Line of Duty: Episode 3

No cliff-hanger ending this week, but with two more to go who knows how it will all end?

The episode started with Steve Arnott climbing over the gate into Jackie Laverty’s house, seeing Tony Gates’ car outside and hoping to catch them in the act. The last we had seen in the previous episode was Jackie’s throat being slashed and Gates being hit on the head after having the knife placed in his hand. Arnott finds a large blood stain on the entrance hallway carpet where Jackie had been stabbed, but no bodies or people. As he goes into the living room where the whiskey decanter and glasses still lie from Jackie and Tony’s earlier drinking, Tony Gates suddenly appears. He’s standing. He says that he just came 5 minutes before Arnott to arrest Jackie and found the scene as it was. Cotton and Nige (Craig Parkinson and Neil Morrissey) soon arrive as do back-up. There’s no sign of Jackie’s body though and Gates doesn’t know whats happened to it either. Gates does notice the whiskey glass though, and so wipes down the bottle and pockets his glass.

There’s a whole load of bother about the whiskey glass throughout the episode. Kate (Vicky McClure) works out that the whiskey glass is missing and alerts Arnott. Arnott hounds forensics about the traces on the bottle and the other glass; he tries to break into Gates’ car to find it; Gates tells his team individually the different places that he’s hidden it to see who is a grass (it’s Deepak – the young Asian team member); and everyone just keeps on going on about it. We do see Gates at the beginning try to throw it in a lake but he’s spotted by a fisherman. In the end, we see he’s put it in the office’s dishwasher and it’s now under all their noses in their kitchen cupboard. I don’t understand why he didn’t smash it to pieces and put it in the recycling.

Meanwhile, Arnott has stacked up the evidence against Gates and Laverty’s relationship and Gates can’t deny it anymore. He admits he knew Jackie, but says she was a stalker – they had been previously engaged to be married, but she had married Andrew Laverty, and only recently came back to his life as her marriage was on the rocks and they had a one-night stand. But he denies knowledge about her money laundering or her disappearance.

It soons becomes clear that the drug killings on the estate with the chopped fingers are connected to Jackie’s murder. While chasing the suspected drug killers, they trace Jackie’s phone to the same people. As Gates chases on foot, the gang pick him up and take him to an abandoned warehouse to show him Jackie’s body in a freezer. They give him a red mobile and someone calls him – the criminal overlord. He says he has the knife that killed Jackie with Gates’ fingerprints on it and will keep that as blackmail collateral. He wants Gates to now do his money laundering for him, or he’ll send the knife to the police. Gates accepts the phone that will be used to contact him and seems to accept that he’ll work for him, though he later protests that he’s being watched so it will be difficult to do.

Meanwhile Nige is suspicious of Kate as she tries to get Gates on her side as the anti-corruption officer on the inside. Hastings then pulls strings to get her off Gates’s team as he thinks the case against him is winding up. But Arnott is going slowly crazy with trying to bring down the ‘King’ Gates. He goes to Gates’ wife (Kate Ashfield), who is looking very tanned, and after the car fiasco too, realises he is starting to step over the “line” – the exact opposite of what the anti-corruption should be doing. He sees one of his old team members – involved in the mishap in the beginning of the series with the shooting of the innocent man – and emails Kate and Hastings to say that he’s out.

That is how it ends, but I’m sure he’ll be pulled back in for some reason. Continues to be a good series with some really good acting and tight plotting. As it was the middle episode, perhaps it was a bit slower, but hope it rachets up the tension over the next two.

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