SPOILER ALERT: Line of Duty's bent prison guard appears to be caught

SPOILER ALERT: Line of Duty’s bent prison guard Alison Merchant appears to FINALLY get caught by AC-12 as filming pictures show her arrested at gunpoint

  • Bent prison officer Alison Merchant is seen in filming pictures taken last year
  • Merchant (Maria Connolly) broke Farida Jatri’s (Anneika Rose) wrist in series six
  • It was a warning to the PS about what would happen if she spoke to AC-12
  • And in series two Merchant burned Lindsay Denton’s (Keeley Hawes’) hands 

Line of Duty’s bent prison officer Alison Merchant seems to have finally been caught by AC-12 and brought to justice.

In filming pictures, which were taken in September 2020 and show scenes yet to air in the current series, she is seen being arrested at gunpoint by armed officers. 

Merchant (Maria Connolly) was first introduced in series two when she put feces in Linday Denton’s food and poured boiling water over her hand while in custody. 

Caught at last? Line of Duty’s bent prison officer Alison Merchant seems to have finally been found out by AC-12 after being seen held at gunpoint in filming snaps from the show

During that series it was suggested she was involved with the OCG as she told Denton [Keeley Hawes] to stop talking to AC-12.

Alarm bells went off again in series six when Merchant broke PS Farida Jatri’s wrist while she was supposed to be watching her in custody at HMP Brentiss. 

This injury stopped Jatri from speaking with AC-12, again suggesting that Merchant’s still working for the OCG after all these years. 

In the filming pictures from 2020, she is seen putting her hands up while an armed officer points a gun at her back. 

Familiar face: Merchant [Maria Connolly] was first introduced in series two when she put feces in Linday Denton’s food and poured boiling water over her hand while in custody

Merchant is wearing her prison uniform in the snap with private security company SecuritVite’s logo clearly seen on her jacket pocket.  

Line of Duty’s main characters – Hastings, Arnott and Fleming – were also spotted in the filming pictures from last year.

Fleming’s appearance seemed to suggest that she’s survived Sunday’s dramatic shoot out against Ryan Pilkington, as the scenes in the snaps have yet to air.  

And adding to the ever-growing list of questions fans need answers too, the snaps also show a man wearing a leather jacket and balaclava. 

Balaclava Man was the pseudonym given to several members of the OCG in series four and he was investigation during Operation Trapdoor led by DCI Roz Huntley.

Shady: Eagle-eyed viewers spotted the prison guard who broke Farida Jatri’s (Anneika Rose) wrist  was the same woman who burned Lindsay Denton’s (Keeley Hawes) hands in series two

One of the masked baddies – later revealed to be Robert Denmoor and shot by Ted Hastings – was also implied to be the person who pushed Arnott down the stairs, sparking his ongoing back problems and painkiller addiction.  

The new pictures show the masked man climbing out of a car before being appearing to be led away with his hands behind his back. 

But despite the loaded history behind one of the show’s most notorious characters, both Vicky and Martin looked remarkably relaxed about his presence while filming perhaps suggesting he’s not another member of the OCG’s masked squad.

Sunday’s instalment of the hit police drama saw Kate locked in a tense showdown with PC Ryan Pilkington, with two gunshots heard as the screen faded to black. 

Crime links: Merchant (right) with Denton (Keeley Hawes) has connections to the OCG and threatens inmates who might be tempted to speak to AC-12

Years of crime: Merchant was first seen in Line of Duty back in 2014 (pictured) 

Kate had been lured to a lorry park by her new gaffer Jo Davidson, who had been told to ‘get rid’ of Kate by a mysterious crime boss messaging her – and also struggled with the spelling of definitely, using an A, just like Hastings in series 2019.

Yet keen fans have claimed they already know the outcome from watching the trailer, while Adrian Dunbar – who plays Superintendent Hastings – has revealed that there’s already been ‘a very big clue’ about what happens in next week’s episode.

