No heroes or villains - only cops, criminals and everyone in between. At the centre of The Line are two cops who are as morally ambiguous as the criminals they pursue. Max has lost interest in conventional police work and has developed his own methods for dealing with the criminals he seems hell-bent on destroying. Donny has been almost completely torn apart by the job, yet seems dementedly optimistic in the face of his crumbling life. Their paths intertwine with Carlos, a mid-level drug dealer with an anxiety problem who is caught between warring drug suppliers and a wife who wants nothing to do with him. In Carlos Max sees an opportunity to sabotage the criminal underpinning of the entire neighbourhood. Set in a suburban wasteland that could border any city, The Line is a multi-layered story woven around a group of fully human characters.
Series premiere. The Line opens in a seedy motel room. Max Friel, a cop with his own agenda and a sarcastic edge, cheats on his wife with burned-out legal aid lawyer Jayne Huxley. Outside the motel, Max's slightly unhinged partner Donny Logan waits, drunk, in his car. Max and Donny leave to watch Carlos Powell get out of jail. Carlos is a mid-level drug dealer with an anxiety problem whose veneer of toughness barely hides his crumbling confidence. Caught between warring suppliers Andre Gilbert and Eddie Tran, with a wife and daughter who seem to want nothing to do with him, Carlos is about to learn that picking up his old life won't be as easy as he thought. Jayne asks Max to lean on Terrance, a client's boyfriend – and get him to confess to the crime her client is charged with. Max has Donny pick up Terrance, who turns out to be one of Andre's young dealers. But Donny, drunk and sloppy, forgets to search the kid. Max takes Terrance to an abandoned field to "interrogate" him, where Max gets badly knifed by the young drug dealer and winds up killing him.
Max, bloodied from his murderous fight with Terrence, stumbles back to Donny's motel room. A hospital is out of the question so Jayne stitches him up in front of Donny and his damaged ex-wife Pam, who is a mixture of toughness and emotional frailty. Pam, now living with Jayne, has never understood why Donny's job has emptied him the way it has. She chooses to help Donny bury Terrance's body and cover up the murder. Things heat up for Carlos. Warring drug suppliers Andre and Eddie both threaten to kill him unless he remains loyal. Carlos's dilemma is that remaining loyal to both won't be possible. Retribution for Carlos' disloyalty comes in a sudden and un-expected manner when his brother Giles is shot and killed in a drive-by.
Carlos, knowing Giles' shooting was a statement from either Eddie or Andre about his loyalty, prepares for war. He buys a large cache of weapons from deranged gun dealer Trey Barnes, and then looks to figure out who killed his brother. Max clashes with his wife Karen, a black woman with two kids from a former marriage, who hates how Max can't separate his dual roles of cop and father.
Andre learns from a neighbourhood kid that Donny picked Terrance up the night of his disappearance. Pam is not recovering from having helped Donny bury Terrance – and her breakdown is affecting her teenaged daughter Emma. We are introduced to Leon, a cop Max has placed deep undercover with Eddie. Leon isn't afraid to get his hands dirty. Carlos is paralyzed by anxiety and finds himself haunted by visions of his murdered brother, Giles. Andre holds a seminar for a group of children aspiring to become his drug runners. Donny takes an interest in Carol, a charming grifter from his past, who arrives at the motel badly beaten. Karen considers leaving Max.
Lucie agrees to take Carlos back, but only if he leaves behind his life of crime. Carol reveals that she was mauled over some money she may or may not have stolen from the dangerous loan shark Steamboat Jeffries. She seduces the hapless junkie Joe and convinces him to risk his life and take Steamboat a message. Jayne and Emma worry about Pam, who has been spiralling downward since the night of Terrance's death. Jayne's father Patrick escapes from his nursing home and moves in with Jayne. Max, eager to figure out who Eddie works for, wants Leon to shake things loose.
Carlos "buys" his freedom by lining up some criminal sub-contractors who appease Eddie and Andre. Pam disappears. Max and Karen clash over what to do when a gun is found in the locker of Karen's teenage daughter Chantal. Chantal was "holding" the gun for her boyfriend Marcus, one of Andre's young drug runners. Later, Chantal is accidentally shot with a bullet meant for Marcus. Steamboat Jeffries gives Carol two weeks to come up with the money she owes him. When Carlos gets a job stocking inventory in a retail store, he is confronted with the harsh reality of living like a regular guy.
Max's subversive form of street justice is the only thing that will save his daughter. Andre and Eddie come looking for Carlos. Eddie's business begins to suffer at the hands of Max and Donny.
Max looks to complicate things for Eddie with a new informant. Hermie and Phillipe are presented with an opportunity for a better life while working on a farm.
Max and Sal put Colin's heist into motion, but it goes awry. Andre continues to threaten Jayne. Donny warns Pam that Colin's boss is a dangerous man.
Colin flees when he finds out whom he stole the drugs from. Hermie and Phillipe steal their product back and bunker down in a motel room. Chantal befriends a drug dealer who wants her to connect him with people from her old neighbourhood.
Max, Donny, Currie and Sal boost Eddie's score. Livid, Eddie looks for someone to blame. Donny tries to protect Pam. Lucie and Carlos decide to make a move for themselves.
Lucie and Carlos steal the drugs, betraying Max, Andre and Eddie. Lillian's new lieutenant makes Sal an offer. Joe introduces Hermie and Phillipe to Carol, who offers to help them move the weed.