As we prepare for the Line of Duty season 5 finale to air on BBC One tomorrow night, now does seem like the perfect time to raise the question: Is Ted Hastings really H? How much should we consider this man to be the adversary at the heart of the season, the one responsible for all of the police corruption and the drama that AC-12 has been trying to resolve?
Before you do much of anything else, it feels like the primary order of business here has to be offering up a reminder of how we’ve viewed Ted for most of the series: As a problematic superintendent who does seem to care about his cases and seems genuinely interested in making sure some sort of justice is served. He has very genuine eyes, which is a part of why we’ve long been so inclined to buy into him despite evidence to the contrary — think about the laptop, the envelope, and his propensity for not cluing in the rest of AC-12 as to all of his findings.
Or, think about the entire body of evidence presented in the interrogation scene last week. It is all a pretty rude awakening that even if Ted is not actually H, he has done a rather exemplary job of appearing as though he is guilty? The part of yourself you present to the world does matter, and this is a part that has long been troublesome for this character. If everyone thinks that you are up to no good, it can be very hard in order to adequately convince them that you are not. Ted needs to compile now a comprehensive list of all of his dealings, including why he’s received money, the stress of his marriage on the job, and how he could be set up as the person responsible for so much pain.
This brings us to why we don’t actually think that Ted is H: The fact that there is so much evidence that he is. Just think about that for a moment. If Ted was really the bad guy at the center of all of this, do you think that he would be anywhere near so liberal in looking shady? Do you think that he’d have some stuff lying around his hotel room? From his last name to the deliberate placings of him in particular episodes, Jed Mercurio has long wanted you to label Ted as the guilty party — even the letter H may just be a misdirect and a way to shift the attention. We just think that Ted is a troubled guy more so than a criminal mastermind. He doesn’t seem to be motivated by money, and he doesn’t seem to take any pride in criminal activity.
For Ted, the profile just isn’t there — even if the evidence is. Whoever is really behind these machinations is probably off somewhere, pumping their fists in celebration that there’s so much attention being given to Ted and no real attention being granted to them.
Will we get real answers this weekend?
We like to imagine so, as the finale (get more details here) is looking to dive a little bit deeper into the whole H mystery, in addition to potentially bringing down an OCG or two along the way. McQueen’s been one of the more established traitors and Big Bads at the heart of the season, so curtailing both her and a larger operation should be listed under top priorities for now.
Do you think that Ted is really H on Line of Duty, or that there is a little bit of something larger at work here? Be sure to share right now in the comments. (Photo: BBC.)