Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

It's a Crime (That Line of Duty Is over); TELEVISION Tonight, London Will Find out What Denton Did. Susannah Butter Has 10 Reasons Why We Were Arrested by L.O.D -- and Seven Ways to Bail Us out of Our Funk

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

It's a Crime (That Line of Duty Is over); TELEVISION Tonight, London Will Find out What Denton Did. Susannah Butter Has 10 Reasons Why We Were Arrested by L.O.D -- and Seven Ways to Bail Us out of Our Funk

Article excerpt

Byline: Susannah Butter

Compelling: Keeley Hawes (foreground) as DI Denton, and Vicky McClure as DC Fleming in Line of Duty ID DI Denton do it? DTonight, after five tense weeks, BBC2 drama Line of Duty (LOD) draws to a close and it is all we can talk about. For the benefit of LOD-dites, this taut drama written by Jed Mercurio centres around an investigation into a police ambush which killed three officers, leaving the one survivor, DI Lindsay Denton (Keeley Hawes), seemingly guilty. Each compelling episode has drawn four million viewers, and the anticipation surrounding the finale is such that even TV reviewers have been denied advance screenings.

The plot has caused agony among watchers. Last Wednesday at 10.10pm I received a text from my friend saying: "Did Denton do it? I have to know. So tense, I can't wait for it to be over so I can get on with my life. PS, I have to know." Here are 10 reasons why we have love for LOD.

THE GIRL-ON-GIRL ACTION It's rare to see a woman interrogating another woman, and DC Fleming (Vicky McClure) trying to get something out of Denton and struggling to suppress pity for her is as good as it gets. The situation is intensified by the parallels between their situations -- both have experience as the other woman, falling for a married man.

THE MORAL AMBIGUITY OF DENTON Denton has divided audiences. Is she a vulnerable cat lady, mourning for her mother and scapegoated by the man who she once loved, Deputy Chief Constable Mike Dryden; or a poisonous, manipulative bunny boiler who is not to be trusted? Could she be both? Her struggle with what is right is evident throughout -- we see her being tempted by the chip pan boiling over that could kill her noisy neighbour and wonder how she will act, and feel her frustration as she punches a colleague in the stomach.

THE MORAL AMBIGUITY OF EVERYONE It's not just Denton who is an unknown quantity. Mercurio is the master of writing conflicted characters. Midway through the previous episode we were convinced that Dryden is a liar, paedophile and possibly a murderer, but by the end there are question marks. Our sympathies are pulled all ways. Even the writers admit they didn't know how it was going to end.

PROBLEMS WE IDENTIFY WITH We may not all be cracking murder cases but there is plenty that resonates here, including the moving moments between Denton and her elderly mother, the anguish caused by antisocial neighbours, and the frustrations of office bureaucracy.

VICKY MCCLURE She has played Fleming faultlessly. Even Kate Moss is a fan.

THE 'PSYCHOPATH FRINGE' We know Keeley Hawes is beautiful in real life but here she has put on weight, wears no make-up and has a home-cut wonky fringe slicked to her face. This at once endears her and suggests she is unstable. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.