Line of Duty season 5, episode 4: 10 HUGE questions after the most shocking episode yet

Morgan Jeffery
Photo credit: BBC/World Productions Ltd

From Digital Spy

Line of Duty just delivered one of its greatest ever episodes – surprising, action-packed, and seriously traumatic. After that ending, we're in desperate need of some comfort food.

Join us as we unpack one of the show's most complex outings yet, digging into the big questions the fourth episode of series five left hanging.

1. What the hell is going to happen next?

Stephen Graham has been utterly sensational thus far as troubled undercover officer John Corbett – but the final two episodes of this series will have to do without him.

Having learnt AC-12 was onto them before the Eastfield depot raid, the OCG realise that they can't have been betrayed by Hargreaves and there's a rat among them. Corbett makes the mistake of attempting to convince Lisa McQueen (Rochenda Sandall) to join him in betraying the gang, only for Lisa to turn the tables...

Photo credit: BBC

When John grabs a gun and attempts to escape the OCG's new brothel site, it becomes clear Lisa has double-crossed him – Ryan (Gregory Piper) is able to catch John by surprise, brutally cutting his throat.

While John bleeds out on the floor, his loving wife Steph (Amy De Bhrún) puts their daughter to bed – heartbreaking.

Where does this series of Line of Duty go from here?

2. What's going on with Lisa McQueen?

Seriously.

"You're a rat, John… a rat!" she spits, as he slowly bleeds to death, but as soon as she's alone, she begins to weep. We saw Lisa have a similarly emotional reaction when Maneet was taken away to be killed.

Photo credit: BBC

Is she a cold-blooded killer, or a crook with a heart? Was any part of what she told John – about "not [being] a fan" of the gang's sex trafficking – the truth, or all a ruse to lure him in?

Lisa also told John she's just doing "what's expected" – is she acting out of fear of what 'H' will do to her if she disobeys?

Or is Lisa in some way connected to Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar)? Leaving aside all the instant messaging business – we'll get onto that later – a scene in episode one of this series saw Lisa appear to miss a call to her mobile from Ted.

If Ted is 'H' and they've spoken on the phone, then is Lisa lying about not knowing who 'H' is? Or is Ted an honest copper, and Lisa's his own mole within the gang?

3. Is Ted Hastings 'H'?

Photo credit: BBC/World Productions Ltd

Hargreaves is definitely ruled out as 'H' here, since his DNA deposit recovered from the OCG's brothel is recent, "suggesting the blackmail was also recent". The testimony of fellow corrupt officers backs the assumption that Hargreaves was only being coerced by the gang for a few months – he can't be 'H', whose activities go back much further.

We then get another huge clue suggesting that Ted is 'H'.

In the last episode, 'H' spelt the word "definitely" wrong while communicating with Corbett and McQueen. Here, AC-12 are able to impersonate 'H' online using some metadata trickery, fooling OCG into thinking they're speaking with their boss.

BUT – when Ted takes charge of the conversation, he spells "definitely" as "definately", just as we saw the real 'H' do.

Photo credit: BBC

If Hastings is 'H', is he really bold/dumb enough to pose as himself in front of all his AC-12 colleagues?

4. Is Ted being blackmailed?

Even if he's not H, it appears Ted hasn't kept his nose entirely clean…

Thanks to Corbett, Steve Arnott (Martin Compston) and Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure) now know their gaffer is "drowning in debt" – as Steve mentions, this "came up ages ago", back in series two, but Hastings has clearly hidden the extent to which he's still struggling financially.

Is the OCG manipulating Ted, taking advantage of a copper in debt, as they have many times before?

Photo credit: BBC

And what's going on with shifty ex-copper Moffatt (Patrick FitzSymons)? Here, we see him hand Hastings a package, which he says contains "a little more background" on the proposal to extract Ted's money from the botched Kettlebell Complex.

But when Ted opens the package, there's enough cash inside to choke a horse. Is this the 100 grand loan that Moffatt previously promised Ted? If so, surely Hastings knows it's dodgy for Moffatt to be lending him that amount of money in sealed bills contained in a brown envelope...

5. Why did Ted meet with Lee Banks?

Shortly after 'H' fails to show for the shopping mall meet with the gang, why does Hastings visit OCG member Lee Banks (Alastair Natkiel) at Blackthorn Prison?

"Trust me… you’ll be glad you did [sit down to talk]," Ted tells the crook – but what did they discuss?

6. How are Corbett and Hastings connected?

Bear with us, because this is where it gets really complicated.

Kate and Steve are able to dig up John Corbett's identity records submitted when he joined the police force: these reveal that Corbett was born John McGillis, son of Anne-Marie McGillis.

