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“Nicking criminals is hard enough; nicking coppers god give me strength”

Line Of Duty

© World Productions/Mark Bourdillon

The second series of Jed Mecurio‘s masterpiece of television has come to an end with the answer to Denton’s much agonised over innocence finally answered. Well kind of…

The answer Ac-12 was looking for wasn’t clear-cut, but then nothing about Line Of Duty is.  Denton was involved in the planning of the ambush but not the deaths, but was basically still implicated anyway one way or another.  Lindsey was paid to hand over Tommy to his criminal enemies to do with as they liked in an effort to protect the much abused Carly Kirk who was the nearest to getting a happy ending.  To the police and her family, Carly is still missing but we at least discover she is alive and well, hiding in Ireland.  While Denton goes down for conspiracy to murder the worst offender who has more lives than a cat ‘Dot’ Cottan manages to keep his identity and involvement in the whole ambush quiet from all but Nige, but each has too much on the other to squeal.  Nige Morton (Neil Morrissey) turns out is swindling his disability payments to get all the cushy jobs who’s only a year away from retiring with a substantial payout.

There’s no doubt this series has surpassed the first series with many award-winning performances from (steely) Keeley Hawes who has, more than any other role, showed her skill and range, and made us feel both hatred and sympathy in equal measure.  As for Martin Compston – how many of us were shouting at the screen when Arnott was cosying up to Denton, only to find out he’s been playing her along.  It was nice to see Arnott’s brotherly love towards Kate (Vicky McClure) in her hour of need, especially as Kate has been convinced of Denton’s guilt all along and has had an uphill battle in both her personal and professional life.  The human elements add an extra layer without infringing on the plot.

Craig Parkinson was a surprise reintroduction and superbly acted as Dot who continues to be the sneakiest of the all and who hopefully will get his comeuppance in series 3.  And poor old Ted Hastings the moral centre who simply couldn’t do right for doing wrong – by his wife’s standards anyway.  Of all the characters who we empathise with the most Ted is it – due to Adrian Dunbar‘s conviction to the role of nailing the bent coppers without sacrificing his morals with it.  He’s faltered somewhat this series but he came through in the end; unfortunately we never found out if his marriage did.

For a show that has been hyped to the max from the success of each episodes cleverly thought out script, the finale had a lot to answer and a lot to live up too.  At times it didn’t quite hit the mark, things the audience would have liked answered, never were.  Dryden and Cottan both get away with their crimes, Prasad (Sacha Dhawan) got immunity, but I think that actually works better; it’s more how it works in real life.  It’s not nice but it’s real.  Line Of Duty has never been a happy ‘lets tie it all up nicely’ kind of programme. Just like it’s filming style, the long (yet fascinating) interview scenes show us that the good guys don’t always get the bad guys, and the line between good and bad is very obscured by human emotion, morals, calculated risks and rubbish common sense.

Whatever Jed Mecurio has lined up for series 3, it’s sure to shock, surprise and amaze us. Put simply: I can’t wait!!