'Line Of Duty' series 6 finale: Seven questions that need answering after the last episode

Ross McGuinness
·6-min read
WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 23/03/2021 - Programme Name: Line of Duty S6 - TX: n/a - Episode: Line Of Duty - Generics (No. n/a) - Picture Shows:  DS Steve Arnott (MARTIN COMPSTON), DC Chloe Bishop (SHALOM BRUNE-FRANKLIN), Superintendent Ted Hastings (ADRIAN DUNBAR) - (C) World Productions - Photographer: Steffan Hill
DI Steve Arnott (Martin Compston), DC Chloe Bishop (Shalom Brune-Franklin) and Superintendent Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar) in series 6 of Line Of Duty. (World Productions)

Come on. You didn’t think you’d get all the answers, did you?

Episode 7 of series 6 of Line Of Duty, like any good TV finale, tied up loose ends but also left viewers somewhat in the dark.

Read more: 'Line Of Duty' finale falls flat as 'H' is unmasked

While it gave fans the ultimate reveal by identifying the mysterious “H”, the sixth series finale kept some of its cards close to its chest.

There were plenty of questions before the finale - here are the ones viewers want answered after watching it.

*WARNING: this article contains spoilers for series 6 of Line Of Duty*

1. Is Buckells really H?

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 23/03/2021 - Programme Name: Line of Duty S6 - TX: n/a - Episode: Line Of Duty - Generics (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: *NOT FOR PUBLICATION UNTIL 00:01HRS, TUESDAY 23rd MARCH, 2021*
 DCI Ian Buckells (NIGEL BOYLE) - (C) World Productions - Photographer: Steffan Hill
DCI Ian Buckells (Nigel Boyle) was a pivotal figure in series 6. (World Productions)

Let's start with the biggie.

The series finale went where no LOD episode has gone before... by revealing the identity of H, the so-called "Fourth Man", the shadowy figure connecting institutionalised police corruption with organised crime.

But it turned out the figure wasn't that shadowy.

Read more: 'Line of Duty' fans think subtle misspelling uncovers H's identity

It was DSU Ian Buckells (Nigel Boyle) all along. Bungling Buckells. Bumbling Buckells. Blundering Buckells. 

Put your hand up if at any point in the past four years you thought Buckells might be H. Now put it down again, cos you're a flipping liar.

While the episode "definately" made it clear, to this viewer at least, that Buckells is the Fourth Man, there will inevitably be doubts among the Line Of Duty fanbase that writer/creator Jed Mercurio has something else up his sleeve.

Watch: Alexa responds to Line Of Duty fan's 'Who is H?' question

2. What is the chief constable up to?

Throughout series 6, Chief Constable Phillip Osbourne (Owen Teale) loomed over proceedings, never appearing in anything other than video footage, but constantly on the mind of Superintendent Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar).

Osbourne was on the dodgy investigation into the murder of Lawrence Christopher back in 2003, and episode 7 implied that Buckells, who was also in that team, is still protecting him.

Is Ted simply paranoid or is Osbourne really the Big Bad?

3. Is Chris a bent copper?

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 23/03/2021 - Programme Name: Line of Duty S6 - TX: n/a - Episode: Line Of Duty - Generics (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: *NOT FOR PUBLICATION UNTIL 00:01HRS, TUESDAY 23rd MARCH, 2021*
 DS Chris Lomax (PERRY FITZPATRICK) - (C) World Productions - Photographer: Steffan Hill
Is there more to DS Chris Lomax (Perry Fitzpatrick) than meets the eye? (World Productions)

I've always had my suspicions about DS Chris Lomax (Perry Fitzpatrick), part of the Murder Investigation Team (MIT) charged with Operation Lighthouse, the probe into the killing of journalist Gail Vella (Andi Osho).

I don't have any rational explanation for it - he just gives off severe Matthew "Dot" Cottan (Craig Parkinson) vibes.

The fact that Lomax is the one in the series epilogue to receive former crime boss Tommy Hunter's son Darren, being reinvestigated over the Lawrence Christopher murder, doesn't quell my doubts.

