Line Of Duty’s sixth series reaches its conclusion as H is FINALLY unmasked #englishheadline
Line of Duty fans across the nation were left ‘fuming’ as the nail-biting series finale drew to a close tonight and the mysterious antagonist ‘H’ was finally unmasked.
Seasoned fans took to social media in their droves to share their frustrations as officers from the police anti-corruption unit AC-12 discovered the identity of the elusive ‘fourth man’, who had been colluding with the organised crime group (OCG), was none other than DSU Ian Buckells – played by actor Nigel Boyle.
The detective was first introduced to viewers in series one when he was appointed as SIO in the case of murdered businesswoman Jackie Laverty by then chief superintendent Derek Hilton.
The sixth series of the Jed Mercurio creation, also saw DI Steve Arnott, played by actor Martin Compston, finally called in for a meeting with Occupational Health, who noted that while he had not broken the law through his excessive painkiller use, he would have to surrender his firearms licence.
However, the 60-minute episode’s end failed to offer any resolution on whether the fan-favourite team of DI Steve Arnott, DI Kate Fleming and Superintendent Ted Hastings would return, ending on the revelation that the team has ‘never been weaker.’
The mystery surrounding the identity of ‘H’ has been up for speculation since his character was first mentioned at the end of series three, which aired in 2016, and detectives at the anti-corruption unit discovered there were four officers working within the force who had links to the underground criminal network.
Sharing their disappointment on the revelation, one disgruntled Line of Duty fan wrote on Twitter: ‘Can’t believe I watched six seasons of line of Duty for Ian Buckells, the most pointless character to be the fourth man. Fuming.’
While another viewer added: ‘I’m fuming, can’t believe I waited this long for Ian Buckells to run the roost.’
Line Of Duty’s much-anticipated sixth series came to its conclusion on Sunday night with the identity of the elusive criminal ‘H’ finally unmasked
Fans shared their frustrations as officers of the police anti-corruption unit AC-12 discovered that the identity of the elusive ‘fourth man’
While another wrote: ‘We waited 10 years for Ian Buckells to be revealed as the OCG mastermind.’
Another commented: ‘Everyone in the UK when we waited all this time for Ian Buckells to be revealed as the OCG mastermind.’
Meanwhile another fan said: ‘I would have accepted Hastings as H over Ian bloody Buckells #LineOfDuty #LineofDutyFinale.’
Elsewhere another viewer added: ‘I once got the entire UK invested in a TV show only to end it with bumbling Ian Buckells being H #LineofDutyFinale #LineOfDuty.’
And another wrote: ‘Well I hate to say it but that’s a disappointing ending. I refuse to believe it was all down to Ian Buckells of all people.’
One frustrated fan added: ‘In whose universe is Ian Buckells any kind of mastermind of anything? I’m dazed and completely confused.’
Sharing their disappointment, another viewer wrote: ‘Ian Buckells?! Seriously? Surely there has to be a bigger twist in the next series? The man couldn’t tie his own shoelaces, let alone be a criminal mastermind#LineOfDuty #LineofDutyFinale #letdown.’
During the episode tonight, Superintendent Ted Hastings, played by actor Adrian Dunbar, was seen asking his colleague Chloe to run checks on the constant misspelling of the word ‘definitely’ as ‘definately’ which had become synonymous with the ‘fourth man’ in previous episodes.
A number of checks traced the word back to Buckells who used the misspelling when messaging former undercover officer John Corbett, played by Stephen Graham, in series five.
When confronted with the revelation Hastings was left astounded, asking his colleague: ‘Are you sure Chloe?’
After being confronted by Hastings and his team Buckells declared: ‘I’m only the one whose made total mugs out of you lot!’.
He also revealed that would have to offer him immunity or Witness Protection if they wanted him to co-operate.
Pointing out that H did not officially exist as the investigation into corruption had been quashed, he insisted Tommy Hunter, the organised crime kingpin who was a sinister character during the drama’s early series, was the leader of the OCG.
Also during the show, viewers watched as DI Arnott was left torn on whether to pursue fears that his boss Ted Hastings could be ‘H’ as the team raced to uncover the mystery figure’s identity.
