Jed Mercurio continues to impress with the creation of ‘Line of Duty’. I looked him up and he also created ‘The Grimleys’, the comedy set in Dudley that had Noddy Styles and Amanda Holden in it – that was a great show too!
In this penultimate episode of Line of Duty, Tony Gates is really in it. But everytime you think Arnott and AC12 are going to be able to pin the murder of Jackie Laverty and involvement in money laundering on him, he seems to suddenly pull another trick out of the big to keep the police chiefs on side.
So at the end of last episode, Steve Arnott said he was ‘out’. But Kate is determined to bring him back in to nail murder, manslaughter, and everything she can on Tony Gates. She continues to cosy up to Gates, trying to be his friend and confidante, and works out that Gates was involved with the money laundering as he used money to pay for his daughters’ posh private school (£9k a year). But in previous episodes it had seemed that Gates knew nothing about Laverty’s money laundering. He did, however, accept £9k from her to pay for the first year of his daughters’ school, and so this financial transaction links him to Laverty and fraud. With the mysterious man on the phone (my suspicion is that the Scottish voice belongs to Andrew Laverty, Jackie’s ex-husband, or someone connected to the police) pestering Gates to get the police off the money-laundering case, Gates tries to move the case to fraud so that it disappears. But things get complicated once Arnott comes back in.
Because it is now clear to Arnott that the Greek Street murders at the end of episode 1 are connected to the Laverty case. So he wants to know why ‘Dot’ or Cotton, left his surveillance post 10 minutes early. Was Gates involved in the murders directly? Anti-corruption haul in the whole squad – Dot, Nige (Neil Morrissey) and Kate – and get Dot to confess that it was Tony who told him to leave his surveillance post early. But is this really the case? Arnott thinks he can now charge Gates with murder, but again leaves it to the next morning and is foiled. Gates goes to his superior and suggests that these drug murders are actually linked to a terrorist cell and so the whole case becomes a full-scale terrorist alert case.
Meanwhile, Gates is still trying to locate the warehouse where the criminals had taken him and shown him Jackie Laverty’s dead body. What he doesn’t know is that the body has been moved and dumped in the freezer of a man with Downs Syndrome in the estate. He calls the police to let them know but they basically ignore him. And as Arnott continues to investigate the money-laundering case, the man on the phone tells Gates that Arnott needs to be killed.
The episode ends with Nige working out that Kate is AC12 because she has 2 phones, and driving off in a huff, while her secret is now out in the open as she searches for Arnott. Arnott has followed a lead which has led him straight to the criminals and the abandoned warehouse. The young boy, who acts as go-between between the overlord and the underpins, revels in torturing Arnott, by putting his hand in a vice and proceeding to pull off his fingers – trying to work out how much Arnott knows. And Gates watches on, and then drives away. Is he escaping or is he going to finally confess and sort this whole thing out?
Perhaps a more exposition heavy summary and episode, but pretty gruesome towards the end, and really the downward spiral of Gates is fascinating to watch. Perhaps not the best man ever, but he isn’t as bad as the circumstances are forcing him to turn out. Let’s hope for a suitably explosive ending next week.