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"The Probation" is the fifth and final episode in Series 1 of Line of Duty and the fifth overall episode. It was first broadcast on BBC Two on the 24th July 2012.


With Gates on the run, the anti-corruption team come under pressure to close the case once and for all. Arnott is forced to make some tough decisions about where his loyalties lie. Fleming and Hastings go all out to catch Gates, leading to a shattering conclusion.


Before interview with Ryan Pilkington[]

The episode opens where the last one left off, DS Steve Arnott is being tortured by Ryan Pilkington and multiple other members of the OCG in the abandoned building where Jackie Laverty's body had been previously hidden. Arnott screams in pain as Ryan struggles to use the bolt cutters to chop his fingers off. The other OCG members who are present, one of whom is Miroslav, try to interrogate Arnott to find out what he knows about Tommy's business.

DC Kate Fleming meanwhile is back at the Kingsgate Station, trying to get DCI Tony Gates computer unlocked so that she can find out what he was looking at before he went AWOL. She has an IT guy trying to reset the password, while DS Leah Janson and DI Ian Buckells look on.

Arnott is refusing to say anything, and Ryan hasn't worked out how to use the bolt cutters yet. Miroslav pushes him away and takes the bolt cutters to remove a finger, much to Ryan's annoyance. He says after "Then we do him, like Tommy says." Before Miroslav can get in position to use them, they hear police sirens from outside and abandon their endeavours. They run outside to one car driving around, it's Gates. He drives into all three of the large guys and grabs Ryan as the others run off. He smashes Ryan's leg with a wheel wrench and handcuffs him to a pipe. Inside the warehouse, Arnott has managed to open the vice enough that his hand is free. Gates walks in to see Arnott, with the wheel wrench in his hand. Arnott pleads for his life. Gates walks away and drives off.

Several police cars and an ambulance are present on the scene when Fleming turns up to see Arnott and he says she should stay away, she says it's ok, her cover's blown anyway and she's lost Gates. Arnott lies and tells her there was no sign of Gates there. Fleming says she'll follow him to the hospital. PC Karen Larkin and PC Simon Bannerjee try and unlock Ryan from the pipe as he struggles. Fleming asks who arrested him and Simon says that Arnott says he did. Fleming doesn't look convinced and asks Ryan who arrested him, but Ryan says he's not saying anything without a solicitor.

Gates runs home to try to find his wife, Jools Gates. He sees that the back door has been broken into and he hears a faint cry from his garage. He opens the door and finds his dog, Sammy, has been attacked and is bleeding everywhere. Gates puts the dog out of his misery. Gates is sitting in the kitchen looking upset when Jools arrives. Gates demands to know where the kids are. Jools tells him they are at school and he instructs her to pack them all bags, pick the girls up early and go to her mother's. She wants to know why; he doesn't listen just tells her that they've killed Sammy and it's a warning, it's him they're after, and he needs to know that they are safe so they all have to go away. Jools says she won't go anywhere without Gates, and that this is ridiculous, he's the police. Gates tells her she'll be safe at her mum's. Jools says she's going to call 999 and Gates tells her that he is on his own, and this is his mess, not hers or their daughters', he just needs her to do as he says. Jools says he's not on his own, there's not a bloke at the station who won't stand by him. Jools tries to call DC Nigel Morton, but Gates won't let her. Jools asks why he's behaving like this and Gates tells her that this is about Jackie, and the people she was in business with, they killed Sammy. Jools asks what it has to do with Jackie and Gates tells her that they killed her a couple of weeks ago. Jools asks why he never said anything and Gates says he thought he could fix everything, but it doesn't matter, they're criminals, and he needs her to pack those bags and pick up the girls. Jools asks why he's shutting her out and Gates replies that he needs to be able to handle this on his own. Jools says she still won't go anywhere without him. Gates finally confesses that he was having an affair with Jackie. Jools walks away.

