Line Of Duty: The clues that led us to The Fourth Man

As H was finally revealed on Sunday night's long-awaited Line Of Duty finale, many fans realised we had been looking at the enigmatic mastermind the entire time. 

As eagle-eyed fans learned that Superintendent Buckells was the famous fourth man, having liased with the OCG to bring down officers who failed to do their bidding, clues from past seasons of the show came to light. 

After portraying himself as a hapless fool, it transpired he actually formed a secret operation with 'bent coppers' and even blackmailed Acting Superintendent Davidson thanks to her history with the group as Tommy Hunter's daughter.  

Now that it has been revealed, clues from past seasons have been exposed, including bad spelling, a repeated catchphrase and even a hint from Nigel Boyle - the man behind Buckells - as a warning that he was 'one to watch'. 

As H was finally revealed on Sunday night's long-awaited Line Of Duty finale, many fans realised we had been looking at the enigmatic mastermind the entire time.

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As H was finally revealed on Sunday night's long-awaited Line Of Duty finale, many fans realised we had been looking at the enigmatic mastermind the entire time.

Mugging them off

In typical Hastings style, Ted, played by Adrian Dunbar, dropped a clanger that resounded in fans' ears when he rounded out his 12 minute interrogation of Buckells. He simply stated: 'No-one makes mugs of AC-12'. 

This however was much more than just another bold statement from the anti-corruption chief and was in fact a nod to many clues from the past. 

In Series Four, Buckells appeared as a replacement for Thandiwe Newton's character DCI Roz Huntley when she was removed as Operation Trapdoor head.

In Series Four, Buckells appeared as a replacement for Thandiwe Newton's character DCI Roz Huntley when she was removed as Operation Trapdoor head.

In Series Four in 2017, Buckells appeared as a replacement for Thandiwe Newton's character DCI Roz Huntley when she was removed as Operation Trapdoor head.

The Fourth Man-to-be saw Vicky McClure's DS Kate Fleming on the squad, having encountered her in his first in the furst season, where he worked out that she was working undercover for the anti-corruption squad.  

When Ted learned he had clocked Kate, he covertly met with the villain to instruct him not to blow her cover - something her agreed to with clear chagrin and even refused to help further their investigation as he was 'no grass'.   

When Kate was uncovered, he remained insistent that he did not blow her cover but also made it very clear he had nothing but dislike for AC-12. 

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The Fourth Man-to-be saw Vicky McClure's DS Kate Fleming on the squad, having encountered her in his first in the furst season, where he worked out that she was working undercover for the anti-corruption squad

The Fourth Man-to-be saw Vicky McClure's DS Kate Fleming on the squad, having encountered her in his first in the furst season, where he worked out that she was working undercover for the anti-corruption squad 

Another ceramic red herring came when fans were convinced earlier this month that home decor - tying in with the mug detail - was the answer to H's identity

Another ceramic red herring came when fans were convinced earlier this month that home decor - tying in with the mug detail - was the answer to H's identity 

Ted then had a heated exchange with Buckells, who was dismissed - not before sneering: 'You lot treat everyone

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