Monday, 6 May 2019

Line of Duty Season 5 Review

So today I'm going to share my honest thoughts on Line of Duty season 5 and its finale which aired last night.

Six weeks ago, I didn't even know what Line of Duty was. It was just by chance that I saw the trailer (without sound) on the TV in the waiting room of our local A&E department. A few days later I started watching it on Netflix and I wound up binge-watching all four seasons in three days.

Sure it's a fairly new passion of mine but a passion regardless.

As a series, I found it compelling and fast-paced. It would have made for a great binge-watch but alas I watched each episode as it aired weekly.

I did feel like it was more violent and grotesque than its predecessors. At least, to an extent. There was one scene in particular that I think will haunt me until my dying day and that was Corbett's murder at the hands of the organised crime group (OCG).

You see, I'm quite a sensitive soul. I don't tend to watch shows or movies with heavy themes of violence or murder, etc but I do make exceptions. Unfortunately for me, I decided to watch the last ten minutes of this particular episode standing directly in front of the TV so that I could actually read Ted's messages as "H". Then moments later, Corbett's throat was slit. Right there, in front of my very eyes.

I felt violently ill after and had to spend half an hour calming myself down. 

Did I care for Corbett? Not really, no. Did I want to see him die like that, up close? Not really, no.

I did have some interesting theories going into the finale which ranged from the likely to the completely obscure. As you can see, I have a lot of thoughts:

If I'm completely honest, I found the finale to be extremely underwhelming. I know that time isn't infinite but there were so many avenues that I wanted the episode to explore. Things like who Lisa McQueen really is and how she ended up running the OCG when she clearly didn't have the stomach for it.

I understand that the tension in this episode was surrounding this investigation into Ted but everything outside of that felt rushed and didn't carry the same weight that it would in any other episode. This meant that there was little opportunity for Steve or Kate to shine and all of the secondary characters were nowhere to be seen until the very end.

One thing that the episode did fantastically well, in my opinion, is that it left me with complete certainty that Ted is involved in the OCG. Could Ted have framed himself deliberately to test the loyalty of his team and/or to ensure that he is never accused again? If so, that's pretty genius.

There were just too many instances where it felt like Ted was involved. I'm one of those TV watchers who doesn't believe in coincidences and I just can't rationalise another reason why Ted would know how to be that convincing as "H" or know the ins and outs of the OCG if he wasn't directly involved in some way.

I mean, it was an increasingly common theme throughout the season. Either Ted is a bent copper or he has a twin or a multiple personality disorder...

I'm interested to see where series 6 takes us and if we'll finally get to discover Ted Hastings' secrets, once and for all.

What did you think about Line of Duty's fifth season? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

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