The officer also admitted to his detective friend Kate Fleming that he had been involved with former officer John Corbett’s widow Steph.
As the team from AC-12 tried to unravel the mystery surrounding journalist Gail Vella’s death, they found a strong box hidden under the floor of the OCG’s workshop.
The box was revealed to contain an array of weapons used in murders investigated by Hastings and his team, including the gun that shot and killed Vella, and the knife that slit the throat of DS John Corbett, who was killed by the OCG in series five.
Social media fans were left far from impressed with the identity of the elusive ‘H’ as the series drew to a close
DSU Ian Buckells was first introduced to viewers in series one when he was appointed as SIO in the case of murdered businesswoman Jackie Laverty
It was the breakthrough that the team had been waiting for, as the box finally proved that Carl Banks, the violent criminal who also goes by the name ‘Ross Turner’, was responsible for Vella’s murder before being killed by the OCG himself.
After weeks of incessant emails, DI Arnott was finally called in for a meeting with Occupational Health, who noted that while he had not broken the law through his excessive painkiller use, he should take time off from his duties.
It came after the detective was seen ignoring the reminders dropping in his inbox to book an appointment for a routine drugs test.
The officer, who became addicted to painkillers after he was pushed down a flight of stairs during a police operation in series four, refused to step down from his duties but did agree to hand over his fire-arm.
He also came clean to his boss Ted Hastings about his drug use and to his, and the viewers’ surprise, Hastings did not dismiss him, simply saying: ‘I’m glad you’re getting some help.’
Despite fans’ theories that James Nesbitt’s character Marcus Thurwell had to be alive, it was revealed that he was killed in the previous episode, and had actually been dead for several weeks when his body was found after being strangled.
It came after the penultimate episode showed the Guardia Civil police officers storm his Spanish home and find two bodies on the bed.
DC Chloe Bishop, also revealed that any communication involving Thurwell and the OCG had been re-routed through Spain from a device in the UK, meaning the fourth man was definitely still amongst the corruption team.
Viewers were noticeable underwhelmed to learn the identity of the elusive criminal, as the series ended on an ambiguous note
Who is it? It was at least revealed that the so-called fourth man was actually DSU Ian Buckells, who had been originally imprisoned after appearing to have been framed by Davidson
The team from AC-12 found a strong box hidden under the floor of the O CG’s workshop during the nail-biting episode
DI Arnott was finally called in for a meeting with Occupational Health, who noted that while he hadn’t broken the law through his excessive painkiller use, he should take time off from his duties
After being imprisoned for her own corrupt behaviour, police officer Jo Davidson was taken away in a police van under the ruse that she was being interviewed at Hillside Lane.
However after it was made clear that H was involved in the officer being taken away, AC-12 retraced the van in time to rescue Davidson, and vowed to get her into witness protection if she came clean on H’s identity.
Davidson was clearly reluctant to give up the man in charge of the Order who kept her hostage for so many years, and so AC-12 opted to return their investigation to former Chief Superintendent Patrick Fairbank- who was previously jailed for his connections to abuse in the Sands View Boys Home.
However once again Fairbank, claimed he ‘doesn’t remember’ anything related to Davidson or the OCG, with a clearly-frustrated Hastings storming out of the interview.
Proving to be the clue that would crack open this decade-long mystery, Bishop spotted the same ‘definately’ spelling inside a written note found in the records related to Lawrence Christopher’s murder.
The case was being investigated by Vella before she was murdered, having learned that the botched work corrupt police officers meant no one was ever charged with the racially-charged crime.
As AC-12 debated whether to go public with the information, Hastings finally confessed to Kate and Steve about the mystery bag of money he gave to John Corbett’s widow Steph, admitting he gave her the cash as a kind-hearted gesture.