Putting their amateur detective skills to the test, several Line Of Duty fans took to Twitter after Sunday’s show to suggest that the series six trailer had the answers. 

They were quick to point out one blink-and-you-miss-it scene which sees Kate standing next to Acting Detective Superintendent Jo Davidson [Kelly Macdonald] – which has yet to air on the show. 

Could it be? Vicky McClure, who plays Kate, could be seen laughing while filming scenes which haven’t aired yet, suggesting that she has survived Sunday night’s dramatic episode

Drama: Vicky is seen holding her gun up during what seems to be yet another shoot out

Fans thus deduced the scene must happen in the aftermath of the shooting – indicating Kate survives. Although nothing is known of Ryan’s fate.  

One person declared: ‘Screen grab from #Lineofduty session 6 @BBC trailer. #katefleming looks p***ed, #jodavidson has her hands in the air. THIS SCENE HASN’T OCCURRED YET. #katefleming lives for at least 1 more episode.’ 

And another wrote: ‘Nah she’s no dead! Major spoiler if you Look back at the original season 6 trailer – both Jo and Kate get stopped by armed police, exact same clothes they were wearing just now. I reckon Ryan either missed or the second shot was Jo.’

Adrian appeared to back up the theories as he appeared as the first guest back in the Good Morning Britain studio on Monday, pointing fans away from the misspelt ‘definately’ but insisting many ‘already know’ her fate. 

Interesting: Adrian, who plays Ted Hastings, revealed that there’s already been ‘a very big clue’ about what happens to Kate in Line of Duty while appearing on GMB on Monday


Have they cracked it? Line Of Duty fans are convinced the series six trailer gives away who survives the shoot out between DI Fleming and PC Pilkington 

In typical AC-12 style on Sunday’s show, a twist emerged in the form of a throwback clue to the 2019 series showing the word definitely misspelt as ‘definately’ in Jo’s messages – a clue that previously suggested Hastings could be one of the bent coppers he is so hellbent on finding.   

Reflecting on Sunday’s dramatic show, Adrian said: ‘Great cliffhanger again, Jed loves his cliffhangers. And a lot of LOD fans know [what’s coming next for Kate].

Presenter Adil Ray then jumped in asking: ‘They’ve worked it out you mean?’

Adrian continued, knowingly nodding his head: ‘A lot of Line of Duty fans know what’s going on. All will be revealed in the fullness of time.’

Susanna then despaired as she said: ‘I feel like you’re giving us a really heavy piece of information that I can’t for the life of me work out.’ 

Adrian then dropped the bombshell: ‘Yes, there’s been a very big clue. I’m giving you a scoop. As the first guest back on the show, I am giving you a massive scoop. 

‘There’s a clue out there as to what happens next.’

What’s next? Although fans were already reeling with the twist, the show ended with shock, with the tense cliffhanger seeing PC Pilkington drawing his gun at DI Fleming


Season six of Line Of Duty has left fans with more questions than answers, with viewers flocking to Twitter to question what exactly is DCI Jo Davidson is up to, whether Kate Fleming has really left AC-12 and who is H?

Here, MailOnline examines some of the most prominent fan theories  

Kate Fleming HASN’T left AC-12 and is working undercover   

One of the most shocking discoveries was AC-12’s Kate is now working with a new team- with some fans suggesting she could even be the infamous H.

While chatting to her new gaffer DCI Davidson, Kate said: ‘I got fed upon nicking coppers, I’d rather go after the psycho who murdered Gail [Vella].’

But despite seeming confident in her new role, some viewers were left wondering if all was at it seems and theorised that Kate could still be undercover for AC-12.

Even after she tipped off Davidson and incurred the wrath of Ted Hastings, fans have continued to speculate that she is so deep undercover that even Hastings is having to keep her true agenda secret.  

