Jed Mercurio Explains Line of Duty Season 5’s Finale

The bonkers theories can end now.

Line of Duty BBC

The dust is still settling on the ground of AC-12 headquarters in the wake of Line of Duty’s season 5 finale on Sunday. The UK was rocked by the revelation that ‘H’ is not a single person, but was, in fact, four different people within the police force, corrupting proceedings from the inside.

Over 9.1 million people tuned in to BBC 1’s smash-hit drama in the hopes that five seasons worth of questions would be answered. By the end of the 90 minute finale, some were, but most weren’t, leading to a mixed reception from the show’s die-hards.

We had already conjured up a list of questions we want answered in the sixth season of Line of Duty, but in the interim, show creator and writer, Jed Mercurio, did offer up a few explanations in an interview with Digital Spy.

Here are some of the biggest reveals from Jed himself.

Cultured Vultures spoilers

There never was a ‘H’
It was made clear in the season 5 finale that there was no ‘H’. All the ‘H’ talk started owing to a misunderstanding over what DI Matthew ‘Dot’ Cottan was trying to explain in his dying declaration.

“He’s trying to say something and when [Kate Fleming] reaches the letter ‘H’, he blinks. He wants the letter ‘H’ to be in their minds” explained Mercurio.

As seen in their reexamination of the dying declaration, ‘Dot’ had to use Morse code to communicate his message: dot-dot-dot-dot, alluding to four bent coppers within the police.

“[Kate] was desperate to get the name of one person and that’s why Dot was forced to find an elliptical way of saying that it’s a multiplicity of people.”

Ted ratted out John Corbett
While it was never explicitly stated what Hastings discussed with Lee Banks at the prison, it was suggested that perhaps Hastings gave Corbett up to the OCG.

During his questioning, Patricia Carmichael of AC-3 forced this point (amongst many others) in Hastings’ direction, as one of many trying factors against him when trying to prove that he was ‘H’. Although Hastings vehemently denied the accusation, Mercurio had another account of the conversation altogether.

“I think that was pretty clearly established” said Mercurio. “Without actually seeing those words come out of his mouth, I think it’s pretty clear that’s what he did do.”
Mercurio also offered Ted’s rationale for such a scoop, that by forcing his hand, Corbett would eventually work with AC-12.

“When asked about how he thought Corbett would respond to having his cover blown, Hastings said that he would ‘consider his position and take refuge within the nearest police station.”

This plan, however, would ultimately backfire, as this tip made its way back to fellow OCG, Lisa McQueen. McQueen would eventually figure out that the ‘rat’ was Corbett all along, and become instrumental in his murder.

Who Hastings called in the first episode of season 5
Nope, it wasn’t Lisa McQueen as some sneaky camera work had implied, just another tactical red herring.

Confirming it was simply misdirection, Mercurio confirmed that Ted was merely attempting to contact his wife.

“…we had shots of who he was calling on the phone, and then we chose not to use them in the final cut.”

The Man in the Cap
When running a surveillance operation on a building that would later turn out to be a base for a sex-trafficking ring, AC-12 captured of image of a man in a cap.

Mariana, one of the girls rescued from the ring, later offered a description of the man, detailing him as middle-aged, average height, having light hair and a strong accent. This, of course, was meant to be another implication towards Hastings, and was very much incidental.

The capped individual was eventually revealed as Lester Hargreaves, who was later inadvertently killed by John Corbett, but the image taken by AC-12 was intended to confuse the audience, as it was actually a composite of the actors Adrian Dunbar and Tony Pitts, who portray Hastings and Hargreaves respectively.

“It was important that the image was ambiguous” said Mercurio. “If it was very clearly Hargreaves, then he would have been identified at that stage. So for the plotline to be possible, it meant that the image had to be doctored in such a way that it wouldn’t be identified using image software.”

The article goes into detail on other questions Mercurio answers, such as Hastings’ plans with the extra £50,000 given to him by Mark Moffat, as well as other queries regarding Lisa McQueen and Ryan Pilkington.

What were your thoughts on the season 5 finale? Did it have you cursing ‘Mother of God’ under your breath, or were you sucking on diesel?

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