Line of Duty 'H' theory predicts Dot Cottan was tapping out a specific name

Line of Duty 'H' theory predicts Dot Cottan was tapping out a specific name

April 27, 2021

The countdown is on to find out just who H is, as we approach the finale of series six of Line of Duty.

Ever since the series three finale, when a dying Dot Cottan (Craig Parkinson) blinked out a clue directing Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure) to a mysterious bent copper nicknamed H, Fleming, Steve Arnott (Martin Compston) and Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar) have been on the hunt.

After initially believing H was the initial of the person working with the OCG, AC-12 realised that Cottan tapped his fingers four times during his dying declaration, leading them to believe they were looking for a ‘Fourth Man’ in addition to Dot, Derek Hilton and Hill Biggeloe. 

Everyone from Patricia Carmichael (Anna Maxwell Martin) to Stephanie Corbett (Amy De Bhrún) has been guessed by viewers, but a new theory which has surfaced on Reddit points the finger at Marcus Thurwell (James Nesbitt).

A viewer reckons Cottan wasn’t spelling out H or four with his taps, but was using ‘tap code’ to call out a specific person.

A post on Reddit read: ‘So they made a big thing in the last episode of season 5 about dots dying declaration being morse code. I actually think this was something called ‘Tap Code’ which is used by prisoners, so fits with dots OCG links. 

‘Dot tapped 4 times, paused and then tapped another 4 times which gives the letter T. Thurwell. He also may have been in fact blinking the second letter with his eyes as he already gave the first letter clue, H, which fits with Thurwell.’

Tap code uses a 5×5 box to give each letter of the alphabet a corresponding number, and four taps, followed by a pause, followed by another four taps equals a T.

While this is an interesting theory, another viewer pointed out that T and H could also point at Ted Hastings. 

In the penultimate episode of series six, police stormed Marcus Thurwell’s Spanish home to find two rotting bodies, believed to be Thurwell’s and his wife’s.

However, many viewers doubt that Thurwell is actually dead – mainly because they don’t believe James Nesbitt was hired to simply pose for two photographs.

Thurwell is definitely dodgy enough to be the Fourth Man, given his connection to Sands View Boys Home and his involvement in the Oliver Stephens-Lloyd case (the death of a social worker who had tried to raise the alarm to the abuse at Sands View, which showed signs of being a murder but was officially ruled a suicide).

He was also the senior investigating officer on the Lawrence Christopher case, where a black man was attacked by a gang of white youths and died in custody from untreated injuries, after police mistook him for a criminal instead of a victim and shouted racist chants at him.

Thehe investigating officers did everything they could to protect the suspects of the attack – one of which happened to be Tommy Hunter’s son, and it has been speculated that Thurwell, along with Philip Osborne and Ian Buckells who were also on the team, could have thrown the investigation for Hunter.

This would make sense, considering how Hunter made a reappearance in this series as the uncle and father of Jo Davidson (Kelly Macdonald).

Or, it could be Ted and we’ll all cry ourselves to sleep on Sunday.

The Line of Duty series six finale airs on BBC One this Sunday at 9pm. 

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