Wait - how can I only be on the third episode of Line of Duty when so.much.has.happened?? I mean. There's been a few murders, three squads, a bunch of spies and / or undercover agents, how was that only two episodes?? I'd better find out, either way. Rolling S1:E03 after the break!
So as I said, I recapped the first two episodes:
but I'll try to do a quick sum-up. Steve Arnott (Martin Compson) is a brandnew cop-narc (as in cop who narcs on other cops) after an unfortunate and fatal SWAT ops that he ran where a completely innocent person died. His first assignment is investigating whether top copper Tony Gates (smoking hot Lennie James) has been padding his stats; officer Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure - the lead, even if you can't tell by my intro. She's fab) is checking the same, but from an undercover position inside Tony's Big Sexy Team.
Not only has Tony been inflating his numbers, he's been deflating his (married) wobblies with attractive "friend" Jackie Laverty (Gina McKeee), who totally killed her accountant by "accident" and asked Tony to clean it up for her. Once Tony realised that she'd lied about knowing who she "accidentally" hit in the dark, he decided to arrest her but before he could, thugs showed up at her house and killed Jackie with a knife, knocking him out and framing him for it.
Oh and Jackie was involved with some drug money laundering or something. There have also been random gang attacks involving drug wholesalers, Team Big Sexy maybe messed up one of those ops.
ARE WE READY?? Let's do this!
Steve Arnott sussed out the fact that Tony was extraordinarily involved in the Jackie Laverty stolen-automobile report and he pops round just after Jackie is killed, ecstatic to see Tony's car in the driveway. Blood drops and an open door lead him into the house, where Tony sneaks up on him.
Tony's not only there, he's collected and calm and apparently hidden Jackie's body, as everything happened very quickly right inside the door. He spies his glass on the drinks tray and curses it, then leads Steve towards the stairs.
Ah, you can see the large blood pool where Jackie was killed, just not Jackie. Tony's team shows up, he buzzes Cottan (Craig Parkinson) and Morton (Neil Morrissey - he's in Unforgotten series 3, that's what made me think of coming back to this show!) in and continues his search of upstairs with Steve.
Tony nips down to clean up the drinks tray, wiping the bottle and slipping one glass into his pocket. Nobody can find Jackie, Steve knows he's being played but he can't figure out how to get his head around it.
Tony drives to a pond and makes to throw away the crystal glass but is scared away by a golfer and takes a pee instead.
Thanks for that.
Just throw it out the window, Tony! It'll shatter like nothing!
Kate joins the team investigating at Jackie's house, she's about as subtle as a truck.
Morton's watching, so they can't collude right then. Tony comes back, telling Deepak Kapoor (Faraz Ayub) to get Steve out: this is his crime scene. There's problems with the drinks tray: there is a definite circle where another glass sat AND did he know for sure which glass was his? I mean, I guess so, but still.
Steve fills his boss Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar) in on the news then heads to talk to our Rita Bennett (Alison Lintott) who has all KINDS of information for him. She's been involved from the beginning so she knows how much Tony knows and now Steve knows and it's blown his mind.
He had no idea that Tony was in this deep.
Ted and Steve have Tony in for another interview with his rep DCI Alice Prior (Heather Craney) who suggests that maybe they could postpone given the death of Tony's "acquaintance." A remark from Steve and Tony throws down, his ego gets him into trouble every.day.
Backstory! Tony and Jackie were engaged 20 years ago, she broke it off to marry someone else but after her divorce came looking for some Tony. Ohh he is quick on his feet, he calls Jackie his stalker, not lover, he didn't report because she was a good-looking woman.
They had a past, no smoke without fire, right? Since we know they were burning it up on a regular basis, I admire the ballsiness of walking that thin line between truth and lies.
When he called her his stalker, he made eye contact with Steve, who was so pleased at this chess move that he bounced up and down in his seat a little. That was glorious. Tony using a glass of water as a barrier between himself and Steve is as well.
Steve thinks he has Tony tied up, but Tony deleting the crucial file from the database frustrates that claim and we think we're done here.
Ah but we have phone data to review! Bloody hell, personal texts read out by your nemesis with unfortunate hair must be torture. Tony pours another glass of water and doubles down on his story, he and Jackie had a one-night stand for old time's sake blah blah blah.
Tony is excused from the investigation into Jackie Laverty's disappearance.
A throwaway question from Steve: where was Tony last night? Alice has been great all along, trying to follow protocol and give Tony chances to parse his answers, but Mr. Big Sexy plows right through, answering everything off the cuff. He's locked in this dance with Steve, it will be a cage match before we're done.
Oh and Steve has Tony on the ropes with the phone records and how did you get in the gate, Tony? so fraught! Tony recovers and skates, but for how long?
Tony tries to pull himself together, fighting the ghosts of Jackie Laverty to brief his team about what's happening with the case. He refocuses them on the double murder and murder of Wesley Duke (Dylan Duffus) they were investigating previously.
DS Leah Janson (Claire Keelan) interrupts, they'd better come see. Steve got the forensic analysis of the decanter and glass, identifying Jackie's prints and DNA but nothing on the bottle. He went straight to the parking lot to Tony's car, which is where Team Big Sexy finds him.
It's unfortunate in thatTony practically drips testosterone, he can't let one thing pass with Steve, one opportunity to embarrass or undermine him. It's his main weakness. So we get the same scene as before, Tony humiliating Steve to the amusement of the officers, apparently not aware of how petty and insecure it makes him look.
Deepak is paying very close attention at the back of the pack, he's got something on Tony about that drinks tray.
Kate and Steve have a clandestine meeting, she's worried that he's pushing too hard too fast. That car search looked a bit desperate.
Tony's group isn't holding together all that well, Cottan already mumbling about moving on. Morton backs him up I think Cottan's a risk now.
