I've heard of Line of Duty previously, but I've never really thought about it until a friend suggested it on Twitter. I'm familiar with star Vicky McClure thanks to her turn in last year's The Replacement, but I've heard Imma recognise many, many faces and I canea wait. Rolling S1:E01 after the break!
We open as a S.W.A.T team about to enter...a set of flats with a young man commanding and waiting on the order. As soon as the paperwork (HSE and risk assessments signed off on the hood of a police car, for real) the order "Fahrenheit" is given. Our young commander looks like he wants to throw up.
The person inside flat 56 is armed, so the team blows the door and kills the indeed-armed man inside, but not baby or wife and ohhhhhhh.
The person they just murdered wasn't armed with a weapon or wearing a gun holster, rather it was a baby carrier strap the lead took horribly wrong.
The baby and woman scream as our young commander climbs the stairs 2 at a time to get to...flat 59 with a faulty screw. Jaysus.
The S.W.A.T team has not only just killed very much the wrong person, they also let whomever was in flat 56 get away. This is very, very bad.
Chief Inspector Osborne (Owen Teale - the jerk from Game of Thrones! Well. One of the jerks from GoT) shows up and explains to everyone how this will be going down. The team yelled "Armed Police!" (instead of creeping silently up the stairs) and heard a fight or a struggle (not silence save a baby cooing and maybe a kettle on to boil) and then correctly identified themselves etc etc.
The S.W.A.T team lead Sergeant Colin Brackley (Dean Morfitt) tries to explain, but all Osborne wants is him to remember the statements HE JUST MADE, SOLDIER.
There's an inquest, of course, and young commander Steve Arnott (Martin Compston) still wants to explain what happened but Osbourne still doesn't want to hear it. When Steve presses, Osborne is done and so is Steve. He's finished, Osborne will make sure because Steve won't lie about what happened.
Now we're in anti-corruption with Steve, which could be considered a "promotion", especially since his new boss thinks the fact there's a curve for killing innocent people if they're illegal immigrants.
Hai Lennie James! I only know him from The Walking Dead (stopped watching) but here he's Tony Gates, trying to convince Jackie (Gina McKee) to pop round for a nooner. I've never seen him smile before!
He's not smiling for long, screaming outside draws his attention and he puts down armed muggers attacking a mother and her baby.
Now he's off to a gala celebrating his being Officer of the Year, he's certainly making a great first impression! (Who knew Morgan could be sexy?)
Steve and his new boss Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar) don't look all that impressed, how does Gates get those numbers anyway?
Gates doesn't get much time to bask in the glory of his fancy award with his friends, Jackie's calling and it doesn't sound good.
He heads to her (HUGE POSH) place to find her drunk and near hysteria, she went out partying and maybe hit something. A dog. Or post. And then she reported the car stolen because that made sense to her (being knee deep in wine) and there's the matter of her previous conviction for drunk driving. He asks for her keys.
Then stages a break-in.
You know, your love life is your own, Tony, but I'd suggest not carrying on much further with that one. You have two lovely daughters to support, not to mention
Ahhhhhhh I just saw Vicky McClure for the first time and tell me she doesn't look like Spock?
With lovely blue eyes!
She's Constable Kate Fleming and she's here to empathize with Mr. Butterfield (Brian Miller) who would rather the police were finding who robbed him three times this year instead of passing his file around like a case of leprosy. He's gone and so is WPC Karen Larkin (Fiona Boylan) who rolls her eyes first.
Kate's off to see one of Tony's cronies, Derek Hilton (Paul Higgins) who has eager eyes and a desire to reduce knife crimes in his district. She wrote up the mugging attempt that Tony foiled and now he'd like her to re-write it with only one person charged with the knife-y bits, as there was only one actual bit of flatware.
Now that's a great mystical question we could really take apart over a cuppa, turn it around and look at it from all sides as one of those character-testing jobbies, but Derek would only like it to sound as though there were LESS knives out there instead of more, fanks.
All sorts of unclear direction later and Kate is out with a "you're not the new girl any more."
She listens as across the room Tony reviews all the day's crimes with the rest of the (male) detectives, looks like his girlfriend totally did not hit a dog (we knew that) and we've got a body by the dog park.
Tony heads right there, thankfully there is no CCTV but there is a witness. No ID on the body seems odd? The dead person looks like a regular businessman, out walking in the dark in the middle of the night with no ID. When do we find out that Jackie hit this guy on purpose and stole his wallet?
Tony tells Jackie, who does not want to go to the police. Well, other than him. He tells her to lie as little as possible and you don't think she's going to do that, do you, Tony? This is not a woman accustomed to taking responsibility for her actions.
Steve and Kate meet, he's being posted to the Alamo too. AC-12 (anti-corruption) rather, Derek about runs into Tony's office to tell him that the complaint has been made against him personally.
An extremely awkward meeting follows, until Tony finds out it's just about receiving a free breakfast from the cafe he left to run after those muggers. Tony almost pees, he's so relieved it's not about all the perverting the course of justice he's been up to.
