Fellas, this is the big one. Line of Duty boss Jed Mercurio has lined up an epic 90-minute series five finale which is guaranteed to be EXTREMELY TENSE. Will Ted Hastings clear his name? Will ruthless DCS Carmichael destroy him in the interview room? And will we ever find out who 'H' really is?
So here's the series five episode six sit rep: as Line of Duty fans across the nation settle in to watch the episode on BBC1, RadioTimes.com will be live blogging the entire episode below...
Live blog terminated at 11pm: It's been a ride, fellas.
I'll leave you with a COMPREHENSIVE selection of articles analysing the Line of Duty series five finale, from the evidence in Dot's dying declaration to the implications for series six to the questions we still have about Ted Hastings....
- Was THAT key piece of evidence in Dot Cottan's dying declaration there all along?
- Line of Duty: is Ted Hastings really innocent?
- Line of Duty series 5 finale recap: 7 major questions left unanswered
- What does that dramatic Line of Duty finale mean for the next series?
- Who could be the final ‘H’ in Line of Duty?
10.23pm: Here come the final bars of Carly Paradis' excellent musical score – I'm going to miss that Line of Duty music. And here comes the summary of what happened next. Hold on to your police hats!
- Kate got a commendation, but – despite her promotion to DI – she is clearly struggling with that work-life balance.
- Steve is still taking pain pills and looking sad and lonely at home. He also got a commendation! But when will he get a promotion?
- Lisa's in witness protection and now educates teenagers to avoid crime.
- Gill is in witness protection too and has received a new identity. Will she and Lisa both escape a Tommy Hunter-style execution?
- A formal misconduct hearing into unauthorised undercover operations found Hastings guilty of discreditable conduct, leaving him on a final written warning – but still in charge of AC-12.
- And Ryan's training to be a policeman! Here comes a new Caddy...
And finally, Mark Moffatt was convicted of bribery. "At his trial, Moffatt claimed the money detected in Edward Hastings' hotel room was only half the sum," reads the caption. Has Hastings managed to hide £50k?
Sure enough, there's Hastings holding a brown envelope – to hand over to Corbett's widow. We'll forgive him for being a little bit bent seeing as it's for a good cause...
10.21pm: PCC Rohan Sindwhani says "there is no institutionalised corruption in this police force" and closes the operation. Hah.
10.20pm: There were rumours that Craig Parkinson would somehow make a comeback as Dot Cottan in series five, and in some ways he has – but without having to literally return from the dead.
With Hastings back in uniform and Kate at his side, Steve lines up the video of Dot's dying declaration and explains: "Now the frame it was frozen on during your interview made me spot something we've all missed. Look at Dot's left hand. Dot was trying to tell us something before he lost consciousness." Sure enough, the fingers on Dot's hand are deliberately tapping out a pattern:
Kate: "Tap tap tap tap. Tap tap tap tap. It’s Morse code. Dot dot dot dot."
Steve: "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."
Kate: "Dot. Hilton. Gill. Plus one more."
Steve: "And they’re still out there."
Well that's series six sorted, then... though it does seem a little bit convenient that Steve Arnott suddenly had a brainwave about the video, based on seeing a still image of the video footage. How??
10.19pm: Lisa says no members of the OCG are still at large – but that's not quite true. Ryan Pilkington (aka the kid on the BMX from series one) is alive and well, and interviewing at police college! The cheek of it.
"Where I grew up it was easy to fall in with the wrong crowd," he says. "The person who made me see that there was another way to be a useful member of society was a police officer. PC Simon Bannerjee. He's the reason why I wanted to become a police officer too. To help people."
PC Simon Bannerjee was, of course, the do-gooding constable from series one (played by Neet Mohan, below) who tried to take young Ryan under his wing and set him back on the straight and narrow. Wonder what happened there...
10.17pm: We'd actually almost forgotten about Lisa McQueen, now enjoying the delights of Blackthorn Prison.
How did she know Corbett (aka "John Clayton") was undercover? According to her, she didn't: she just knew, from Lee Banks, that there was a rat in the OCG. So, she tested Corbett by seeing if he leaked the info about the meeting at the Palisades Shopping Centre, which she'd told only him about – and one of the OCG's insiders was sent to work in security at the centre, where he saw coppers waiting to ambush. Corbett's number was up.
