You will remember the sexy crime squad from Line of Duty series one, and the anticorruption unit AC12. And you will be familiar with the genius Jed Mercurio who created history’s greatest medical drama Bodies. Well they are both back and this time the focus is on Detective Inspector Lindsay Denton (Squealey Nause), a straight-down-the-line career copper enjoying a pretty solid working life that Fourth Street station. It’s just another nightshift as Duty Inspector for her when she gets the call from an uppity Jock DS Jane Akers (Allison McKenzie) asking for urgent backup to transport an important protected witness safely – a suspect in a missing person’s enquiry. There’s an “immediate and credible threat to life” she says. Could some police cars pickup this witness and give him safe haven at Fourth Street? And keep it on the downlow would you, old girl? No need to make a big fuss. Taking heed of the counsel, Denton decides to roll along there with two unarmed police cars. After all this immediate and credible threat to life shouldn’t be a bother, eh?
Having got the go-ahead from Jock top cop Deputy Chief Constable Mike Dryden (Mark Bonnar) – she puts her plan in motion. She hooks up with DS Akers and tells her it’s best to take the back roads to the station and Akers follows her lead. Before long the convoy encounters an immediate and credible threat to life. Who could have seen that coming?
And what a threat. A vehicle runs Squealey off the road and crashes right into Akers. Two motorcycle helmet wearing goons step out, spray Akers with gunfire, plug the other two coppers and set fire to the car carrying mystery witness #1. It’s a bit early for barbecue season but the air is thick with the smell of roast pig. It is grisly beyond reckoning.
It’s a bit early for barbecue season but the air is thick with the smell of roast pig. It is grisly beyond reckoning
The witness is done medium rare and has survived but the two coppers from Fourth Street Wallis and Butler are done to a crisp and as dead as Woody Allen’s hopes of Father of the Year.
Back at Fourth Street station Squealey returns for her first day back nursing a sprained vagina and a nasty case of whiplash, wearing a neck brace like Avid Merrion. Proper Bo! Everybody is very sympathetic – cup of tea Squealey? Do anything for you Squealey? Take your time Squealey.
She is so moved she goes on the bogs for a quiet cry. Someone knocks on the cubicle door. Another colleague looking to sympathise with her – how nice is that? “This one’s taken” she says. But they just won’t take no for an answer and they kick the cubicle door in. It’s the entire station come to wish her well. Even Chief Superintendent Ray Mallick (Steve Toussaint) is there!
You guys are really too much. What wonderful words have you all come to say? “No firearms?” says one “No backup? It should be you they are burying, you stupid bitch!” Awww, you guys – wait, what…? The Chief Super and the rest of the crew look on approvingly as he FLUSHES her head down the toilet. Jeez. She wasn’t that bad in Ashes to Ashes. ¹
The Chief Super and the rest of the crew look on approvingly as he FLUSHES her head down the toilet. Jeez. She wasn’t that bad in Ashes to Ashes.
The hits keep coming for Denton as aforementioned anti-corruption unit AC-12 are now on her case. They begin as sympathetically as her station colleagues did which is hardly a good fucking sign. Superintendent Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar) briefs DC Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure) and DS Steve Arnott (Martin “Straight Outa” Compston). They have to investigate if a bent copper tipped off the scrotes – all part of the day’s work for AC-12.
Denton reveals that the missing persons thing was a cover story she invented. Steve has some big problems with her “back roads” route story – it just doesn’t add up. In truth it was Squealey who led the convoy into the line of fire – she says to avoid roadworks on Crown Avenue but the whole thing has a whiff of bullshit about it. Nonetheless she survives the first grilling in one piece. Kate recuses herself on the case because she was banging Akers’ husbland (though she keeps that particular reason to herself understandably).
So Arnott needs a new partner and Hastings assigns him Detective Constable Georgia Trotman (Jessica Raine) a smoking hot greenhorn for Arnott to eye suspiciously then guiltily jerk off over later. AC-12 find that in general Denton is straight down the line. Model of probity in fact – straight edge and squeaky clean. Trouble is she’s got financial difficulties and is therefore susceptible to bribery – financial difficulties she HAS to declare but she NEVER. Her mother had to go into a nursing home. It really fucked her up, emotionally and financially.
Kate meanwhile is making herself useful at the funeral of DS Akers where she spots her widower Richard Akers. She goes and “comforts” him after the funeral. That’s right. Gives him a really good comforting. By which I mean: she knocks the back out of him like his name was Stefan Postma. Kate went through training with Jane and was so dedicated to her friend that she selflessly serviced her husbland without her knowledge.
She gives him a really good comforting. By which I mean: she knocks the back out of him like his name was Stefan Postma.
Interestingly Jane wanted to talk to Kate the night before she was killed about the case she was working. Kate didn’t want to work the case at first, now she can’t get enough of it. Now she does she listens to the interview tape and realises Denton picked the route and is trying to pin it on Akers. WTF, Squealey?
It’s just not Squealey’s week. She gets transferred by Chief Pooper to MISSING PERSONS. It’s a real bag of shit to hold but she makes the best of a bad lot and starts rattling through case files. She comes across Jacqueline Laverty. Remember her from series one? Then there’s Carly Kirk a troubled teenager whose Foster family reported her missing a few months back. Why does the phrase missing persons keep cropping up? What are you hiding Squealey?
AC-12 move quickly to find out. They stick Kate undercover as Kate Foster, her new DC. Steve moves quickly too on Georgia and gets a makeout but nothing below the waist. Unfortunately for Steve it’s the last chance he’ll ever get to put his cock in her.
Squealey has a noisy neighbour giving her hell in her shitbox negative equity fuckpit. Some dance music savagery has given her molto sleepless nights and she suddenly remembers that she’s a police officer and can therefore do whatever she likes to nuisance neighbours. She pays a visit next door and an out-of-condition brassy middle-aged blonde with a bottle in her hand answers all “what you want?” Squealey mercilessly beats her to the ground then bangs her head off the pavement in time to the music “WILL. NOT. TAKE. IT. ANY. MORE.” like she’s the mother who wails on her daughter on Snoop Dogg’s Lodi Dodi. Blonde skank: Dude, I get the picture. Jesus…
Squealey mercilessly beats her to the ground then bangs her head off the pavement in time to the music “WILL. NOT. TAKE. IT. ANY. MORE.”
The next dayKate follows Squealey to a public phone box where she makes a call. She was ringing the main switchboard number of the general hospital. Then Squealey goes to visit her mom in the mental nursing home for mental moms. Kate is worried about the dry roasted witness at the general hospital but maybe Squealey’s just probably checking on the neighbour she brained?
That’s as maybe but Georgia and Steve are taking no chances. They hare down there and when they arrive the guards are gone. The witness is still there but the nurse is a trans friendly lady who looks like a dude. Gerrim! Shawty moves fast though. He clobbers Steve and HOYS GEORGIA THROUGH THE WINDOW and she mentally crosses skydiving off her bucket list as she plummets to her death. He finishes the injection and kills the witness. Arnott guiltily jerks off over Georgia’s broken blood gushing still twitching corpse. Where the ever loving fuck do we go from here?
He clobbers Steve and HOYS GEORGIA THROUGH THE WINDOW and she mentally crosses skydiving off her bucket list as she plummets to her death.
It’s an outstanding first episode. Squealey Nause is great playing against type, the action is unrelenting and a real menace pervades making you feel like anything can happen at any time, none of it good. It confirms once again that no one touches Jed Mercurio when he’s on his game and you cannot eff with him on this.
The verdict: Chief Super? Not so super.
Marks out of 10: 8.5
¹ She was that bad in Gashes to Gashes. But still.