Line Of Duty: Series 3, Episode 4 – Review

“I’ll take your Human Rights Act and I’ll raise you section four of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.”

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(C) World Productions/Steffan Hill

Written by Michael Lee.

Click for previous episode reviews.

The walls are starting to close in on AC-12’s elite team – that is, if they don’t eat each other up first before they get squished. How did we get here? It’s a brain frazzle of lies and mind games that has led us down roads we never knew possible. These aren’t twists for the sake of twists, like many of those twenty-plus episodes American series are built on, these are masterfully built building blocks – like crime jenga you could say. But these blocks are wavering under all the intensity.

Did we expect Lindsay (Keeley Hawes) to wander cockily in the their offices and demand a showdown that is both forceful and quite comical. Denton pushes for apologies as if they were naughty school children and all the power is back in her court.  It was a hardly “a healing process for all parties” as stated and she knows this only too well. Just what audio has she got on her phone? Is she bluffing and appealing to his Steve’s paronia? Hastings (Adrian Dunbar) fumes as his kick-off-o-meter is starting to crank the levels. “He can be an irritating wee gobshite when he wants to be” he barks and we’re all sat here thinking “you ain’t seen nothing yet, Ted.”

Cottan (Craig Parkinson) watches in on an interview, surveying his own lies being picked apart through the form of Hari (Arsher Ali). Did we expect Hari to admit to the murder of Danny Waldron so soon? While he denies his part in the death of Rod he is still arrested for that too. Dot’s grimace turns to relief, his mischievous magic playing wonders again. He’s also circling the office once more like a vulture around Maneet and picking up the information Arnott requires. In this case the forensic evidence showing Linus Murphy’s blood found with the envelope that he’d already stole the all important list from. As my mother used to say – your lies will always find you out in the end, and in Dot’s case he has enough of them to bury in a football pitch sized hole.

After such a confident opening saga from Denton did we expect to see her landing back into the real world with such a grim bump? She cries in her bedsit and is soon cleaning the aisles of a supermarket. More grimy though is her confrontation with a seedy support worker. Just when all men thought you’d be able to get a blowjob from Keeley Hawes for a tenner the fantasy is ruined when she soon breaks his balls. “I’ll take your Human Rights Act and I’ll raise you section four of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. Your offence under that act carries a maximum prison sentence of five years and I’ll see you in court.” she sneers and we all cheer her on!  Admit it. You did. Now take your pale arse and be gone with you creepy guy! She might maintain the posture of a world weary soul but she is fighting back and AC-12 and Cottan should be very fearful indeed. Most staggering of all are the hints that Denton and Arnott (Martin Compston) could form the world’s most uneasy alliance. Did we expect that? Just in case you’re not following – the answer is no.

Did we expect to see the return of Nige (Neil Morrissey) and his walking stick? Well, yes because his name was in the opening credits but we’ll overlook that. He’s questioned over misinformation he gave about the Caddy’s identity. Once again Cottan is on the inside, questioning a man who knows all his secrets. It’s an episode that has some comedic moments amid all the murk and Nige coldy declaring his “I’m extremely remorseful” mantra was one of the highlights.

Did we expect the credibilty of Hastings to be questioned?  It transpires that he has connections to Roach and Fairbank who are names that link to the whole suspected peadophile ring malarky. Ted “interview bombs” (erm, just go with it) Fleming and Arnott with a handshake to Fairbank that can only be described as Masonic. Please not Hastings too. Don’t ruin all our hopes Jed, please.

Arnott get’s a rough ride this week but when doesn’t he? His girlfriend is being cold, Kate (Vicky McClure) is in even more of a grump with him than usual (some of which is being masterfully coerced by the Caddy himself). Finally, in the world’s most unsubtle presentation, Dot bullet points all the reasons why Steve is the Caddy. Did anyone elses’s heart break when Ted glanced suspiciously across the room? Our leading AC-12 trio are unravelling with all the weight of suspicion. Anti-corruption has been corrupted. Is it beyond repair? 9/10

REDACTED FILES

– Does Arnott have a south eastern accent? He’s always sounded Austrailian to these ears!

– Who interviewed Linus and why wasn’t it in any files? Is Hastings involved?

– Isn’t is annoying when people walk on your freshly mopped floors? I wouldn’t fancy my chances of survival if they were Denton’s freshly mopped floors.

– Not really digging the romantic storyline for Ted. There is the potential for a conflict of interests so it’ll probably have a good pay off.

– Can Denton really be the one to help cature the identity of the Caddy?

– Dot must know Nige will have kept a back up of the secrets? Maybe he should have shot him? Will that be his downfall?