The Line of Duty finale left fans 'underwhelmed': all about cast and characters (with spoilers!)

Line of Duty: Season 6
BBC hits record audience
Ian Buckells
Three stars
“Underwhelming”, according to Piers.
What else happened in the finale?
Jo’s family mystery continues
Tying up loose ends
Is Jed Mercurio going to bring LOD back for a seventh season?
The hunt for 'The Fourth Man'
Señor y Señora Thurwell
The Jo Davidson interview
A difficult family history
The family puzzle could be the key
What will Kate Fleming uncover?
The big question - is DI Kate Fleming alive?
Fan's reactions say it all
The mystery relative
More news on the Gail Vella case
Patricia Carmichael
More Teddisms
Back to last week's fourth episode
Lakewell would
What does Arnott know?
Lakewell's last clue
The Buckells interview
Ted Hasting's future doesn't look so bright
The agonising cliffhanger
The build up from episode three
Old Battles
Linking back to the first series
Davidson
Creating a hype with a secret message
Martin Compston
A family man
Arnott's uneasy beginning
Arnott years later
Vicky McClure
Best Actress, This is England, Broadchurch
The Sound of Silence
Kate Fleming
Reassigned
Adrian Dunbar
Did you know...?
Ted Hastings
Hastings
Hastings has his work cut out
Kelly Macdonald
A well respected British actress
Shalom Brune-Franklin
Shalom as Private Maisie
Andi Osho
So what can we expect from Season 6?
Line of Duty: Season 6

Season 6 of the hit BBC TV show 'Line of Duty' came back to us in March after a two year absence from the screen. The characters have a mission - to bring bent policemen to justice. Since Sunday 21st March we have seen four episodes of the new season and, after some necessary background, episode 4 has arrived, leaving many on social media 'screaming at their screens'. Spoiler alert!

BBC hits record audience

The hit TV show season 6 has come to an end with a BBC record of viewers (11 million) tuning in to watch the big reveal. But fans have taken to social media to express their disapointment in the final episode.

Ian Buckells

That’s right, the answer to the mysterious ‘H’, AKA ‘The Fourth Man’, has been revealed as none other than Ian Buckells. This hasn’t come as much of a revelation and it seems the answer was hiding in plain sight throughout the series. Audiences were expecting the reveal to be somewhat more complex, following the show’s intricate storyline twists. But no, viewers were left feeling underwhelmed by the ‘obvious’ choice.

Three stars

Harry Fletcher, who writes for the Metro said of the finale, "Its usual complexity seemed to go out of the window during the pivotal interrogation scene with Ian Buckells (Nigel Boyle), which saw him unmasked as the Fourth Man [also known as H]," and gave the finale a modest three star review.

“Underwhelming”, according to Piers.

Piers Morgan also expressed his disappointment on Twitter, along with numerous other fans of the show. He said, “Definately a tad underwhelming. #LineofDutyFinale.”

What else happened in the finale?

Steve finally obtains help from the occupational health department, hopefully a step towards recovery for the troubled character. "You might benefit from some time off work," the medical counsellor tells him. Of course, Steve didn’t listen and, during the prison transport taking Jo Davidson to her certain doom (after someone used Kate’s signature to sign her out of prison), he, along with Kate, intercepts the transport and takes her to safety.

Jo’s family mystery continues

Jo Davidson named CS Patrick Fairbanks as the bent policeman she thought was her father. We know from the previous episode that Tommy Hunter was her biological father (and uncle) but this does deliver a surprising twist to the final episode as Fairbank declares he doesn’t remember Davidson. There seems to still be more to this complex story...

Tying up loose ends

One critic, however, praised the final episode. Han Moir of the Daily Mail said the finale was "a richly satisfying final episode, one that made up for the longeurs of previous weeks".
"Many loose ends were tied up," she said. "Although one big question remains: Will there be another series?"

Is Jed Mercurio going to bring LOD back for a seventh season?

