Hawes plays DI Lindsay Denton, a good cop who gets wrapped up in quite a mess when she takes a call while being the duty DI late one night and the end result is a protected witness, his handler, and two of Denton's fellow cops get ambushed and killed, and she seems clearly the one to blame for it all. Of course, her co-workers at the station blame her and take out their rage on her, especially since she is a goody-two-shoes who has turned her fellow officers in for using their computers for online gambling or fudging expense reports in the past. Once AC-12 comes in to explore things, they first view Denton as a witness, but then circumstantial evidence points to her being the puppet master for the ambush operation.
Now comes the time for AC-12 to dig for info and get to the truth. Matthew "Dot" Cottan (Craig Parkinson), from DCI gates' crew, returns fresh off of a promotion and is seconded to AC-12 to assist with the ambush case. The lovely Jessica Raine (Call the Midwife, The Tommy and Tuppence Mysteries) comes in as a partner to Steve Arnott (Martin Compston) early on when Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure, The Secret Agent) tells Superintendent Hastings (Adrian Dunbar) she can't participate in the case since she knew the handler who died in the ambush, although the case soon becomes something that Kate simply can't stay away from. Fleming then slides into an undercover position under Denton in the newly formed task force to look into missing persons cases at Denton's station. Kate tries to befriend Denton, but Denton is way too sharp and seems to have thought out every move in advance. She even turns the tables on the AC-12 members during an interview where she airs their dirty laundry as leverage, because she can research and request financial records too and she proves it. However, they are convinced she is behind the ambush, although they can't figure out why.
Denton swears her innocence, even after being thrown in jail while awaiting her trial, and being beaten and abused by guards and inmates alike. After all, being a "bent bitch" in jail is not an enviable position at all. When tragedy strikes Denton's ill mother, she is given compassionate leave to visit her and is kidnapped in the process, which gives her more insight into just who out there is framing her. She suspects Dryden (Mark Bonnar), her former lover and a high ranking superior officer, the one she happened to call when she needed approval for the op that ultimately ended in the ambush. One thing is for sure, nothing is as it appears, and as the series draws to a close, you'll get some answers, but more questions as well.
Watching Keeley Hawes in her craft is a joy. She is so controlled and is just perfection and I can't imagine anyone else in this role. Luckily for viewers, her story continues on in Series 3. This series, we get to see more development in the personal lives of Steve Arnott (Martin Compston) and Kate Fleming as well, and it looks like both of them could use better judgment in the romance department. We even get to see some of Hastings' personal life and it's a mess, just like his subordinates.
There's also more development on the secretive bad cop character known as "the Caddy" and Neil Morrissey (The Good Karma Hospital) returns as DC Morton, former member of Tony Gates' team and the cop still acting as a leak to the newspapers. He'll remain a contact of Dot Cottan's, for better or worse.
Special features include interviews with key members of the cast and crew, as well as deleted and extended scenes and some behind the scenes footage. The deleted/extended scenes aren't separated, so you'll have to view them in one large block, but they are worth watching and provide additional insight, as do the interviews.
Overall, this is just good television and the Line of Duty series only continues to hone its excellence with each successive series that is released. Watch them and you won't be disappointed.