Line Of Duty series 5 explainer: episode 4 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 five.

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… 


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Who is John Corbett?

Born John McGillis in Belfast in the late 1970s. His father was Anthony McGillis (d. 1984), his mother was Anne-Marie McGillis (d. 1989). After being orphaned at the age of ten, he was adopted in Liverpool by a relative of his father. For some reason, he blames Ted Hastings, a member of the Royal Ulster Constabulary during the time of his father’s death, for his family being destroyed. Here’s some more info about Ted’s time as a young officer in Belfast.

What was John Corbett’s plan? 

Apparently, to prove that Ted Hastings is a corrupt police officer, because of some (as yet undisclosed) dirt that went down between Ted and his parents in Belfast in the 1980s. To achieve his goal, Corbett went undercover with a criminal gang, a member of which Ted shot dead in the series four finale.

Did Corbett deliberately target that gang, or was it just a stroke of luck that he happened to get hired by the very baddies controlling all the officers Ted had been investigating since series one? Either way, by torturing Ted’s estranged wife using paramilitary punishment techniques, Corbett didn’t get proof of Ted’s corruption, only of his financial situation and the lies he told about his ailing marriage.

But Hargreaves wasn’t H, then?

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No, that was definitively ruled out by Kate and Steve. Hargreaves couldn’t have been H because his involvement with the OCG only started in the last few months, and the ‘H’ idea started years ago in Dot’s dying declaration.

Is H, as his/her IP address suggests, in Spain?

It’s as likely as anything.


Who is Terry?

Played by Tommy Jessop in series five (recast from Elliot Rosen in series one), Terry is a man with Down’s Syndrome who’s been exploited by the OCG for years.  

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Who was the corpse in Terry’s freezer?

That was Jackie Laverty (Gina McKee), a property developer who was laundering money through her business for Tommy Hunter’s OCG in series one. When Jackie’s accountant discovered her financial irregularities, she ran him over and manipulated DCI Tony Gates (Lennie James) – an ex-boyfriend with whom she was having an affair – into helping her cover up the murder. (She told Gates first that her car had been stolen, then that she’d been drink-driving and hit a dog.) Knowing that she was in contact with the police and fearing she’d inform on them, the OCG broke into Jackie’s house one night after she and Tony had sex, and slit her throat. They then used her corpse (contaminated with his DNA) to blackmail Tony into covering up a series of drug murders his squad was investigating, stashing it in Terry’s freezer and then apparently forgetting about it.

How did Lisa know the OCG had a rat?

In Terry’s photographs of AC-12’s raid on Kingsgate Printing Services, she recognised Steve Arnott as the officer who tried to make contact with the gang following Maneet’s murder, before she’d brought Hargreaves on board to collude in the Eastfield Depot job. The OCG had previously assumed that Hargreaves crossed them on the night of the Eastfield job, but when Lisa recognised Steve, she realised that the police had received tip-offs about their operations before Hargreaves came aboard, ergo, there must be a leak.

What’s going on with Ted’s marriage?

It’s basically over. He lost their life savings by gambling on an unwise property investment years earlier, causing them to have to sell the family home and live in temporary accommodation. To save face at work, Ted said nothing of his financial problems (though DI Lindsay Denton sniffed them out and told Steve and Kate in series two) or his marriage break-up to his colleagues. Now Roisin’s met someone else and Ted has, as he sees it, broken his vows by spending the night with Jill Bigelow, whom he’s now given the elbow because of his guilt over Roisin being attacked while they were together.

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Why did Moffatt give Ted that envelope full of money?

Probably to entrap him as being in receipt of a bribe, but ostensibly as a £100,000 temporary loan to cover the deposit amount Moffatt says is required to release the return of Ted’s lost investment in the Kettle Bell Property scheme. 

Why didn’t Steve follow Hastings’ shoot to kill order?

He’s a wee gobshite, clearly, but also because he had cause to suspect it was unlawful or irregular (preservation of life is the big story with this lot). 

Historically, Steve’s counter-terrorism unit following a “Fahrenheit” (shoot to kill in Line Of Duty) order in series one led to the death of an innocent man and to Steve’s recruitment to AC-12 when he stood up against his unit and refused to conspire in a cover-up about the botched mission.  Perhaps he didn’t want to make the same mistake again.

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What was the Pallisades Shopping Centre meet all about?

Working theory: Lisa told John that there was a meeting with the OCG leader to test her theory that he was the rat. There never was a meeting (and thus the meeting not happening was not proof that Ted, learning about it from Steve, was the criminal kingpin who called it off). 

Seeing as the police didn’t swoop in to arrest them, how did Lisa know that John was the leak? Either she didn’t, but the fake meeting had served the purpose of escalating John’s plan so he revealed himself to her, or she has another officer, say, one of the AFOs at the shopping centre, working for her.

When Ted took over typing messages as the fake OCG leader, what did that tell us?

Nothing much, but it was good he did because diverting from the script meant that the police didn’t reference the Pallisades Shopping Centre meeting, which (seeing as we think Lisa invented it to flush out John so User 2972 didn’t know anything about it) would have tipped Lisa off that she wasn’t dealing with the real User 2972 and therefore blown the whole thing. 

Why can’t Ted spell “definitely” correctly?

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Come on, the man’s under a lot of pressure.

Why did Ted go to visit Lee Banks in Blackthorn prison?

No idea. But if he’d been doing it to pass on criminal instructions as the head of the OCG, you can be sure he wouldn’t have turned up in broad daylight at the front door and written his name in the visitor book. 

Why didn’t Lisa just have John’s throat slit without all that fakery?

She had to be belt-and-braces sure. Also, that wouldn’t have been half so upsetting/entertaining to watch.

Why did Lisa react that way to John’s murder?

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Perhaps because she’s a human and seeing somebody’s throat slit (even if you ordered it because you got involved at a very young age in a world of hardened criminals that you can either go along with or be murdered by) is upsetting to watch. But some are saying that she’s an undercover officer too, though that makes about as much sense as Ted Hastings having run the OCG since day one. 

Finally, flowers or muffins?

I’m veering towards muffins.

Read our spoiler-filled Line Of Duty series five episode four review here.