Arnott wakes up in the hospital with an arm bruised from elbow to fingertips. Fleming and Superintendent Ted Hastings have been waiting at his bedside. Fleming tells him that the had to operate on his hand but they have saved his finger. Arnott wants to know if they've found Gates. Fleming says no, the house is deserted, but Buckells put a trace on his phone, but Gates switched it off. Hastings says they'll wait until Arnott is feeling better until they take his statement. Fleming says that as Gates went missing just before it happened, they're assuming he was involved in some capacity. Hastings lists off the offences committed by holding and torturing Arnott, conspiracy, kidnapping, GBH, attempted murder, but Arnott maintains that he's not sure Gates was involved. Hastings says that they don't have the evidence to prove it yet, then says to Fleming that they should debrief, and says he'll see her back at the office. Arnott asks Fleming what that was about and Fleming says that now her cover's blown, it's a question of whether she'll stay on the case. Arnott asks whether she wants to carry on, Fleming says she thinks he knows the answer. Fleming confirms that Ryan is still in custody but they can't interview him until a responsible adult is found, and that the men got away. Arnott tells Fleming he heard she trashed Gates office. He then remembers that there was a freezer in the building he was being held in, which he thought was odd.

Buckells, Fleming and Arnott are in the building again and Buckells explains they found traces of seepage from a body before it was fully frozen in the freezer. Arnott says that shows the body was moved in a hurry. Buckells says he's surprised Fleming's still on the case, if Fleming is even her real name and walks off. Fleming says she believes that the body was that of Jackie Laverty and that it'll be in another freezer somewhere else, that they'll be preserving it as evidence against Gates. Arnott says he doesn't believe Gates killed her, that he doesn't think him capable.

Fleming and Arnott walk back to the TO-20 squad room, Fleming goes in to retrieve her stuff as her cover has been blown. Morton says no hard feelings, then walks behind Fleming and spits on her. He intimates to Arnott that he thinks some kind of sexual relationship was happening between her and Gates. DS Matthew Cottan ("Dot") wants to know which force Fleming is really from and who her target was, if it was just Gates. Fleming says she can't discuss it, Dot says it must be disappointing she didn't get enough evidence, Fleming says she got plenty. Dot says he doesn't see Gates in custody. Fleming tells Arnott that the last person who Gates spoke to was Morton, and she still thinks he's loyal.

Arnott goes after Morton and asks if Gates has called him yet. Morton says that Gates will know that there's been a trace put on his phone and Arnott says he'll find a way, and when he does, to give Gates a message, to meet Arnott in a subway between Borogrove Estate and Moss Heath Park alone at midnight. Morton tells Arnott that he must think he's an idiot, Arnott tells him that he doesn't know the situation between him and Gates, but Gates does, and he'll only be screwing his best mate over if he doesn't pass on the message.

Chief Superintendent Derek Hilton walks into the squad room with Chief Inspector Philip Osborne. Hilton tells Osborne that virtually all his detective have been seconded to the operation. Arnott asks what Osborne is doing there, Hilton says that Osborne is contributing his expertise to the counter-terrorist operation. Arnott asks if he is really buying this, Osborne says the Greek Lane cell appeared right as the other cell they were tracking dropped off the radar, so they can't exclude a direct connection. Hilton apologises for DS Arnott's behaviour and introduces Dot as the acting deputy SIO.

Interview with Ryan Pilkington[]

As Fleming walks out she bumps into Jane Hargreaves who is Ryan Pilkington's social worker. Fleming leads her back towards the interview room. Ryan is interviewed by Kate with Jane, his social worker, Louise Burton, his Solicitor, a Community Liason Officer, a Community Juvenile Liaison Officer and a community Policing Case File Officer, PC Simon Bannerjee, present. Fleming tells Ryan that they've had to give up on his mum Keely Pilkington, that she won't come in, she'd rather leave it to his caseworkers. Fleming asks Ryan how he feels about that, and he shrugs in response. Fleming tells Ryan that her parents split up when she was his age, you'll do anything to get out of the house, you don't care what it gets you into. She says that she knows their lives don't compare, but she does want to help him, he's on a bad road and he needs to get off it. Arnott arrives and begins watching through the one-way mirror.

