Line of Duty fans react to episode 2 and we examine the latest theories

Naomi GordonMon, 29 March 2021, 12:01 pm

Photo credit: BBC One
Photo credit: BBC One

From Good Housekeeping

This article contains spoilers for episode two of Line of Duty, series six.

Line of Duty fans spotted a plot twist which may signal that Vicky McClure’s DCI Kate Fleming is still undercover for AC-12 in episode two last night (28 March).

Some observant and sharp-eyed viewers spotted DI Kate Fleming pulling up a police file on Ryan Pilkington (Gregory Piper) – a new officer working under DCI Jo Davidson (Kelly Macdonald) who, as fans recall, was recruited as a child into the organised crime group by former leader and child abuser Tommy Hunter in series 1 (Piper was 13 when he joined series 1 in 2012).

Could this mean Fleming is undercover for AC-12 – despite tipping Davidson off about DI Steve Arnott’s AC-12 plan to investigate Operation Gail Vella and her professional conduct? Is she just pretending to go along with Davidson because she suspects she’s a bent copper – and perhaps investigating her without the knowledge of AC-12? We know she’s teamed up with a different unit before when she was sniffing out The Caddy (Craig Parkinson).https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1376285958941900801&lang=en-gb&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fuk.yahoo.com%2Fstyle%2Fline-duty-fans-react-episode-110100361.html&theme=light&widgetsVersion=e1ffbdb%3A1614796141937&width=550px

Or… Is Fleming protecting Pilkington because she’s actually part of the network of corrupt officers that make up ‘H’? That would be quite the curveball.

Who is Ryan Pilkington?

Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

In series 1, Pilkington had been tasked with stealing mobile phones and working as a crooked courier, providing blackmailed individuals with untraceable burner phones in order to receive their orders from Hunter.

He was previously interviewed by DC Fleming in series 1, which is why Fleming recognises him in episode 2 but can’t seem to place him – thus her doing some digging and pulling up his file. Back in series 1, DS Buckells – then a DI – lets Pilkington off without charge for his involvement in the OCG, meaning he was able to train as a police officer as he has no criminal record.

In series 1, he was also involved in orchestrating the storage of Jackie Laverty’s remains in Terry Boyle’s freezer, and leading the OCG’s kidnap of Steve Arnott, attempting to cut off Arnott’s fingers with bolt cutters.

Pilkington, now in his 20s, is reintroduced as a member of the OCG in series 5, where he is responsible for two murders – that of PC Maneet Bindra (Maya Sondhi) and John Corbett (Stephen Graham), whose throat he slits when it’s revealed that Corbett is an undercover copper.

Photo credit: BBC One
Photo credit: BBC One

In series 6 he’s back, but now as an officer as the replacement for PS Farida Jatri – Davidson was fundamental in Farida’s transfer onto another unit, so perhaps she brought him in intentionally. Is Pilkington in cahoots with Davidson and DS Buckells ? After all, Buckells enabled him – perhaps inadvertently – to train as an officer and infiltrate Vella’s murder investigation.

Another alternative is that Pilkington has turned over a new leaf and wants to atone for his past crimes by becoming a police officer – he was groomed as a child into joining the OCG.

Line of Duty creator Jed Mercurio has hinted at this possibility recently, telling The Sun: “It’s great to be working once again with ­Gregory Piper in the role of Ryan Pilkington. Now that Ryan’s a police officer, viewers will have to wait and see if he has turned over a new leaf or if he remains a dangerous inside man for organised crime.”

Seeing as his crimes have been so violent and include murder, we’re not sure he’s turned a corner…

Is Jo Davidson being blackmailed by the OCG?

Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

Another theory after episode two is that Davidson is being blackmailed after
burner phones were uncovered in PC Farida’s home – which fans are suspecting she has planted (as they previously lived together as partners), as she’s caught up in all manner of nastiness with the OCG. We see her collecting a burner phone and then crying and banging her car window like a trapped animal at the end of the episode, which suggests she’s not happy being a pawn in their illegal activities. We also saw lots of locks of Davidson’s home in episode 1 – implying that she’s the target of something pretty huge. Could it be something to do with her mother? We previously saw Davidson get defensive when Farida mentioned her family – aggressively affirming that she doesn’t have one. Yet we later we see her breakdown and throw a glass at what appears to be a photo of herself with her mother.

Is DC Chloe Bishop the daughter of the late Tony Gates?

Speaking of dysfunctional families – could new AC-12 recruit DC Chloe Bishop (Shalom Brune-Franklin) be the daughter of Tony Gates (Lennie James) – who died in series 1 after getting involved in the OCG due to his illicit relationship with Jackie Laverty? Gates and his wife Jools had two daughters named Natalie and, yes, Chloe. Gates ended up walking onto a busy motorway in the finale of series 1 to make his death look as though he was killed in the line of duty, so that his family would receive financial support after his death.

Photo credit: BBC One
Photo credit: BBC One

Gates was being blackmailed by Tommy Hunter, who was threatening Laverty due to her involvement in the OCG through her business, Laverty Holdings. Has Chloe worked this out and is now preparing to exact revenge on the crime gang, once and for all? There was also a moment in episode 2 when she asks Steve if he thinks there’s a fourth bent copper out there, before standing in front of a photo of Gates.

Meanwhile, Lennie James previously revealed that Mercurio had planned to bring Gates back – despite him being so obviously killed by a lorry – but maybe this is a more plausible way of honouring his memory and a conclusion to the end of OCG. The plot thickens…

Line of Duty continues on Sunday, April 4 on BBC One at 9pm.

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