Line of Duty viewers are heavily criticising the final episode for its “boring” reveal of “H”.
The sixth series of Jed Mercurio’s crime drama drew to a close on BBC One last night (2 May) – and it has left fans feeling majorly underwhelmed.
Many are assuming the finality of the episode means the series will not be returning, which has caused consternation due to what fans are calling an unsatisfying conclusion to the long-running “H” storyline.
*Spoilers follow – you have been warned*
Trailers of the episode previously revealed the finale would unveil the identity of “the Fourth Man”, previously referred to as “H”.
Sure enough, after picking up on the misspelling of the word “definitely” – the corrupt copper has been shown to write it as “definately” in past episodes – AC-12 did a search into historic documents to discover the fourth member of “H” was, in fact, the blundering Detective Superintendent Ian Buckells (Nigel Boyle).
Buckells had been a prime suspect at the beginning of the series – especially due to clues showing him swinging a golf club in his office, a reference to crooked former character DI Matthew “Dot” Cotton (also known as “The Caddy”). Fans believed this to be a red herring.
Following the end of the episode, which saw Superintendent Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar) face his demons as he handed the AC-12 reins over to Detective Chief Superintendent Patricia Carmichael (Anna Maxwell Martin), viewers expressed their disdain on social media.
“Sending thoughts and prayers to those affected by#LineOfDuty tonight,” one person wrote, adding: “I’ve not watched the show but clearly everyone thought the finale wouldn’t be complete and utter Buckells.”
Another said: “The latest season of Line of Duty was fantastic, but that finale was rank rotten. Not for a minute is Buckells the ‘last man’. No way is James Nesbitt’s involvement limited to a few photos.”
One viewer said they were “expecting a bit more drama and excitement for the final” and that “it can’t simply finish with Buckells”.
The BBC was accused of hyping up the episode too much, with one person tweeting: “It doesn’t help that the BBC have promoted tonight’s episode as the finale to the whole show and gave it the old ‘everything has led to this’ tagline.
“If this was just a normal ending, leading into S7, there wouldn’t be so much outrage! Buckells has to be a misdirect!”
Others drew comparisons to other disappointing finales, including Game of Thrones and Dexter.
“God, what a boring episode after so much build up,” one fan wrote.
Despite the backlash, there was a contingent of fans who enjoyed the episode, with a few explaining why the Buckells reveal was actually a decent one.
“I’m going against the grain here but I like that it was Buckells. It makes sense and I didn’t expect it,” one supporter wrote.
It is unclear if Line of Duty will be returning for a seventh series. Find a rundown of all the show’s unanswered questions here.
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