Line Of Duty. We’re 4 episodes into series 6 and I am now fully on board. Don’t get it twisted, I’ve watched EVERY LoD series from when it started on BBC 2 but after watching the first episode of this one, I was underwhelmed. There could be many reasons for that.
Since starting my breakfast show on Sunday mornings on BBC Radio WM, my Sundays start at 3:30am and after about 11am are ruled by brain fog. I navigate the day in a dreamscape of strong naps and hazy reality so watching LoD live at 9pm with all the acronyms, and the need for razor sharp focus is a stretch. In short, your girl is TIRED.
I knew, however, it’d be worth persevering to the end – not only that, it’d be climactic and brilliant. I fully expected to be thrillingly exhilarated and satisfied. (What are we talking about again?) Yes – Jed. Why was I so confident in his ability to come through? Because he’s done it before and I knew he’d do it again.
When Is Thandie Newton Not Thandie Newton?
When she’s pigging Ros Huntley, that’s when. When Series 4 started, I took a deep sigh when I saw Thandie was starring. Not because she’s a rubbish actor – quite the contrary – but because she carries a lot of star power and, no offence to the police who I’m sure are staggeringly handsome/beautiful, I don’t picture a literal Bond Girl as a detective so I was prepared for some low level disappointment. Fool.
My skepticism was very short lived and my eyes were opened to the brilliance once again and I was hooked. However, I reached the end of the utterly gripping fifth episode and I found myself anxious, bordering on distraught.
“Erm, there are usually only 6 episodes in a series, no? Surely, there’ll be an extra episode this series, right??” I shot these questions to my faithful fellow LoD watch party. One of the party did a quick google search and replied in the negative. “Then it’ll be a feature length episode, I presume???” My blood pressure rose and I could feel a sweat coming on. Sounds dramatic but my chest tightened a bit, I swear. Again, the reply was that it was a standard hour long episode for the series 4 finale.
How could he drop the ball like this?? There were too many loose ends – TOO MANY!!! There’s no way he could satisfactorily tie up the different threads of the story in 1 hour! Jed, this is shoddy work. SHODDY. All the beautiful complexity of your writing – the storylines and the intricately developed characters, the acronyms I’ve committed to memory and bizarrely find a way to use in my (completely non-police related) daily life – scuppered. What a waste!
I had a rant, sighed heavily and left the watch party. (Yes, this is all very dramatic but, hey, it’s a drama – it’s doing it’s job).
Despite my disappointment, I’d already invested 5 hours of my life (not counting discussions – virtual and actual – so you could probably double that figure) so there was no way I was going to miss the finale.
I came back to the watch party the following week. We had our usual finale ritual of food and drink – quite the occasion – but I was skeptical as we settled down in front of the television in silence for the beginning of the show. (All trivial conversation at this point is strictly banned. This is not a place for casual viewers, if there is such a thing for LoD)
Long story short – I needn’t have worried. Jed. Came. Through.
Writing wizardry was clearly performed and I was entirely satisfied with the conclusion. It wasn’t rushed, no thread was left dangling, LoD’s reputation was safely in tact. I mean, who thought it would be any other way? Me? Never a doubt in my mind…
As I continued to ruminate about the brilliantness of the series finale in the week that follow, I found myself thinking about God. Jed, if you’re reading this, cool your jets. You’re really good (like, really) but I’ll stop short of saying you’re God.
No, I was thinking how sometimes life can feel like a deeply disappointing and frustrating episode of a drama that you actually thought was good and going pretty well once upon a time, then one day it seems like there are far too many things going on to the point of ridiculousness and you can’t possibly envisage this ending in any way well on a timescale that suits you.
At those times, I find myself questioning God.
“So, this is it? THIS is my story? I thought you loved me! I thought you were good! *mumble/cry/rant/seethe ad infinitum*” But then, more often than not, something will shift, the situation turns a corner, hope comes back into glorious view and I say “ok, God. THIS is what I’m talking about! I KNEW you’d come through – never doubted it for a minute… *sheepishness/shifty eyes/fingers crossed behind my back*”
So that’s how I find Jed Mercurio and God sometimes popping into my mind at the same time during times of uncertainty or life crisis. It’ll all come good in the end. Jed’s got this. No, I meant God. God’s got this. Last time I checked Jed Mercurio didn’t have any control of my life – apart from my nerves every Sunday night between 9 and 10pm.