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Scott Begbie: There’s no cop-out over how Line of Duty ended – Evening Express

Watching the gradual build-up of hysterical anticipation to the last episode of Line of Duty, I knew one thing – it wasn’t going to end well.

Not the series – but the reaction from fans to how the nailbiting climax to the hunt for H would play out.

You see in the days, indeed weeks, before Sunday’s finale, the internet was awash with a fevered frenzy of theories and guesses as to what was going to happen.

There were as many suggestions as to who was the criminal mastermind masquerading as a senior cop as there were cast members of Line of Duty.

Screenshots of meetings in underpasses with a prominent H graffitied on the wall had folk frothing about how it could only be Superintendent Ted Hastings.

Another one had a convoluted suggestion that because someone uttered the line “look beyond the race claim to find H” it meant the villain was clearly the loathsome DCS Carmichael. Why? If you take the letters for race claim out of her name you are left with H.

Yep, that’s how far through the looking glass we were in the Twitterverse.

So, when the denouement came and it wasn’t who people thought it was (no spoilers here) there was an immediate backlash online.

It seems that people weren’t happy and wanted the “big twist” that writer Jed Mercurio is so famed for. Turns out the only thing getting in a twist were the fans’ knickers.

And herein lies the problem…it’s nothing to do with Mercurio’s writing. That was solid, sensible and satisfying. It made perfect sense, while still teeing up the question of who is really pulling all the strings of these bent coppers.

But the storm of speculation meant lots of people weren’t going to be happy if it wasn’t.

With the bar set that high, the LoD team were on a hiding to nothing.

We saw the same thing with Game of Thrones when fans demonised the last series for not being what they wanted it to be.

This idea of fans telling writers how their stories should go is a new phenomenon.

I doubt when Charles Dickens was serialising a Christmas Carol, he was flooded with letters saying Bob Cratchit should beat Scrooge to death with Tiny Tim’s crutch – and not being happy when he didn’t.

I blame the keyboard warriors and armchair critics with nothing better to do than carp.

Seeing as they are so good at plot direction and story arc, how’s this for a suggestion.

Sit down and write an absorbing TV crime drama that will run for six series. Assemble the production team to get it filmed and aired and the first-class actors to bring it life.

That way, you can finish it however you want. Meanwhile, let’s just say “good job” to the Line of Duty team. If nothing else, they gave us the immortal phrase: “Jesus, Mary, Joseph and the wee donkey”.

My shocking reminder of ‘normal’ life

It is surprising the things you forget about normal life after you’ve spent months in lockdown.

Take travelling by train, as I did for a day out to Dundee on Sunday.

I remembered to take a bank card to collect my pre-booked ticket from the machine.

I remembered to wear my mask in the station and on the train.

I remembered to sit in my seat and not move around the carriage.

But I completely forgot just how annoying other passengers can be. Blaring music, incessant loud phone calls and maskless youngsters.

Next time I’ll remember to take the car.

I know who will get my votes, what about you?

I can’t wait for Thursday’s Scottish elections because of the huge change it will bring to my life.

It means I won’t be having to toss endless leaflets, newsletters and other assorted dross into the recycling bin every morning.

I do read them. Well, glance at them. Some of them.

There are those I don’t need to read because they’ve already got my two votes and have had for a while.

Others I read only because I like having a giggle at candidates getting tied up in knots making big claims in Scotland that are the opposite of what they are saying in Westminster.

Some just get scrumpled up and slam dunked into the recycling rather than waste a nanosecond of my life on them.

However, that’s me and my singular view. I do hope other folk, who may not have made up their mind, are taking the time to read what the parties are saying and looking at them with a clear eye and making an informed decision about who deserves their votes.

But whether you are reading up or already have your party of choice, there is one thing you must do on Thursday. Get out there and cast your vote.

Democracy works best when everyone takes part. The more people who have their say, the better Holyrood will reflect our nation.

This Thursday, make your choice clear. Don’t leave it to others to decide your future.

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