Picture Credit: BBC/World Productions/Steffan Hill
Picture Credit: BBC/World Productions/Steffan Hill

Jed Mercurio drama Line of Duty is constantly throwing curveballs and cliffhangers our way, with twists and turns that have been written with explicit detail sending us all into a spiral of mystery and intrigue.

It is undoubtedly one of the best shows the small screen has ever played host to. So, of course, everybody has an opinion and theory on what is going to happen next.

Following this past Sunday’s (April 11th, 2021) episode, which ended on the bombshell that Acting Detective Superintendent Joanne Davidson (Kelly MacDonald) was a relation to someone whose DNA was in the police database, everybody’s been scrambling to come out on top in the sweepstakes of guessing just who that somebody could be.

Here, we’ve put together our top contenders…

Tommy Hunter

Picture Credit: BBC
Picture Credit: BBC

Tommy Hunter (Brian McCardie), also known as Alex Campbell, was the first major leader of the clandestine organised crime syndicate operating throughout the city in the first two series of Line of Duty.

Hunter managed to bring Matthew Cottan (Craig Parkinson) in under his wing, working criminally by his side and acting as an inside man after he joined Central Police. Everything came crashing down for him in the show’s second season however.

DC Jeremy Cole (Henry Pettigrew) managed to infiltrate a hospital in which Hunter was being kept following an unsuccessful attempt on his life, disguising himself as a nurse and getting the job done after injecting air into Hunter's IV line. Though he was confronted by DS Steve Arnott (Martin Compston) and DC Georgia Trotman (Jessica Raine), it was too late.

So, what’s all this got to do with Davidson? Well… They’re both Scottish. Hunter was born in Glasgow before moving to the city in which the show takes place, whilst we know Davidson is likely also from the country thanks to her accent.

Though their Scottish roots may just be a red herring to throw us off the scent, the majority of people watching would be shocked if Davidson’s connection is to anybody but Hunter. Still, there are other possibilities…

Andrea Wise

Picture Credit: BBC/World Productions/Chris Barr
Picture Credit: BBC/World Productions/Chris Barr

Doing whatever she can to take down fan-favourite character Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar) at every turn, Andrea Wise (Elizabeth Rider) has used her position and power near the top of the policing establishment to pull the strings and keep the anti-corruption units at bay.

Having now announced that the budget for anti-corruption will be cut by 90% at the very least, it’s clear that her priority is not taking down the officers and higher-ups who are fully invested in allowing the organised criminal groups to maintain a stranglehold on the local community.

We’ve not seen any interactions between Davidson and Wise to this point - unless of course Wise is on the other side of the anonymous account Davidson’s interacting with on her laptop at home - but could we have seen her in her earlier years on the mantelpiece?

Right back in the first episode of the series, Davidson got emotional with a glass of wine in her hand, launching it at a picture of her and, what we assume was her mother. The sepia-toned photograph didn’t reveal anything explicitly, but could it be the case that Wise is Davidson’s mother?

Nigel Morton

Picture: BBC/World Productions/Steffan Hill
Picture: BBC/World Productions/Steffan Hill

There wasn’t a single moment I can remember where, as a viewer, I liked the character Nigel Morton (Neil Morrissey). He physically assaulted those who got on his wrong side and wasn’t above spitting in their face if he thought it would result in him getting the upper hand.

Turning a blind eye to bent coppers, he was always on the side of the authority figure, no matter how corrupt they may be. An absolutely despicable character but, one that has managed to keep his life up to this point. He was even allowed to retire from the force on his full pension, with an epilogue showing him happily mowing his lawn without the use of a walking stick that he had used to fake an injury, allowing him to carry on claiming benefits following an accident whilst in the line of duty.

He’s a scumbag through and through, so we wouldn’t be surprised if he had a daughter out there that he’s never told a soul about. Could they have recently reconnected? A long shot, but not impossible.

Kate Fleming

Picture Credit: BBC/World Productions/Steffan Hill
Picture Credit: BBC/World Productions/Steffan Hill

The most unlikely of all the theories out there, but what have we come to realise when it comes to Jed Mercurio’s writing? That we should only ever expect the unexpected! Seeing Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure) flirting with Davidson has actually been a nice and subtle change of pace during certain scenes, so what better way to throw a grenade into all of that, than by revealing the two are actually related?

Whether long lost sisters, distant cousins, or something else entirely, this would be an explosive move by Mercurio and his creative team.

Line of Duty continues Sundays at 9pm on BBC One.

RELATED: Jed Mercurio admits it's "never far" from his thoughts to kill off one of Line of Duty's 'golden trio'

While many of the guest stars on the popular police procedural drama have met their maker, AC-12's Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar), Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure), and Steve Arnott (Martin Compston) have been constants throughout the series, but Jed has insisted "nobody is safe" in the upcoming sixth season…


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