Alex wakes up to find herself back in 1983 where Gene Hunt is on the run after shooting her, three months previously. His unit is being run by none other than Ray! Meanwhile the rest of the unit in involved with the abduction of Dorothy, a young girl, on her way to school. To make matters worse a ransom is demanded by the kidnappers, and it's up to the team to find the culprits - fast.
A severed hand is sent to the police station and investigations link it to the murders of several women around the country,all of whom had used the Crescent Moon dating agency. After Alex has unsuccessfully carried out an experiment in speed dating, Shaz,disillusioned with her job and seeking a challenge,goes undercover to trap the killer.
It's Election Night and an arsonist is setting fire to polling stations. Ray believes they have a military background given the devices used but is reluctant to believe the culprit, identified by an eye-witness, is fireman and ex-Falklands War hero Andy Smith who saved Ray's life. Andy is taken into custody,during which another fire is started, leading Alex to believe that a triangle involving Andy,his wife and his brother is the key to the crimes.Jim tries to persuade Ray to leave Hunt's team and join him.
Hunt is out to get father-and-son gangsters Terry and Daniel Stafford,who have bumped off rival drug dealers in the area, and is annoyed that undercover cop Louise Gardiner has been sent into his manner behind his back to work with the Staffords. There is no love lost between the Staffords,each out to get control of the racket from each other,and when her cover is blown Louise is attacked by Daniel,who gets beaten up by Chris as a result. However this jeopardises any charges against young Stafford. He is released and apparently abducts Louise, Hunt's team giving chase...
Two loutish policemen, Litton and Bevan, whom Hunt knew in Manchester, turn up on his patch in pursuit of ageing comic Frank Hardwick,who has allegedly robbed the Police Widows Fund. However, when someone takes a pot shot at Frank ,Hunt and his team suspect that the visitors are lying. In fact he has evidence of their corruption and is fleeing for his life. With Frank safe at Luigi's Hunt takes great pleasure in playing the couple off against each other at a police gala.
Hunt heads a team sent in to quell a prison riot during which station officer Viv James is taken captive by scary lifer Jason Sacks. Sacks' cell-mate Paul Thordy escaped during the riot but is caught. He tells Alex he is Sam Tyler,though he was Sam's last arrest before he died.Ray and Chris pose as journalists going in to interview Sacks and are also taken prisoner by him.Alex does a deal with Thordy,allowing a successful storming of the jail though there is a surprise and a fatality. Jim Keats is useless throughout,his main concern being to get Alex to find out if ...
The penultimate episode where the investigation of Gene Hunt is almost at an end, with Alex being pulled in two directions. Jim still wants to know whether Gene had anything to do with Sam Tyler's death, and Alex is best placed to find out everything they need to know so he's leaning hard on her to get the information. Gene and his team are called to an ANC illegal drinking den where things are not as they first appear to be. Initially it's a simple case of a public disorder but things soon take a turn for the worse.
The question remains - did Gene hunt kill Sam Tyler? Alex needs to know and all is revealed in the final episode. Meanwhile the rest of the team are dealing with a Jewelry robbery and triple homicide: diamonds are missing and the bodies of three gang members have been discovered. Things don't help with Jim Keats stirring up trouble as usual between team members.