Line Of Duty series 5 explainer: finale questions answered

Major spoilers ahead as we fill in some of the background from the Line Of Duty series 5 finale...

If you have lingering questions after the final Line Of Duty series five episode, then please step this way for the last in our weekly briefings… 

Do we know who H is now?

Nope. In fact, now we’re not even sure that ‘H’ is an initial. As Steve said in the finale “it’s a clue”. 

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We do know however, that the leader of the OCG isn’t Hastings (the very idea!), it wasn’t Hargreaves (recruited too recently, also: now dead) and if it was ever Hilton, then it can’t be now because he’s been a corpse for two years. We’re best off forgetting the whole H-surname thing now, really.

Do we know who User 2972 is now?

Still no. Could be somebody in the next room, could be somebody in Spain.

What’s did Steve spot that we’ve all missed about Dot’s dying declaration?

That in his final moments, Dot tapped out the Morse code for the letter H (fittingly, dot dot dot dot). Steve theorises that H isn’t the initial of the senior officer running organised crime, but a clue. Tap tap tap tap. Dot dot dot dot. “Four dots, four Caddies, four police staff in league with organised crime,” says Steve. “Dot, Hilton, Gill, plus one more,” adds Kate. And they’re still out there.

It’s a puzzle, because as series five has shown, there are loads of police staff working in league with organised crime. Vihan Malhotra, Lisa Cafferty’s entire unit, Hargreaves, PC Bloom from the Eastfield Status Zero call, all the ones whose frozen sperm was stashed in that brothel freezer… Unless Dot meant that there are four who’ve been really pulling the strings for years, one of which is still to be uncovered, and all of those others are simply blackmail/bribery victims.

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So we’ve been barking up the wrong tree with all this H business?

That’s what Steve is suggesting.

Is that entirely fair?

All’s fair in love and grip-the-nation crime drama.


How long has legal counsel Gill Biggeloe been working with the OCG?

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Years. Ted suggests it started back in her defence lawyer days, just like series four’s Jimmy Lakewell, when she successfully defended a member of the OCG and was duly put on the payroll.

The evidence we have of her wrongdoing rests in her series three actions. In her very first scene, Gill vetoes the suspension of Danny Waldron’s unit and recommends that the investigation into Waldron is called off, ostensibly on the basis of a lack of evidence, but could now be read as evidence of her colluding in a cover-up. (The OCG risked being exposed by Waldron’s revenge attacks/investigation into his childhood abusers at the Sands View Children’s Home so wanted him stopped, hence Dot making Hari shoot Danny.)

Gill also gave Ted what she called an unredacted file on Danny’s murder victim, which turned out to have been redacted to remove connections that would lead back to the OCG. Dot was blamed for supplying the file. She also suggests to Ted that he hand over the files investigating child sex abuser Patrick Fairbank to the proper channels, and offers to do the handover herself.

Later, Gill also tries to get Ted to move Steve Arnott to another department and is the one who recommends Steve is suspended when Dot tries to frame him as the Caddy.

Gill was also seen congratulating Dot Cottan on his award and suggesting he goes up for a DCI promotion. A right wrong’un, basically.

Why was Gill framing Hastings?

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Because he was a thorn in the side of the organised crime unit, and putting him away would discredit all of AC-12’s investigations into them thus far.

How did Gill frame Hastings?

She tried and failed to seduce him after a boozy dinner in series three (“I thought the taxpayers wouldn’t mind” – never trust anyone on this show who fiddles their expenses), either because of a genuine attraction (she’s only human) or as the first step in a plan to discredit/groom him.

Next, she investigated Ted’s Belfast past, uncovered the Anne-Marie McGillis story, then in January 2018, exploited that by selecting McGillis’ son as the UCO infiltrating the OCG and lying to him that Ted was his mother’s killer, ensuring that Corbett would go after Ted. If Corbett killed Ted in the process, all the better.

She also fed 100k traceable to the OCG to Mark Moffatt, who was DCI Roz Huntley’s lawyer in series four, and instructed him to pass it to Ted so it would look as though Ted was on the take.

And finally, to really stick the knife in, she had the OCG plant hairs she stole from Ted’s comb when they spent the night together at his hotel, on John Corbett’s corpse.

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Did Ted have something to do with the murder of Anne-Marie McGillis?

He says not so that’s what we have to believe. Anne-Marie was informing on the terrorist group that her dead husband was active in, and Ted failed to protect her from being kidnapped and murdered by them.

Did Ted tell Lee Banks that Corbett was with the police?

It’s not explicitly stated, but Lisa McQueen did confirm that Banks was the source of tip-off from Blackthorn Prison that there was a rat in the OCG. Ted spoke to Lee Banks on the day of Corbett’s murder, and while he denied revealing the truth about Corbett, perhaps he gave something away.

Did Ted nick 50k of bribe money from the OCG?

Yes, which is definitely against the rules and regs. He was given 100k by Mark Moffatt and only 50k was discovered in his hotel room. In Ted’s moral (if not legal) defence, he did pull a Robin Hood by giving the money to John Corbett’s widow, and therefore helping out Anne-Marie McGillis’ fatherless grandkids. (Though when he separated out the 50k, he didn’t know John was dead so make of that what you will.)

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Why did Ted dispose of that laptop?

As he explained. Pornography, “nothing extreme, nothing illegal”. Just photographs of Lorraine Kelly’s feet, we’re assuming.

Is Lisa McQueen reformed now?

Sort of. She’s out of the OCG at least. She also knows full well that OCG member Ryan Pilkington has joined the police and that he was the one who murdered John Corbett, but lied to protect Ryan, saying it was Miroslav who slit John’s throat and denying all knowledge of Ryan’s involvement. She’s a good actor, McQueen, always was.

Is Kate’s marriage over?

It’s certainly not in good shape.

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Is Steve addicted to painkillers?

He’s certainly not in good shape.

Did AC-12 live to fight another day?

Yes, fella. Yes.

Read more of our Line Of Duty series five explainers here.