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It was a finale that sparked a frenzy on social media. But although the identity of the 'fourth man' was revealed, Line of Duty fans still need more answers.
The hunt for bent coppers assisting OCG (Organised Crime Gangs) began with the first Line of Duty series in 2012, and over five series the AC-12 team have fingered corrupt officer Matthew "Dot" Cottan in series three, police chief Derek Hilton and the force's legal counsel Gill Biggeloe.
But this final sixth series has been all about finding the top dog – revealed as bungling DCI Ian Buckells, whose corruption was mistaken for incompetence. Or was it?
DID THEY GET THE RIGHT MAN?
The six series of one of TV's most popular dramas has been leading up to the identification of the final bent copper. But did they get the right man?
The evidence is strong – there was certainly lots of (confusing) dialogue about IP addresses, a forensic linguist, and fingerprint and DNA matches.
But another character has made this spelling mistake once before – Ted Hastings.
And most crucially, when DCI Ian Buckells was interrogated by Steve, Kate and the Gaffer, he did not confess.
Hastings struggled to find out DCI Ian Buckells motivation, other than "plain simple greed".
And all Buckells would say to implicate himself was: "I'm only the one who has made total mugs out of you lot."
WILL CORRUPTION CARRY ON UNCHECKED?
In a press conference to wrap up AC-12's investigation, Chief Constable Osbourne was adamant that lessons would be learned.
But he is DEFINATELY not supporting the AC-12 mission.
His close colleagues like Patricia Carmichael have been given senior positions. She's now in charge of AC-12, is pushing the Gaffer out the door and into casual wear as quick as she can, and cutting the workforce.
Osbourne went on to insist: “Institutional corruption is an outrageous lie and an insult to my officers.” And that Buckells was just a bad apple, working alone.
IS OSBOURNE ACTUALLY THE TOP DOG?
Is Chief Constable Philip Osborne dodgy? Evidence would support that, having been suspicious from the first ever series and telling his team to lie in court to cover up the unlawful killing of Karim Ali.
Osborne was also interviewed by journalist Gail Vella, who was later murdered. When she pressed him on corruption, he stormed off.
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And of course, he has taken away AC-12's powers.
Plus Owen Teale is a brilliant actor and too good to not get a more meaty role – perhaps with James Nesbitt – in another next series.
WILL THE GAFFER GO TO PRISON?
Few of us would want twitchy-eyed, heavy-sighing Carmichael deciding our fate.
But when Ted Hastings heroically about turned and marched back in to the office to reveal his involvement in a leak that led to the unlawful killing of DS John Corbett (Ryan Pilkington slit his throat in series five), she chillingly poised the question: “What do you expect me to do with that information.”
It allowed the Gaffer to do perform one last monologue: “It's up to you – but whatever you do, do it because you care about truth and accountability – because you carry the fire."
We've got a feeling he's got a few more of these left in him!
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