Line of Duty – Reflections from a Distance

So, a week on from the famous/infamous Series 6 Episode 7 and the dust has almost settled after the shock/surprise/disappointment that the Fourth Man was non other than Ian Buckells.
My initial reaction was one of disappointment and disbelief. How on earth could the bumbling Buckells be the brains? But I have had time to rewatch that final episode and it actually now all makes sense.
He wasn’t the brains – just the fourth man – a corrupt police officer motivated by greed. And trapped because he couldn’t spell the word definitely.
Watching the interview scene again I was able to appreciate the sublime performance by Nigel Boyle. It was an acting masterclass. The shifty side-eyed looks at the documents on the screen, the slightly cocky “no comment” answers, the shadow of a smile occasionally crossing his lips and then the hilarious line to Ted who was getting worked up – “Do you want a drink of water?” And then when he knew the game was up, the boast “I’m the one that’s made mugs of all of you.”
The whole episode – not just Nigel’s performance – showed us that sometimes less is more. We had the clever switch of Kate and Steve into the prison van that was off camera and the long march in of the prisoner for interview before the Buckells reveal but there were no shoot outs no “urgent exit needed” scenes like the memorable end of Series Three with Cottan. And I suppose if that’s what you wanted or were expecting, then you would be disappointed.
And how on earth did they persuade James Nesbitt to agree to a role that consisted of appearing in two photos? Masterstroke!
Good job Chloe was in the department – she did all the work. And I shed a tear when Terry – the brilliant Tommy Jessop – cuddled his girlfriend and finally had a safe home.
I think all the signs are there for a Series 7 – Ted’s appealed against his forced retirement and Kate’s back in the AC12 fold.

But the thing that pleased – delighted – me most of all was that Ted IS a good man. Hooray! Unless Jed Mercurio shows us differently in a seventh series.

And I think I’d quite like to move to Witness Protection. It looks like a wonderful place!

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