Carmichael is still convinced Hastings was the one who told Lee Banks and blew his cover – and frankly, we can't rule that out.
But the AC-3 boss may never get the answers she's looking for, because DCC Wise calls an end to investigations: "It's a dead end, Patricia, close the case. You had a bent officer on your team. Glass houses."
10.16pm: And here comes the "Steve's had a thought" music. Oooooh! What's he thinking?
That has yet to be revealed, but it seems to have something to do with the video of Dot's dying declaration...
10.15pm: Steve shoots Tina! Badass. (Wonder if Kate and Steve ever got their cuppa, or if it just went cold on the kitchen counter?)
Looks like Tina survives the shot to her chest, but as the first aiders wheel her out to the ambulance on a stretcher, Steve comments: "The OCG didn't think Gill was worth saving. But someone gave the order to stop her talking." Kate responds: "Who?"
Someone is still calling the shots. 'H'?
10.14pm: Gill is crying in the loos while Carmichael's cop PS Tina Tranter (Natalie Gavin) escorts her for a pre-jail toilet trip. Tina's going to try and kill her, isn't she?
Theeeeere it is.
10.13pm: Time to get Gill and Hastings out of the building, starting with Carmichael and Hastings stepping into a lift and heading downstairs.
Hastings: "Thanks you two, I don't know what to say."
Kate: "Just doing our job"
Hastings: "It's a damn sight more than that."
IS HE GOING TO DIE? It feels like he might die. There's still time in the episode for him to die.
"I could murder a cuppa," says Kate.
10.11pm: It's a v v v tense wait, but nobody has come crashing through the door to save Gill. Turns out she's not as valuable as all that! Gill herself is looking less and less confident.
The Ted Hastings we know (and love) is suddenly back in business. Taking charge, Hastings suggests that Gill was enticed by the glamour – having been drawn in to the criminal life while working as a defence solicitor. And it was Gill who was trying to bring down AC-12 all along.
"It's always more palatable to offer up a rotten apple than to uncover institutionalised corruption. And as AC-12 had been a constant thorn in the side of the OCG, what better rotten apple than their commanding officer," he says.
Hastings also finally clocks that Gill stole some hairs from him to plant on Corbett's body ("hang on..."), and gives her a good dressing-down about Corbett's death which actually leaves her teary-eyed. What a satisfying end to an interrogation scene. (Side note: is this Line of Duty's longest-ever interrogation??)
10.08pm: Kate and Steve have guns! "I'm TFC" (that's tactical firearms commander) says Kate, taking control and forcing the guards outside the doors to put their guns on the floor. Her own team of AFOs run in.
It turns out Kate and Steve were one step ahead of Gill, detecting "apparent security lapses" on entering the building and realising Gill had lined up an exit plan just like Dot Cottan. Knew we could count on AC-12's dream team.
And to top it off, the burner phone is Gill's – not Ted's – so that was a Ted Herring.
10.07pm: Kate and Steve reveal their trump card: in the Corbett family home, there was an audio recording of a meeting between Gill Biggeloe and John Corbett from "a full month" before Pear Tree was assembled! It's currently inadmissible in court but we're going to hear it anyway...
"The RUC officer who betrayed your mother, his name's Hastings. Superintendent Ted Hastings," says Gill's voice. "From a private investigator who's been looking into Hastings' past... We're setting up an undercover officer to prove he's bent, to finally bring down the man who had your mother killed."
So, it was Gill who manipulated Corbett into believing Hastings is 'H'...
Hastings: "Why, Gill."
Gill: "It's complicated"
Carmichael: "We've got time"
Gill [triumphantly]: "Actually, you don't."
BAM! She's sent the text message.
10.05pm: "Gill Biggeloe, you do not have to say anything..." Kate begins. YES Kate, take her DOWN.
But then Gill reaches for her phone and lines up a text message. "Urgent exit required"
NO WAY! We might ACTUALLY get a Dot Cottan-style exit! It's not sent yet, but I'm shooting anxious looks at the armed officers outside the glass doors.
10.04pm: Here's what they discovered: Operation Pear Tree was originally authorised following instruction from PCC Rohan Sindwhani. Alison Powell was brought in to lead Pear Tree, and identified UCOs from outside forces who would be suitable; she submitted them to DCC Andrea Wise. Sindwhani's senior legal counsel (aka GILL BIGGELOE), operated on his behalf, then picked Corbett off the list and strongly recommended him for the job.