Talking about a possible season 7, Jed Mercurio had previously told Radio Times Magazine: “We’re in a situation where it’s not entirely clear that there will be a seventh series. We would hope there could be. But we’re having to do our planning coming out of Covid, and a whole bunch of other things, around the idea that these things aren’t guaranteed at all now.”

The hunt for 'The Fourth Man'

The penultimate episode of the series has tied up a lot of loose ends - but not enough for poor Hastings - who suffers yet another blow in his quest to try and find ‘The Fourth Man’.

Señor y Señora Thurwell

AC-12 will not get their chance to question former detective Marcus Thurwell as he was discovered dead by the Spanish authorities along with ‘Señora Thurwell’. Hastings, on borrowed time, didn’t take the news well, "It's another kick in the teeth! There's only so much a man can take!". Was Thurwell silenced? And by whom? And was it really him in those grainy shots?

The Jo Davidson interview

Jo Davidson was interviewed to try and connect anything she might possibly know to the ‘Fourth Man’ that Hastings is obsessed with catching before he leaves the force. Although a lot of the interview was filled with ‘no comment’s, some information was gleaned and viewers very much warmed to Davidson as she took the fall for Ryan’s death, confessed to planting the burner phones and revealed moments of pushing back against the OCG.

A difficult family history

Her uncle, who was also her father (as it was revealed her mother was raped by her brother when she was 15 years old) had groomed her for a life in the forces to assist him with his criminal activities so, poor Jo, has had an awful lot to deal with recently.

The family puzzle could be the key

But one thing is looking more and more likely - could the person who Jo believed was her father be ‘The Fourth Man’? The interview was cut short before viewers got any closer to discovering how Jo Davidson’s family puzzle could be the key to unmasking the mysterious ‘H’. Having received threats from the clearly OCG-planted prison guards, she is only safe thanks to the CCTV outside her cell.

What will Kate Fleming uncover?

The OCG workshop is being dug up. The investigation, led by Kate Fleming, uncovered a number of clues at the site as to who was involved in Lakewell’s attempted murder. Now viewers are anxiously awaiting DNA and fingerprint results from the weapons workshop which could possibly lead to the bent OCG officer planted within the case. With only one episode to go, can the officers get the job done?

The big question - is DI Kate Fleming alive?

A show-down between Ryan Pilkington and Kate Fleming finished the previous week's episode and had fans screaming as the screen blacked out and two shots were heard. Who shot who? Thankfully Kate is still alive and it was her who shot two bullets into Ryan Pilkington's chest.

Fan's reactions say it all

Fans of the hit TV show have taken to social media to express their shock at the latest ending to this nail-biting series. One fan, @itsmeattribute, said: "I was literally screaming for Kate to pull the trigger". While another, Sophie Chappo, couldn't even produce sound, "I couldn’t scream because I had momentarily stopped breathing"

The mystery relative

Last week's cliffhanger was answered - Jo's family relative is actually Tommy Hunter - remember him from the first few seasons? Head of the ODG but killed off at the beginning of the second season. Many are thinking he is Jo Davidson's father, but how does this affect character Jo? Is she being blackmailed?

More news on the Gail Vella case

Gail Vella was on to something. She was researching the 2003 Lawrence Christopher case which, on the surface, appeared to be a racist hate crime. Looking deeper, however, Vella had apparently discovered something else. Tommy Hunter's son, Darren, was one of the suspected killers.

Patricia Carmichael

Patricia Carmichael is back and stormed in to tell Hastings that she had been put in charge. But this all came at rather a suspicious time. Kate was put in immediate danger and the team tried to run off and save her, but Carmichael wasn't impressed. Also, Sindwhani had just resigned and claims he had been on Ted's side all along. Meaning he would have been against the Chief Constable who was the one that brought Carmichael back in. Chief Constable Osborne - who could possibly be the one behind it all.

More Teddisms

And, of course, it wouldn't be a Line of Duty episode without some incredible lines from the one and only Ted Hastings. "Now we're sucking diesel" has got to be in the top three phrases from this episode, as well as his reaction to Kate's sticky situation, "That's my officer out there, I'll breathe when she's safe" creating some necessary tension. But the favourite 'Teddism' of the week has to be, "We'll be left holding a spratt when we should have landed a mackerel". What?

