'Line of Duty' Season 2 recap — everything you need to know

Line of Duty Season 2 recap
Detective Sergeant Steve Arnott (Martin Compston), Detective Inspector Lindsay Denton (Keeley Hawes), Detective Constable Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure) (L-R). (Image credit: World Productions)

Need a Line of Duty Season 2 recap? Well here you go!

Line of Duty Season 2 was first broadcast back in 2014, so if you need a refresher, we don’t blame you! The second season introduced us to one of the show’s greatest villains: DI Lindsay Denton, played by the legendary Keeley Hawes

If you’re rewatching past seasons to see if you spot any hidden clues, here’s everything you need to know in our Line of Duty Season 2 recap. 

How to watch Line of Duty Season 2 

To watch Line of Duty season 2 in the UK, all you’ll need to do is head over to BBC iPlayer, where you can catch every single episode of Jed Mercurio’s hugely popular show. 

Over in the US, you can find Line of Duty season 2 on several streaming platforms, including Hulu, BritBox, Amazon Prime, and Acorn TV

Since BritBox has the US streaming rights to Line of Duty Season 6, we recommend you head there if you want to watch right from the beginning.

Line of Duty Season 2 recap — the main storyline

Line of Duty Season 2 revolves around the investigation into DI Lindsay Denton. The series opens with Lindsay authorising DS Jayne Akers to move a protected witness, without firearms support or backup. During the move, armed gunmen ambush the convoy, setting the other car on fire and leaving only Lindsay alive. The witness is taken to hospital for emergency burns treatment.

Steve Arnott (Martin Compston) and Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure) go to the hospital to meet with Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar), where he explains AC-12 has been assigned to determine whether an officer tipped the OCG off to the witness’ location. Steve is assigned a new partner, DC Georgia Trotman, after Kate distances herself from the case. 

After Lindsay’s fellow officers attack her back in Fourth Street Station, she is transferred to a missing persons’ unit and begins investigating Carly Kirk’s disappearance. She is brought in for her first interview at AC-12, where she is praised for taking a stand against other officers in the past and Ted, Steve and Georgia probe her actions on the night of the ambush. 

Line of Duty Season 2 episode 1

Lindsay Denton attends her first AC-12 interview. (Image credit: BBC)

Thanks to a tip-off from Kate, Steve and Georgia head across to the hospital, finding the armed guards missing from their posts outside the witness’ room. 

Steve finds a criminal attempting to kill the witness disguised as a nurse. The fake nurse knocks Steve unconscious and throws Georgia out of a window when she tries to intervene. With all officers dealt with, the criminal finishes the murder.

Once recovered, Steve builds a rapport with Claire Tindall, one of the nurses assigned to the protected witness. Meanwhile, Lindsay figures out Kate is undercover and assaults her outside a disused garage connected to the Carly Kirk case.

Line of Duty Season 2 Episode 2

Lindsay confronts Kate. (Image credit: BBC)

Ted brings Lindsay in for her second interview. Lindsay rebuffs most of AC-12’s questions, leading Ted to arrest her for conspiracy to murder the protected witness. Then, Lindsay begins using the evidence she’s been collecting on Ted’s financial situation and on Steve’s relationship with Claire Tindall to turn the interview on its head before she's sent to HMP Brentiss.

In prison, Lindsay is denied bail and begins being attacked by inmates (and later prison guards). Back at AC-12, Kate and Steve are shocked to find that Matthew "Dot" Cottan (Craig Parkinson) has joined the unit. He presents a file to the unit which identifies the deceased witness as Tommy Hunter, the main criminal from Line of Duty Season 1. Dot believes Tommy was silenced by OCG members before he gave up evidence on his fellow criminals. 

Line of Duty Season 2 Episode 3

Lindsay becoming an inmate at HMP Brentiss. (Image credit: BBC)

After prison guards burn her arms with boiling water, Lindsay confesses to Kate that she believes the whole investigation has been organised to set her up. She accuses Deputy Chief Constable Mike Dryden of setting her up, revealing they had an affair that lasted five years.

Steve gets Ted to agree to question Dryden. They ask him about the organisation of the convoy. Throughout the interview, Dot undermines some of AC-12’s questions, even joking with Dryden. Just before the interview ends, Kate asks whether Dryden and Lindsay have a history, which Dryden clearly doesn’t like. 

Ted apologizes for his team’s enthusiasm to try and keep himself in Dryden’s good books, especially as Dryden had downplayed Ted's financial trouble as a favour. Dot wants to drop the case against Dryden, but Steve wants to press on, as the affair directly connects Lindsay to the person she claims has set her up.

Kate gets a call about Jayne Akers’ husband, Richard. He’s been arrested by Major Violent Crimes, who are interviewing him about the significant change in Jayne’s finances a month before her death. After the MVC interview, Richard tells AC-12 that Jayne kept secret records about her cases on flash drives that he has stored in his own PO Box.