Despite finally uncovering the identity of H through a long paper trail of corrupt officers, fans were surprised to learn the organisation’s powers had been significantly weakened
As the final shot of the AC-12 elevator showed the trio reunited as they travelled down the lift together, viewers were less hopeful on whether they’ll get to see them together again in a seventh series
She’s become one of the show’s most maligned characters, but viewers were left hoping that detective Carmichael had some glimmer of compassion after Hastings decided to make a confession
Line of Duty fans have previously speculated that Philip Osborne (centre) was ‘H, according to a poll by YouGov
Clearly still a lawful man despite years working in corruption, Ted admitted that he did reveal that John Corbett was working undercover in organised crime, indirectly leading to his death
He also fiercely denied revealing Corbett’s identity as an Undercover Officer to the OCG, which eventually lead to his death.
Regardless, the written note finally set the stage for the most important police interview in the show’s history, with the stage set at last for Hastings to confront the criminal H who had caused so much havoc in AC-12.
The episode concluded on an uncertain note, with Hastings coming clean about revealing Corbett’s status as an UCO after vowing to appeal his forced retirement, before leaving with the AC-12 team, and on-screen text noting that their powers to curb wrongdoing in the force had never been weaker.
Davidson entered Witness Protection, while it appeared that if Buckells gained immunity, none of the evidence for corruption would be heard in court, meaning the entire investigation would have been for nothing.
Anticipated: Given the show’s record-breaking viewership, fans hoped that the finale would answer all their burning questions, including the identity of the elusive ‘H
Ahead of the sixth series finale, feared by many to be the show’s last hurrah, fans got a glimpse of the episode through an action-packed trailer, complete with a police standoff, the return of balaclava men and the discovery of a written note with THAT ‘definately’ misspelling.
However, despite the huge success of the BBC show, Martin Compston revealed the BBC drama could be coming to an end sooner than everyone thinks.
Compston – who previously revealed that executive decisions about the series are ‘above his pay grade’ – cast doubt on the show’s future during an appearance on The Jonathan Ross Show.
Speaking on Saturday’s show, the actor said: ‘We won’t come back just for the sake of it. That’s for sure. We’ll come back if there’s a story to tell.
‘If it ends well maybe sometimes it is best to leave it. But genuinely we don’t know.’
The admission came after Compston teased that fans would get some ‘big answers’ during the finale, and admitted he believed it could be the ‘perfect ending’ to the police drama.
An even longer wait: Like many shows, series six was hit by several delays due to the Covid pandemic, with filming in Belfast halted back in March 2020, just days before the UK was plunged into lockdown
‘The perfect ending’: The admission comes after Martin teased that fans will get some ‘big answers’ during the finale, and admitted he believes it could be the ‘perfect ending’ to the police drama
Speaking on the Shrine Of Duty podcast, the actor confessed that he thinks Sunday’s episode could be the best way to wrap up the ‘story arch’ – but he refused to rule out another series.
When quizzed on whether viewers will learn who the illusive ‘H’ is, Martin said: ‘I wouldn’t quite go the Jo Davidson no comment route – but what I will tell you is I think there’s a lot of pay offs coming this Sunday.
‘There’s a lot of big answers and it’s deserved, people have stuck with us for a long time, so there comes a point where the story arch comes to an end.’
Like many shows, series six was hit by several delays due to the Covid pandemic, with filming in Belfast halted back in March 2020, just days before the UK was plunged into lockdown.
Production was finally able to resume in September that year with strict safety guidelines, including the use of studio sets as opposed to real locations, regular testing measures.
Filming for series six finally wrapped in November, with bosses later confirming it would be seven episodes as opposed to the usual six.
Line Of Duty: The SIX mysteries that were finally explained in ‘underwhelming’ series finale… and the questions that have been left unanswered
The sixth series of Line Of Duty came to its long-awaited conclusion on Sunday night, with viewers finally learning the identity of the Fourth Man H.
However, despite fears this could be the show’s last hurrah, millions of viewers were still left with unanswered questions, as the future of AC-12 was left hanging in the balance, and Superintendent Hastings feared for his future after confessing he revealed John Corbett was an Undercover Officer.
