**SPOILER ALERT! Do NOT keep reading if you're yet to see Line of Duty episode three**
Wow. That last scene at the end of Line of Duty got incredibly out of hand, and we haven’t full recovered yet. Right up until the final moments of the episode, we really thought that Nick Huntley was just a good, innocent guy who was afraid of his wife’s suspicious activities – but those taut last couple of minutes have really thrown a spanner in the works.
Nick was assumed by AC-12 – and indeed by us – to be a weak link who would help to expose Roz Huntley as a corrupt copper, by disproving her alibi claiming that she was at home on the night of Tim Ifield’s murder.
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After all, DS Steve Arnott did ambush Nick at his office to find out where he thought his wife really was on that night, and we later saw scenes of Nick worrying about the investigation into his wife and confronting her at home to ask her what on earth was going on. Nick asked her why – if she had been working that night like she told him she had – AC-12 didn’t know about it?
She was unable to offer a convincing explanation, and Nick looked like he was going to crack and tell AC-12 that Roz’s alibi was false. But what came next was totally unexpected.
Steve called Nick and put pressure on him to speak, all the while approaching his offices. In the moments before he arrived, Nick rang Jimmy Lakewell, a man he then told Steve was a criminal solicitor.
As Steve got closer to the building, little did he know that back at AC-12, Maneet had just discovered that Nick's car was captured on CCTV driving towards Tim’s flat – and then away from it – on the night of his murder.
In unbelievably tense scenes, Ted Hastings and Maneet were desperately trying to get hold of Steve to warn him that Nick could be dangerous.
But by the time he hung up on Nick for long enough to listen to the cautionary voicemails left by his team, Steve was already in the lift and there was no going back.
Just as he heard Maneet’s warning, the door's opened – unexpectedly – on the third floor and Steve barely had time to brace himself for the danger that awaited. On the other side stood a man in a balaclava – Nick Huntley? Jimmy Lakewell? – who then attacked Steve with a baseball bat. During the struggle, the man knocked him out and threw him over the bannister, then ran away leaving Steve to bleed out at the bottom of the stairs.
Could Steve Arnott really be dead? Is Nick Huntley balaclava man? And who is Jimmy Lakewell? We’ll just have to wait a WHOLE WEEK to find out…
This article was originally published on 9 April 2017