10.03pm: But it's not over yet!!
Kate and Steve power-walk into the office and barge straight past Carmichael. YES!!
Hastings is not initially pleased to see Kate and Steve. But doesn't he know this is his 'best team'? Here to save the day?
10.02pm: Gill Biggeloe coos: "You've got to hand it to Carmichael, there's a lot stacking up. And that's with setting aside the bundle of cash in your hotel room." She says she's on his side, but seems to take great delight in laying out how this case might go – and why it's certainly the end of AC-12.
10.01pm: Thank goodness we have another half an hour to go, because if the episode ended here we'd all die of collective frustration.
But just in time, Kate and Steve are back! "Where are the AFOs?" Steve asks Kyle; apparently, there was meant to be armed support while the gaffer was being interviewed.
I'm now getting flashbacks to Dot Cottan and the end of series three. Will this series also end with Kate clutching a gun and riding the side of a lorry? That would be bold move from Jed Mercurio.
10pm: Carmichael presses Hastings on the laptop disposal – with unexpected results.
"I was looking at pornography." says Superintendent Ted Hastings.
Reader, I yelped. Hastings is the daddy of AC-12! This is too much!
"Nothing illegal, nothing extreme," he explains. "I just did not want it to be found, that's all. Look, it was private stuff, so... my wife has left me. Jesus Christ. Look, I really don't want to discuss it."
Unless it was some seriously weird stuff and Hastings was expecting his laptop to be confiscated sometime soon, I'm not 100% sure I buy this explanation. Do you?
9.59pm: Carmichael suggests that Hastings didn't want to be found at the warehouse: "The net was closing in, your identity was slowly being unmasked. You'd reunited with the OCG in order to share in the profits of the Eastfield robbery."
Hastings said he'd risked his life and career because he was "so determined, and I was so desperate that AC-12 would not fail." Oh, poor Ted.
9.58pm: Ah, we're going to cover the "definately" incident!
Hastings is being kind of shifty about having deliberately "copied" the style of 'H' and misspelled "definitely" as "definately". It's possible the misspelling was either a conscious choice or simply a coincidence – but is it probable?
9.56pm: Another question we had was around the "code zero" call, during which Hastings diverted the AFOs away from the depot and therefore allowed the OCG to flee with £50m of goods. "'H' would have wanted the robbery to succeed, wouldn't he, so he could share in the proceeds?" Carmichael asks.
We also wondered about Hastings' motives for the unauthorised undercover operation, and his visit to the nightclub. "I was using them to find out where the proceeds were hidden," he says, not entirely convincingly.
"Who better to impersonate 'H' than 'H' himself?" asks Carmichael. Fair question.
"That is not what was happening... time was running out, I was desperate," he says.
9.54pm: Carmichael is wondering whether that laptop incriminates him for communication with the OCG. Hastings is silent.
9.53pm: The reappearance of the "burner phones"! Carmichael has identified a specific burner phone she says belongs to Ted, with clusters of activity over the last six weeks. This is NOT something we've covered so far in series five, but it does provide a lead-in to talk about in incident we HAVE seen on screen.
"Have you ever disposed of a communications device?" Carmichael asks, and Hastings is a deer in the headlights. And he lies... oh no, this is not going to go well.
AC-3 have spotted a significant gap of time when Hastings' phone was switched off, and it's the gap of time during the Eastfield Depot Raid when the rest of AC-12 were busy working. As Hastings stammers his way through an answer, Carmichael supplies the evidence: he was caught on camera carrying the laptop, via taxi, to an electronics disposal company.
Carmichael wants an explanation for this – and so do I. It's hard to think of a plausible, innocent reason for his drastic actions. Will Hastings be able to get out of this hole he's dug for himself?
9.49pm: Ah, now we're going to get into the idea of Hastings being 'H'. There's the Robert Denmoor shooting, when Hastings went all 'action man' in series three and took out the corrupt security guard during Dot Cottan's getaway; and there's the no-show of 'H' at Palisades Shopping Centre when Hastings had forced Steve to tell him about the planned meeting.
