Line of Duty season 5, episode 3 review: At times frustrating but still a thrill
Season five of Line of Duty doesn’t wait for audiences to keep up. If you get lost or miss a detail, then tough. Episode three of the BBC drama took us even further than before. This week offered a roller coaster ride with disappointments along the way before some huge twists that left us wanting more.
WARNING: This article contains spoilers from Line of Duty season 5, episode 3
The thrills came thick and fast as the power shifted throughout the episode. Every time we felt a step closer to the identity of H, we were thrown a red herring and ended up on the back foot again.
Jane Cafferty (Sian Reese-Williams) and her pointy finger identified The Caddy (Craig Parkinson) from the line-up, leaving us no closer to the slippery H.
Then as the balaclava was removed from the face of the senior police officer gunned down at the Eastfield depot hijacking, we were again eluded after Lester Hargreaves (Tony Pitts) was unmasked.
Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar) continued to act in a shady manner, skulking around and disposing of laptops, very much setting him to be H. But Hastings seems far too noble and committed to the police anti-corruption cause to be on the dark side.
IS LINE OF DUTY BASED ON REALITY?
The chase has been thrilling but there has to a pay-off at some point. This week has its frustrations as we were wrong-footed time and again.
There was another glimpse of hope when a trafficked young woman revealed DNA belonging to senior police officers had been harvested as the OCG’s brothel. But this didn’t amount to much. Perhaps it’s too early to be getting any answers but throw us something, anything.
Despite the frustrations with episode three, there’s no denying it was a heart-racing watch – particularly as Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure) and Steve Arnott (Martin Compston) carried out a surveillance operation on the Eastfield depot.
Conveniently, a supposed emergency sprung up as Steve and Kate were hoping to nab H himself. The race against time between the purported danger and Steven return to the hijack was captivating.
WHAT HAPPENED TO TOMMY HUNTER IN LINE OF DUTY?
The sequence has parallels to previous seasons where police operations have a spanner thrown in the works as something untoward happens. But we’re now savvy to what’s really going: police corruption.
Interestingly, the following scene involving a bent copper getting interrogated was over fairly quickly as the lie was exposed in moments. AC-12 is finally wising up to the underhand tactics of H and his associates.
We’re definitely in a new phase of Line of Duty now, breaking away of the format of previous seasons with a chief antagonist and AC-12 trying to crack them before it emerges it’s part of one big conspiracy.
John Corbett (Stephen Graham) has become an antagonist of sorts. One minute he’s helping and waxing lyrical about going deep undercover to take down the to man.
At other times he’s seemingly hindering the operation: shooting at Steve, before breaking into Roisin Hastings’ (Andrea Irvine) flat, posing as the AC-12 officer.
WHO IS IN THE CAST OF LINE OF DUTY?
Corbett’s unpredictability is highly likely to throw up twists we never expected. He’s crossed the line – he’s admitted as much to himself and Steve but how far is he willing to go now?
Corbett’s true intentions grow murkier by the second and make this character and this season so tantalising. You really don’t know how it’s all going to go down.
As always, the cliffhanger scene throws more questions to mull over at the water cooler on Monday. Did John kill Hastings’ wife? What will happen to Steve as he’s thrown under the bus by Corbett? Is Hastings really H as he hooks up with Jill Bigelow (Polly Walker)?
Expect more answers but lots more questions next week.
Line of Duty season 5 airs on BBC One on Sundays at 9pm