- For the Series 1 episode of the same name see In the Trap (Series 1).
"In the Trap" is the third episode in Series 4 of Line of Duty and the twentieth overall episode. It was first broadcast on BBC One on 9th April 2017. The third episode in Series 1 is also titled "In the Trap".
As AC-12 wrestle with the new forensic evidence casting doubt over Tim Ifield, Kate is approached by another woman claiming to have been assaulted by Michael Farmer. While Steve fumes over this contradictory testimony, Kate uses her newfound respect to inveigle herself with the Trapdoor team.
Meanwhile, Steve challenges Roz's husband Nick to vouch for his wife's whereabouts on the night Tim Ifield went missing. With Nick proving evasive, Steve senses a whole new angle on the investigation.
The episode opens with DCI Roz Huntley entering Polk Avenue Station and telling DS Neil Twyler and DC Jodie Taylor that there will be a briefing shortly. Neil and Jodie look anxious and follow Roz in.
Roz is telling everyone that there is a team briefing now. Neil asks where it is and Roz says in the incident room. They all look reluctant but head in any way. Roz tells Jodie that she wants to appeal for more witnesses for Michael Farmer's case and he's been charged people might think it's not necessary coming forward. DCI Ian Buckells comes out of this office and asks Roz what she's playing at. Roz says it's a joint team briefing for Operation Trapdoor and Tim Ifield's murder and it's been cleared with ACC Derek Hilton. Ian says that no one said anything to him. DS Kate Fleming tries to join the briefing and Roz stops her, she says that she promised Hilton complete discretion and she doesn't want any of it getting back to East Mids. Ian looks out of the briefing room window at her and gives her a look of acknowledgement that it sucks.
Roz says that even though Michael has been charged, they are dealing with the recent developments in the case. Two uniformed officers bring in the board with Tim's murder details on. Roz says that the information relating to finding Tim's DNA on Leonie Collersdale's body cannot get out, she expects complete confidentiality about this matter. Ian says that they didn't find any record of calls between Tim and Leonie. Roz says that they are looking for connections between Michael and Tim, that maybe they were accomplices. Ian thinks that is ridiculous and tells Roz that maybe Michael is innocent of killing Leonie. Roz scoffs at this and says that there are mountains of evidence against him.
Jodie buts in to say that she's been looking at the tool found at Tim's flat. They were brand new and she was looking into purchases in the area. Jodie pins up a photo, deliberately next to balaclava man of an image taken from CCTV footage on the night of Tim's murder. The entire crowd looks shocked. It's a photo of a man dressed similarly to balaclava man.
Kate pulls Ian aside on his way to the toilet to get info from him about what Roz was up to. He tells her he's not a grass for AC-12 and she'll have to get her info somewhere else. He didn't get to be a DCI by sticking his neck out and says perhaps that's why she's still a DS. Kate looks annoyed at this.
The next day Superintendent Ted Hastings is meeting with Kate and DS Steve Arnott. Kate explains the situation she's in and she's being shut out and she doesn't want to push too hard or make Huntley suspicious. Steve says that they can't sit on their hands, Tim has been implicated in a murder and was murdered himself. Roz's reinstatement puts her in the box seat to manipulate the inquiry as she did with Michaels one. He wants to get involved. Kate says that'll put Roz on her guard, even more, she wants to go along with her more subtle undercover operation.
Steve says that he's never disputed being the blunt instrument, but it's bigger than just Roz now. Hastings agrees with Steve, their informant has been killed and he wants to know all about it and now, he doesn't want o wait until Roz gives them crumbs. steve says that if they open a wider inquiry that they can have access to all the evidence that Roz's team has been gathering. Hastings chases them out as he says they need to get back to it, unless they have more egg sucking tips for their granny?
