Warning: speculation and screengrabs ahead!
The trailer for Line Of Duty’s series 4 finale trailer may only be twenty seconds long, but twenty seconds is a long time in TV, especially when you’re armed with a pause button and screengrab software. We’ve checked every nook and cranny of those scant seconds for clues as to how this gripping series is set to conclude.
Read on if you’re a fan of speculation and chin-stroking about blurry images, or look away now if you’d rather go into the series four finale cold…
First up, we’re at Roz and Nick’s house, where two figures wearing white forensic oversuits (Roz and Hilton? Jodie and Neil? Kate and Ted?) are looking out of the patio doors onto a forensic investigation taking place in the garden. We assume the Huntley home is being combed for evidence that Nick is Balaclava Man and/or murdered Tim Ifield following his arrest at the end of episode five. If Roz leads the investigators to wherever she stashed Tim’s rucksack containing his blood-soaked clothing, laptop and phone, and to that jumper on which she planted incriminating hair, they might just have enough to convict Nick.
(By the way, we know it’s Roz and Nick’s house because the location matches that in this episode two shot of the pair having an awkward supper.)
Next it’s a very angry Nick Huntley in a police interview room shouting, “This is all Roz, she’s trying to frame me”. Well-observed, fella. Where were you, by the way, on the 25th of January when you lied about being at that Northampton work function?
Then Carly Paradis’ (brilliant) theme music starts up and there’s this shot of Roz standing sinisterly against a conifer bush, possibly attempting to pull a Homer Simpson.
Will nothing shake Jodie’s faith in DCI Huntley? Here’s Roz’s number one fan on the blower warning her boss that “they’re still after you”. Who’s they? The pitbull-persistent AC-12, presumably.
And here’s Roz talking to Jimmy Lakewell in the lobby of AC-12’s offices. We know he’s an old friend of her husband’s, but what is the relationship between these two?
Next, as we hear Ted’s voice address his team back at AC-12 saying “This is the final push, we cannot fail”…
…we see him and a well-insulated Kate at an outdoor crime scene (possibly the forest site where Leonie Collersdale’s body parts were discovered) surrounded by police officers. What else has been discovered there?
Here’s Steve back at the office, and blow me if that doesn’t look like Maneet’s pregnant, lanyard-bearing belly passing by in front of him. What brings her back from early maternity leave? An attack of conscience? Or did she just forget her stapler?
“He sent you didn’t he?” says Steve, though to whom we don’t know. He could be talking to his ex-girlfriend Sam (Aiysha Hart), the homicide detective from series three. Did Ted ask her to go and see Steve about his accident? That seems like the kind of thing a man like Hastings would do.
The reason I mention Sam is that she’s here (despite not being listed on IMDb as appearing in the episode), and can later be seen getting out of the same car as Jamie Desford, whom Ted sent packing after Maneet framed him as the AC-12 leak.
“Were you expecting someone else?” says Roz to Jimmy Lakewell, still in the lobby of the AC-12 building, before we see Kate in a bullet-proof vest upstairs with a couple of uniforms, looking pretty tense. Something involving Balaclava Man is clearly going to go down at the office.
And here are Ted, Kate and a group of firearm officers in the AC-12 lobby (you can tell by the pattern of dots on the glass) watching as Balaclava Man/one of the Balaclava Men holds a balding, lanyard-wearing hostage at gun-point. Who could the hostage be? Not Steve (standing up), not Hilton (hair’s too short)… Neil Twyler perhaps? Or possibly a random uniform…
“You walk out of here you’re a dead…” says Steve (Man? Woman?) as we’re shown an image of Roz looking rueful against a pressed MDF door.
Now here’s Jamie Desford arriving at the outdoor crime scene with Steve Arnott’s ex Sam in tow. Are they colleagues over in Homicide? And who is that emerging from the back of the police car? Could it be Nick Huntley? If so, what’s he doing with this pair?
We’re outside the AC-12 building now, which seems to have a Costa Coffee (other caffeine brands are available) concession in the lobby, and glass etched with the words “A morning without coffee is like a night without sleep”. Wise words.
“Armed police”, someone shouts.
Finally, Ted raises his gun and fires off a round. You can see the pistol recoil. But who does he shoot?
There you have it – twenty seconds of pure incitement to get your bum on a seat at 9pm on Sunday the 30th of April, BBC One, to find out how it’s all going to play out. Between now and then, we welcome your theories…