Line of Duty season 5 premiere review: Who is John Corbett?

Line of DutyTonight, the Line of Duty season 5 premiere kicked off with a transit robbery. To be specific, the hijacking of a drugs transport that left multiple offers dead. What happened to cause this to happen, and who was the real, responsible party? This led to a larger conspiracy and the central story at the heart of the season.

This is why AC-12 is on the case. When it looks as though something is amiss with a crime, this group does their everything to get to the bottom of it. Their reasoning for getting involved in this one had to do with John Corbett (Stephen Graham), the head of an Organized Crime Group and someone with a lot of power. Hence, what makes the investigation this season so taxing.

Some of the best scenes within Line of Duty come within the interview room, which shouldn’t come as much of a surprise given the nature of the suspects and the officers at large. If you are a member of the police, you know that you want to follow organized crime if you want to keep your job. One young officer was interrogated in this episode because of her cousin’s ties to crime — was she responsible that she leaked information to her cousin? That’s what they were trying to figure out through this episode.

What they found tonight through the interview was a connection — a source for the leak to the OCG in Maneet. The problem is that despite the information that they had, there was still no tangible proof. Information is leverage, but information is not a declaration written in blood. It’s a starting-off point as opposed to a destination.

Despite the much-hyped appearance of Corbett, it actually took some time for him to really make a splash … and he’s not a particularly swell guy. He’s already taking action against anyone who he perceives to be an enemy, and judging from the end of the episode, Maneet paid a price for some of her information-sharing. At first, we thought she was going to be able to survive her capture but, by the end of the episode, that was not the case. Consider this the first body to drop on a season where many more could follow.

Here’s what was going on here — Alison had planted an officer within an OCG in order to get further information and because of that, the question becomes this — how long as this operation gone awry? The big surprise at the end of the episode was that it was actually Corbett who was the one with ties to the police. The guy potentially running the show was also a potential dirty cop. Boom. Is that enough of a hook for you?

Elsewhere, there’s also the question as to the identity of H. Is it really Ted Hastings? This was the larger mystery before season 5 even began, and through tonight’s premiere, even more breadcrumbs were scattered that this could very well be the case. Given that we know Ted, and we genuinely like the man, the idea of anti-corruption cop being corrupt is devastating. We’re not done with this story yet, and it may take until the end of the season to be there.

CarterMatt Verdict

It’s crazy to think that Line of Duty is in its fifth season, given that we think viewers, especially worldwide, are still in the process of discovering it. Creator Jed Mercurio is as exceptional as they come at crafting difficult, complicated narratives.

The challenge for viewers remains the same as it’s always been — the density of this story. In between the greater H mystery and the character dynamics that are already there, you can’t just pop in to the season 5 premiere with a “Hey guys!” expecting to figure things out. Even for diehard fans, the over-abundance of acronyms and the reluctance to properly explain things to viewers may force a rewatch or two. We understand a show wanting to elevate the material and not dumb itself down for an audience, but even with that, the premiere was a little much.

For some more news on the next new episode…

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What did you think about the Line of Duty season 5 premiere? Be sure to share right now in the comments. (Photo: BBC.)

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