Everything is coming together against Hastings, who can only resort to Ted-isms: "For Christ's sake, what's going on here!"
9.46pm: New evidence! Strands of Hastings' hairs have been found on Corbett's body. "Must have been planted," he says. "I'm being framed." But Carmichael now has enough evidence to charge Hastings with the murder of John Corbett, even though we – as viewers – know it was actually Ryan who slashed the undercover cop's throat.
At this point we have some BIG QUESTIONS. Where did this new evidence come from? Why has it only just emerged? And who is involved in framing Hastings for Corbett's murder?
9.45pm: Gill and Carmichael are competing to be crowned Queen of Insincerity. "This must be awful for you Ted," says Gill. Yeah, right. Ted looks absolutely broken.
9.44pm: Revealed: Kate and Steve are visiting Steph Corbett! They need her "urgent help".
Meanwhile, time ticks on, and Ted is back to AC-12 HQ. But why is PS Kyle Ferringham (Richard Pepple) lurking around?
9.43pm: Oh boy! AC-3 have "new evidence" against Ted Hastings. Full of renewed confidence, Carmichael says she'll be seeking an extension of 12 hours to the custody period, ordering: "Take him to the cells."
"Looks like we got him, ma'am!" says Brandyce.
"You nearly cost me this case," Carmichael says in that quiet and deadly voice Anna Maxwell Martin does so well. "I'll be expecting your transfer request in the morning."
Ouch. Brandyce looks like a puppy who just got kicked.
9.42pm: Steve and Kate are on the chase; this time they're off to visit Detective Superintendent Alison Powell, to find out how John Corbett ended up being recruited to Operation Pear Tree. "Did he come to you first, ma'am? Did he volunteer?" Kate says, to an extremely defensive Powell.
"Look. I made the recommendations on Corbett. It was my operation. But you can't put all of this on me. I wasn't the only person involved," she says, turning off the tape recorder. Yes! That's when you get the good stuff.
"This is off the record," Powell says, and the next thing you know Kate and Steve are dashing out the door. ACTION MUSIC!! "Going to have to blue light it," DI Kate Fleming declares. Classic Line of Duty stuff! Inject it into my veins.
9.40pm: With six hours until they have to release or charge Hastings, Carmichael calls a temporary halt to regroup.
"It's a good job that someone was paying attention," says Gill, throwing shade at Hastings' extremely quiet solicitor Rossport ("God knows where your solicitor was in all that"). "This'll all go away, Ted. Trust me."
But as she walks out of the room, the smile falls from her face, so she's probably EVIL after all. What is she playing at?
9.39pm: Gill Biggeloe butts in! The PCC's senior legal counsel has an objection to make. Turns out section 18-5 is listed as the legal grounds for the search of Hastings' hotel room – but, originally, section 32 was the legal power used to carry out the search.
DI Brandyce admits "there was some confusion" while Carmichael gives her a look that should leave her chilled to the bone. The AC-3 boss is UNIMPRESSED and, for the first time, on the back foot.
Section 32 was the incorrect legal power – and only corrected after the search – so they won't be able to use the cache of £50,000 in evidence against Hastings. The judge will almost certainly exclude it.
Maybe Gill isn't so bad after all...
9.36pm: Operation Pear Tree had been on the lookout for a senior police officer "of senior or executive rank", and despite AC-12's declaration that Hilton was 'H', this separate operation was tasked with considering that this person was someone other than Derek Hilton.
You can see where this is leading. And so Hastings, after much blustering around, admits that he was accused by Hilton of being 'H', which – again – isn't a good look.
9.33pm: Was it an "inducement or reward" for telling Lee Banks that Corbett was an undercover officer, leading to his murder, Carmichael wonders? "What was John Corbett onto that you were so desperate to keep hidden? I'll repeat the question."
Ted says she has "fabricated a motive where none exists," but Carmichael is definitely winning this battle so far. As a side note, she has GREAT glasses.
9.31pm: Back for more interrogation! After a fairly interrogation-lite series five so far, Jed Mercurio is going all-in for the finale.
Next up, it's time to discuss that bundle of cash found in Hastings' hotel room. Forensic analysis detected pollen deposits linking the £50 notes to the cash recovered from Vihan Malhotra (Maneet's gambling addicted cousin) and PS Jane Cafferty (the corrupt AFO from the episode one raid). It clearly all came from the same pot.
