0 4 mins 12 yrs

A nasty surprise for Steve Arnott

Whoa! What a gripping episode from start to finish. Things are speeding up nicely to the finale. Arnott’s (Martin Compston) back on the case after his ‘wobble’ and just in the nick of time as Kate (VIcky McClure) is taking matters into her own hands to try to prove Gates guilt. However it’s looking like she might be his only saviour next week.

Gates (Lennie James) is sailing so close to the wind now he could power a turbine, as we reach an episode full of shock twists, brutality and tense action – and a surprising shocking moment from Neil Morrissey. Who’d have thought it! However there are elements of ‘let’s squeeze the plot for one more episode, as the list of missed opportunities and coincidence start to stack up.

With Nige (Neil Morrissey) constantly saying, “alright mate” and Tony repeatedly being called the “bent bastard,” although the latter proving a comedic interlude on a tense drama, it does go towards proving that Line of Duty‘s repetitiveness could have been nicely wrapped up in four episodes.

With Jackie now shoved in someone’s home freezer; Kate’s smashing Gates’ office window (in a police station that surely has a lock pick…or a master-key. Anyone?) while outing herself as AC-12; Arnott’s about to lose his pinky’s, courtesy of some bolt cutters in a gruelling scene (although hell of a lot of screaming when Gates was outside only for the camera to cut back to Arnott with a FULL fingered hand?); Plus Gates on borrowed time before sneaky Hastings (Adrian Dunbar) gets his mitts on him – and hopefully his daft wife will finally cotton on to her no-good cheating husbands lies. Not that I’m too bothered about the wife. I think it would have had the same effect if he were single. The kids were his strength and weakness. It’s fair to say we barely had time to catch our breath.

As always the drama highlights the flaws in the modern police service with figures and hierarchy all highlighted as more of an aim than public duty. Vulnerabilities are exploited both in the force and society, and of course Gates being the polar opposite of what a police officer should be; someone who has been given a position of power and exploited it for his own gains.

Neil Morrissey steps into his own this week as the laugh-about irritating character of the past is replaced by a dark subdued jealousy towards Kate’s new-found relationship with Gates, resulting in a brutal hit from his walking stick before he legs it (sorry) to his car.

If next weeks instalment is as tense we could be in for a great hour of TV. However I’m not sure Gates’ downfall will be proportionate enough for the five weeks build up. There’s only really two ways out for Gates – Death or arrest, coupled with the destruction of his dwindling reputation of course. A definite must-watch though. Make the most of your drama fix too as Olympic coverage is round the corner to take over the TV schedules.