Hastings goes straight to ACC Derek Hilton's office. He tells Hilton that he's opening a full investigation into Tim's murder, with no reciprocity. He also wants to register that he knows his considered counsel in regards to Roz has been disregarded. Hilton takes this and says that it must be the reason for the full inquiry, that they've challenged AC-12. Hastings says that it means Hilton wasn't worried that the change to SIO could have led Michael's defence to use it against them. Hilton argues that Roz's diligence lead them to detecting Tim's involvement in one of the prostitute's murder. Hastings says that his team intend to give Michael a second chance and that when he has all the evidence they shall which one of them is right.
Later that day we see Steve turn up at Polk Avenue, he has a whole team with him. Roz see's him from her office and looks worried. Jodie sees him from near the front door, looks alarmed and runs to tell Roz. Roz sees how worried Jodie is and tells her not to worry. She speaks loudly for everyone to hear, she says that they should all keep calm.
Steve marches in, with PC Maneet Bindra, and the rest of the AC-12 delegation follows. Steve says "All officers go to your desks. You’ll each be questioned by an AC-12 case worker. You’ll each be obliged to surrender all materials relating to Operation Trapdoor and the investigation into the murder of Timothy Ifield. Failure to comply will be a breach of your Duties and Responsibilities under Police Conduct Regulations and may lead to a misconduct charge under said regulations." Everyone looks worried but follows his instructions. Roz galres at Steve. Maneet is telling her team that the keywords are Trapdoor and Ifield. Steve asks an officer to stand guard at the door to ensure no one leaves.
That night we see the result of Steve's file collection arriving back at the AC-12 building. Maneet is checking the boxes in, and there are at least 11 boxes full of records. Steve shows Hastings and Kate what was being hidden from Kate earlier. It's an image of a person who looks like Balaclava man in the car park of a DIY superstore near Ifield's house. It was taken at 19:33 on the night of 17 March 2017, the night before Tim sent his last text message. Steve shows them images from inside the store on the same evening and the person has removed the balaclava but is wearing a baseball cap and can't be seen by cameras as he keeps his head down.
Steve says that the items in the trolley of this person match the items found in Tim's flat. Hastings asks if the picture they are looking at is Tim's murderer. Steve says that forensics found dark wool fibres in his hair and nose, but they found no items matching the description from the image at this house. Steve says that body matching gives a 90% probability that the person in the DIY store is Tim. Hastings asks if this means Tim could be Balaclava man and Steve says they have to consider it.
Michael Farmer's Fourth interview at HMP Blackthorn
Neil shows Michael a picture of Tim and asks if he recognises him. Michael thinks and looks at Rob to see if he is going to be any help. Neil says that the interviewee is not responding. Neil asks if Michael is sure, Michael shakes his head. He's confused and not sure what is going on.
After Michael Farmer's Fourth interview at HMP Blackthorn
We see Neil back at Polk Avenue, putting a question mark next to the assumption that Michael and Tim were accomplices. Roz walks in at this. Jodie says that they have looked through their phone records and there is no contact between the two of them. Neil says sorry boss, but Roz takes the question mark off the accomplice sign on the board. Neil says he's wondering if there could be a simpler explanation. Neil wonders if Tim was framing Michael for the murders. Roz says it's a valid thought, but it's a bit much to discount the mass of evidence against Michael. Jodie backs up Roz and says that it's mad to think that Michael isn't guilty.
Neil and Jodie are leaving, but Neil turns around and says that there is one thing they can be sure of. Whoever killed Tim wasn't Michael. Michael was in prison when Tim was killed. Neil says that if they find Tim's killer that they can crack the case. Roz looks disheartened that she has another problem to work her way out of.
Late that night at the AC-12 building Kate and Steve are reviewing files. Steve tells Kate that's she's on shift at Polk Avenue the next day and needs to get some kip. Kate says so does he. Steve says it doesn't make any sense for Tim to be Balaclava man and to come to them and say that Michael is innocent. Kate agrees.