So, as fans wait to see whether Jed Mercurio’s police drama could return for a seventh out, MailOnline examines some of the answers fans got to their burning questions, the mysteries that remain unsolved…
We want more! The sixth series of Line Of Duty came to its long-awaited conclusion on Sunday night, but its conclusion left viewers with more questions than answers
Answers! On Sunday fans finally learned that Superintendent Buckells was the famous fourth man, having liased with OCG’s to bring down officers who failed to do their bidding
The mysteries that have finally been solved…
Who is H?
It’s been a question posed by die-hard and casual fans alike, after years wondering about the identity of the fourth man known as H.
On Sunday fans finally learned that Superintendent Buckells was the famous fourth man, having liased with OCG’s to bring down officers who failed to do their bidding.
Despite painting himself as a bumbling fool, the copper actually formed a secret operation with an array of ‘bent coppers’ and even blackmailed Acting Superintendent Davidson thanks to her history with the group as Tommy Hunter’s daughter.
It appeared that AC-12 had caught him red-handed, especially as Steve dealt the fatal blow by revealing he had to co-operate to make him eligible for witness protection.
Hastings delivered the final line, declaring: ‘No one makes mugs of AC-12,’ before leaving the interview, with viewers later learning that Buckells would have to receive immunity, or none of the corruption evidence will be heard in court.
Upsetting: In a shocking bombshell last week Acting Superintendent Davidson learned that she was both the daughter and niece of OCG member Tommy Hunter, having previously been led to believe her father was little more than a bent copper
Who was the man Jo Davidson believed was her father?
In a shocking bombshell last week Acting Superintendent Davidson learned that she was both the daughter and niece of OCG member Tommy Hunter, having previously been led to believe her father was little more than a bent copper.
But, after Davidson is rescued by AC-12 from a group of OCG members who attempt to kill her, she finally admits the man she thought was her dad was former CS Patrick Fairbank, a retired officer thrown behind bars when it was revealed he both covered up and participated in abuse at a children’s home.
Once again, Fairbanks claims he cannot remember Davidson or her mother, insisting he doesn’t recall much of his own criminal past.
Luckily, it seems Davidson finally gets her happy ending after years under the control of the OCG, finding a new life in the countryside in Witness Protection.
Him? But, after Davidson is rescued by AC-12 from a group of OCG members who attempt to kill her, she finally admits the man she thought was her dad was former CS Patrick Fairbank
Who killed Gail Vella?
This mystery proved to be the crutch of the whole series, as fans waited to see whether they would finally learn who killed Gail Vella.
At last fans discovered that it was Carl Banks who had shot her after weapons discovered in a strong box hidden at the OCG’s workshop, meaning suspect Terry Boyle could be released.
Luckily it appeared that Vella’s death wasn’t completely in vain, as the episode’s end also revealed that Darren Hunter was now under investigation for Lawrence Christopher’s murder, though an official inquiry was yet to be opened.
What a relief! Fans feared that Steve could be struck off for failing a drugs test due to his painkiller addiction, and by the episode’s end it appeared that he was getting help with his superior Hastings’ support
Was Steve sacked for failing his drugs test?
For several weeks viewers saw Steve attempting to ignore multiple emails from Occupational Health after submitting to a mandatory drugs test.
Arnott had been struggled with a painkiller addiction to control his searing back pain from an injury suffered back in series four when he was attacked by one of the ‘Balaclava Men.’
The series six finale saw him finally sit down with the Health team who noted that while none of the drugs he’d taken were illegal, the high levels were concerning, and stated he may need a take a break from active duty.
To no surprise Steve refused, and insisted he must continue with his investigation, though he did agree to the possibility of surrendering his firearm.
Arnott then revealed his addiction to Hastings, who later implied he’d kept quiet about Steve to keep him on active duty adding he was grateful he was ‘getting some help.’
Revelations: Hastings also revealed that he gave £50,000 to Steph Corbett after inadvertantly causing the death of her husband John by revealing his undercover status to OCG member Lee Banks
By the series’ end, Steve hinted he may take a break from work to finally ditch the pills, but still appeared to be a fundamental part of the AC-12 team.
What happened to the £50,000 Ted gave to Steph?
After being given an envelope full of £100,000 in cash, fans had been wondering what happened to half of the money, when Steve discovered £50k in John Corbett’s widow Steph’s flat.