Fleming asks Ryan for information on the men who held Arnott. Fleming explains that these men have been involved in four murders and that Fleming things Ryan works for the same man who employs them. Burton says that Ryan doesn't know anything about the offences she listed, and he says he doesn't know anything. Fleming tells Ryan to stop lying to her, and that she can't help him if he does. Fleming tells Ryan that she knows he made the call to a man and was taking instructions from him. Fleming asks who this person is, Ryan says he doesn't know, Fleming asks what his name is, Ryan says he doesn't know. Fleming asks if the name Tommy is familiar, that Arnott heard it being used. Fleming asks Ryan what he does for Tommy, Ryan says he doesn't do anything. Fleming shows Ryan a phone, Ryan says it isn't his, Fleming tells Ryan that it was recovered from the location they were holding Arnott. Fleming tells Ryan that he's a tough kid, or he thinks he is. Fleming tries to scare him into admitting what he knows by telling him what the older boys will do to him in juvenile detention. His solicitor objects, and Ryan answers no comment to the next few questions on her instructions, but eventually admits to stealing phones for them after Fleming tells him she knows he's innocent. That he steals them and they use them for a couple of days and toss them. Burton then tries to call an end to the interview. Fleming asks Ryan if he's ever met Tommy, Ryan says no, he does it all on the phones. Fleming asks if Tommy ever asked Ryan to do anything in relation to Jackie Laverty, and tries to get more information about the location of Jackie Laverty's body, but Ryan clams up. Fleming tells Ryan they can protect him from Tommy. Ryan replies "Yeah, right." Fleming gets frustrated. She yells at him and his multiple people object and try to end the interview. Fleming continues to push, wanting more information, on whether Ryan gave Gates a phone and what Gates and Tommy spoke about. Ryan says he'd give Gates a phone and Tommy would do all the talking, but he can't remember what they spoke about. Fleming wants to know if Gates plotted with Tommy to kidnap Arnott, Ryan says no, that Gates rescued Arnott. Arnott rushes in and Fleming stops the interview. Buckells catches them as they leave and asks what's going on, Fleming replies that they found a responsible adult but he was busy. Buckells tells Fleming that she's off TO-20, or more like she was never on it, and it's his case. Buckells then enters the interview room to talk to Ryan, who asks if he can have a Big Mac now.

After interview with Ryan Pilkington[]

Fleming tells Arnott that she knew something was going on, and asks when he was going to tell her. Arnott apologises and Fleming asks if this now means he owes him, that his is how criminals work. Arnott says that Gates saved his life. Fleming says that Gates put him in danger in the first place. Arnott stands up for Gates and says that he has been backed into a corner. Fleming says yes, the corner they backed him into after months of investigation. Arnott tells Fleming that she's the one close to Gates but she doesn't understand him. Fleming tells him he's screwing up months of work that she spent undercover, every sleepless night, worrying about being discovered.

Gates finds a pay phone and calls Morton. Steve waits in the office until just before midnight and heads to the spot he told Morton to pass on to Gates. Gates's car turns up and Morton gets out. Morton asks Arnott who else knows he's there. Arnott says no one and where is Gates. Morton grabs Arnott's mangled hand and squeezes, causing him to drop the floor in pain, whilst calling him a pillock. Arnott manages to stand up and walks away to his car. Gates grabs him from behind and shoves Arnott into the backseat. Gates drives around, saying he needs to flush out any back-up, make them come running. Arnott says there's no back up, it's just him. Gates says that looking after your own isn't in the anti-corruption code, Arnott says it's his. Gates starts giving Arnott information. He says he was never on the take, that it was all Jackie and he was an idiot for not realising it. He didn't give an order to stop the surveillance on Greek Lane and anyone who says he did is lying. He said he never realised who Jackie was working with, and it was them who did all the murders including Jackie, not him, and it's them he's hiding from, not Arnott. Arnott tells Gates to turn himself in and give evidence against them, they can protect him. Gates says that's a bunch of crap and Arnott knows it. He tells Arnott that he should be afraid of them too, they are both dead men walking, and they need to get the criminals before the criminals get them, because they're the real criminals, not him. Gates tells Arnott to back off and get everyone off him until he's sorted it out. Arnott asks how he knows this isn't just another one of Gates's games. Gates says this is his only chance of holding onto any of the things he gives a toss about, he'll deliver Tommy if Arnott agrees to let him go, Arnott agrees. Gates pulls over back where they started and disappears before Arnott can sit up.

