'Line of Duty' 6.03 review — reunions, romance and shock realizations

Line of Duty Season 6 — our five burning questions after episode three.

Line of Duty Terry Boyle and Ryan Pilkington.
(Image: © BBC)

What to Watch Verdict

We're almost half way through the season and the dots are starting to join up as Jed Mercurio's intricate plotting just gets more and more impressive.


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    Steve and Kate working together again - it wasn't for long, but we loved it!

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    Steph Corbett and Steve - we can't help but like them together.

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    Seeing Buckells squirm... he is definitely a shady character.

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    Kate and Ted are friends again, and all is right in the world!


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    Steve struggling with his pain killer addiction - we can't help but feel sorry for him.

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    That smug look on Ryan's face - we can't wait to see him brought down.

This post contains spoilers for Line of Duty.

Once again, Line of Duty Season 6 continues at a great pace, and this week we saw Jed Mercurio's genius plotting start to come together as events from as far back as Season 1 were mentioned. Who would have thought that when Tony Gates' bit of the side, Jackie Laverty, was killed by the OCG back in Season 1 we would still be talking about her all these years later! 

Here are five burning questions after Season 6 episode 3... 

Is Kate in danger? 

Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure) is well and truly on to Ryan Pilkington, we knew it wouldn't take her long to work out where she had seen him before, and thank goodness they didn't keep us waiting. 

Not only was it amazing seeing Kate and Steve Arnott (Martin Compston) working together again the night that Ryan tried to bump off Terry Boyle, but the nation did a collective sigh of relief when the pair quickly worked out that new recruit at Hillside Lane Station was the very same shifty character who tried to cut off Steve's fingers back in Season 1. 

But after Kate gave Ryan a grilling over the death of PC Lisa Patel, we can't help worry that she might be putting herself in danger. Ryan clearly knew that she didn't believe a word he was saying when she asked about the bruising on Lisa's neck or why his window in the patrol car happened to be open, but how long will Kate sit on what she has discovered and continue to work along side a member of the OCG? And if Ryan is capable of killing Lisa and attempting to kill Terry for his silence, can Kate stay safe? 

Ryan Pilkington in Line of Duty

Is Kate in danger now that she has worked out where she knows Ryan from?  (Image credit: BBC)

Has Ian Buckells been framed by Jo Davidson?

There is no denying that DCI Ian Buckells is one shady character... he has definitely got a few skeletons in his closet that he'd probably rather keep hidden. But is he corrupt through and through like AC-12 currently suspect? Was he really the one who brought Ryan to Hillside Lane? Was he really in possession of the Gail Vella missing files, or were they planted in his car by DCI Jo Davidson (Kelly Macdonald)? Kate managed to work out very quickly that he was the shifty one in the station after Jo practically handed her all the information on a plate... could she be setting up Buckells to take the spotlight off her? It certainly seems likely after she messaged 'All under control now' on her computer at the end of the episode. The plot thickens... 

Who was Jo Davidson messaging at the end of the episode? 

Speaking of Jo and her new pen pal, who exactly is 'unknown user'? Could it be whoever left her the burner phone in episode 2? Is it a member of the OCG? Or is it a corrupt officer? Perhaps the elusive fourth 'H'? Whoever it was, Jo looked about as happy to be in touch with them as she did with her new phone last week... who has got this hold over Jo? And what have they got against her that is making her frame Buckells? 

Steve Arnott in Line of Duty

Steve was subjected to a 'random' drugs test in episode three.  (Image credit: BBC)

When will Steve get the results of his drugs test? 

He might have managed to escape the not-so-random drugs testing the first time round, but they got him eventually. However, now that he has been tested, what will Steve's results reveal? Did he take enough pain killers for them to show up on his test as something significant? Will this be the kick he needs to help help? Or will he just get even better at covering his tracks? 

Will Steph Corbett and Steve become an item? 

While donning blue forensic gloves and searching someone's house isn't really the best way to kick off a new relationship, could Steph Corbett and Steve have a future? While we're not sure John would be too happy about the whole thing, we can't help but like the pair of them together. However, there is now the slightly awkward fact that Steve has found Steph's secret stash of cash from Ted in the loft... perhaps not something you want to be discussing over your first date meal?! 

Line of Duty continues on Sunday nights at 9pm on BBC One. You can catch up on past seasons and missed episodes on BBC iPlayer

Claire Crick
Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch

Claire is Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch and has been a journalist for over 15 years, writing about everything from soaps and TV to beauty, entertainment, and even the Royal Family. After starting her career at a soap magazine, she ended up staying for 13 years, and over that time she’s pulled pints in the Rovers Return, sung karaoke in the Emmerdale village hall, taken a stroll around Albert Square, and visited Summer Bay Surf Club in sunny Australia. 

After learning some tricks of the trade at websites Digital Spy, Entertainment Daily, and Woman & Home, Claire landed a role at What’s On TV and whattowatch.com writing about all things TV and film, with a particular love for Aussie soaps, Strictly Come Dancing and Bake Off

She’s interviewed everyone from June Brown — AKA Dot Cotton — to Michelle Keegan, swapped cooking tips with baking legend Mary Berry backstage at the NTAs, and danced the night away with soap stars at countless awards bashes. There’s not a lot she doesn’t know about soaps and TV and can be very handy when a soapy question comes up in a pub quiz! 

As well as all things soap-related, Claire also loves running, spa breaks, days out with her kids, and getting lost in a good book.