Probed by both Steve and Kate, who feared that the gaffer could be bent, Hastings insisted he only came clean about Corbett’s undercover status to Lee Banks, who later told Ryan Pilkington who killed him, in the hope he’d get back in contact.
He then revealed he gave Steph half the money in the hope it would clear his conscience, adding: ‘If there is one thing I could take back, it would be that. What a terrible thing I did.’
Alive or dead? Many fans were convinced that DI Marcus Thurwell could have been secretly living in Spain despite AC-12 being led to believe they’ve found his body last week, but it turned how he was definitely killed
Is Marcus Thurwell alive?
Many fans were convinced that DI Marcus Thurwell could have been secretly living in Spain despite AC-12 being led to believe they’ve found his body last week.
However, this turned out to be a huge red herring, as DC Bishop confirmed in the finale that Thurwell was definitely strangled to death, and his body had acutally been left for several weeks before being discovered by Spanish police.
It was a disappointing end to a character that had been tipped for big bombshells in the series as he was played by James Nesbitt.
Why him? Ahead of learning that Tommy Hunter was both her uncle and father, Davidson first appeared to pin the blame on Fairbank by simply confirming that her adopted dad was a ‘bent copper
And the questions that have been left unanswered….
Why did Davidson point the finger at Fairbank?
Ahead of learning that Tommy Hunter was both her uncle and father, Davidson first appeared to pin the blame on Fairbank by simply confirming that her adopted dad was a ‘bent copper.’
Arnott and Bishop then decided to speak to him upon learning he was part of the same team involved in Lawrence Christopher’s murder, but failed to get any answers due to his deteriorating mental state.
By the series’ end, viewers were still unsure why Davidson tried to blame her supposed father given she herself was being blackmailed, and how this all led to her a target for the OCG after being thrown behind bars.
Is it him? Despite the episode revealing that that Detective Superintendent Ian Buckells was actually the so-called ‘Fourth Man,’ some viewers were quick to note that he didn’t confirm whether he was the leader of the Organised Crime Group
Really? Instead, he pinned the blame on Tommy Hunter, who was killed back in series two, leaving many viewers unconvinced by his claim
Who is the REAL leader of the OCG?
Despite the episode revealing that that Detective Superintendent Ian Buckells was actually the so-called ‘Fourth Man,’ some viewers were quick to note that he didn’t wholly confirm whether he was the leader of the Organised Crime Group.
Instead, he pinned the blame on Tommy Hunter, who was killed back in series two, meaning Buckells’ claims seemed less and less likely.
So the question still remains of whether another corrupt officer or criminal is still pulling the strings in the OCG, and Buckells’ role as a middle-man means they could still be out to cause trouble for AC-12.
What will happen to AC-12?
Despite finally uncovering the identity of H through a long paper trail of corrupt officers, fans were surprised to learn the organisation’s powers had been significantly weakened.
Fleming hinted she’d be open to taking her job back alongside Arnott and Hastings, who vowed to appeal his forced retirement despite confessing to DCS Patricia Carmichael he’s revealed John Corbett’s identity as an Undercover Officer.
Steve hinted he may take a break from active duty to overcome his addiction to painkillers, despite he and Kate appearing closer than ever as she told Occupational Health that he was ‘the best.’
Despite a final shot of the AC-12 elevator showed the trio reunited as they travelled down the lift together, viewers are less hopeful on whether they’ll get to see them together again, especially as bosses have been tight-lipped on whether the show could return for a seventh series
Romance? Throughout the series viewers saw Steve form a close bond with John Corbett’s widow Steph, even spending the night in her bed after continuing to struggle with back pain
Will Steve get together with Steph, or Kate?
Throughout the series viewers saw Steve form a close bond with John Corbett’s widow Steph, even spending the night in her bed after continuing to struggle with back pain and his painkiller addiction.
But by the end of series six, he was clearly doubting whether to pursue a relationship with her, given how she lied about a vast sum of cash given to her by Hastings.
As series six concluded, it was clear that Steve and Kate had never been closer, as she described him as being ‘the best’ during a meeting with Occupational Health, and hinted she could be ready to return to AC-12.