Hilton stops Dot on their way in and tells him that he's doing a great job as acting Deputy SIO and wants him to be a liaison for Osborne who is joining them permanently. Hilton asks Dot how he would feel about sitting the Inspectors exam, Dot says he'd be happy to. Hilton confirms that Gates is finished. Hilton asks why Dot joined the force, Dot says that where he grew up there wasn't much respect for law and order and he could have fallen in with a bad crowd but he got a job at the golf course caddying and met a man who opened his eyes. Hilton tells him to think of this as an oppourtunity to help young people like that.

PC Larkin and PC Bannerjee drive up to the Bog Estate with Ryan. As they arrive, his mum, Keely, can be heard yelling at someone to go as the police are there, a man is then seen running off. Larkin tells Simon to remind her to check outstanding warrants back at the station and Simon asks Ryan if that is Keely's boyfriend, to which Ryan just shrugs. They deliver him back to Keely who pulls him inside and tells the officers that they better have fed him. Larkin then suggests to Simon that they go round to the chippy. Simon goes back to the door, gives Ryan his card and tells him he can call him anytime he wants, to talk or grab a burger. Simon then tells Larkin he'll see her there, he'll have a cod and chips. He then walks off through the estate, ignoring the rule about not leaving the vehicle.

Hastings pours Arnott a cup of tea whilst telling him that his inquest is scheduled for the next week. Hastings says they could argue he is not fit to testify. Hastings asks him how he slept, Arnott says fine he just had a quiet night in. Hastings calls him a cheeky wee shite and storms off, telling Fleming to have a word with him. Fleming tells Arnott that Hastings put an officer on his flat, for his own protection and saw him stumble in well after midnight. Arnott tells Fleming that he met Gates, and alludes to the gossip that Morton was trying to spread about Fleming and Gates being personally involved with each other. Fleming doesn't know what Arnott is trying to get at and he doesn't elaborate. Hastings slams a recording device down and tells Arnott that he better know what he needs to do with it and tells him to ask himself who he really owes.

Arnott walks into the station and the TO-20 squad room to see Buckells for an update. Buckells is being less than friendly but tells him that the fluids in the freezer matched Jackie's blood found at her house. He reinterviewed Ryan but says Ryan'll never let on where they moved the body to. He says they're moving on to the phone data. Arnott asks when they'll get a tissue match, Buckells makes a snide comment and doesn't answer.

Janson, Osborne, Dot and Morton are in the squad room discussing the Greek Lane drugs gang. Osborne is asking how long they had been operating in the area. Dot confirms that they interviewed Wesley Duke prior to his death, and he was a known dealer for them and he thought they'd been operating for a month. Jermaine Duke, Wesley's stepbrother, said that Wesley said the Greek suppliers were reliable and organised, not smackheads. Morton says that would fit with them having a supply line from northern Pakistan. Arnott interrupts to mock their conclusion and refuses to leave until Osborne is free to talk.

Osborne gives Arnott 30 seconds in private to talk. Arnott says he wants to investigate the possibility that the Greek Lane drug dealers weren't terrorists. Osborne says that he's open to all possibilities. Arnott reveals that he's been investigating Gates and that he only suggested Counter Terrorist possibilities when he knew that Arnott was about to crucify him, they didn't make any connections prior to that point. Arnott compares this operation to the botched operation that got Karim Ali killed. Osborne says that only Arnott stands against everyone else, that he's out on the limb, not a great place to be when the inquest opens next week, no wonder he's desperate. Arnott asks Osborne to at least have the common decency to admit to asking them to lie. Osborne says he did no such thing. Arnott gets frustrated and says he got shafted because of Osborne, because he won't cover up for the shooting of an innocent person. Osborne tells Arnott he'll see him at the inquest and walks out. Arnott reveals the hidden recording device he was wearing.

Arnott goes back to Hastings and tells him that he can't use the recording device on Gates, it won't work. Hastings tells Arnott he's off the case. Arnott asks him to wait, and tells Hastings that there's a bigger crime here, and that Gates believes he can be in a high-value target in organised crime. Hasitngs is shocked that Gates told Arnott that, Arnott says that Gates is desperate and believes it's his only chance to save his career, his reputation, his family. Arnott says that if he can get Gates back in contact with the criminal organisation by getting him to pick up an unregistered phone to avoid being traced by Buckells, they'll want to meet him, if only to kill him. Hastings says that after everything that's happened, he won't authorise an operation like this unless he gets concrete proof that Gates will be delivered to the palm of his hand. Arnott tells Fleming that they have the phone records from the burner left in the abandoned building. There appears to be a pattern of calls after Ryan stole it. Arnott says that without Ryan working for him, Tommy probably won't know which numbers are secure. They are monitoring all the known numbers and when one becomes active they'll be ready to jump on it.

