Police corruption drama returns with a bang
The second series of Jed Mecurio‘s Line of Duty throws us straight into the action as Detective Inspector Lindsay Denton (Keeley Hawes) answers a call for assistance in a witness protection case. En route the convey is ambushed leaving Denton and the witness – who is critical but stable in hospital – as the only survivors. AC-12 are brought in to investigate who leaked the information. Did Denton orchestrate the whole thing? And is Deputy Chief Constable Mike Dryden (Mark Bonnar) also complicit?
Keeley Hawes has no trouble in filling the shoes left by Lennie James last series, in fact i’d say she surpassed the expectation. The series is a fine example of a well-scripted and intriguing drama with a fine cast to bring out the best of the script. And Keeley does exactly that as she runs the gamut of emotions, twists and redirection in this episode; at the start we feel sorry for the distraught lonely officer who gets her head dunked down the toilet by her colleagues. Then by the time we get to the interview stage the lies start to creep in and its pretty clear she’s lying. The neck brace comes off, the stares turn from fear to intimidating and the brutal attack on her noisy neighbour puts the nail is the guilty coffin clearly.
I’m glad Mecurio kept the officers guilt being revealed so early on, as its something I admired about the first series. We know Denton is guilty, DC Kate Fleming and DS Steve Arnott – in a very similar manner to Columbo – just have to prove it. With Kate choosing to initially step back from the operation as she knew the handler, DC Georgia Trotman (played by Call The Midwife‘s Jessica Raine) is drafted in to partner Steve. Her appearance doesn’t last to long though, the final scene has the OMG effect sewn up completely as we witness her being thrown out of the hospital window (prompting many a hospital discharge jokes I’m sure) to her death by a man dressed as a nurse who’s attempting to kill the witness (Which is strange, considering there are male nurses these days).
We also learn more about the core AC-12 team this year. Steve and Kate have obviously become accustomed to working together as Superintendent Ted Hastings points out Steve won’t be keen to work apart. Hastings is also separated from his wife, for reasons unknown, but he’s continuing the charade that they are together to his work colleagues; and Kate is having an affair with the deceased handlers husband, which is probably the real reason she didn’t want to be on the case. Luckily though, as I was beginning to think McClure’s role had been reduced, she takes the undercover role on Denton’s missing persons team.
If the first episode is to go by there are many shocks and twists to come. Line Of Duty is one of the best dramas on TV at the moment, the only flaw is the nausea-inducing camerawork. But if you can get past that it’s a thrilling ride.