying this with a big grin on my face. It’s a big old 90-minute finish, there’s a lot going on," she said.
She added, “We’re all up for more; whether or not we’ll make it to more well let’s see. Series six has been confirmed so Jed [Mercurio] will have to get writing.”
Line of Duty series five ends Sunday 5th May at 9pm on BBC1