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Line of Duty fans have theorised that “H”, the corrupt police officer who has evaded AC-12 for years, is none other than superintendent Ted Hastings.
The prospect of Adrian Dunbar’s character being the very villain he purports to be chasing has come up before in the programme, notably when Hastings was wrongly accused of corruption last season.
However, while series five has seen Hastings refuse to give up the hunt for “H” (now also referred to as “the fourth man”), last night’s episode (18 April) gave fans reason to suspect that the affable character may be hiding something dark.
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Spoilers follow for Line of Duty series six, episode five...
In the episode, Steve Arnott (Martin Compston) manages to trace the OCG money he found during an illegal search of Steph Corbett’s house back to Hastings.
He flags his findings to Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure), telling her that he suspects he knows the real reason why Hastings handed Corbett the money.
The episode also sees Hastings argue against arresting crooked PC Ryan Pilkington (Gregory Piper), despite having caught him on camera appearing to tip off the OCG about a police raid.
As Arnott notes to Fleming shortly afterwards, he had taken the exact opposite position on bringing in Pilkington before.
The episode also saw Arnott speak to the imprisoned Lee Banks (Alastair Natkiel), who told him that Hastings had alerted him to the fact there was a rat within the OCG last season, which turned out to be Stephen Graham’s John Corbett.
There’s also the matter of a spelling mistake in Jo Davidson’s communications with a mystery handler – the anonymous conspirator spells “definitely” as “definately”, exactly how Hastings has done in the past.
Many Line of Duty fans have therefore leapt to the conclusion that it has been Hastings who was “H” all along, sharing their theories on social media.
“All the signs are pointing to Hastings being H,” wrote one Twitter user. “If it is him, I will be devastated! Its too obvious now!”
“Calling it now, Ted Hastings is H,” wrote someone else.
“Ted Hastings DEFINATELY has to be ‘H’!” wrote another.
Line of Duty continues at 9pm on Sunday on BBC One.
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