Line of Duty Series-Blog: Episode 3

LINE OF DUTY – EP3: Tuesday 10th July, BBC2, 9pm

*Read last week’s blog here*

Line of Duty’s Tony Gates isn’t a nice character by any means, and yet as the weeks have gone by, it’s difficult to not to sympathise with him to at least a small degree. He’s corrupt to the core, an adulterer who has repeatedly lied and betrayed his wife and daughters, but peculiarly, I can’t help rooting for the man. There’s a small part of me that wants him to get away with the terrible things that he’s done, repeatedly, without remorse.

This is largely down to DS Arnott, the man attempting to topple Gates’ career. He’s a professional tattletale, who thrives on bringing other people down. I shouldn’t dislike him because he’s just doing his job, ousting corruption from the police force, but nevertheless, it’s terribly hard not to. From his overly confrontational attitude to his preposterously preppy eyebrows, I loathe Arnott. I keep half expecting him to raise his hand during very heated, tense scenes to exclaim, “Ummmm, I’m telling!â€?

There are plenty of these moments in episode three. Episode one and two were lessons in the bureaucracy of police work; we learned that police officers hate filling in risk assessment forms and that the anti-corruption unit spend most days fruitlessly browsing the pages of Google for answers. This week, we get to watch Arnott and Gates square off at last.

After the murder of his mistress, Jackie, by an anonymous group of men, Gates tries to cover up the event that is sure to destroy him. When Arnott arrives at the scene of the crime, he strolls into the room and pretends that he’s just arrived.

“I know as much as you do,â€? Gates says.

It’s only later, during an interrogation with Arnott, that things really start to get interesting. For perhaps the first time in his entire career, Gates struggles to keep to his story and it makes for the best moment in the series so far. It’s difficult to know what side to pick: Gates, the bent, irredeemable police officer or Arnott, the irritating weasel-faced snitch.

After all that excitement, the story from last week’s episode involving the old man who hit a school boy with a walking stick, seems kind of boring. I wanted to see more of the interrogation and watch Gates button his suit jacket for the fiftieth time as he struggles to say the right things.

The first part of the episode was unquestionably the best part, but even so, the whole hour is the best we’ve seen from the series so far. One of the highlights of the episode was surely Arnott turning up at Gates’ house and speaking to his wife. Gates’ explanation for why the head of corruption had been sitting in their living room: “Because he’s a prick!â€?

Next week’s episode should be interesting, especially after Arnott’s insistence that he’s not the man from the job. I can only predict that things are going to turn even sourer for Gates, particularly with his now suspicious wife.