LIne Of Duty episode 4.1 spoilers.
Watching a crime thriller in the age of online streaming, the DVR and the freeze-frame is an entirely different game than it used to be. Time was that your theory on whoever stole the groundskeeper’s whistle on Juliet Bravo that week would be mere supposition.
Even if you owned a video recorder, you didn’t routinely tape everything you watched, nor could you screengrab a salient frame to support your suspicions and share it at the touch of a button.
For better or for worse, now we can. And do. And have.
Your honour, we’d like to draw the court’s attention to exhibit A, a series of three screengrabs taken from the opening minutes of Line Of Duty series four. Go back and watch the scene for yourself on BBC iPlayer here first if you like.
Here, we see DCI Roz Huntley roused from her domestic chores to attend a live crime scene at the Moss Heath Estate, where a car used in an ongoing abduction has been traced.
We see Huntley pull up, get out of her car, and take charge of the whole thing. The abductor gets away, even though, as Huntley states, he must be nearby.
As anyone who’s been watching the current series of Line Of Duty will know, there’s no shortage of questions about Huntley and exactly what it is she’s playing at, but ignoring that for a moment, we ask: who is this suspicious-acting man in the blue hoodie walking away from the crime scene?
Spot him? As he walks in the other direction from the house that’s just about to explode, hood pulled up, he takes a long look at Roz.
Suspicious, or just, like, a bloke out for a walk rubber-necking the action on his estate?
Could Blue Hoodie Man be Balaclava Man? Is he Nick Huntley? Jimmy Lakewell? Michael Farmer? Or have we just been sniffing our highlighter pens a bit much this week under all of Line Of Duty‘s strain?