Line Of Duty: 2.04

Spoilers ahoy.

Were you concentrating? Not just this week but the previous three weeks as well. If not then you might want to go back and start again, it’ll be worth it. And so, to unpick the twisted web of plot, crossovers of stories and threads, things that happened in episode one and things that happened here in episode four. Where to start?

Let’s talk about DI Denton first of all. This was the least Denton-centric week but Keeley Hawes performance was still the most effecting of the hour, the scenes in the hospital with her ailing mother and the flickering thought process of whether to make a break for freedom were perfectly played. On the plus side for Denton it’s looking more and more like she’s innocent, but sadly she’s been kidnapped by the real bad guys. The question is, is she totally guilt free though?
Next up our doughty AC-12 duo, both compromised in some way. The Steve Arnott Love Machine rolls on, this week bedding Major Violent Crimes DC Rogerson, unless this is part of a bigger picture this thread of story is very weird. DC Fleming is out on the street, her husband knows about her affair, and with her lover, Rich Ackers, going down due to his wife and her dodgy dealings. But is there more to that story, she was obviously trying to get intel of the dirty copper, was the the intention of the mission or was she doing that off her own back? The beauty of this series is that nothing is as inconsequential as it seems.

Which rather neatly brings us back to the missing person case that Denton had been doggedly following. It transpires that wasn’t just a storyline to run alongside the main story and then forgotten about, it is the main story. This missing girl, Carly Kirk, disappeared the same night that DCC Dryden alleges he got caught speeding. There’s much more to that story than can be explained here but it all brings us to the finale and Denton’s capture by two bent vice cops, one who took the girls DNA and is pally with Dryden, the other who threw poor DC Trotman out of the window. A very tangled web.

Finally where does Superintendent Ted Hastings go from here. The consistent moral centre of the entire two series so far, he hasn’t moved from there until this week, and my how the mighty fall. When Dryden kept Hastings money problems under his hat it looked like a favour, now it looks like it’s put the Super on very dodgy ground; there’s no corroboration to his story that he disclosed it. Worse than that in his enthusiasm to get promotion, more money, and his wife back, he’s compromised his beliefs. Not quite in Dryden’s pocket - yet - but willing to look the other way until he has no other choice.

Elsewhere there’s too much to mention; Dot Cottan, the tracker on the vehicle, the prison van accident, but more than any other this episode shows the strength of Jed Mercurio’s plotting and writing; great, intense, intimate scenes with fantastic lines and crackling atmosphere - another five minutes in the AC-12 office, this time with Dryden - are all weaved into an intricate, clever, six hour plot. It’s truly brilliant British drama.

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