I can't figure out why I'm still Team Tony.
Speaking of desperate, Steve is waiting at Tony's house, checking on his story of sleeping in the spare room. He sends Steve packing, his wife Jools (Kate Ashfield) would like to know exactly what the hell he was up to last night. He spreads some oil on troubled waters and seals it with a hug, but she marches outside to tell Steve to stay the hell away from her family.
Oh ho! Jools is not taking anything lying down. Ah the sadness of that be-ringed hand.
Tony heads back to the office where Kate's been running the CCTV footage from near the double murder, she's picked up that they're using cloned plates.
An interesting moment when Tony pats Kate on the shoulder as an "Atta girl", earning a sideeye, leaving him to regretfully remove his hand.
We're over to young thug Ryan Pilkington (Gregory Piper) who is too busy breaking into cars to attend an informal review (I fink) over being beaten up by a frustrated Alf Butterfield (Brian Miller). Bannerjee (Neet Mohan) has to speak up because laziest copper alive Karen Larkin (Fiona Boylan) tries to rush Alf into just accepting the caution, which will result in a criminal record. The poor old dear lives in the worst place ever, his house is broken into constantly by kids on the drugs game. He met Kate Fleming first, the fourth time (or something) his place was broken into, so he invokes her name now. This is all her fault!
Well, she got transferred, see, and didn't have time to, okay never mind, help the poor old fella, Kate!
Tony runs to see his great pal bigwig Derek Hilton (Paul Higgins) who doesn't have time for him at the moment. How about when the dust settles and Derek can finish disassociating himself with Tony? Now that Tony's not getting any Copper of the Year Awards these days. He is happy to hear that Tony thinks he's cracked the double/triple murder, though, he can take that to the Chief Constable.
Buckells (Nigel Boyle) pops in, he'll be taking over the Laverty case and nah, he doesn't want any direction from Tony, fanks.
Tony gets back to his office to get a message from...Jackie??
We saw her throat being slit, she wasn't WOUNDED, she was dead, right? Right?
Tony and I stare around the room, who's messing with him??
Kate bursts in with the word that they've spotted their vehicle of interest, everyone mobilizes in one second with their vests on but Kate is pulled aside: what?
She's ordered by DC Janson to stand down, she's not allowed to participate and look, mates: this is my second night on this show and I'm not rewinding again. Did she do something untoward or is it about Alf Butterfield?
At any rate, she's not allowed to play with the team so they speed off without her, Tony telling her to check out the recent activity on Jackie's phone. Morton has something to say to Tony but I couldn't make it out, the sirens were distracting and so were the 8 phone calls going on at once.
Kate runs dispatch while everyone drives in circles and Tony spots the suspects and pursues on foot then his usual unit. Kate WAS sidelined by Mr. Butterfield's complaint, ah.
Those sirens are really getting up my nose.
They're led to a storage facility, Tony once again following on foot but slightly disabled Morton not able to stay with him, which is unfortunate as Tony is hit by the car, then handcuffed by wee Ryan and three hooded thugs, they have Jackie's phone and now they have him.
Ryan laughs as the Bad Guys drag Tony over to a freezer where Jackie's mortal remains are being kept in storage, along with the knife used to kill her with Tony's fingerprints all over it.
The Big Kahuna Bad Guy calls Ryan's phone (seriously, this kid is 12, maybe, why is he in charge?), Jackie used to work for him and now Tony does.
Steve gets a dressing down from Ted about his recent shenanigans, they're supposed to be the good guys, damnit!
Inexplicably, Tony is back at the station in regular clothes, briefing his skeptical team who mostly stare at each other in slo-mo. Kate stays after to ask if she can help, he's not sure anyone can. Some soothing words later, I think he's starting to crack.
He does share something with her, "it's in a skip."? The whiskey glass? Kate knows because she follows him instead of calling Steve. Ohhh the whiskey glass is in a skip? Kate follows Tony to outside Jackie's house where Steve, Ted and Buckells are digging in the drain outside.
Ahhhh, Tony set up a sting within his own group, telling all of them different locations of the whiskey glass. It was Deepak who he told it was in this drain, now he knows who his mole is.
Kate's pissssed that Tony didn't trust her (bit rich seeing as she totally is investigating him), leaving in a huff as Steve gets yelled at by Tim and heads off to see Sergeant Colin Brackley (Darren Morfitt).
Colin was the head of the S.W.A.T. team that Steve was coordinating with in that fateful and fatal takedown gone wrong, he's heard that Steve is planning to testify about the coverup. They would like Steve to go along with him and everyone else, Colin's wrecked trying to get over that day. He was the one who pulled the trigger. He cries as he begs Steve to reconsider, Steve finds it impossible to walk away as he would like.
Steve's got a lot of conflict in his life right now. He's not sure what to do.
Deepak silently clears out his desk, save the dead rat in his desk. He stops to challenge Tony on the way out, he's going to take all of them down with him, is he? "Arrogant wanker."
Buckells stops in just then to ask Kate about the trace on Jackie's phone, Tony runs him off then dismisses Rita, who'd like a bit of tea and sympathy.
She heads to the canteen for the tea, and we see where that whiskey glass has been hiding all along: in the kitchen at the police station.
Derek meets with Ted for lunch to warn him away from Tony, he wouldn't want to be seen to being extra rough on those "from the south", would he?
Does that mean black?
Tony from the south waits for his children when he gets a call: he'd better re-route this money laundering investigation and fast. Tony is probably the most watched man in England, north or south, how's he supposed to do that? "That's your problem, ya bent bastard."
Ted sorts out the problem with Kate's complaint and then he and Kate receive a text from Steve:
And we're out literally watching Steve drive away. Well. That felt like quite a lot, didn't it? Until next time! Cheers