In Line of Duty Season Six Episode 7, directed by Jennie Darnell, AC-12 learns there is no “fourth man,” but instead just Ian failing upward.
Chris briefs Kate and Steve about the forensic evacuation team found a strongbox underneath the floor of the gun workshop. The strongbox contains the gun Carl used to kill Gail and weapons used to murder AC-12 Constable Maneet Bindra and others. The series of knifes all have fingerprints on them from Ryan or DCI Tony Gates for blackmail purposes.
Ted is thrilled that Kate and Steve have solid proof that Carl murdered Gail. Kate plans to convince the Crown Prosecutor’s office to drop all charges against Terry. Chloe tells the group that Spain formally identified the two dead bodies in the villa as Marcus and his wife. In addition, the Spanish police found electronic equipment that routed communications to Jo through the estate that originated in the United Kingdom.
Amanda from Cybercrime reports to Ted that they found some messages to Jo that were routed through Spain. Ted notices that the notes contain a misspelling of the word “definitely” like other communications from ” the fourth man.” He orders Chloe to correlate the misspelling of “definitely” with anything written by their suspects.
Meanwhile, a suspicious police van picks up Jo from Brentiss Prison for a post-charge interview at Hillside Lake Station. Ted, Steve, and Kate drive speedily in convoy through the streets to Brentiss Prison. Chloe radios Kate that there was an order to bring Jo to Hillside Lake Station sanctioned by her. Kate never approved such an order. The convo rushes off to rescue Jo. A bunch of masked gangsters pulls over the police van in an attempt to kidnap Jo, but thankfully AC-12 intercedes. AC-12 arrests the masked criminals along with the corrupt police officers involved in the ambush.
Back at AC-12 Kate, and Steve interview Jo. Kate promises Jo that if she talks, then she will go into witness protection. Thus, Jo can have the life she deserves. Kate pointedly asks Jo if the man she has been communicating with is her fake father. Jo finally speaks. Tommy told her that this person was her Dad and forced her to do the police officer’s bidding. Jo tells them it’s Patrick.
The team drives back to Queen’s Chase Prison to search Patrick’s cell for evidence that he is ” the fourth man.” They find no proof. Ted, Steve, and Kate interview Patrick, but he doesn’t even recognize Jo or her mother. Ted storms out when Patrick says he can’t remember anything from that far back. Chloe calls Steve. She found something in Lawrence’s records. They all rush back to AC-12. Chloe briefs Ted, Steve, and Kate about how Cybercrime has studied Jo, Ian, Lisa McQueen, and the Organized Crime men’s electronic devices. They searched the devices for common misspellings and grammar mistakes. For example, they tracked the misspelling of ” definitely” in 2013 with communications to Lisa. When Cyber forensics looked into new files, they found the same misspelling in a document from the Lawrence murder case and Operation Lighthouse. Ian was the author of both filings.
The Firearm Unit brings Ian into AC-12 for an interview, which Patricia partially watches from her office window. Ted, Steve, and Kate sit across from Ian and his representation. Steve and Kate show Ian evidence that he has been messaging Jo about Organized Crime’s orders, but he won’t talk. Kate comments that she has worked in some of Ian’s teams, both undercover and as herself. He has always been the same cheap lazy supervisor. Ian starts to become nervous when Kate mentions they have DNA and fingerprints linking him to a laptop used to message corrupt cops and criminals on an Organized Crime owned property.
Ted explains that from Jo’s testimony, they know that the Organized Crime syndicate led by Tommy broke up after his death into separate gangs. However, one corrupt police officer, the so-called ” fourth man,” coordinates with these gangs. Ian won’t answer any questions until Ted needles him about how he’s a “blundering fool.” The corrupt officer then retorts he has been making a fool out of AC-12.
Ian argues for immunity and witness protection since Patricia not being in the room means the Police brass doesn’t want to deal with institutional corruption. Steve then asks Ian to tell him who the top man is. Ian explains that Tommy used to be the boss, but now it’s just him passing out orders between these different gangs. All Ian takes responsibility for is coordinating with all these criminal organizations. Ted is shocked that he has no remorse, but Ian says he didn’t plan the murders. However, these gangsters kept on asking Ian to organize more significant crimes.
Steve doesn’t understand why Organized Crime would kill Gail since she only had information on the corrupt police. Ted asks if Ian or Philip planned out the murder of Gail. Ian automatically starts whispering to his solicitor. Steve and Kate explain that if Ian doesn’t fully cooperate with their investigation, he won’t receive immunity, and if he confesses to murdering, he won’t receive witness protection. Ian stops talking. Ted ends the interview.
The episode finishes with the charges against Terry dropped. He now lives in a home with other adults with learning disabilities. Farida is now back on active duty at Hillside Lake Station. Darren is under investigation for murdering Lawrence. Jo lives happily in the countryside with her new girlfriend and dog under witness protection. Ian resides in an unknown Vulnerable Prisoners Unit in a maximum-security prison, but he may receive public interest immunity meaning nobody will hear about institutional police corruption. Finally, Patricia is in charge of a downsized combined AC Unit, weakening the authority of those investigating anti-police corruption.
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