Line of Duty Season 6 Episode 1 Recap: Innocent or Guilty?
In Line of Duty Season Six Episode One, directed by David Nettheim, DI Kate Fleming is working under the suspicious DCI Joanne “Jo” Davidson. The latter comes under AC-12’s attention when PS Farida Jatri reports Jo to DS Steve Arnott.
Before season six, Kate left AC-12. She works at the Hillside Lane Station as a member of the Murder Investigation Team under Jo. Ted lost the trust of some of his bosses because of the bribery charges. Steve wants to move departments for more chances at promotion.
Season Six starts with DS Christopher Lomax delivering a lead for the murder of Gail Vella to Jo from a CHIS, a.k.a. informant about a possible murder suspect. A suspect using the alias Ross Turner killed Gail. Jo asks her superior lazy DSU, Ian Buckell, for direct surveillance or an arrest, but he wants more evidence to back up the word of a male prostitute, a.k.a. the CHIS.
The following day Jo meets up with the whole “Operation Lighthouse” team investigating Gail’s murder. All of the team members will arm up to arrest Ross Turner in his Beechwood House flat. The surveillance team has captured some blurry photographs of a man peeking out of the flat. Sadly, the CHIS ran away, meaning he can’t verify the occupant as Ross.
The convoy picks up their weapons from the armory and rushes off. As they speed to the apartments, Jo notices something strange in the corner of one of the store-line streets. Kate tries to talk her into calling the possible crime in, but she refuses. Jo orders the convoy to stop. A minute later, a bunch of masked robbers runs out of a gambling shop. Three of the robbers are killed during the struggle to arrest them. Farida notices how young all of the criminals appear. The convoy is delayed while Jo contacts the station to send out replacements. Kate is given authority over the robbery crime scene while Jo continues their mission.
When the convoy finally arrives, the surveillance team doesn’t see any movement in the flat. Thankfully the murder investigation officers secure the arrest of the person suspected to be Ross. The suspect turns out to be Terry Boyle, a man with down syndrome who has been in past seasons of Line of Duty. In those seasons, Terry has been exploited by an organized crime group.
After the arrest, Kate, Chris, and Jo meet up for a debrief. Terry confirmed that his name was Ross, but only after being prompted by Chris. Kate is not sure that somebody with learning disabilities could even execute somebody. Jo agrees that the suspect is not their man if it’s an execution murder, but it’s possible that “Ross” is an obsessed fan who killed Gail out of passion.
Meanwhile, back in AC-12, Farida meets up with Steve to discuss how she thinks that Jo is crooked because she delayed the arrest of Ross. She also believes that a man with down syndrome can’t keep a murder of a high-profile reporter under wraps for over a year. Ted refuses to authorize a formal investigation until Steve finds evidence to back up Farida’s claims.
“Operation Lighthouse” is cleared to interview ” Ross” with his solicitor and an appropriate adult. They learn that his real name is Terry, and he doesn’t live at the Beechwood House flat. Though he does call Gail “a nice lady.”
Kate checks in with the forensic team, who is at Terry’s flat in Dorton Villas. The apartment has been cleaned thoroughly with bleach. However, there are a bunch of press clippings photos of Gail on his kitchen wall. Kate reports back to Jo about how nobody at the Dorton Villas complex knew the man who lived at the flat well and gave a vague description of him that could fit several people. They need the CHIS to confirm that Terry is the suspect, but the police handler refuses to give out his address.
Steve finds out some bizarre facts about the case, like how the robbers have wafer-thin rap sheets. He is frustrated that he can’t get a hold of Farida to fill in the blanks. Meanwhile, Ian drills into Jo for not being able to say Terry is their man. He wants to go home. Jo and Ian may be part of a conspiracy since she mentions something about wanting the case to go a certain way.
On the other hand, Jo could be utterly innocent since she seems genuinely upset when Kate tells her that a mess up in the paperwork calling for direct authority instead of intrusive authority led the surveillance team to stop watching the flat for a while. Meaning that Jo and Kate can’t be sure if Terry was in the flat that whole time or if there was somebody else there who left. However, earlier, Jo did ask Ian for direct, not intrusive, authority.
Later, the team learns the CHIS died, meaning they still can’t be sure of Terry’s guilt or innocence.
Jo and Chris conduct a second interview with Terry to confront him about two significant pieces of evidence. The forensic team found fingerprints of a man named Carl Banks in the flat, but Terry won’t say anything. The other major piece of evidence is that his semen was found on photographs of Gail. Jo and Chris are forced to end the interview when Terry freaks out.
Kate meets up with Steve in his car. He asks Kate if she is willing to be an informant. Kate tells Steve that she has to think about it since she likes her new team. Meanwhile, she tells Steve about finding Carl’s fingerprints. That fact gets him permission from Ted to start a formal investigation into Jo’s misconduct.
The most shocking reveal in episode one is that Jo just broke up with Farida. Is Farida just a jealous lover who wants to punish Jo? Or is Jo a “bent” cop?