Luther (S1 Ep1) – TV Review

Welcome to the first of many instalments of Luther reviews. Having enjoyed this first episode so much, I am confident that I will watch the rest. It’s simply my cup of warm tea. So I hope you enjoy! :))

Right from the get go we know what kind of ride we’re in for – high voltage action and gripping drama. Luther, the star of the show played by Idris Elba, has just cornered a bad guy at the top of a metal structure inside of a crumbling warehouse. The villain is holding a pipe. When he comes at him, the structure collapses underneath his feet and now he is barely holding on with his fingertips from a high, high drop.

From this opening scene, we really see what kind of detective Luther is. He’s one of the good guys for sure, but he isn’t one who is afraid to push the boundaries. In this scene, even though the guy is asking for his help, Luther refuses to with an air of blasé about him. Once he’s gotten the information out of this guy of the whereabouts of the little girl, he tells the police force whom are already inside the home that she is behind the wall, inside of a suitcase. He waits until he can hear the girl breathing (they have to resuscitate her), and then he steps closer to the guy hanging on for dear life. But Luther is not one to show remorse, especially to those whom he considers have no conscious, and so lets the guy fall to his death. His moral mind overrided his law-bidding mind, and the result depending on which side of the fence you’re on, is justice.

What I find brilliant about this introduction to a series is that we, the audience, are thrown straight into the ending of a police case. So kudos to the write (Neil Cross) for not undermining the viewers and demonstrating that he respects our intellect. Cheers.

Even though Luther has a shaky background (and it also hints numerous times that he had suffered some kind of nervous breakdown), he seems back on his feet and is welcomed back into the police force. This means what he was doing before was not what he was ordered to, but something he was dedicated to. It says a lot about what happens to his relationship with his wife, which I’ll get onto in a bit.

Meanwhile, the next case revolves around the murder of two parents and a dead pet dog. No one was at the house at the time and no clues were left. Though their daughter was said to be somewhere else during this period, she is permitted to being interviewed at the station the following day.

Shaken, sleepless, and in shock – this is how Alice, the 18 year old daughter presents herself when being interviewed by Luther at the police station. She appears believable to him for the most part, up until the point where he yawns and leaves the room to get her a cup of tea. Outside the interview room, he tells his colleagues, watching the whole thing unfold on monitors the whole time, that she is the killer. How does he know this? Because she didn’t yawn when he yawned. At this point, it sounded to me that he was clutching at straws, but by the end of interview she had sussed out that he was onto her… and she liked it. Luther anticipated this, having already described her as a narcissist whom craves attention and needs the recognition to be shown how clever she is.

He demonstrates this by breaking into her house and stealing her dog’s urn. Inside the urn is melted bits of the gun which she planted in the dog, knowing fully well the cremation would destroy any fingerprints. Catching up with Luther at the bridge, she thrusts a kitchen knife into his body, but only as a threat, not to plunge in. And this is when he throws the urn into the river, knowing fully well that it was a trophy on her mantelpiece of how much of a criminal mastermind she is. By doing that, it hurt her.

So back to Luther’s personal life, and it is well and truly gone tits up in this arena. Because his wife believes that he hasn’t taken an interest in their relationship in some time, putting his work before them as the priority, she has been seeing someone else for quite some time. And when he comes to visit here in their home (they must have been separated yet we weren’t really told where Luther stays), he starts punching the panels out of the living room door. Yes – she’s finally told him. It’s a tough pill for him to swallow, and by the end of the episode he comes back to the house to tell her that he understands why now, and that he’s sorry. This coming after throwing her new lover out onto the bonnet of a car and the police swinging by.

The girl mastermind between her parents killings is an intriguing watch, not just because she is cold, calculated and twisted, but she is also sexy too. The way she teases Luther such as when he came to her house and she whispered in his ear, and how she puts the ball on the end of her hairpin to her lips seductively whilst scheming about her next move – this turns out to be threatening Luther’s wife outside her work building by holding it to her ear drum – will be interesting to see how this mixture of her odd personality will progress throughout the series. Will Luther fall prey to her charms, having lost his real love? Will loneliness get the better of him and lead him into murky situations? It is possible. The way this girl was studious enough to do her background research on him after their first interview says a lot about how she works. To me this means that once she finds out that the wife and him are well and truly over, she will pounce on this and exploit his weakness.

Until the next Luther episode review, take care. Comments and likes are appreciated :))

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