Did Marcus Thurwell Fake His Death? This 'Line of Duty' Fan Theory Might Reveal Who 'H' Is

Laura Martin
·4-min read
Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

Halfway through this series of LoD, AC-12 zoned in on two previously peripheral characters as persons of interest: Chief Constable Philip Osborne, and Marcus Thurwell. We got all hyped up, ready for a surprise guest appearance from Jimmy Nesbitt as Thurwell, only to have our hopes dashed in episode six when he was discovered dead by Spanish police.

Did Jed Mercurio and Nesbitt create all that media speculation for just two mug shots of Nesbitt on a computer, with not even a second of actual camera time? Quite possibly. But some fans are convinced that it isn’t the last we’ll see of Thurwell, and that he could rise from the grave having faked his own death.

Let’s rewind a little. Thurwell became a focus for AC-12’s investigation as part of Operation Lighthouse and the murder of journalist Gail Vella. She’d been researching the link between police corruption and cover-ups on two big cases; the Sands View care home abuse scandal and the racially motivated death of Lawrence Christopher. One of the people who linked the two cases and their subsequent white-washing? Former DCI Marcus Thurwell.

The whistleblower for the Sands View case ended up dead, but Thurwell wrote it off as a suicide. Thurwell also was working under instruction from deceased paedophile gang leader, Tommy Hunter, to obfuscate the Lawrence Christopher case, as Hunter’s son, Darren, was one of the five suspects. Thurwell duly threw the case off, and no charges or arrests were ever made.

Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

Thurwell then quit the force and scarpered to Spain, where he thought he was going to live a life of chorizo and sangria. Eventually, Ted Hastings and Steve Arnott began to put some important pieces of this messy, decades-long jigsaw together, at which point DCI Jo Davidson was finally hauled in for her role as a bent copper (although she was groomed, controlled and manipulated into the forces by her dad and uncle, Tommy Hunter. But that’s a whole other story).

Throughout series six, we’ve seen Davidson chatting online to a controlling OCG boss – the last member of H, or “the fourth man” as we’re now calling him/her – and the resident cyber expert at Central Police reveals that the IP was coming from...Rebekah Vardy’s account Spain! Davidson also admitted to Kate Fleming that her step-father (someone presumably in close contact to Hunter) had been a bent copper, but tearfully refused to reveal who he was, for fear of being killed. Is Thurwell H? It was enough evidence to pick up the blower to the Guardia Civil, and in a special op under the cover of darkness, they discovered two bodies in a Spanish villa: “Dos muertos. Marcus Thurwell y señora Thurwell”. You don’t need a GCSE in Spanish to know that that’s our man, and his wife.

Or is it? One LoD viewer thought that the eyes of the Spanish police captain looked mighty familiar.

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Does Thurwell have as much power over the Costa Del Sol police force as The Hill? Could he have faked his own death? Now you mention it, we never got a clear look at the bodies to ID them, and it would be classic Thurwell (and Mercurio) to pull a stunt like this.

Other fans have weighed in online.

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While another suggested that Mercurio and Nesbitt are playing the long game, and series seven will be all focused on Thurwell.

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Which all sounds pretty plausible to us. We’ve been trained to expect massive twists and this all seems like the perfect setup to take us into what’s expected to be the final series of the police drama. Barring some kind of Nosferatu reveal (they were all vampires all along!) it’s highly likely that the “dead” Thurwell was never dead at all, and will soon come back to life again and cause even more chaos.

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