Gates is seen buying a burner phone and then turns up at Jools's mum's house to see them. Gates promises he's doing everything to make them good again, but work are calling him back in. Jools won't let him in as she doesn't want to upset the kids. Gates pleads for just an hour so they seem like a family again. He persuades her to let him in and he gets to play with his daughters.

Operation to bring in Tommy[]

Fleming gets notified that a number from the burner phone got activated, and Fleming and Arnott rush off to track it down. Gates gets a call from Arnott who tells him that it's on. Gates confirms and leaves his family, blinking back tears. Hastings confirms the signal is in the Kingsgate area heading west towards Edge Park. Hastings believes it's Tommy. Arnott repeats over the radio the location to Gates, who confirms he is one minute away. Fleming's not happy that they are two minutes away and Gates will get there first, she doesn't trust him. Hastings updates the location and the phone is travelling west on Kingsgate Road. The speed at which the phone is moving they think that he's been tipped off. Fleming thinks it's Gates. Hastings updates the location to a left on Edge Park Road now travelling southbound, then a west turn. Gates following their directions turns into Edge Park Golf Club's car park. Gates surveys the car park for Tommy, he sees a guy opening his boot talking on a phone. He calls out to someone and Gates can clearly hear it's the same person as the phone calls, it's Tommy. Tommy throws the phone into a box of burners and grabs his golf clubs. Gates walks towards Tommy and someone asks what his problem is. Tommy spots Gates and tells them that everything is fine. Gates approaches Tommy and slogs him in the gut, telling him that's for his kids' dog. Tommy goes down and Gates flashes his badge at the others who move off. Gates handcuffs Tommy in the car park as Arnott and Fleming approach the location.

Gates drives off with Tommy and Fleming and Arnott follow. Arnott switches on a recording device linked to Gates car. Tommy boasts that no one can hold him in a cell for long, he'll be out soon. Gates says he's not arresting him, that he didn't kill Jackie. Tommy says the only evidence they'll find on her is from Gates, and his dirty business, plus the knife with his fingerprints on it. Gates says that when he last saw her, she was alive. Tommy says he doesn't know, as he wasn't there. Gates counters that his boys were there though and he asks for details of what they did to her, asks if they had their fun with her. Tommy says Gates has a dirty mind, that his boys are professionals. Gates says more likely they were ordered not to tamper with evidence. Tommy asks what orders those would be. Gates says that she was his girlfriend and he cared about her, he just wants to know what they did to her. Tommy tells him to spare himself, his life's miserable enough already. Gates realises that Tommy won't speak freely unless Gates reveals some things which make it seem like they aren't being recorded.

Gates tells Tommy that his team are putting together the murders, Greek Lane, Wesley Duke and Jackie, all the evidence is pointing towards Tommy. Tommy wants to know what evidence, Gates strings him along, saying Gates is evidence number one. Tommy says it's bad enough being a copper in prison, but it's worse when you're a copper who grassed. Gates confesses that he wants to stay out of prison, and will do anything, he wants to make things straight between him and Tommy. Tommy says there has to be something in the deal for him. Gates tells him that the kid Ryan is young enough to be turned, Tommy is confident that no one is daft enough to grass on him. Gates tells Tommy that anti-corruption can't make a case against him without informants, and Tommy says like that DS you gave us. Gates says "You mean Arnott" and that "I fixed him my way. I couldn't be part of killing him, but all the rest is fine." That Gates could be of use to Tommy. Tommy asks if he's dreaming. Gates lays out how he made the Greek Lane murders look like something else, how he can make Wesley duke look like a problem between low-level dealers and if Jackie's body is never found then there won't be a case to answer to there for either of them. Fleming's decided that Gates is playing them and wants to call in back up, but Arnott says to wait.

