Superintendent Ted Hastings (played by Adrain Dunbar) has been manning the hold of AC-12 on Line of Duty as the team battle against the ever impossible to capture balaclava group, which the team eventually discovered after going up against who they believed to be a lone ranger.
In a season premiere twist of the BBC drama, it was revealed the leader of the group, John Corbett (Stephen Graham), was in fact an undercover police officer, working at ground level to try and discover who the mastermind behind the criminal activity is.
Believing his team were taking a lenient approach about how far he could go to reach the top, Corbett broke contact with the force, with his most recent line of communication being DS Steve Arnott (Martin Compston), telling him his boss was not to be trusted.
However, although Arnott remains dubious, there could be a possibility a shock move from Hastings in his past does in fact line up with Corbett’s theory the superintendent is the criminal mastermind, H.
He’s got a very interesting tale to tell
At the end of season four, Hastings shot dead the lone ranger they believed to be the only masked villain terrorising the police force, before AC-12 discovered there was a criminal network.
Though, not everyone was convicted Hastings did the right thing as the man behind the mask could have served as a witness and an inside intel about the workings of the group and who the real H could be.
The superintendent then ruled ACC Derek Hilton (Paul Higgins) as H, putting an end to the ongoing case, with it seeming Hastings could have had shot dead the balaclava man as well as identifying the late Derek Hilton as the mastermind to throw his team off the scent he is H.
Speaking after the finale of the fourth season and asked if Hastings’ actions in the final scenes would link in with future storylines, Line of Duty creator Jed Mercurio, 53, said: “He’s got a very interesting tale to tell.
“He can point the finger at higher up people and potentially break this open. Or was it just in the heat of the moment to protect his officers?” the writer continued, offering another perspective to the shooting.
However, he added of the shooting resurfacing: “It could possibly come back and haunt him. But only possibly, we’ll have to wait and see.”
During episode two of the current season, it emerged H was still active when Arnott and his colleague DS Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure) contacted Corbett’s line officer who revealed the undercover cop used a codename H to identify the corrupt officer leading the criminal empire.
With Corbett placing seeds of doubt in Arnott’s mind about the reliability of his boss and the detective then seen leading an investigation of his own into the case, could he put the pieces of the puzzle together and realise the shooting at the end of the fourth season wasn’t spare of the moment?
Will Hastings finally be uncovered as villain H, with is past cover-ups being his ultimate downfall, foiling his criminal mastery?
Fans of the show are convinced Hastings will be uncovered as the corrupt cop, with bookmakers taking a flurry of bets from viewers putting him as one of the hot favourites to be exposed.
Bookmakers Paddy Power currently have his odds at 2/1 to be uncovered as H at some point in the future, with Corbett also in the frame at 1/5 to be unmasked as the villain.
However, Hastings’ exposure could lead to his demise as Paddy Power also have him as the most popular main character to meet their maker later on this season.
Hastings’ death is currently at 10/1 on the bookmakers latest odds table, with a spokesperson adding: “Mother of God! Could Ted Hastings actually be a bent copper? Our odds certainly suggest it’s a possibility – with money troubles and the ominous Kettlebell investment looming over his head.
“And if that wasn’t upsetting enough news for Line of Duty fans, he’s rated the most likely major character to be killed first, though Steve Arnott isn’t far behind him as he appears to agree a deal with the devil in the form of John Corbett.”
Viewers will have to wait and see if Hastings gets a comeuppance over his past actions, but fans are already on tenterhooks after the cliffhanger ending to the second episode.
After discovering PC Jean Cafferty (Sian Reese-Williams) had tipped off the balaclava group as they were blackmailing her, the officer offered up to DS Fleming the corrupt member of the force who approached her, with Hastings looking on from a distance, concerned over his colleague’s reaction.
Line of Duty continues tonight at 9pm on BBC One.
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