Many Line of Duty fans are convinced that they have figured out who “H” is – or at least who is protecting them – after watching the sixth episode of the crime drama.
It’s been the question on the lips of the BBC show’s fans for years: who is the bent copper known as “H”?
The last few seasons of the hit series have focused on the hunt for “H”, the name given to a corrupt officer working within the upper echelons of the police.
While series five revealed that “H” was in fact not one person but several, the search remains ongoing for the last “H”, also referred to as “the fourth man”.
*Major spoilers ahead for Line of Duty*
Viewers are increasingly suspicious of Anna Maxwell Martin’s cartoonishly smug Detective Chief Superintendent Patricia Carmichael, who has taken over AC-12 as Superintendent Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar) faces enforced retirement.
Episode six saw Carmichael give the order to remove Chief Constable Philip Osborne’s image from the investigation board – effectively removing him as a suspect of corruption – and during DCI Jo Davidson’s (Kelly Macdonald) interview, she seemed to interject when Osborne’s name was mentioned.
In fact, every time Hastings’s questioning became too focused on institutional corruption, she tried to move the conversation onto another topic.
These moves have left many wondering if she, herself, is corrupt – and whether she could even be “the fourth man”.
"Why isn’t Hastings saying in #LineofDuty why are you always stopping my questions about OCG? Are u worried u’ll be implicated #Carmichael #H,” tweeted one person.
Another wrote: "Bloody hell, Carmichael, who do you have info on or which part of the OCG are you involved with?! #LineofDuty."
A third viewer added: "She is as bent as they come! I can feel it in my bones!!!! #LineofDuty."
The below Instagram post from Martin, shared weeks ago, also seems to hint she could be “H” – who has spelled “definitely” wrong in the past – but this also seems brazen enough to be a red herring.
After episode four, many viewers were convinced Carmichael would be revealed as “H” after DI Steve Arnott (Martin Compston) was told he needed to “look beyond the race claim to find H”.
As many fans subsequently pointed out on social media, “race claim” is almost an anagram for “Carmichael”, minus one letter: H.
Whether she is “H” or not, fans flocked to praise Martin for her gloriously passive aggressive performance as Carmichael.
Line of Duty concludes on Sunday 2 May at 9pm on BBC One.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies