Line of Obligation returned this Sunday on BBC One with a record-breaking 7.8m viewership to turn out to be the most-watched present of 2019 up to now within the UK, beating not simply earlier seasons but additionally the primary episode of Bodyguard, the award-winning drama that has turn out to be so fashionable that after only one season, drawing 10.4m viewers by its finale, to the purpose the place the veteran Line of Obligation collection is promoting itself as being “From the Makers of Bodyguard”. However that mentioned, nearly as good as Bodyguard is, it would not come wherever near Line of Obligation at its pure, unrivalled greatest, which this wonderful premiere confirmed what it was able to.
The lingering mysteries of final season stay as we get some new ones thrown our method within the premiere, sufficient to maintain Alfred Hitchcock glad. Who’s “H?”, the highest canine on the coronary heart of the corruption contained in the police? Is it Hilton? Is the case closed? Or is there, provided that that is solely the premiere, extra to the “H” thriller than meets the attention? May it’s Adrian Dunbar’s fan-favourite character Ted Hastings, in what could be a predictable – given the trailers – however no much less devastating reveal? Dunbar does brooding by home windows like the very best of them, and if he turned out to be a villain, it could give him an opportunity to take his character in a course that he hasn’t earlier than. However it’s clear that there is one thing off about Hastings, and that he is on edge moreso than traditional. Too keen to shut the ebook on one specific case, too keen to maneuver on. It is sufficient to create suspicions in each Kate and Steve, who wish to take a look at his alibi. Hastings makes a giant level this episode that working with somebody means taking them at their phrase, and he is little question going to be shocked when he finds out that the remainder of AC-12 are going behind his again.
The opening chase and case of the season (?) – ED905 – was established as shortly and as tension-packed as ever. From the get go we’re on the sting of our seats, Jed Mercurio is aware of methods to open TV exhibits at a ridiculously excessive commonplace, and sooner slightly than later we discover ourselves in the midst of a shootout when an armed police convoy is lured to analyze a burning automobile with a lady screaming for her child. The driving force does a runner and the law enforcement officials escorting the convoy are all killed, save one, a lady with a baby at house, who’s badly wounded and left for lifeless by one of many attackers, Lisa McQueen, who’s suspected by AC-12 to be a Undercover Officer following a gathering with one other organisation who’re closely invested within the case that they’ve stumbled throughout. It is not too lengthy earlier than Hastings begins throwing his weight round, threatening Reg15s at anybody who will get in his method.
The present is pushing too far within the course of creating out “H” to be Hastings that it looks like it could be extra of a shock at this level if he wasn’t (absolutely it would be too apparent to have a personality whose surname begins with H be “H”, proper?). Both method, Hastings himself has gone by some powerful occasions currently, but it surely’s onerous to consider after every little thing that he is been by, he is the highest man in cost, even when it is not onerous to see past an inevitable confrontation the place he’s held below suspicion by Kate and Steve. However for now no less than the sport’s elsewhere, with the identification of a key participant within the OCG that appears to be behind every little thing this season represents the largest menace to AC-12 thus up to now, the actual undercover police officer who has gone darkish for a number of months. It is John Corbett – who might have been on the within from the beginning of the whole historical past of Line of Obligation. Which might imply he’d learn about Dot, whose image was proven on the wall to AC-12 when Hastings was speaking about bringing down Hilton. I believe that this may not be the final time there will be a callback to Dot this season.
Poor PC Maneet Bindra’s days have been sadly numbered the second she confirmed a video of her child on the AC-12 HQ, and Hastings’ aggressiveness outweighing Kate and Steve’s understanding solely strengthened that (I am nonetheless fascinated with what is going on to occur to her kids a day after watching the episode). An emotional gut-punch was coming fairly early on and it hit house on the very finish together with her demise by the hands of the OCG, particularly following on from the reveal that Corbett was in truth the within man, even when it wasn’t probably the most unpredictable twist that Line of Obligation has ever pulled (good twists do not all the time must be unpredictable, although, I’d add, and that is very a lot an excellent twist). It was cool to see extra of Rochenda Sandall’s Lisa McQueen this episode and with the information now that she is not the police informant represents an fascinating narrative twist that provides room to flesh out each her and Corbett going ahead, ready the place she very a lot seems set to probably be the primary villain of this specific collection.
However one factor’s for sure, no matter what occurs subsequent, indicators are pointing to us being within the endgame now. With the present already renewed for a sixth season it means that this might be the curtain name because the collection seems set to wrap every little thing up. There’s solely a lot story Line of Obligation can inform – it could’t go on endlessly, and I’m absolutely prepared for it to exit on a excessive which it nearly actually will. So buckle in and prepare for just a few weeks of re-familiarising your self with police code-names, extra twists and turns than you are more likely to predict, and a real, fringe of your seat trip from begin to end. That is tv at its greatest, and Sunday nights simply grew to become absolutely booked proper all through April.
Overlook Sport of Thrones, neglect The Handmaid’s Story, neglect Stranger Issues. That is the TV occasion of the yr.