Back to last week's fourth episode

The build up was creating a lot of hype. Actor Martin Compston, who plays Steve Arnott in the show, took to his Twitter account before the episode aired, saying this was going to be the 'big one'.

“On paper one of the best @jed_mercurio has ever written, if we deliver what was there potential to be a classic."

He wasn't wrong...

Lakewell would "never be safe"

Jimmy Lakewell, a dodgy lawyer who went to prison for his not-so-legal behaviour, was last seen in season 4. He resurfaced to keep his secrets hidden, but let a few hints slip to viewers.

What does Arnott know?

During Lakewell's interview, he hinted that Arnott knew something that no one else did. He said, “That’s right isn’t DI Arnott? I didn’t talk”. Perhaps Lakewell had told Arnott something in the van before the shootout, but we will have to wait until next week before we find out what Arnott knew. It won't come from Lakewell, however, as he was strangled on his return to the prison.

Lakewell's last clue

He also implied he knew exactly who was at the top of the OCG and why they were committing such shady and devious operations. In fact, he even hinted that there could be a racist tone underlying their motivation.

The Buckells interview

Buckells proved himself to be a complete nervous wreck in this episode and it is clear he is no 'H' material. The murder of Jimmy was a warning, which will probably keep Buckells silent for a bit longer. Interestingly, though, he did point the finger at Kate Fleming being responsible for hiring bent policeman Ryan Pilkington. A desperate action or something more sinister?

Ted Hasting's future doesn't look so bright

Every episode, Hastings seems to run into Andrea Wise and Rohan Sindwhani for the next instalment of their concern and disappointment of the meddling in the Gail Vella case. This last meeting however, ended with Hastings being given a month to retire, AC-12 facing shut down as 90 percent of staff will be cut and an almost empathetic reaction from Sindwhani. But where is CC Osbourne who seems to be the master of these two puppets?

The agonising cliffhanger

The episode, full of conspiracy, lies, murder and police shoot-outs, ended with the public 'screaming at their screens'. The forensic analysis returned from Farida Jatri’s residence and Davidson's fingerprints were everywhere. But the suspense in the story is this: her prints match with someone already in the system, someone who they have seen before, someone who is most likely a blood relative of Davidson. Sharp intake of breath.

The build up from episode three

After finding Terry, a possible witness to the Vella's murder, and bringing him for interview, the questioning was finally cut short as Davidson feared an OCG will be incriminated. Ryan and Lisa were given the task of driving Terry home but things took a twist as Ryan said he needed to find a new route for Terry's security. He pulled the car into the reservoir, but all three manage to escape the sinking vehicle. Ryan doesn't have time to finish the job on Terry as Fleming was just minutes behind, but he did manage to drown his partner, DCI Lisa Patel before appearing to run and save Terry's life. Who really is Ryan Pilkington? We bet Davidson knows...

Old Battles

Hastings was pulled up by the big bosses where they said they weren't too happy with the performances of AC-12. They remind Hastings he is on the last warning and shouldn't spend that time 'chasing phantoms' from previous cases. One of the best moments of the episode was the end of this meeting as Hastings was told to stop the enquiry into H, with DCC Wise saying, "This is not about old battles". To that, Hastings responded, "The name's Hastings ma'am, I am the epitome of an old battle." Brilliant.

Linking back to the first series

In episode three, not only were fans given a reference to the attempt of cutting Steve's fingers off in series one, there was a huge revelation and the freezer, where Tony Gates' lover Jackie Laverty had been stored, was finally found in a scrapyard. Despite the good news, CCTV footage was missing and no one wanted to speak up about the deposit of the freezer. Hastings commented on the discovery of Terry's missing freezer, saying, "This little fella Terry Boyle, he must have a tale to tell or three... Woe betide anyone who gets in our way".

