WARNING: Spoilers ahead.
The actor, who played the corrupt DI Matthew ‘Dot’ Cottan (aka The Caddy) in the first three series of the show, admitted he feels “sadness” at seeing Hastings pushed out of AC-12 by Chief Constable Philip Osborne’s cuts to anti-corruption.
Viewers have seen him forced into early retirement and replaced by AC-3 boss DCS Patricia Carmichael, which Craig believes is pointing to the character’s exit.
However, he wants the gaffer – played by Adrian Dunbar – to leave the series in a blaze of glory with a “hero’s exit”.
Speaking on the BBC’s Obsessed With Line Of Duty podcast, which he hosts, Craig said: “There is a moment which filled me with such sadness, and it was the image of Ted not in his rightful place, not in his office.
“He was reduced to working from the glass box and, for me, it was the equivalent of a child being asked to leave the class and take their desk and work outside in the corridor because they’d been so naughty. And it was just an awful image for me.”
Podcast guest Elizabeth Day the laid out her fears that Hastings “will not last the season” and there could be “a point where he sacrifices himself, even lays his life down, for some reason”, to which Craig agreed.
“They were signposting us that somebody is going to go and at first we thought Steve with his drink and drugs problem,” he said.
“I was never worried about Kate but I think what [the show’s creator and writer Jed Mercurio] was very mischievously trying to do was signpost that it could be Steve.
“But now after this episode, with those images of what Ted’s been reduced to, and physically and mentally where he is, yes, I do believe he’s going to exit the show and he deserves nothing but a hero’s exit.”
A trailer for Sunday’s series finale has promised viewers that the identity of ‘the fourth man’ – otherwise known as ‘H’ – will be revealed.
Hastings is among the suspects, along with Carmichael, Osborne, DI Kate Fleming and ex-officer Marcus Thurwell.
It also previews other dramatic events in store, including another armed face-off AC-12 have with members of the OCG as they look to secure the suspect, while DCI Jo Davidson also faces an uncertain future, following her imprisonment.
The internet is already flooded with theories ahead of the finale, as many fans believe Marcus Thurwell is actually alive, after the character was found dead at his Spanish villa – and some of then claim to have the proof.
Suspicions have also been raised about DCS Carmichael, as some viewers spotted what they believe might be a clue that confirms she’s ‘H’.
Line Of Duty concludes on Sunday at 9pm on BBC One. The Obsessed With Line Of Duty podcast is available to stream now on BBC Sounds.