9.30pm: And now it's time for a visit to shifty Mark Moffatt. Kate and Steve are on the case.
Moffatt explains that Hastings' original investment in the Kettle Bell Complex property development "went south" about six years ago. It is now back on track, and he offered Ted a £100k buy-in to try and recuperate his original investment.
Viewers saw him delivering a brown envelope full of cash to Hastings, however Moffatt again denies being the source of those £50 notes. But here's an interesting moment: when Kate tells him Hastings is saying he'd loaned him £50,000, Moffatt scoffs and looks exasperated. "FIFTY?"
Was there originally MORE money? The full £100,000? Either way, Moffatt says he doesn't know where Ted got that idea, and then slithers away.
Kate: "Something's not right, we have to find out what."
9.28pm: Carmichael's next move is to flash up a picture of an Irish paramilitary group in balaclavas, which seems a bit of a stretch.
"That was a different time, a different thing entirely... there's no direct connection," Hastings says. He also denies that the gunshot wounds inflicted on Anne-Marie before her death imply a connection between today's balaclava men and the groups of the past.
But now comes the bombshell, because – while we all know that John Corbett was Anne-Marie's son – Hastings apparently has NO idea why Carmichael is asking all these questions about Ireland and Anne-Marie. Naturally, Carmichael ekes it out for maximum enjoyment.
The effect on Hastings is dramatic. "Corbett was Anne-Marie's wee fella," he says, in disbelief, and begins to cry. Oh no! Oh Ted!
9.26pm: YES! We get a classic Ted-ism - "That is an equivocation, Detective Chief Superintendent, as well you know."
Hastings knows the score, and he won't let Carmichael get away with saying he was the "last person to see Anne-Marie alive."
9.25pm: Hastings admitted to having "some" meetings with Mrs McGillis – but Carmichael says he was "seen entering and leaving her house."
"Well yes, you know, I'd give her a hand with odd jobs," says Hastings. "There was no man about the house."
Carmichael suggests that, in a republican area, having an RUC police officer popping into your house might not be a great look. Perhaps that was why Ted was targeted with a pipe bomb? Or perhaps that got his "lady friend" murdered?"
"I object to the term lady friend" says Rossport, who has so far been the world's quietest solicitor.
What level of friendship was it? She was an attractive young woman...
"Yes and I was a married man!" Hastings protests. What about those rumours? "Yes, but that's what they were, rumours. Just gossip drummed up by a bunch of people who were no better than they should have been."
Did their intimacy put Anne-Marie in jeopardy? Ted utterly loses his cool: "THAT'S NOT WHAT HAPPENED."
But yes, he met her that night. Was he involved in her disappearance? "As God is my witness, I was not."
9.23pm: This conversation looks like it is causing Hastings some genuine emotional pain. (Side note, Adrian Dunbar is ON FINE FORM tonight. What a performance!)
Shakily, he explains: "Well, Anne-Marie's husband had been murdered a few years before, apparently he was active during the Troubles – in one of those nasty little tit-for-tat killings. Anyway, Anne-Marie, she blamed someone higher up the chain of command for her husband's death. She felt that he was sacrificed needlessly, and grief, I think, made her turn to passing information to the police about terrorist activities."
9.22pm: Remember when Ted mentioned a pipe bomb in series one, episode one – and then it never, ever came up again? Back then, he told a newly-recruited Steve Arnott: "Me and my best mate, we went through basic training together, okay? First year out they sent us on this particular job, the two Catholics – are you with me? We go straight over a pipe bomb. I end up in intensive care, him they bury. The log book goes missing, nobody says a word. Don’t you talk to me about victimisation."
Now we learn that his pal was PC Patrick O'Malley, and Ted clearly still believes they were deliberately sent into the path of a pipe bomb planted by a loyalist paramilitary group; the unit colluded in a cover up. "Doesn't take a genius to see why I put in for a transfer," he says.
But Carmichael has another theory in mind – and now it's time to get to the mysterious Anne-Marie McGillis! The name DEFINITELY rings a bell because Hastings is suddenly so shaky that he can't even pick up his glass of water. It's slopping around all over the place.