Davidson

DSU Buckells was the one who brought Ryan Pilkington to the case years ago - apparently he was an 'old family friend'. In the third instalment of the series, Buckells was arrested for perverting the course of justice thanks to a paperwork muddle tip off by Davidson. The missing files were then found in the boot of his car. Is it staged? Have they arrested the right man? The episode finished with Davidson sat at her computer typing "All under control now" as 'Unknown user' begins to type a message back...

Creating a hype with a secret message

Before this season even came to our screens, 'Line of Duty' had already given a huge teaser hidden within the trailer. A QR code appeared in the trailer and, when scanned, it revealed a top secret file called “Operation Easter egg hunt”, leaving audiences on the edge of their seats to find out what is in store for the investigation team this time around.

Martin Compston

Martin Compston has played Anti-Corruption Unit Detective Sergeant Steve Arnott since the beginning of the show, giving life to a multifaceted character. Don’t let the accent in 'Line of Duty' fool you, this actor is Scottish and was originally a professional footballer, having played for Greenock Morton FC. He then shot his first film which was a hit at Cannes and gained him recognition, including Most Promising Newcomer and the British Independent Film Awards.

A family man

A year ago, Martin revealed he had become a father but not much information has been given to the public about the baby. Martin and his wife, Tianna, an aspiring American cheerleader-turned-actress, moved to Las Vegas, Nevada in 2019 and have remained there since, down the road from Tianna’s mother. Tianna actually has a cameo in 'Line of Duty.' You can catch her in the 5th series when Martin’s character, Arnott, receives a dating app message from ‘Tina’ cuddling her dog. This is actually Tianna with the Staffie that they both share.

Arnott's uneasy beginning

Compston’s character, Arnott, initially worked at the Counter Terrorism Unit and ordered his team to move in on the wrong flat in a raid. As a result his firearms team gunned down a man in front of his wife and child, thinking he had a bomb harness around him, instead of the reality - a baby harness. Arnott refused to cover up the shooting, so he was moved and reassigned to AC-12.

Arnott years later

After 5 series of undercover investigations, conspiracy, framed for murder and pushed down stairs, damaging his back so much that he was afraid he might never walk again, Steve Arnott has seen it all. Could he be revealed as a criminal, could he actually be a bent copper? Will he ever get his promotion? Will he pay a visit to rehab after relapsing just before a drugs test? A touching talk between Steph and Steve in episode 3, season 6, reveals his bad back is still holding him back from any further intimacy between them, whilst Steph is still in love with her dead husband.

Vicky McClure

Alongside Arnott is Kate Flaming, played by Vicky McClure. An actress from humble beginnings in Nottingham, she strived to learn and train in the arts from a young age, but her family couldn’t raise the funds to send her to London theatre schools. After getting a small role at 15, nothing happened for years and she focused on getting a retail job. Until she was 20...

Best Actress, This is England, Broadchurch

Then she landed her role in 'This is England.' It was followed by the 'This is England ’86' film, which was a huge success and won her the Best Actress Award. Her career was set. Perhaps you also recognise her from the hit series 'Broadchurch' where she appeared as a journalist trying to help uncover the show’s murder mystery.

The Sound of Silence

As well as other personal dislikes, such as living in London, badly made cups of tea (everyone can empathise here) and her ‘too thinly plucked’ eyebrows, Vicky also strongly dislikes silence. She prefers to be constantly surrounded by noise. “At home there’s a radio in every room – I’ve even got a waterproof radio in the shower and sing along. I’m not good with silence. When I’m staying in a hotel I need background telly or music on,” she told Stylist Magazine.

Kate Fleming

We first met Kate, McClure’s strong character, she had gone undercover to investigate Tony Gates, and this is where she met Steve for the first time. A character with a rocky personal life, Kate separated from her husband, due to the nature of her work (and probably her affair with Richard Akers had a great deal to do with it!), but seemed to have reconciled the relationship in season 5.

