Line of Duty Ian Buckells

Line of Duty: The one question about the Buckells reveal that’s still bugging us

Is this one loose end that wasn't tied up?

The Line of Duty finale revealed that DS Ian Buckells was the final ‘H’ or ‘The Fourth Man’.

Almost 13million viewers tuned in to watch the thrilling climax to the series on Sunday night (May 2).

While showrunner Jed Mercurio has explained the decision for Buckells to be the bent copper, one question is still bugging us.

Ian Buckells Line of Duty
Buckells looked terrified in the prison cell (Credit: BBC)

What happened with Ian Buckells in Line of Duty?

Buckells was revealed as ‘H’ after his idiosyncratic spelling of ‘definately’ was traced back to both the Lawrence Christopher case in 2003 and Operation Lighthouse in the present day.

Some viewers felt shortchanged by the revelation, as they always thought he was an incompetent officer.

Ted Hastings even said he had consistently “failed upwards”.

Read more: Line of Duty star Martin Compston understands fans’ disappointment over ending but is proud

But a closer look at Buckells’ backstory reveals repeated links with the OCG.

If his involvement with the OCG(s) was explained one thing was left hanging.

Why did he look so scared in the prison cell when Jimmy Lakewell was strangled by Lee Banks?

How did viewers react?

One viewer on Twitter said: “We’re seriously meant to believe Buckell’s is H when he was shaking so much when Lakewell was killed in front of him???

“Nahhhh sorry we need a second finale because that was not it.”

Another fumed: “I’m convinced that’s not the end.

“Who signed Kate’s name on the Order paperwork? And why would Banks kill Lakewell in front of Buckells in prison to warn him against speaking out?

But Lakewell was killed in front of Buckells as a warning (and Buckells looked terrified).

A third wrote: “But Lakewell was killed in front of Buckells as a warning (and Buckells looked terrified).

“Even if there is another series, that last episode was still very poor compared to all other series.”

Jed Mercurio Line of Duty
Jed responded to the backlash (Credit:

How did Jed Mercurio respond to the backlash?

After the fan backlash, show runner Jed Mercurio responded to the criticism.

The finale pulled in an incredible 12.8million overnight viewers, and Jed thanked viewers for their support.

Read more: Line of Duty creator Jed Mercurio breaks silence over fans’ criticism of finale

He also said that the finale wasn’t for everyone.

“We knew attempting to explore the real nature of corruption in our society wouldn’t appeal to everyone, but we do sincerely thank you all for watching,” he said on Twitter.

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