Ahead of the next episode of Line of Duty, fans are wondering if they’ll find out who Joanne Davidson’s mystery relative is, which in turn has resurfaced the name of a long-dead character: Tommy Hunter.
Fans who have watched Jed Mercurio’s BBC series since its inception will remember that the Glaswegian Hunter (played by Brian McArdie), was a paedophile and the first leader of the OCG, who groomed Matthew “Dot” Cottan while he worked as a golf caddy. Dot later joined the police on the gang’s behalf.
Hunter later agreed to enter witness protection on Dot’s advice, and began working as an informant. He was then injured during an ambush as he was being escorted from his safehouse after a supposed threat on his life, and left with severe injuries.
While Hunter was recovering in hospital, DC Jeremy Cole disguised himself as a nurse to get past security and killed him.
Since Hunter’s death, his name has cropped up on several occasions, including in the revelation that his murder was orchestrated by Dot, who didn’t want to be exposed as a mole.
Since then, episode four of the new series has left fans holding their breath, after it emerged that DCI Joanne Davidson’s (Kelly MacDonald) DNA had matched with someone significant.
The fact that she has tried to brush her family history under the rug since the first episode likely means the person is going to be somebody with strong ties to police corruption.
The discovery emerged when AC-12 officers Steve Arnott and Chloe Bishop did a forensic sweep of Farida Jatri’s house, uncovering DCI Davidson’s DNA.
That was then partially matched to a “nominal” stored on other police databases – apparently a blood relative.
The relative must have been known to AC-12 because Ted Hastings made a very loud exclamation (“Mother of God!”) upon seeing the results.
Fans think that Tommy Hunter could be the relative for several reasons. Partly because of the secrecy around her family’s identity (being related to Tommy definitely wouldn’t be something to shout about), and partly because they’re both Glaswegian.
There’s some uncertainty around their respective ages: some think Tommy could be DCI Davidson’s father, while others think he could be her brother.
Another theory is that Joanne could be related to Cottan, which would explain Hastings reacting the way he did (he worked closely with Cottan before he was exposed as corrupt) in series three. Other fans have wondered if Joanne was also groomed by Hunter.
Read about the other theories as to the mystery relative’s identity here.
The next episode of Line of Duty airs on Sunday on BBC One at 9pm.