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'Line of Duty' 6.02 Review: Betrayal, burner phones and that shock return

'Line of Duty' Season 6 continues with more twists and turns than ever before.

Line of Duty - Martin Compston as Steve Arnott
(Image: © BBC)

Our Verdict

The intricately weaved web of Season 6 continues — and we love it! ** Warning spoilers for Season 6, episode two below **


  • Line of Duty is renowned for shock deaths and episode two didn't disappoint.
  • The return of Steph Corbett has got to have some significance - but what?
  • Ryan Pilkington is back - just like a bad penny. He's the character we all love to hate.


  • What is going on with Kate? Surely there is more to her betraying Steve than meets the eye?
  • H is finally mentioned once again (hurrah!) but Steve says he is over trying to work out who the fourth person is (boo!).
  • We still need a dictionary for all the police acronyms and abbreviations!

The second instalment of Line of Duty Season 6 has seen the show continue at a cracking pace, with yet more twists and turns to keep us guessing. 

But while we might have had one or two questions from last week answered, Jed Mercurio has given us more to ponder over than ever. 

Why did Kate betray Steve?

The friendship between Steve (Martin Compston) and Kate (Vicky McClure) has always been one of the best things about Line of Duty... and as any fan knows, there are A LOT of good things about this show. But when Kate went behind Steve's back and gave DCI Davidson (Kelly Macdonald) the heads up that AC-12 had their card marked, we're not sure who felt more let down... us or Steve. While Kate claimed that she was "damned if I do, damned if I don't" could there be more to this twist than meets the eye? Could there be something that has happened between Kate and Steve that we don't know about? We still don't really know the real reason Kate left AC-12 in the first place. Or could it be that this is all part of a masterplan that Kate has got cooking?

Kate Flemming and DCI Joanne Davidson in Line of Duty

Why did Kate betray Steve and warn Jo that AC-12's visit was imminent?  (Image credit: BBC)

What is the significance of Steph Corbett's return to Line of Duty?

Steph Corbett was just one of the familiar faces making a comeback in episode two, but what does her return mean? As all Line of Duty fans know, every character holds significance in this show, but what could Steph's purpose be? Her chat with Hastings suggests they have been in touch since Season 5, and we know from the scenes between Steve and Steph that they have also kept in touch since John Corbett's death. The scene at Steph's house also revealed that Steve's back pain troubles are far worse than he has let on. But why bring Steph back into the mix for this series? Only time will tell!

Who has got Jo Davidson right where they want her?

The final scene of episode two saw Jo collecting a new burner phone after being released from jail. Freedom that she was only granted after setting up her ex, Farida Jatri. But she didn't seem happy about the situation, suggesting that she could potentially be a pawn in the OCG's crimes and not fully corrupt herself. But who has got a hold on Jo? And what secrets could they possibly know that she doesn't want getting out?

Joanne Davidson Line of Duty

Jo wasn't happy to be issued a Reg 15 in episode two.  (Image credit: BBC)

And the most important question of them all — HAS KATE REALISED WHO RYAN PILKINGTON REALLY IS?!

Gah — the double takes and flashes of recognition from Kate when she first saw  Ryan Pilkington at the crime scene for Carl Banks' murder were EXCRUCIATING! Kate knew of Ryan and his OCG links when he was a lot younger and even interviewed him in connection to Steve Arnott's kidnapping in Season 1. 

Now Ryan is older and on the other side of the law, she was initially having trouble placing him. Kate later confronted Ryan asking if they had worked together before, but he was evasive and fobbed her off by asking if she'd done a talk at his training college. However, Kate was later seen researching Ryan on her computer in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it-moment. Was this a routine check? Or has she worked out that he is an undercover member of the OCG? Could she be working undercover to catch him out? 

As AC-12 raided Hillside Lane Station, Ryan also made sure he kept his face hidden by keeping his back to DI Arnott as he went about his business. Even after all these years, Ryan knows that Steve would never forget the face of a teenager who tried to cut off his fingers! But how much longer can Ryan fly under the radar? It seems there is a lot more to come from this latest twist.

Line of Duty airs on Sunday nights at 9pm on BBC1. You can catch up on Seasons 1-5 and missed Season 6 episodes on BBC iPlayer