It's the question vexing the nation. Who is H?
As the hunt for the top corrupt copper reaches its finale in Line of Duty, we examine who could be the evil mastermind behind the crime syndicate of bent officers and the balaclava gang.
After following five seasons of the hit BBC drama, we name the top suspects who could be H and the average odds bookies have given them… before all is revealed in Sunday’s 90-minute episode.
What we know about H…
CLUE 1: We get our first clue about H when DI Matthew “Dot” Cottan – aka “The Caddy” – lies dying and Kate Fleming takes his dying declaration.
Just before the final credits started rolling on series three, Kate works her way through the alphabet till Dot nods at the letter H… then snuffs it.
CLUE 2: H has been masterminding this criminal enterprise for years, back to when the syndicate was led by Tommy Hunter. This evil individual makes Dr No look like a fluffy kitten and must be as rich as Goldfinger.
CLUE 3 : There’s no doubt H is very high up in the police ranks.
He or she needs to be senior enough to recruit bent officers, able to give orders at the highest level, and to cover their tracks. H knew about the trackers in the goods
at the depot during the £50million raid, so must have access to AC-12 intelligence.
CLUE 4: Nobody in the crime syndicate knows who H is either. The criminal genius communicates by instant messenger, in a cunning move that has also never betrayed their gender.
Could He be really a Her? Or could H be just a codename rather than a surname initial?
Here's a rundown of potential suspects
Supt Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar)
There’s plenty of clues that point the finger at the head of AC-12. Up to his neck in debts and marital troubles, Hastings has been accused of taking a £50,000 bribe and leaking the identity of John Corbett when he visited Lee Banks in Blackthorn Prison.
He let the OCG get away with the £50m-worth of stolen goods when he ordered DS Arnott to respond to a “status zero” that turned out to be a diversion, so it’s not looking good for the Freemason and former RUC officer. The eagled-eyed among you might also have spotted Hastings using the same incorrect spelling of “definately” when he took over from the cybercrime expert to pose as H. Odds: 5/1
Gill Biggeloe (Polly Walker)
Maybe we’ve been wrong all along assuming H is a He rather than a Her. What if DI Fleming got it wrong when she pleaded with DI Matthew “Dot” Cottan – aka “The Caddy” – to name the big bad with his dying breaths and he nodded at H. But was he too slow and really meant G?
Legal counsel Gill has been trying to get her hooks into hapless Hastings since series three when she spent a lot of time trying to stop AC-12 from catching too many bent coppers, and then was exposed for giving Ted a piece of evidence from which key information had been removed. Odds: 5/2
DCS Patricia Carmichael (Anna Maxwell Martin)
Hatchet-faced AC-3 boss Carmichael left no stone unturned in her cold and calculating interrogation of Ted Hastings, and seemed a little too keen to fit a fellow high-ranking anti-corruption officer up for the role of H. Even going so far as announcing to AC-12’s Kate and Steve after that she would do what it takes to prove Hastings is H.
Thing is, Carmichael fits the profile of H just as much as Hastings, and in fact perhaps more so, because she clearly wouldn’t be foolish enough to be caught with £50,000 in used fifty pound notes! Odds: 25/1
Roz Huntley (Thandie Newton)
She was chillingly cold in series four, when she investigated Operation Trapdoor. She suppressed evidence to frame an innocent man, killed a man and even tried to frame her husband.
When she was grilled by AC-12, dodgy Mark Moffat was her Police Federation rep.
Roz is banged up for ten years for her crimes. But guess where she’s behind bars? Blackthorn Prison. So could she be the source of the tip-off to Lisa that John Corbett was working undercover? Is she pulling strings from behind bars? Odds: 12/1
Detective Constable Nigel Morton (Neil Morrissey)
He’s laid low since we last saw him in series three. But by then he proved he was a bent copper when he received cash from journalists as tip off fees. And let’s not forget he put dog poo in Steve Arnott’s car, spat on the back of Kate’s head and hit her in the face with a walking stick. He even faked his disability to receive benefits and low-risk assignments. That’s one nasty fella. Odds: 18/1
Former DCI Mark Moffat (Patrick Fitzsymons)
Mark Moffat is deeply dodgy. The retired detective has intimate knowledge of the inner workings of the police, as throughout series four he was a Police Federation Representative to DCI Roz Huntley when she was investigated by AC-12. If he really is just a property investment manager, how come he has precise knowledge of Ted Hastings’ whereabouts in his personal time?
