Line of Duty spoilers and theories after a rollercoaster third episode

If you haven't seen it yet, look away

Spoiler alert!

If you thought the chainsaw cliffhanger in episode one couldn’t be beaten in shock factor – oh how very wrong you were.

Not only has Line of Duty delivered a complete shocker of a twist, but it has also reminded us that literally any character in the show is fair game when it comes to who could be bumped off.

Yes, the unbelievably annoying but equally brilliant DS Steve Arnott has been left for dead by Balaclava Man, who delivered some pretty nasty blows with a baseball bat and threw him down the stairs following a dramatic game of phone tag from people trying to warn Steve.

But is he actually dead? We don’t know. But what we do know is it made for some pretty intense and nail biting TV.

Well played Jed Mercurio, we are not worthy.


Thandie Newton

Is Steve actually dead?

It looks that way, thanks to he injures he sustained and the big pool of blood that surrounded him when the credits started – but this happened to Roz Huntley (Thandie Newton) when she cracked her head on the counter at Tim’s flat during their scuffle and she didn’t seem troubled by it for long. Thank god that he and Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure) kissed and made up over a curry before his altercation.

If he is dead, he has left a position in AC-12 open for another character – maybe filled by DC Jamie Desford (Royce Pierreson)?

Is Nick Balaclava Man?

The way the episode ended has of course directed the audience to believe that Nick Huntley (Lee Ingleby) is the man who has been abducting and killing women – the very crimes that Michael Farmer has already been charged with and the very reason that Roz is being investigated by anti-corruption investigators in the first place.

But fans of the show will know that although this is how it seems now, it’s only episode three so it’s unlikely that it’s as cut and dry as that.

What we do know is that both Roz Huntley (Thandie Newton) and her husband are mixed up in it – we just don’t quite know in what order yet, or whether each of them know to what extent they are involved (hence the awkward conversation in the kitchen). Although we're being led to believe that Roz killed Tim, remember – it was Nick's car that was caught on CCTV, and we all know his story about going to the pub with his mate was a lie.

Nick also isn't too curious about her rather infected looking wound on her arm – surely as a married couple he'd ask her to show him what she'd done to it?

Who is DC Jamie Desford and how important is he?

As charming and funny as he came across initially, there’s something off about this one (either that or the show is making us suspect everyone).

After flirting with a witness during an interview, the cocky copper said to DS Arnott, “It’s just an interview technique. I’d never mess about with a witness. I know some blokes do but it’s a bit… desperate.”

Err no, I think you’ll find it’s not right – especially for an anti-corruption copper. Practice what you preach and all that.

Is Hana completely innocent?

Roz is framing Hana as Balaclava Man’s victim turned killer – but while that is just to save her own bacon, there was definitely something dodgy going on between Hana and Tim.

She had just shy of £6,000 in cash at home despite only being a waitress and cleaner, could it be that she’s on the game – or does she just not trust banks? She definitely had contact with Tim before he died, putting her squarely in the frame, but whether she actually slept with him for money, the jury is still out.

KRG-13

Aah yes, the poor attempt at covering her tracks when Roz tampered with blood evidence to keep her out of the frame. We all knew this would become an issue, but will it bring her down now that Steve (“it’s time to think the unthinkable”) has apparently croaked it?

Who is watching Roz?

The creepy post it note left on her desk has to be from someone close – but who?

And finally, why does Roz want to keep Kate on the team?

It seems bizarre that she couldn’t wait to get rid of her and then all of a sudden she’s offering to extend her secondment from East Mids. Does she know or suspect something? Has DCI Buckells given her a tip off about her being undercover despite the threat from Hastings?

Line of Duty continues on Sunday at 9pm on BBC One.

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