Luther time rolled in at about 9:00 PM on BBC America last night. Basically I knew Luther, played by Idris Elba, from the three seasons that had previously aired. Besides that, I knew Elba from The Wire, Beasts of No Nation, and the disappointing Ridley Scott space epic – Prometheus.
I found him to be a very watchable actor. Up front I liked Ruth Wilson as Luther’s nemesis/ally Alice Morgan, but she’s moved on to The Affair, and isn’t in this Luther. Physically. But she’s a presence in this latest all the same
I only heard about this Luther late yesterday afternoon, via a Facebook post sent to me. Otherwise I would have missed it. But I was set up on the sofa, and ready at 9:00 PM. When the closing credits rolled at around 11:40 I formed an immediate opinion.
Great character but unfortunately, a less than stellar script this time. One has to love the recklessness and the bravado that Luther displays throughout, even when it is borderline ridiculous. But the story was nothing new. A serial killer with cannibalistic tendencies has been done before.
I also wasn’t thrilled about the structural set up which basically bifurcated the story into four separate and distinct quadrants. More on that to follow along, but before we get to that, let’s go straightaway with a mandatory spoiler warning. Don’t read further, until you have watched the show.
As the episode opens, Luther is on an extended leave of absence. He’s set up in a house on a cliff’s edge overlooking the sea somewhere, and for the lack of specifics, I’ll just call the place World’s End. [Edit] I’ve since found out the location was in Beachy Head in East Sussex, southeast of London, on the U.K.’s south coast. In a bit of serendipity, just prior to watching Luther, I had tuned in for Episode 4 of the 2nd Season of Broadchurch, another British murder mystery set in another British coastal town, and actually shot near West Bay, in Dorset, which also has cliffs.
Luther is heading back to his cliff side cottage on foot, no doubt he had been on a small shopping excursion. Two detectives from his old squad arrive to talk to him. They bear bad news. Alice Morgan has been found dead in Antwerp. They wanted to know if he knew, and could offer any insights.
He hadn’t known, and the long and the short of it is, that Morgan’s demise did not appear to be from a criminal event. While Detective (DCI) Theo Bloom (Darren Boyd) is searching around Luther’s place, Detective (DS) Emma Lane (Rose Leslie)
sets about to make some tea. Bloom doesn’t find anything, and before the tea is made, Bloom gets a phone call directing himself and Lane back to HQ to get cracking on a new murder.
Unbeknownst to anyone at Luther’s cottage, there was another visitor, who manage to both nick a file from Luther’s desk and get away cleanly. Luther happened to check the drawer, after the coppers had left, and immediately notice that file was now missing. Which made his mind up. He’d report back to work at once.