Steve says that the last time Tim was seen alive was the night of the 17th March. That Hana called around the next day to clean the flat and wasn't let in. He thinks and remembers that Roz called in sick one morning and it was the 18th March and no one could get hold of her. It's a weird coincidence that she goes AWOL when Tim is being murdered. Kate asks what he's trying to say. Steve says that Tim's accusation that Roz was protecting the real killer could be true and Roz's behaviour was suspicious around Tim's death. Kate doesn't look convinced. Steve says that maybe they should start thinking the unthinkable, that Roz didn't just frame Michael that she's involved in Tim's murder. Kate says he's right about one thing, that is unthinkable.
The next day Steve and Maneet arrive at Pole Avenue to see Roz, who is with Jodie. Maneet tells Roz that they are taking her phone into evidence. Jodie starts to say that they can't without the correct authority. Roz stops her and says that it's a police issue device, not her personal property and they can examine it without authority, she hands it over.
Farida tells Roz that someone has come forward from the appeals with information about Michael's offences. Rox says it needs to be a female detective but Jodie has gone home for the day. Kate steps up and says she couldn't help overhearing but she's PIP level 2 and video interview trained re vulnerable victims of crime. Roz ays ok and that they can see what she's made of.
First Interview of Melanie Wilson by Polk Avenue
Kate starts interviewing Melanie Wilson. Melanie says that it happened a while ago, she was walking home from college across the estate. Melanie says that a weird guy starting talking to her. Kate asks weird how. Melanie says that he kept talking to her even though she wasn't answering, and she started walking faster and he grabbed hold of her. Kate asks for more details. Melanie says that he told her she was pretty and said he wanted to kiss her, and he wanted her to come back to his house.
Kate asks what she did, and Melanie says she ran and when she looked back he wasn't there anymore. Kate asks if he gave a name, Melanie says she doesn't remember a name. Kate asks why she didn't report it at the time. Melanie says she just wanted to put it all behind her. Kate says that they need to identify the person who did this. Melanie says she doesn't know who it was. Kate says that they can set up an identify parade, and only a positive ID will stand up in court. Melanie looks horrified at the idea she'd have to go to court.
Melanie starts to panic that she'd have to go to court and says she'd never have come in if she thought aht would happen. Roz starts messaging Farida that she's going to come into the room, but hesitates before sending. Kate says that this guy could do it to someone else and that they need her help. Melanie says she's overwhelmed it's too much. Kate says that this guy is dangerous and they need to stop him, and the only way to do it is for a court to put him behind bars. Kate asks if Melanie can please help them do that. Melanie looks worried but agrees to help them. Roz looks impressed and doesn't send the message.
Back at AC-12 Maneet is showing Steve Roz's phone records. Maneet says there are no suspicious entries, all calls are with family when she left the station. Steve asks about GPS data. Maneet says the last on the 17th and first on the 8th were at Roz's home, consistent with her being sick. Steve says they need to go through every item on Tim's death no matter how small. Maneet says that's what they've been doing.
We next see Melanie come in for her second interview. Kate takes her into a room with PC Nayar who runs her through the images. she makes a positive ID and Kate and Roz are told as she is lead out. They walk into the room and see a picture of Michael left on the screen. Roz looks really happy.
Michael Farmer's Fifth Interview at HMP Blackthorn
At the prison, Roz and Kate tell Michael that their witness was able to positively identify him. Roz says that prior to the witness's identification, he's rejected her allegation. Michael says that he hadn't meant to upset her. Kate looks upset. Roz asks if that means Michael is now admitting the allegations. Michael nods and his solictor tells him to answer and Michael says yes, he says he's sorry and asks them to tell her sorry. Kate says that they can do that and ask what he intended with the woman. Roz asks what he intend when she came back to his house. Michael says he was lonely.
Roz tells Michael that the charge for attempting to cause a person person to engage in sexual activity without consent will be added to the charges against him. Michael gets upset and starts crying.
After Michael Farmer's Fifth Interview at HMP Blackthorn
Back in the AC-12 office, Steve is very upset with the ID process. He thinks a subtle wink would have lead her to indentity the wrong person.