On Tuesday 18th April 1989, we learn, Anne Marie left her son with a neighbour and went off to see a "friend" in hospital. She then disappeared. There was a missing persons inquiry and one of the men interviewed in connection with her disappearance was PC Edward Hastings.
9.20pm: Ted says he initially denied that Roisin's injuries (to the knees, wrists and ankles) were paramilitary-style torture wounds because DS Sam Railston, who talked to him at the hospital, could have been working with the OCG just like her bent (and newly dead) boss Les Hargreaves.
"Yes. Alright, if you want me to state the obvious, yes," he says, outlining the significance: the attack resembles punishment meted out by paramilitary and terrorist organisations.
We also hear from Hastings' old boss from West Belfast, Police Sergeant Thomas Cranford, who once wrote: "Hastings appears to have a rapport with the Catholic community due to his own Catholic tendencies... Hastings' family background is more complicated which may prove valuable in future assignments."
Hastings is exasperated – and perhaps a little upset. It doesn't help that AC-3 have taken a new statement from Cranford, which explains how Catholic Ted Hastings ended up on the largely-Protestant RUC in the first place: "We all thought he was protestant – Edwards and Hastings, what else is the fella going to be? Turned out that was a sensitive subject. His old man was a Protestant but he married a Catholic, and when he went off, his mum brought up young Ted that way."
9.18pm: Now we're going to get into those "paramilitary" injuries. Hastings confirms that he told Sam Railston there was no significance to the pattern of industries, and Carmichael (with a touch of evil Hogwarts headmistress Dolores Umbridge) responds: "Thank you for being truthful with us. I can't tell you how much easier that makes everything." My skin is crawling.
AC-3 also gives us a run-down of Ted Hastings' service record, which has been the subject of MUCH speculation. He joined the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) in 1982, served as PC for 7 years, was promoted to Sergeant in 1989 and transferred.
9.17pm: Oh no Ted, WHY did you say that about "getting your hands on him"? Not a particularly bright idea to tell DS Sam Railston (Aiysha Hart) that you kind of want to murder the bloke who tortured your wife, ESPECIALLY if he then turns up dead shortly after.
9.16pm: Hastings vs Carmichael; AC-12 vs AC-3 – place your bets. It's time to begin.
Carmichael goes straight for the jugular by bringing up Hastings' wife Roisin, who was brutally tortured by John Corbett. "I'm sorry to probe, I know this must be extremely upsetting for you," says Carmichael, who is IN NO WAY sorry to probe. In fact, she's clearly having a wonderful time.
How about the fact that Hastings gave the Fahrenheit order to shoot Corbett only seconds after hearing confirmation that he'd assaulted Roisin? Carmichael doles out some more fake sympathy: "Oh. I see. Talk about a pressure situation. My heart goes out to you. To have that trauma at the very same moment as being in command of armed officers surrounding John Corbett. Still – and I am sorry about this – I do need to ask you about the events that followed."
"I gave the order to save an officer's life," says Hastings, strongly denying he was motivated by vengeance. His first concern was "preservation of life," and he continues to insist he was concerned about Corbett shooting Steve or another member of the public.
Not sure whether I fully buy that, but it's a plausible defence.
9.13pm: Ted strides in to AC-12! It must be time for an INTERROGATION SCENE. Here comes the beeeeeep.
But he's not the only one to strut into the building. Just as the interview kicks off, along comes Gill Biggeloe, who announces to Carmichael that she is "attending as an official observer" to make sure the legal case is watertight.
"Why wasn't I informed?"
"You just were."
We don't like Gill, who is as slimy and suspicious as they come – but that was delightful.
9.12pm: Steph doesn't have a name for this cop, but Kate and Steve clearly have their suspicions.
"The undercover officer recruited to investigate links between the OCG and corrupt officers all the way up to 'H' just happens to be the son of a woman murdered on the gaffer's patch?" says Kate. "Coincidence my arse."
But did someone else know about Corbett's past link to the gaffer? Did he put himself forward?
9.11pm: Steve and Kate are officially up to something, and I'm just sitting here hoping they'll swing into action and clear the gaffer's name.
The AC-12 double act take themselves off to visit Mrs Corbett (Amy De Bhrun). "We're making further inquiries into John's undercover operation," Kate says. And with John now dead, a widowed Steph Corbett is finally willing to talk about her husband's Irish connection.
