Line Of Duty series 5 explainer: episode 2 questions answered

Major spoilers ahead as we fill in some background on Line Of Duty’s latest series 5 episode…

Major spoilers for Line Of Duty series 5 episode 2

If you have lingering questions after the latest Line Of Duty series five episode, then please step this way as we do our best to untangle what’s what…

DS John Corbett isn’t bent, then?

He’s certainly been involved in unlawful activity as part of his undercover operation, but as he tells it, it’s all been in the name of the mission to identify senior police officers embedded in organised crime. He says his conscience is clean about the police officers killed in the heroin ambush because they were all corrupt, a fact verified by the testimony of PS Jane Cafferty. In the second ambush, Corbett ensured that no innocent lives were lost by shooting low and barging Lee Banks out of the way when he was about to fire at an officer and not firing to kill.

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He’s a married father of two who loves his family and has ambitions to uncover the highest echelon of corruption in the police service.

Was Corbett in the OCG when all the Roz Huntley business was going on in series four?

No. Corbett’s mission started in January 2018, so he wasn’t there at the time.

What happened with Ted’s investment?

Unbeknownst to his wife and childhood sweetheart Roisin, years ago, Ted invested the couple’s savings in an Irish property development scheme that fell through in the financial collapse. That betrayal was unforgiveable to Ted’s wife, who left him.

Though Ted kept his separation and financial difficulties from his team, paying for a lavish meal for DS Arnott and new recruit Georgia Trotman in series two, he’s been living alone in shabby accommodation ever since. In series two, DI Lindsay Denton discovered Ted’s money problems and suggested they made him vulnerable to bribery.

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Who is former DCI Mark Moffatt?

The man who approaches Ted in the lobby of his hotel was the Police Federation Representative for DCI Roz Huntley in series 4, and as such, was present for her interrogations with AC-12. He was at loggerheads with Superintendent Hastings in those scenes, repeatedly censuring Ted for his line of enquiry and tone, and ended up on the receiving end of several of Ted’s most withering looks. As Kate might say, “it’s not nice.”

Now retired from the service, Moffatt is professing to have joined a property development company with the same project on its books, and says they’re seeking to give retribution to the unlucky original investors. Is he telling Ted the truth, or (speculation alert) could he be working for the OCG and attempting to ensnare Hastings?

What happened between Steve and Sam?

DS Sam Railston works for Murder Squad under CS Hargreaves (see below). In series three, she was living with Steve and celebrated an anniversary with him, but the relationship didn’t last. The stress of Lindsay Denton’s appeal trial, in which Denton claimed to have evidence that she and Steve had slept together, and Denton’s reappearance working with Steve to find evidence in the Danny Waldron case after her release, caused an argument. When Dot Cottan attempted to frame Steve as The Caddy, and Steve was held in a cell, Sam visited him and broke up with him.

In series four, Sam worked with Jamie Desford in AC-9 to interview murder suspect Nick Huntley. Feeling guilty after Steve’s attack by a member of the OCG, Sam leaked him information crucial to uncovering the truth about Roz and Nick Huntley, and apologised to Steve for not believing in him. Kate, being a protective mate, told Sam “you know what, you dumped Steve at the first sign of trouble. I think it’s a bit late for apologies.” Go Kate.

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What happened between Gill and Ted?

In series three, legal counsel Gill Bigelow (Polly Walker) made AC-12’s life difficult, and, unwittingly (but honestly, who knows? She might be as bent as a nine bob note) passed them a file she’d received from DI Matthew “The Caddy” Cottan which had been doctored to remove key information that would link Tommy Hunter’s OCG to the Danny Waldron case. She and Ted went out for a meal that series in which he rebuffed her sexual advances citing his marriage vows, despite being separated from his wife Roisin. That’s why it was awkward between them in DCC Angela Wise’s office.

Why did Lisa McQueen not kill PS Jane Cafferty in the ED-905 hijacking?

As she told Jane in episode two, the plan to turn on the corrupt officers and kill them wasn’t hers (it was clearly John Corbett’s). She didn’t follow orders, indicating a growing split between the two.

What was the extent of PS Jane Cafferty’s corruption?

Blackmailed by the OCG over incriminating photos of her extra-marital affair, she passed information to the group and was instrumental in setting up the ED-905 hijack in which her team was killed (they’d only expected to receive minor injuries). Convalescing at home, she was reminded once again by Lisa McQueen that there are “other ways” to lose her husband and kids than by harm coming to them – a reference to the affair blackmail material. She then passed on information enabling the second hijack to take place

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So, it was Maneet who planted the bug in her burner phone?

Yes. As an attempt to make up her betrayal to Superintendent Hastings and AC-12.

Who is User 2972?

Top dog. H. The person running the OCG show and the one who talked to John Corbett through that computer. Everybody refers to them as ‘he’ but who knows, it could be a she?

What about CS Hargreaves?

Murder Squad’s Les Hargreaves, Sam Railston’s boss, reappeared in the series five premiere. He’s a senior police officer and called ‘H’. We’re keeping a beady trained on him.

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Who did PS Jane Cafferty ID as the police officer who recruited her to the OCG in 2015?

Warning: we’ve put, honestly, TOO much time and effort into this. The episode edited it all quickly and cleverly so that clearly the audience is not supposed to know whose picture was whose. If you’d like to respect the hard work and wishes of Line Of Duty’s creators, please look away now.

But if you really can’t wait for next week, then, based on a lot of freeze-framing and cross-referencing, here’s what we think actually happened.

Kate took five police officer photos from the display. In order, these were: DC Jeremy Cole (corrupt officer who committed the series two ambush and killed Tommy Hunter. Died in 2014 before Cafferty was recruited), DI Matthew Cottan (The Caddy. Died in 2016), DS Manish Prasad (corrupt officer who committed the series two ambush but informed and got immunity), former Chief Superintendent Fairbank (a Sands View child abuser imprisoned in 2016) and former ACC Derek Hilton (corrupt senior officer killed by the OCG in 2017).

She also took a photo from a drawer marked AC-12, presumably, though of course we can’t be certain, of Superintendent Ted Hastings. All the while, Ted watches suspiciously from his office.

Kate set the photos out from one to six in, as far as can be worked out using the magic of the pause button, the following order:

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KF1: Cole

KF2: Prasad

KF3: Hilton

KF4: Fairbank

KF5: Hastings

KF6: Cottan/The Caddy

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DS Cafferty touches…

KF6 to indicate the officer who recruited her to the OCG. That’s DI Cottan, aka The Caddy. Not Ted, d’you hear me? Not Ted. 

Read our spoiler-filled Line Of Duty series five reviews here.