He pops up when Ted is feeling at his most vulnerable, first trying to get him to sign papers the very moment he received his divorced papers. Then waiting in the foyer of his hotel to hand him £50k cash in a brown envelope as he returned from seeing his wife in hospital recovering from being tortured. The money led to Ted’s arrest. Odds: 12/1
DS Steve Arnott (Martin Compston)
He’s broken regulations by secretly meeting rogue undercover officer John Corbett without telling his superiors. And what kind of copper leaves a top level surveillance operation to have a date with an ex – a bent one?
Steve is not in the best of form having seen his colleague Kate promoted to Detective Inspector above him, then being a bit of a flop (ahem) in bed with his ex girlfriend Sam Railston. Maybe he has other things on his mind – like his organised crime group being exposed? Odds: 33/1
DS Sam Railston (Aiysha Hart)
Whenever there’s a murder, Sam Railston is one of the first on the crime scene. Did that give her the chance to interfere with it? Sam was close to her former boss, Detective Chief Superintendent Lester Hargreaves, who was killed, wearing a balaclava, in the botched Eastfields Depot raid.
So if he was bent, is she just as crooked? Did he hand the power over to her? And is her romantic interest with Steve all fake just to persuade him to hand over sensitive info to her?
Good detectives trust their gut instincts – and it’s hard to warm to Sam. Odds: 12/1
Police and Crime Commissioner Rohan Sindwhani (Ace Bhatti)
H is a big cheese in the police, and cheeses don’t come much bigger than the commissioner. Yet we only see him fleetingly, adding to his mystique of his ice cool exterior and making him a less obvious suspect but a suspect all the same.
He authorised the removal of AC-12 from Operation Pear Tree – did he feel they were getting dangerously close to the truth? We know nothing of his personal life – is he too busy controlling the OCG to have one? Odds: 16/1
DI Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure)
We hate ourselves for doubting Kate. But this season she’s been a bit aloof, unwilling to put in the late hours poor Steve does. There are more holes in her personal life than a colander. Because between series two and five, Kate was estranged from her husband and rarely saw her daughter. Now they’re mysteriously and suddenly back. Kate has worked undercover so well, and for so long, she could easily have a double life. Steve has good instincts but has been keeping info from Kate. Does he suspect her? Odds: 5/2
Dep Ch Con Mike Dryden (Mark Bonnar)
One of the bad guys from series two, he got away with a suspended prison sentence for perverting the course of justice for lying about a speeding ticket.
But as fans of the show know, that was the tip of the iceberg – with underage sex and definite links with other corrupt officers and the originally OCG kingpin Tommy Hunter. Has he been controlling it all from off camera for three series since? Odds: 80/1
Mrs Roisin Hastings (Andrea Irving)
Married Ted when they were 18, she was by his side as he rose through the police ranks and would have picked up a few tricks of the trade in their pillow talks. While Ted wanted to respect their marriage vows and not divorce, maybe Mrs H was a lot more free and easy. Maybe she looks at all of the laws of the land in the same way and wanted to be free of Ted to spend her criminal millions? Punters certainly seem to think so because she’s the same odds as Ted to be H. Odds: 5/1
Det Supt Alison Powell (Susan Vidler)
The suspiciously unhelpful boss of doomed Operation Peartree failed to report her officer John Corbett had gone AWOL while working undercover inside the OCG, then refused to cooperate with AC-12. Corbett believed that he was about to expose H until he was pulled off the scent by Powell. Ex covert ops manager Cameron confirmed this when she told AC-12’s Kate and Steve that Powell was pushing Peartree in the direction of low level targets. Even if Powell doesn’t turn out to be H, it’s almost certain that she’s covering for him.
DCC Andrea Wise (Elizabeth Rider)
There’s a touch of Juliet Bravo about the Detective Chief Constable. She recently booted AC-12 off the investigation into Operation Peartree, much to Hastings’ annoyance. And now she’s ordered a separate inquiry into Hastings – is she out to put him of the scent? Or frame him?
And if the previous incumbents of that office are anything to go by – Dryden and Hilton – she’s definitely H. Plus it’s hard to trust someone in such a high position with such a dreary office. Odds: 28/1
- Line of Duty is on BBC1, on Sunday at 9pm.
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