Line Of Duty series 5 explainer: episode 3 questions answered

Major spoilers ahead as we fill in some of the background to the latest Line Of Duty series 5 episode...

Warning: contains major spoilers for Line Of Duty series 5 episode 3.

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…

So, PS Cafferty didn’t pick Ted out of that line-up at the end of episode two? 

Ad – content continues below

No, ‘course not. She identified DS Matthew ‘Dot’ Cottan aka The Caddy, as per this

And DCS Hargreaves was definitely bent? 

Yes, and he was a visitor to the Bog Estate brothel where underage sex trafficking victims were being held and exploited, so we’ll shed no tears over his death. The fact that his DNA was being kept in cold storage for blackmail purposes though, suggests that he wasn’t at the top of the tree, but one of several officers controlled by the OCG. Not ‘H’, at any rate. 

What about Ted Hastings? 

Is he a bent copper? Not on your nelly. He is, however, in a very risky place. His dealings with Moffatt and the property investment could make it look as though he’s taking bribes. His sexual relationship with Gill Bigelow could prove to be against the regs too, and if Corbett harms Roisin, there’s no telling what Ted may do in revenge.  

Where did this whole ‘H’ business start anyway? 

Ad – content continues below

When DI Matthew ‘Dot’ Cottan aka The Caddy was killed by the OCG after his cover was blown, Kate took his dying declaration – a confession to his corruption and that of other officers. When asked to identify a senior corrupt officer, Dot blinked twice at the letter ‘H’, indicating that was the initial or nickname of the person at the top of the OCG.  

Independently (or perhaps not, depending if Operation Pear Tree had access to Dot’s dying declaration and so DS John Corbett learned about ‘H’ from that), Corbett told his former UC handler that he was onto a corrupt senior officer known as ‘H’.

What was on the electronic device DCS Hargreaves passed to the OCG during the Eastfield raid? 

Either details of the trackers placed in the high-value items they were stealing (likely) or more instructions from the mysterious User 2972 (less likely because with all the effort User 2972 takes to conceal their identity from the OCG, contacting a corrupt officer directly would seem an unnecessary risk).  

Why was Corbett acting like that at the Eastfield Depot raid?

Because he’d set up the raid in order to ensnare a senior corrupt officer – Hargreaves. He insisted that the bent officer be “in the same trench” during the raid, ostensibly as protection from being crossed, but really so that Steve and his surveillance operation would take him in. All the while Hargreaves hadn’t shown up, Corbett was playing for time to wait for him. 

Ad – content continues below

When the false Status Zero call came in from PC Bloom (set up by Hargreaves so he’d have a legitimate excuse for being in the vicinity) Hastings and Kate sent Steve off to answer it, so he wasn’t there to nick Hargreaves as planned. Corbett shot Hargreaves to ensure that he wouldn’t evade police capture. He didn’t plan to kill him, only disable him so he could be uncovered as a bent copper. 

Who tipped the OCG off about the trackers in the goods stolen from the Eastfield Depot? 

We don’t know. Steve suggests that it was “an educated guess” by Hargreaves, but if it was User 2972 on the electronic device Hargreaves passed them, it’s possible it was them, which would point towards them being a police officer with access to sensitive information. 

What was Corbett doing with that AC-12 paperwork? 

Forging Steve Arnott’s identification so he could pretend to be Steve to gain entry to Roisin Hastings’ house and, as he sees it, flush out Ted Hasting’s corruption.


Ad – content continues below

Why is Corbett targeting Roisin Hastings? 

Corbett believes that Ted Hastings is corrupt, and will presumably try to get him to confess by threatening his wife.   

What do we know about Lisa McQueen?

In 2005, at the age of 15, she was referred to a Social Services programme for young and repeat offenders. Could this have been where she was recruited by the OCG, perhaps by a corrupt police officer? 

Why did Ted Hastings dispose of that laptop? 

Because he’s User 2972! Nah. There’s one speculative theory here, but there could be several possible explanations. Perhaps it was being retired, so as a police computer, needed proper disposal because of the sensitive information stored on it?  

Ad – content continues below

What’s going on with Moffatt and Ted’s investment scheme?

To receive his failed investment on the Kettle Bell property, Moffatt says that Ted first has to pay a £100,000 deposit, and that he’s willing to arrange a loan for that amount, which can be repaid when his original investment is returned to him. Is it all just a way to give Ted a hundred grand as blackmail, or to frame him as a corrupt officer receiving bungs from the OCG?


Who is Gill Bigelow? 

Played by Polly Walker, Gill is a lawyer who works with the PCC (a publicly elected official with power over several areas of policing including anti-corruption). She’s concerned with public perception of the police service, and here, is trying to convince Ted to retire quietly rather than face the ignominy of the bungled Operation Pear Tree.  

Gill has had the hots for Ted since series three, when he turned her down then because he didn’t want to break his marriage vows. Following Ted’s estranged wife Roisin’s divorce request, his fixed moral stance appears to have wavered.

Ad – content continues below