Fans have long enjoyed the pair’s close friendship but perhaps series seven could lead to something more.
How was Steph involved?
Aside from the mystery £50k, fans are still in the dark about whether Steph could have any further involvement in the OCG, especially given her presence in the sixth series.
There were theories that she could have a secret Marcus Thurwell, but given her appearance in this finale stretched to little more than a voicemail, her appearance has left several unanswered questions.
What did she do? Aside from the mystery £50k, fans are still in the dark about whether Steph could have any further involvement in the OCG, especially given her presence in the sixth series
Who was it? Early in the finale, DC Bishop revealed that the report ordering Davidson’s transfer from her prison cell to Hillside Lane police station has been forged by an OCG, with a mystery member faking the signatures of both Kate and Lomax
Unsolved: Given Buckells was still in prison at the time, it was unclear who was behind the plot to have Davidson killed, as she clearly knew too much about the OCG, and whether it could have been another officer who ordered her death
Who forged Fleming’s and DS Chris Lomax’s signature?
Early in the finale, DC Bishop revealed that the report ordering Davidson’s transfer from her prison cell to Hillside Lane police station has been forged by an OCG, with a mystery member faking the signatures of both Kate and Lomax to gain access to her cell.
Given Buckells was still in prison at the time, it was unclear who was behind the plot to have Davidson killed, as she clearly knew too much about the OCG, and whether it could have been another officer who ordered her death.
Should we trust him? It’s possible that Chief Constable Osborne could be involved in the OCG have openly dismissed any claims of corruption on the force, even after AC-12 discovered H’s identity
Is Chief Constable Osborne bent?
For years CC Phillip Osborne has been a prime suspect in AC-12’s investigations of corruption, and it was revealed this series that he worked on the Lawrence Christopher murder case now-deceased Marcus Thurwell, and ‘H’ Buckells
In a televised conference, Osborne commended the work of his officers in locating Gail Vella’s murder, but once again dismissed any institutional police corruption as ‘an outrageous lie.’
Given he is clearly willing to dispel any credible leads AC-12 may have, it’s possible could be involved in an OCG, and may carry on doing their dirty work for years to come.
What will she do? She’s become one of the show’s most maligned characters, but viewers were left hoping that Carmichael had some glimmer of compassion after Hastings decided to make a confession
Will DCI Patricia Carmichael expose Hastings’ wrongdoing….
She’s become one of the show’s most maligned characters, but viewers were left hoping that Carmichael had some glimmer of compassion after Hastings decided to make a confession.
Clearly still a lawful man despite years working in corruption, Ted admitted that he did reveal to Lee Banks that John Corbett was working undercover in organised crime, indirectly leading to his death.
Carmichael simply asked: ‘What do you want me to do with that information?’ leading to one of Hastings’ best speeches yet, declaring: ‘Whatever you do, you do it because you carry the fire…’
As Hastings made his exit, Carmichael’s stoic expression hinted she is less keen to report him then viewers may think…
…. and will he succeed in appealing his forced retirement?
During his final meeting with Carmichal, Ted also revealed he is planning to appeal against being forced to retire from active duty, despite finally putting one of the team’s longest-serving mysteries to bed.
It was clear from the start that he wasn’t ready to step down, so it remains to be seen whether he’ll succeed in keeping his job, and AC-12, going strong to fight corruption another day.
Coming clean: Clearly still a lawful man despite years working in corruption, Ted admitted that he did reveal that John Corbett was working undercover in organised crime, indirectly leading to his death
Will there be a series seven?
It’s the question on every Line Of Duty fan’s lips following the finale, with the concluding episode ending on a somewhat cliffhanger.
BBC bosses are yet to confirm whether the show will be back for another outing, and even the show’s star Martin Compston stating this conclusion will be a ‘perfect ending.’
Fans will have to wait and see whether Line Of Duty will be back for another run, but it seems unlikely BBC will let the show go given its record-breaking viewership.
#Line #Dutys #sixth #series #reaches #conclusion #FINALLY #unmasked