Anne-Marie died in 1989 and, with his father having passed away four years previous, John was adopted by the Corbett family. (It appears his adoptive mother was related to John, because her maiden name was also McGillis. Possibly an aunt?)

Photo credit: BBC

When a masked John tortures Ted's wife Roisin for information, he fakes a Northern Irish accent – something he's able to perfect from his childhood spent in Belfast. "He said you’d know why he'd done it," Roisin tells Ted. "He said you'd know what you'd cost him."

John inflicts "classic paramilitary punishment wounds", though Ted pretends not to recognise her injuries as such.

This leads AC-12 to question Steph Corbett about John's possible links to Northern Ireland. "What's this all about?" Steph asks John. "Do they know about know about Anne-Marie?"

Photo credit: BBC

Clearly, some event in Belfast links John to Ted. "It’s not gonna come from me," John tells Steve when questioned. "It'll just be wrote off as a lie, same as it always was. No, it's gotta come from him."

Was Ted somehow involved in the death of John's birth mother Anne-Marie? Remember, we saw Corbett forging an AC-12 pass early in episode three, suggesting he's been planning on going after Ted, via Roisin, for a while.

Is this what’s been motivating John all along? Not just a desire to root out corruption in the police, but a desire to get at Ted, who he believes is both 'H' and his mother's killer? It'd certainly explained why he was so determined, and why he tells Steve that the AC-12 man can't comprehend the damage that bent coppers can do.

We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.

7. Why does Hastings want Corbett dead?

Throughout this episode, Ted appears determined to bump John off.

He insists Steve carry a firearm when Arnott wants to bring John in "peacefully" and later gives his officer a "Fahrenheit" order – an order to fire his weapon, and so kill Corbett – something Steve and Kate both question.

Maybe Ted's just acting unwisely in the aftermath of the attack on his wife? He does tell his team that whoever's responsible for Roisin's assault "better pray he's up in front of a judge before I get my hands on him."

After all, if Ted is 'H' and wants John dead because he's undercover in the OCG, he could've exposed Corbett and had him executed ages ago.

Unless there was no way that Hastings could inform Lisa of Corbett's betrayal without revealing his own identity as 'H' to her? Or at least having her suspect 'H' is a high-ranking copper? (This theory assumes Lisa's telling the truth about not knowing who 'H' is.)

Or it's a combination of both – Ted is bent, but only ordered Lisa to kill John after the attack on Roisin? (Given her reaction afterwards, it's hard to believe that Lisa took it on herself to murder Corbett.)

8. Who leaked details of the OCG’s meeting with H?

John tells Steve when and where he plans to meet 'H', but advises him to be careful with the information: "Be careful who you tell, because if it doesn't happen, you know you've got a leak."

Steve does eventually confide in Hastings and 'H' doesn't show for the meet, with the implication being Ted and 'H' are one and the same. But is that too obvious?

Photo credit: BBC

Many other police officers had to be taken into that circle of trust, including the various AFOs (authorised firearms officers) who watched over the aborted meet-up.

Our theory? Firearms officer Kyle Ferringham (Richard Pepple) is bent. He advises AC-12 not to capture the OCG at the mall, saying he's worried about the "threat to members of the public" if a firefight breaks out... but is that his real motive?

Kyle also fails to capture Corbett after his earlier showdown with Steve. Did he allow John to slip away so that the OCG could execute him later?

9. What is Gill Bigelow up to?

Photo credit: BBC/World Productions Ltd

Is she just a garden-variety arsehole or is there more to Ted's fancy woman?

When DCC Wise (Elizabeth Rider) questions the wisdom of keeping Ted on the investigation into Operation Pear Tree, Gill vouches for him, saying that despite the apparent conflict of interest after Roisin's attack, he's "still the best man for the job".

Does Gill want a compromised Ted on the investigation in order to undermine it? Is she involved with Moffatt in a plot to land Ted with dodgy cash? Is she 'H'?!

10. Was that Jackie Laverty in the freezer?

Photo credit: BBC

Way back in Line of Duty's first series, the OCG murdered Jackie (Gina McKee) in order to frame Tony Gates (Lennie James) for the crime and so blackmail him.

The gang later took Jackie's dismembered body, packed into suitcases, to a flat owned by Terry Boyle (Elliot Rosen), who has Down's syndrome.

The OCG pay Terry's flat another visit in this episode, years later, with Miroslav (Tomi May) shocked to find a body part in the freezer. ("Christ! I forgot! How long she's been there?")

Presumably, this is what's left of Jackie's body, left on ice for years. Happy Easter!

Line of Duty continues next Sunday (April 28) at 9pm on BBC One.

Want up-to-the-minute entertainment news and features? Just hit 'Like' on our Digital Spy Facebook page and 'Follow' on our @digitalspy Instagram and Twitter account.

('You Might Also Like',)