Line of Duty Season 2 Episode 4

Richard Akers is interviewed by Major Violent Crimes. (Image credit: BBC)

Steve begins building up a list of problems with the case against Lindsay, as he's now working undercover and gained her personal trust. Dot finds a video of Tommy Hunter on Jayne’s flash drives, where he names “The Caddy” as an inside man within the police service. Ted gets Dot to lead the investigation into the Caddy's identity, and he begins contacting former colleague Nigel Morton, blackmailing him into misidentifying the Caddy.

Lindsay is escorted to see her ill mother in Ashcliffe Nursing Home, while Kate goes to visit Carly Kirk’s parents to retrieve fresh DNA evidence to match up with the body of a girl that has been found. When Lindsay is taken back to prison, her transport vehicle is hijacked by two men dressed in black motorcycle leathers.

Line of Duty Season 2 Episode 4

Lindsay escapes from the hijacked prison vehicle, just before she's kidnapped. (Image credit: BBC)

One of the hijackers is DS Manish Prasad, an officer who fits the description of Carly's "boyfriend". Meanwhile, AC-12 review CCTV footage of an event that Dryden had attended at City Hall the same day Carly Kirk was reported missing, and spot Prasad and Dryden together, and Kate spots Carly Kirk was working as a waitress at the event.

Prasad and his partner DC Jeremy Cole kidnap Lindsay, taking her to a multi-storey car park. There, Prasad and Cole torture her, demanding to know what she’s told AC-12. Prasad then kills Cole in front of her, calling him a liability. Prasad reports a sighting of Lindsay to the police, and Lindsay uses this opportunity to trap him against a wall with his car. She forces him to confess his dying declaration and then escapes.

Lindsay calls in the location, leaving Prasad’s phone so AC-12 can track the location. Steve tracks Lindsay to the nursing home, where she finds her mother has already passed away. He takes her back to the station where Kate charges her for escape from custody.

Line of Duty Season 2 Episode 5.

DS Manish Prasad tortures Lindsay Denton. (Image credit: BBC)

Prasad survives his injuries. When questioned, he demands immunity and witness protection and refuses to give anything up until he gets what he wants. Without any other lead, AC-12 bring in Dryden for questioning, but Dryden refuses to come quietly and Steve has to place him under arrest.

Under pressure, Dryden finally admits he had an affair with Lindsay. As the interview plays out, Kate confronts Dryden with a photo of him with Carly Kirk in his car, and she reveals how young Carly was, much to his shock. He also believes he is being set up as the prime suspect.

Line of Duty Season 2 recap — the finale

After such a complex plot, Line of Duty season 2 concludes by showing how everything fits together! 

Steve finds the was of cash that Jayne Akers had bribed Lindsay with. AC-12 then question Lindsay about the tracker on her vehicle, and whether she had followed Dryden to the car park where the incriminating photos of him and Carly were taken. Kate later takes Lindsay out to Edge Park station, where Lindsay saw Carly Kirk attacked by Tommy Hunter to try and get her to come clean about exactly what happened.

Line of Duty Season 2 Episode 6.

Kate takes Lindsay to Edge Park station. (Image credit: BBC)

On the drive home, Lindsay relives the whole case and we watch a flashback of how everything happened.. Lindsay had followed Dryden to City Hall, briefly spotting Carly and Dryden flirting during the event. Once she realizes Carly works for Tommy Hunter she attempts to confront him but is stopped when she spots Tommy with DS Akers.

Later, Akers bribes Lindsay into helping hand Tommy over to his criminal associates before he is able to rat them out. Two corrupt officers followed the convoy using the tracker on Lindsay's car, which Lindsay herself transferred to Jayne Akers vehicle to avoid suspicion. Akers and Tommy were killed in order to protect Dot’s identity, and Lindsay was left alive to take the blame for the whole thing.

In the epilogue, we see Carly has fled the country. Manish Prasad gives evidence against Lindsay in exchange for a shorter sentence, and Nigel Morton is not suspected of any wrongdoing whatsoever. Dot remains at AC-12, and Mike Dryden receives a suspended sentence for his cooperation in the case.

Lindsay Denton is convicted for conspiracy to commit murder and given a life sentence. Major Violent Crimes continue to hunt for Tommy's murderer, but don't currently have any leads besides Lindsay.

Now that you're caught up on Line of Duty Season 2, check out some of our other recaps below:

Martin Shore
Staff Writer at WhatToWatch.com

Martin was a Staff Writer with WhatToWatch.com, where he produced a variety of articles focused on the latest and greatest films and TV shows. Now he works for our sister site Tom's Guide in the same role.

Some of his favorite shows are What We Do In The Shadows, Bridgerton, Gangs of London, The Witcher, Doctor Who, and Ghosts. When he’s not watching TV or at the movies, Martin’s probably still in front of a screen playing the latest video games, reading, or watching the NFL.