"He grew up over there. When his mum died he was took in by his auntie," she tells them. "John never said much. To be honest, I don't know how much he ever knew. He was only a kid when it all happened, about nine or ten. Story was Anne-Marie was helping the police and then the police betrayed her. They're on she was an informant, and that's why she got killed."
The auntie had apparently told John that there was one cop his mum Anne-Marie had particularly talked about: a "young fella her age" who "took a shine to her." Apparently Anne-Marie thought this cop would look out for her, but didn't – "or worse."
As Kate and Steve exchange ~significant looks~ Steph adds: "Something John said. This copper, he was married and there was a bit of a scandal about him spending so much time around Anne-Marie, so it would have suited him for Anne-Marie to go missing."
9.07pm: The top brass have gathered together to plot and scheme, from the looks of it.
PCC Rohan Sindwhani (Ace Bhatti) and DCC Andrea Wise (Elizabeth Rider) are hanging out with senior legal counsel Gill Biggeloe (Polly Walker) to discuss the Operation Pear Tree and AC-12 situation. Gill reckons this whole thing can be hushed up and "nothing need ever come out," explaining that "there's pros and cons, PR wise" to going public if Hastings is charged. Behind closed doors, it looks like anti-corruption is NOT a priority – and police bosses do NOT want to uncover institutionalised corruption. Who'd have guessed?
9.05pm: PC Tatleen Sohota (Taj Atwal) has discovered something about Corbett, and come straight to Steve and DI Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure) to share her findings. Of course, Carmichael's cops are hanging around the building, which gives Kate a chance to deliver an excellent put-down to DI Michelle Brandyce (Laura Elphinstone) when she sticks her head through the door: "Listen Michelle, we're AC-12... now stop making a tit of yourself and piss off." Bang to rights.
Tatleen and her excellent research skills have confirmed something we've been wondering for a while: there is a connection between John Corbett's mum Anne-Marie McGillis and former Belfast cop Ted Hastings. Specifically, Hastings was interviewed in connection with her disappearance back in the 1980s.
So, what will Kate and Steve do with this information?
9.04pm: Gosh, DCS Patricia Carmichael is so sinister, isn't she? Anna Maxwell Martin is killing it as the steely AC-3 boss and, as scary as I find her, I kind of also have to admire her.
Plus, she has a point about DS Steve Arnott (Martin Compston) and his habit of "shagging witnesses and suspects and the like," and why he might be exceptionally grateful to Hastings for overlooking those incidents; she also pulls off a dramatic flourish by pinning Hastings' picture right over Hilton's on the 'H' evidence board. What a show of authority.
9pm: HERE. WE. GO.
Will Ted Hastings clear his name? Will ruthless DCS Carmichael (Anna Maxwell Martin) destroy him in the interview room? And will we ever find out who 'H' really is? We're not sure, but from the clips chosen for the "as previously seen on Line of Duty" recap, it looks like we'll be getting right to the heart of that connection between Superintendent Ted Hastings and John Corbett. Fingers crossed Jed Mercurio has decided to give us some answers.
8.50pm: I am definAtely intrigued by this tweet from Martin Compston. What is the "little something" Line of Duty has planned "at the very end of the show"? A Marvel-style post-credits scene? Outtakes? Bloopers?
Also what a lovely picture from Vicky McClure...
8.30pm: Hello! I'm Eleanor Bley Griffiths, Drama Correspondent for RadioTimes.com, and I am PSYCHED to be live blogging tonight's episode of Line of Duty. As you well know, this is the TV event of the year. I'll be updating this page throughout the finale, reacting to the biggest twists and turns in the episode and breaking down exactly what it all means after the credits have rolled.
If you can't stop thinking about Line of Duty ahead of the finale, take a look back at the 6 major questions we have after episode five, recapping everything we know about Ted Hastings' visit to Lee Banks, the Irish connection with John Corbett (Stephen Graham), and the question of whether Hastings (Adrian Dunbar) is being framed – or whether he is just another bent copper.
You can also take a closer look at events across the entire series in these two articles...
- Who is ‘H’ in Line of Duty? Meet the suspects
- Line of Duty: Examining the evidence against Ted Hastings
And if you're worried about Ted Hastings ahead of the series finale, you might want to read these...