REVIEW: Luther (S5 E3/4)


Whilst the first two episodes of this new season of Luther have barreled along at a rapid pace, things slowed up somewhat tonight to take to a well-earned breather as we focused on the consolidation and convergence of certain plot-lines whilst the net tightened both on our suspects and Luther himself. With time running short and everybody’s backs up against the wall, desperate measures are taken.

With nothing more than a seductive wink, Alice escapes George’s mansion after killing his son. Luther apprehends her (rather conveniently it has to be said) directly outside and takes her back to the station so he can grab George’s rap sheet. Once he realises he cannot expect to detain Alice with her intimate knowledge of their previous complicity, the pair hatch a plan to assault George’s lock-up and rescue Benny. A quick dribble from a seemingly bottomless petrol canister later, and the place is an inferno much to Alice’s delight (Ruth Wilson is clearly having a blast returning to her breakout role). Luther uses the distraction to grab Benny and make good their escape. The trio then cross London to hole up at an exasperated Mark North’s house, who must be wholly sick of the sight of any of them by this point.

Meanwhile Vivien and Jeremy reminisce about holidays past killing teenage hitchhikers over a bottle of wine (Saga Cruises this ain’t), whilst the woman he kidnapped screams helplessly in the trunk of his car. Vivien again talks about playing by their rules (“play safe”) but it’s clear Jeremy is increasingly incapable of doing that – drugging her before going off to play with his new victim, explaining to her with a detached coldness that he intends to keep her captive until she succumbs to Stockholm Syndrome and falls in love with him. Only then will he release her. Enzo Cilenti really draws out the supreme entitlement that Jeremy exudes to a staggeringly creepy effect and has been uniformly excellent all season long as the villain of the piece, a man who can make your skin crawl with just a look.

Elsewhere the increasingly resourceful Halliday searches Jeremy’s office for the MRI he was looking at when they originally visited. Once found, the image shows a frontal lobe tumour, which would encourage uninhibited behaviour. It becomes clear the MRI is Jeremy’s own and his tumour is exacerbating his behaviour to unprecedented levels – and it won’t be long before it kills him outright. Not only this, but Halliday finds two seperate CCTV images that show Hauser and the real killer standing next to the same lamppost at different times, showing a marked difference in height.

Halliday immediately strings this and the precise use of a scalpel on Hauser’s throat to surmise it’s Jeremy Lake that is the real killer, with Vivien as his enabler. It’s a bit of a reach even for a show like Luther that all those pieces would slide into place so easily, but a decreasing running time dictates a resolution is required, logic be damned. Luther isn’t so sure Vivien is as fully complicit in the crimes as Halliday suspects, but more that she begrudgingly accepts them and facilitates the clean up of his murders to ensure a facade of a normal life.

Schenk meets with George for a reminisce about the “dead days” of 1970s police brutality before warning the old gangster off stalking Luther any further. But this is before George discovers his murdered son, blasting his own clueless henchman to death in his rage. He decides to end things once and for all with a terminal finality by calling a certain sociopath assassin by the name of Mr Palmer to execute Luther and Alice. Across London at Mark North’s house, Alice and Luther slowly realise the game is truly up and there is no escape, sharing a fleeting kiss (finally!). Luther calls George and attempts a half-hearted threat at taking down his criminal empire but it’s too little too late. The clock is ticking on both their lives.

Likewise for Jeremy things are getting a little too close for comfort. Whilst at work, a call from an enraged Vivien reveals she has woken from her drugged slumber and discovered Penny locked up in his dungeon  – and upon seeing Halliday and Schenk coming for him, the surgeon begs his wife to “clean up his mess” before making good his escape in an ambulance. Whilst the police make their way to the Lakes residence to question Vivien, she is busy preparing the chamber to dismember a drugged Penny. Luckily, Luther and Halliday are on hand to boot the door in and discover her before it’s too late – but with a stoic Vivien in custody and unwilling to help, Jeremy is in the wind and becoming progressively more murderous by the second.

Meanwhile, Mr Palmer enjoys his work so much that within a short space of time he’s killed poor Errol for a phone number and located Mark North’s house, from where he calls Luther to explain the game is well and truly over – reinforcing this by shooting the unfortunate Benny in the head (adding to the many gruesome deaths Michael Smiley has endured over his acting career). Unable to control the situation like he always does, Luther realises he is rapidly running out of road in his attempts to keep everybody he loves safe – just how is he going to get out of this now?

Andy D



2 Comments Add yours

  1. Seija says:

    Like you wrote, Andy, this was the calmer but ominous episode setting up all the bits and pieces for tomorrow’s big finale, I’m sensing a real shoot out coming up tomorrow. And now Luther is also pee’ed off because of Benny and everything… How will it all end?

    Liked by 1 person

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