Gates tells Tommy the biggest problem they have is the fingers. Tommy says he doesn't know what he's talking about. Gates says the missing fingers are the only link between Greek Lane and Wesley Duke and it was clumsy and ignorant, his guys are professionals which meant it was on his order. Tommy says "They got carried away, bloody idiots." Gates says he can make Wesley Duke look like a copycat, but with no forensics, he'll need a confession, Tommy's boys messed up, one of them will have to confess. He pushes Tommy, saying that there is a triple murder which can be attributed to him and he needs a decision. Tommy says he knows the guy who will take the blame. Gates says he'll need to know chapter and verse. Tommy says he will. Gates says he'll need more than that. Tommy says he'll know because he was there, he did it. Gates wants to know this guy isn't a nut case, can he take orders. Tommy says he will if Tommy gives them. Gates pushes him, saying he's after a simple answer to a simple question and they're running out of time, and Tommy finally shouts "He killed him! On my orders! Is that good enough for you?", much to Arnott and Fleming's delight. Tommy asks what Gates wants in return. Gates says he wants Jackie's body up in smoke. Tommy says no, she's his leverage, he'll keep her and if Gates stops playing ball his boys will unload Jackie and Gates will go down for her murder. Tommy tells Gates to turn the car around so he can make the second tee. When Gates doesn't, Tommy calls him a bent bastard.

Gates abruptly stops the car, Arnott deduces that there is no way out for Gates. Gates arrests Tommy for all four murders while giving him a few thumps. Fleming and Arnott run down to hold Tommy. Gates catches Arnott, Arnott says it's over, they got him, but Gates says there is no way out for him and and rips off the recording device he was wearing. Gates tells Arnott "My wife and my girls get nothing unless this is in the line of duty. That's what you owe me. This and nothing else. Do you understand? It's for my family. I was never bent. You know that, don't ya?" Gates shoves Arnott away and steps up onto the central reservation. Arnott in shock realises what he's about to do, and Fleming runs over as Gates steps in front of an oncoming truck.

Gates is loaded into an ambulance as Hilton and Hastings arrive on the scene. They ask how Gates's death happened. Arnott says that Gates was running through traffic to apprehend the suspect, that he died in the line of duty. Hilton goes off to inform his wife. Hastings congratulates them and walks off. Arnott and Fleming hug. Dot walks up as Buckells is walking Tommy to the car and asks for a quick word with Tommy to try and clear up a few things. Buckells remarks that Dot won't be calling him Sir for much longer, having heard he is due to take the inspector's exam. Tommy asks Dot for some good advice on how to play this hole. Dot tells him that the top brass thinks the Greek Lane boys were involved with Al-Qaeda and tells Tommy to play along in exchange for immunity. Tommy says Dot is the best Caddy he's ever had.


Fleming turns up at her house after many months away undercover, overjoyed to see her husband Mark Fleming and her son Josh Fleming.

Hilton is shown interviewing Tommy who is looking like the cat who got the cream, whilst Dot watches through the one-way mirror.

Caption: DCI Gates' evidence against Tommy was never used. The murders at Greek Lane and of Wesley Duke and Jackie Laverty remain officially unsolved.

Arnott is seen being sworn into court in the case of the unlawful death of Karim Ali, in front of Hastings, Osborne, Colin Brackley and Aaliyah Ali.

Gates' funeral is shown, with Jools and the two daughters, Natalie and Chloe, and Morton in attendance.

Caption: Tony Gates' family received a death-in-service benefit of £107,000 plus pension for life. The anti-corruption case against Gates was "not proven" and has been closed.

Arnott is seen walking out of court having testified.

Caption: Despite DS Arnott's testimony, no police officers have been prosecuted for their actions before, during or after the fatal shooting of Karim Ali.


Opening Credits[]

Closing Credits[]



Scenes from this episode were filmed at Shannon Road, Tay Grove, Teviot Grove, The Fold, Kings Norton, Birmingham, of which was a partially derelict housing estate awaiting new housing developments in 2012. Other filming locations include Birmingham Municipal Bank (AC-12 Building), House of Sport, Bridge Street (Kingsgate Station), The Old Central Fire Station, Lancaster Circus (where Arnott gets tortured) and Edgbaston Golf Club (Edge Park Golf Club).