Reassigned

McClure’s character, Kate, was seen in a different light in the first episodes of the new season as she was no longer in the AC-12 unit, but instead assigned to MIT. However, episode three has shown Kate and Steve working together and her reconcile with Hastings as she delivered Ian Buckells. Despite these moments of joy and smiles, and the complete faith she has in herself thanks to recent praise, we all know Ian Buckells is probably the wrong guy...

Adrian Dunbar

Northern Irish Adrian Dunbar started out training at the prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and went on to have a few small roles in some very big films and some noted theatre plays. His BAFTA nominations, however come from his portrayal of Ted Hastings in this story of secrets and corruption.

Did you know...?

Adrian Dunbar moved to New York when he was just teenager in order to escape the troubles in Northern Ireland. He was part of a band and learn the guitar, whilst singing back-up for an Elvis impersonator. After his challenging past, he found happiness and has a wife, daughter and stepson and lives in Crouch End, North London.

Ted Hastings

Northern Irish superintendent Ted Hastings is the commanding offer of AC-12 and kick starts the whole series when he recruits Steve Arnott and Kate Fleming to investigate DCI Tony Gates. Later in the show he is accused of being the infamous corrupt people offer known as ‘H’. He was then seen getting rid of his laptop in season 5. Why? Ashamed of pornography, he said. But could it have been something even more sinister?

Hastings

Will season 6 answer the many open questions about Hastings? Why did he have wads of 50 pound notes? Why did he bin his laptop? Why does he come out with those phrases?! In fact, in a recent interview, Dunbar revealed that he was asked to ‘tone down’ his ‘Teddisms’ - which would be a total shame, although there has been nothing to hint he has 'toned down' his phrases at all.

Hastings has his work cut out

Breaking the line between show and audience, a letter was revealed which stated: "Hastings doesn’t lead investigations, more commit to a crusade. He is oblivious of the politics of the situation which creates problems for me…" It seems he will have a lot to deal with in this season and the drama has already started. Will bagging the wrong man blow up in his face? He is already on his final written warning...

Kelly Macdonald

Joining season six of this nail-biting series is Kelly Macdonald, who takes the role of DCI Joanne Davidson. Another Scot to join the cast, perhaps it could be Macdonald's Line of Duty character, Joanne, who is the final piece of the puzzle to working out who ‘H’ is? This season is already shaping out to be a sly one for the character and we hope a Buckells interrogation next week will reveal whether Davidson had something to do with ordering murder. It is clear she has links with the OCG...

A well respected British actress

Kelly is no stranger to the screen, having gained critics' acclaim in films such as 'Trainspotting,' 'Harry Potter' and 'No Country for Old Men,' where she was nominated for a Best Actress in a Supporting Role BAFTA Award.

Shalom Brune-Franklin

Another newcomer to the series, Shalom plays Chloe Bishop. Another interesting, proactive character who might hold the key to discovering ‘H’’s secret identity in this season. Working hand in hand with Steve, she has proved to be a calm in the storm and a very welcome character to the series as she competently helps Steve in the investigation.

Shalom as Private Maisie

You might also know the actress as Maisie Richards from the BBC’s series 'Our Girl,' in which she starred alongside Michelle Keegan as a newly recruited army private with some insane driving skills. Shalom is a British-born Mauritian actress who grew up in St Albans and then moved to Mullaloo in Australia at 14.

Andi Osho

Stand up comedian and TV presenter Andi Osho plays murder victim Gail Vella in the first episode of the 6th season. As the description hints, she didn’t survive past the first instalment. In a similar twist to that of Sean Bean’s character in 'Game of Thrones,' who was also killed off at an early stage, Osho is a well-known face and it was surprising for many to see her playing such a limited role in the series. In fact, she simply appears in the form of a photograph. Will she actually appear in the series (flashback style) or is she just a huge fan who wanted some kind of screen time on her favourite show?

So what can we expect from Season 6?

Of course, a cover-up was always on the cards once an official inquiry was made into Operation Lighthouse. Links have already been found to the first season What personal secrets will the detectives continue to unearth? Only tuning in on the BBC at 9pm GMT on a Sundays will give you the answers…

See also: Sky TV's amazing lineup for this year

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