Jed Mercurio’s hit police drama, Line of Duty, made a return to the BBC on Sunday, March 21. After two years of waiting, we can finally catch some more “bent coppers”.
Spoilers ahead (and brace yourself for acronyms)
We are first introduced to dodgy-looking copper DCI Joanne Davidson (Kelly Macdonald) from the Murder Investigation Team (MIT). She is later joined by our favourite Anti-Corruption Unit (AC-12) queen, DI Kate Flemming (Vicky McClure). Initially, we are to believe that she is already investigating dodgy Davidson. I mean, it is season six, so we don’t really need to see the build-up before going undercover. Which was a little misleading, as it turns out Flemming has in fact left AC-12!
It is no surprise after the way season five was left, with big boss Superintendent Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar) being accused of being the mysterious Organised Crime Group (OCG) leader ‘H’. With Flemming gone, Arnott needs a new right-hand pal. Enter DC Chloe Bishop (Shalom Brune-Franklin). We didn’t see a lot of Bishop in the opening episode, and Arnott didn’t seem too excited to be working with her. Hopefully, in the next episode we can see what she is made of.
MIT were then called out on a job, and with plenty of shady looks given by Davidson, it’s clear she’s up to something. She deliberately stalls and diverts the mission, leading colleague (and ex-girlfriend) PS Farida Jatri (Anneika Rose) to contact AC-12. When Jatri arrives at AC-12 she meets a grumpy Arnott, and it’s later shown that his back injury isn’t getting any better, still holding onto enough meds to open his own pharmacy.
The MIT end up arresting Terry Boyle (Tommy Jessop), who some viewers may recognise from earlier seasons, regularly used by the OCG to cover their tracks. For instance, in season one, the body of Jackie Laverty (Gina McKee) was stored in his fridge. And when investigating his flat, said fridge was evidently missing in this most recent episode.
And tensions are high as the CHIS (Covert Human Intelligence Source) who told the police about Boyle’s flat has cut contacts with the police. Will we find out who this informant is? Oh yes! Besties Arnott and Flemming meet up and he asks her for a big favour, to go undercover. The team at MIT know she used to work for AC-12, so could this end badly for her?
To get you caught up, and to make Sunday night’s episode make a little bit more sense, here’s a brief overview of how the leads of Line of Duty got to where they are now.
DS Steve Arnott (Martin Compston)
In the first season, we were introduced to Arnott as he was transferred from a Counter-Terrorism unit to AC-12. Over the years we have seen him work well with colleague Flemming (although, we can clearly see he is unhappy that Flemming got promoted and he hasn’t).
He’s had it pretty tough too. Towards the end of season four he got thrown down a BIG set of stairs by Balaclava Man and was in a wheelchair for a while, which broke down his relationship with DS Samantha Railston (Aiysha Hart).
Will we see him on the mend this season? Or will he reach breaking point?
DI Kate Flemming
Flemming, the queen, loves her job. In fact, she loves it so much that her marriage has been falling apart behind the scenes.
A key thing to remember is that like Arnott, she could’ve literally died at one point. When chasing the Caddy (Craig Parkinson), members of the OCG shot at her and the Caddy took the bullet for her. Sweet.
In season five, we left Flemming making amends with her husband, and spending more time with her son. So, where will season six take her this time?
Superintendent Ted Hastings
If I don’t hear Hastings say “Mother of God” at least once this season then I will be very disappointed.
Our stone-faced lead has also had a break-down in his marriage. What is it with these guys and relationships? And he was led astray by legal counsel Gill Biggeloe (Polly Walker). During his marriage break-down, we learned that Hastings is a Mason, and that one of his Mason buddies was part of a paedophile ring! Not a good look for Hastings.
Later, in season five, Hastings was accused of being ‘H’. This caused one of his key officers, Flemming, to leave. Will Arnott follow suit? They all seem to be having a pretty tough time.
Below is a short video from the BBC giving you a full recap of each season. Or, check out the Line of Duty fandom site to get more info.
What to expect next
This seven-episode season should hopefully answer the big question on everyone’s lips: Will we ever find out who ‘H’ is? And most importantly, how many snazzy waistcoats does Steve Arnott own?
Sunday night’s episode left us with the realisation that there may be a love triangle beginning to form between Flemming, Davidson, and Jatri. And it was originally Jatri that reached out to Arnott at AC-12, so what else could she pull out of her sleeve against Davidson?
Could Flemming use her bond with Davidson to help her in assisting AC-12’s investigation? Or will she betray Arnott’s trust?
Will Boyle ever get the justice he deserves? And will Arnott ever get promoted?
After seeing the trailer, it looks like we are in store for some jam-packed action.
Line of Duty is available on BBC1 every Sunday at 9pm. You can find previous episodes on BBC iPlayer and Netflix.
Words by Jen Charlton