4. Is Thurwell really dead?

James Nesbitt as Marcus Thurwell in Line Of Duty. (BBC)
James Nesbitt as Marcus Thurwell in Line Of Duty. (BBC)

No matter how explicit Mercurio makes it that former DCI Marcus Thurwell (James Nesbitt) is a goner, it's unlikely that fan theories of his continued existence will go away, chiefly because he was played by a series of photographs of James Nesbitt.

Read more: 'Line of Duty' viewers convinced James Nesbitt’s character still alive

Sometimes, however, you have to sit back and admire the ruse - and hiring one of TV's most recognisable actors simply to pose for some file pics and a photo snap is one of the best.

5. Did Davidson get off the hook?

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 13/04/2021 - Programme Name: Line of Duty S6 - TX: n/a - Episode: Line Of Duty - Ep 5 (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: *NOT FOR PUBLICATION UNTIL 00:01HRS, TUESDAY 13TH APRIL, 2021*  DCI Joanne Davidson (KELLY MACDONALD) - (C) World Productions - Photographer: Steffan Hill
DCI Joanne Davidson (Kelly Macdonald) was a divisive figure in the sixth series. (World Productions)

Call me a sceptic, but the happy ending (Cottage? Check. Dog? Check. New partner? Check.) afforded to DCI Joanne Davidson (Kelly Macdonald) jarred a little, mainly because it was only made possible after everyone took her word for everything.

Read more: 'Line Of Duty' viewers spot new detail about Jo Davidson's past

DI Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure) remained Jo's bestie even though she tried to have her killed, and in the final episode, AC-12 accepted her assurance that paedophile and former CS Patrick Fairbank (George Costigan) was the bent copper who groomed her for a career in corruption.

Did she name Fairbank because she knew his mind was so far gone she would avoid scrutiny? Was she setting up Buckells all along?

6. What will the new AC-12 look like?

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 13/04/2021 - Programme Name: Line of Duty S6 - TX: n/a - Episode: Line Of Duty - Ep 5 (No. n/a) - Picture Shows:  DI Kate Fleming (VICKY MCCLURE), Superintendent Ted Hastings (ADRIAN DUNBAR), DI Steve Arnott (MARTIN COMPSTON), DC Chloe Bishop (SHALOM BRUNE-FRANKLIN) - (C) World Productions - Photographer: Screen Grab
DI Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure), Superintendent Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar), DI Steve Arnott (Martin Compston) and DC Chloe Bishop (Shalom Brune-Franklin) at the heart of AC-12. (World Productions)

With Ted forced to take retirement and DCS Patricia Carmichael (Anna Maxwell Martin) in charge of anti-corruption, despite not showing any signs of being, um, anti-corruption, it looks like dark days ahead for AC-12.

The futures of Kate and DI Steve Arnott (Martin Compston) look uncertain with Carmichael at the helm, as Osbourne decides to squeeze the resources needed to nick bent coppers.

This series started with one of AC-12's holy trinity out of the fold, as Kate was up on Hillside Lane in MIT, but all three could now be ostracised.

7. Will there be a series 7?

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 23/03/2021 - Programme Name: Line of Duty S6 - TX: n/a - Episode: Line Of Duty - Generics (No. n/a) - Picture Shows:  DS Steve Arnott (MARTIN COMPSTON), Superintendent Ted Hastings (ADRIAN DUNBAR) - (C) World Productions - Photographer: Steffan Hill
DI Steve Arnott (Martin Compston) and Superintendent Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar) put on their game faces. (World Productions)

The only question bigger than "Who is H?" is whether there will be another series.

As the above shows, there are plenty of questions left unanswered, but at the same time, episode 7 had an air of finality about it, from nabbing the Fourth Man to that last ride down that ridiculously tiny office lift.

Read more: The first five series of ‘Line Of Duty’ ranked

It would be a shame for AC-12 to go out on such a low ebb, but no decision on a Line Of Duty return has yet been made, which seems ridiculous considering 11 million are watching, and even Steve flipping Arnott doesn't know if it's coming back or not.

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Watch: Martin Compston shares Line Of Duty pranks with Vicky McClure