Off he goes and Hastings and Steve chat about how they're really gonna take Tony down for his inflated crime figures. I don't think Steve is going to do very well in anti-corruption, he keeps arguing FOR Tony against his boss.
Kate has the hit-and-run file.
Jackie is in the station. Rita Bennett (Alison Lintott) takes her information (soooooo slowly) as Tony watches. She does NOT follow his advice and lies her ass off, which is okay because Rita is neither a police officer nor paying attention.
Tony confronts her outside, what did he expect, really? She insincerely promises to go to jail, if that's what he wants...?
Steve and Hastings head to the pub for a pint, where SexySpock Kate and her pals from work are as well. Nobody wants to drink with AC-12, Kate especially since his lot is trying to screw over her boss.
Her boss Tony gets home to his loving wife and two awesome kidlets. I wonder if Jools Gates (Kate Ashfield) understands how tenuous life as she knows it has become. On the whole, it's probably safer to be Kate in the pub.
Tony listens to his daughter play piano while Steve does a deep dive into his background. I can't believe a guy with this many commendations is still looking over every file in his area.
Steve can't either, approaching Tony the next morning to explain that he's a "proper copper" and like recognises like. He and Tony build a little rapport before Tony heads off to lean on Rita for info about Jackie.
Kate makes a run at Tony directly after, she wants to join his squad. He FLIRTS at her. She throws it back.
And then we're off to AC-12 where Tony is being brought it for questioning again, this time with police rep DCI Alice Prior (Heather Craney). I don't know who's more surprised: Tony or Steve. Probably Steve but Hastings is all smug post-canary-eating glow.
They're widening the investigation into Tony's conduct, including the allegation of "Laddering" which is adding extra charges for better stats? Or somefing? Oh but Tony's not being suspended during the investigation, why deny the commonwealth all his attributes?
A weird eye-humping standoff later, the tape is off and Tony threatens Steve; "nobody plays me."
Hastings doesn't understand why Steve doesn't embrace his inner-snitchhood.
Steve wonders if Tony is being targeted for his skin colour, Hastings has a confusing view on systemic racism and victimization and also maybe doesn't own a mirror.
Kate sits at the big boy table at the pub this time, earning her spot in a trial by awkward dad jokes and probable wobbly passes later in the evening.
The fun's not over for Steve, Hastings waiting for him outside the office to take him to see...Kate?
Kate's undercover for AC-12??
She asks him: does he want to make a difference? Tony and his team, nicknamed the Big Sexy, get the best of everything for their unit; what about all the other people whose crimes aren't being investigated *coughMr.Butterfieldcough* because the offenses aren't Big or Sexy enough? Does Steve want to really help or not?
What he doesn't want is a giant turd on his car seat, but you get what you get and you don't get upset. Or rather he does, going straight into where Tony is briefing his team who totally put that turd on his seat.
Ohhhh then Tony calls himself the King (as in: you take a shot at the King, better kill him, etc etc) so I have to switch away from his sexy, sexy corrupt side and hang out with Steve with the bad hair. FINE.
Detectives Morton (Neil Morrissey) and Cottan (Craig Parkinson) start surveillance on drug dealers, thanks to Kate's intel on the uptick of Class-A drugs in the bog. They're watching Wesley Duke (Dylan Duffus) and the next day Kate helps more in the review and that's it: she's on the team!
Tony heads over to see Jackie, who's schwasted again and napping in the middle of the afternoon. He forgives her as she apologizes on her knees.
Steve continues to investigate Tony, Hastings pops round to tell him that it was the King himself who dropped that load in Steve's car but I seriously doubt that. I spent far too long trying to figure out the logistics, but that was simply a massive...donation. Can't be hooman.
The next day Tony heads to the place they've supposedly been surveilling (one shift left before the other showed up, so there was no cover), inside are two tortured and dead men. All the detectives are there, including Kate as Tony and his team will be taking over this Big Sexy crime and seriously: how are these yahoos the Big Sexy Team? Walking around peeing themselves because they left early and blaming it on overtime.
Back at the station is Mr. Butterfield, who got beat up this time when he was robbed. Jaysus wept, Kate.
Rita's come through for Tony, a Missing Persons report for Gurjit Patel looks a lot like our mysterious hit-and-run victim. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
He was Jackie's accountant and I KNEW IT. Good job letting your girlfriend slide because of her big eyes and suppressed gag reflex, Tony! How long until we find out she's only banging Tony so he can help her get away with murdering her accountant?
Even Rita knows something is up.
Tony sends her for a cuppa and deletes all the files associated...or does he? He thinks about it first but Steve's looking at exactly the files at the same time, that's going to be a problem if he checks again and finds nada. We're out.
It's interesting to see our protagonist become our antagonist just like that, when Steve found that poop on his seat he knew for sure that Tony was dirty. Because an honest person wouldn't have this ridiculous team with their secret handshakes and stupid hair and predilection for feces transplantation. He also wouldn't call himself the King, probably. So. It's not just a top proper copper inflating his numbers and working out some martial discord on the side (although he looked perfectly happy at home too), something is rotten in Denmark and Steve is now firmly on the side of the angels and whatever Hastings is. Until next time! Thanks for the recommend!