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Line of Duty Recap 'The Assault'

Series 1 Episode 2

Image from Line of Duty, streamed via Netflix

‘Why is he doing it? What’s in this for him?’ Superintendent Hastings asked Steve when they spoke of DCI Gates’s steadily rise to power within the department. The camera then cut to DCI Gates and his wife attending a performance at their daughters’s school. My first impression was that that looked like a rather posh school for the daughters of a police officer who, by all appearances, came from a working class background.

Was it cliche to put DCI Gates’s motivation for corruption squarely on his desire for a better life for his daughters? Perhaps, but that did not make the motivation any less sincere or effective. This was in large part due to a tour de force performance by Lennie James, who embodied every persona of DCI Gates with equal conviction. DCI Gates was devoted to his family. DCI Gates followed the dictates of his nether regions though he already knew his mistress had repeatedly lied. DCI Gates was good police, an officer who had the instincts of a good detective. DCI Gates fudged with his crime detection numbers and turned his back on his mistress’s misdeeds, to protect both her and himself. DCI Gates was the sum of all the pulling and pushing desires within him. Plenty of times, his better angels won, but not nearly enough for him to avoid getting pulled into an exponentially darker web by Jackie.

Whilst Steve (and secretly, Kate) were investigating DCI Gates, he was in turn shadowing Steve (via Deepak). DCI Gates found out that Steve managed to link Jackie to money laundering. It didn’t take long for DCI Gates to put the pieces together. Jackie’s accountant Gurjit Patel must have found out about the money laundering and wanted to come forward. Jackie lured him to the country and killed him. DCI Gates arrested Jackie for manslaughter, cuffed her, and put her in his car.

Jackie got into DCI Gates’s head during their drive to the police station. She knew where his soft spot was, his children. They ended up back inside her house, still conspirators in now mounting crimes. Before their night ended, three men in balaclavas pushed their way into Jackie’s home. One of them hit DCI Gates. He was still conscious when Jackie’s throat was slashed in front of him, and the knife handle was pressed against his fingers.

The unraveling of DCI Gates's career as a police officer had moved at a breakneck speed through these first two episodes. A man who toyed with corruption as though he could control it now found himself mired ever deeper into the bog.

Image from Line of Duty, streamed via Netflix


■ Steve delivered a signed action granting AC-12 access to TO-20 (DCI Gates's squad) files. It was Kate who first noted something strange about DCI Gates choosing a hit and run case for the squad. Kate messaged Steve about it whilst he was at the station, but as Steve explained to Superintendent Hastings later, he thought it was a red herring. It was much later, when the waitress's description of DCI Gates's possible girlfriend matched Jackie Laverty, that Steve realised the significance of the hit and run case.

■ How Steve made the connection between DCI Gates, Jackie Laverty, and money laundering -- Steve rechecked the hit and run file, then saw a photo of Jackie Laverty, which matched the waitress's description. He ran a search and saw there was another crime associated with Laverty Holdings, a burglary on a property the business owned. Steve checked the business, a salon that did not look like it has been opened in a while. The man there made it appear as though Jackie was the owner, but he clearly had no idea what Jackie looked like. When Steve talked to Jackie, she said her business owned several properties, but they had nothing to do with the businesses that rented them. Steve invited Jackie for an interview under caution the following day. If she did not show up, she would be arrested.

■ Steve ended up going on a date with the lovely waitress Nadzia, though he should not have because she was a witness. He ended the date when Kate called him and told him Dot and Nige appear to have been covering for DCI Gates; Kate theorised that DCI Gates was with Jackie at that very moment. Steve was driving to Jackie's house at around the same time the attack by the men in balaclavas was happening.

■ Superintendent Hastings told Steve that he would have to testify in the Karim Ali case. His former team members amended their statements and claimed Steve sent them to the wrong flat.

■ Wesley was a potential witness to the Greek Lane case (the murder of two young dealers in the first episode). DCI Gates forced him to make a statement by threatening to make it appear as though he were a cooperating witness in front of his whole neighbourhood. Later, Wesley was murdered in the same manner as the Greek Lane guys.

■ This was the first appearance of a kid on a bike who clearly worked for some dangerous people.

■ PC Karen Larkin was the audience window into some of modern policing's more interesting practices. She near constantly complained about the paperwork (she complained there was more paperwork when a suspect jumped off a balcony and into the street). She explained about Control Strategy Crime and how on one week, the focus would be burglary, and on another, they would be instructed to ignore burglary cases. She explained procedure to her newbie partner. It was a testament to the overall quality of this show that all these scenes did not at all feel forced in; they were part of the overarching police story Line of Duty explored.

■ With the news that the man who attacked him has been arrested, Mr. Butterfield had softened his stance regarding his complaint against Kate. Showing why people tend to like him, DCI Gates offered to put a call in so Mr. Butterfield would get priority assistance the next time he called 999. When neighbourhood kids were yelling at him and throwing all manner of disgusting things at his home, he called the police. Unfortunately, he also decided to go out and confront the kids at around the same time the kid on the bike with a frighteningly bad attitude came by. The kid said words, Mr. Butterfield finally lost it and hit him, the police arrived in time to see the incident, and the kid yelled his complaint. Mr. Butterfield was arrested.

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