Kate Fleming HASN’T left AC-12 and is working undercover: Is it true? The jury is still out on this one 

DCI Jo Davidson is being blackmailed by an Organised Crime Group  

Jo has already survived a grilling from AC-12’s top team and appeared to clear her name when it was ex-girlfriend PS Farida Jatri who seemed to have taken part in corruption.

However, Jo was seen hitching a ride with known bent copper Ryan Pilkington and taken to collect a burner phone, making her look suspicious once more.

Fans, however, are convinced the DCI is being blackmailed by an OCG, following her emotional outburst when she was summoned to pick up a new burner.

DCI Jo Davidson is being blackmailed by an Organised Crime Group: Is it true? After her car park outburst it seems increasingly likely

DCI Jo Davidson’s mother is Anne-Marie McGillis

Fans speculated over who Jo’s mother could be after she was seen in a photograph in the first episode.

Many theorised her mother has something to do with season five character John Corbett’s [Stephen Graham] mother Anne-Marie McGillis, who was killed by an Irish Republican paramilitary group sometime after 1989.

DCI Jo Davidson’s mother is Anne-Marie McGillis: Is it true? There simply isn’t enough evidence yet to determine on way or the other  

Gail Vella is still alive

Although season six has centered around the murder of journalist Gail Vella, one obscure theory is that she is in fact still alive.  

Craig Parkinson, who played Matthew ‘Dot’ Cottan in the show, said on BBC Sounds podcast Obsessed with Line of Duty: ‘Somebody is in that flat and there’s some connection with Gail Vella, the investigative journalist.

‘You don’t cast someone like Andi Osho and then just have her as little magazine prints and stick them up on a kitchen wall.’

Sarah Millican – who also appeared on the podcast – went on to suggest Vella may have been a former lover of DCI Davidson’s.

Gail Vella is still alive: Is it true? It seems unlikely that the scale of police corruption is so huge that they could fake a murder victim

DC Chloe Bishop is Tony Gates’ daughter

Bishop is one of AC-12’s newest recruits, and as Gates and his wife Jools had two daughters, Natalie and Chloe, viewers have suggested their shared first name ‘can’t be a coincidence’.

Gates’ daughter was last seen in season one in 2012, which means she’d be roughly the same age as Bishop is now.

Fans have suggested that Bishop either took her mother’s maiden name or the name of a step-father, so that her true identity remains a secret – for now.

Gates died at the end of the first season when he walked into a busy road after getting a confession from gang leader Tommy Hunter, who had been blackmailing the police officer into covering up their criminal activity.

DC Chloe Bishop is Tony Gates’ daughter: Is it true? The dates and facts line up, but there still isn’t enough to write it off as a coincidence just yet 

DCI Jo Davidson’s mystery blood relative is…?

After it was revealed that Jo’s DNA matched someone on the Police National Computer, fans theorized who that could be.

The overriding theories suggested that Davidson’s relative was either Tommy Hunter, of series one and two, Mike Dryden of series two, John Corbett of series five, or Derek Hilton, killed off in series four.

Tommy Hunter was the leader of the OCG in earlier series of the show, and a paedophile. His character is dead.

Mike Dryden, the former Deputy Chief Constable, was last seen resigning from his post for perverting the course of justice in series two. His Scottish links also suggest he could be related to Davidson.

John Corbett was an undercover cop in series five who had his throat slit, leaving behind a wife, two daughters, and a mysterious link to a woman, Anne-Marie, whom fans claim could also be Davidson’s mother.

Derek Hilton was a Chief Superintendent and later the Assistant Chief Constable of Central Police. He was also secretly affiliated with organised crime. He was shot in the mouth in a staged suicide in season four.

Other suggestions were Gill Biggeloe, Jackie Laverty, Lindsay Denton or Terry Boyle. 

After it was revealed that Jo’s DNA matched someone on the Police National Computer, fans theorized who that could be. Scottish Mike Dryden was last seen resigning from his post for perverting the course of justice in series two

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