Luther (S1 Ep2) – Bear TV Review

Rambling Hi!!!

In the second episode of Luther we see Alice (the innocent-until-proven-guilty-but-obviously-the-killer-or-her-parents—–and-dog) become more and more like Rose from Two and a Half Men, back in the days where Charlie Sheen was the uncompromising womaniser on screen. But unlike Rose, Alice is more of a threat – afterall, you never saw Rose break into the house of your estranged wife’s house like Alice does. Alice is the real deal. Rose is a wannabe. This is relevant I know, but the rest of this review is worth reading, so I’m sorry for this paragraph, but not sorry enough to delete it. Hater’s gonna hate regardless.

Anyways, enough of the subplot. Here’s the real meat for you to sink your teeth into (unless you’re vegetarian or vegan, then I wholeheartedly apologise from my caravore heart. Follow, like, comment y’all! X)

The Nitty Gritty

So we begin with a guy slumped by the side wall of an underpass, the train on the track above whizzing past as a police car comes by to expect what looks like either a homeless guy, a drunk, or both. It turns out it was none of these things I’ve just mentioned, but someone armed with a gun whom kills them both with expert precision. Who is this?

After seeing some CCTV footage back at the station of a guy near that very location and time of the shooting, from only the back of this person’s body can Luther discriminate what kind of background this murderer has, to some degree anyway. Luther declares that this man use to be in the army, and he can tell by the way he walks, and having been around many people such as this in his past.

His boss gives him a file of someone who fits the guy’s profile of killing only cops and the descriptions they have of him. The file is of a person whom cannot of done this as he is still inside behind bars for killing a previous copper, and looks too old to fit the bill. So instead Luther thinks – once shown the next file – that it could be this guy’s son, who also served in the forces but was recently released due to mental illness. To Luther, this is the killer, and you know something – he’s right again.

The next scene of crime regarding this case takes place at point blank range. He deliberately walks up to a passing female police woman and shoots her in the abdomen, with the intention of not killing her but leaving her as bait to attract more police to this location. It worked, and he starts sniping them all from the rooftops like he was playing a video game. But what kind of sick twisted mind wants to kill policemen, and what is his motivations? That’s what Luther wants to know. And the answer comes in the form of an online video.

The killer uploads a video to the web (it’s gotten a fair amount of hits already, so say one copper) and states the demands he wants in order to stop him killing anymore innocent police men and women. He wants for his father to be let out from prison as he doesn’t deserve to be in there, and did this country a great service. Luther now understands who is really behind these killings, and it isn’t the one on the screen.

The commander of the killings is the one locked away in prision: the father. He has a strangehold on his mentally unstable son and apparently use to beat him when he was younger, so much so that he made his son wet the bed constantly. The son wants to please his father and would do anything for him – joining the army, and even kill for his release. So Luther decides to pay him a little visit.

The veteran meets up with Luther in an empty prison hall and he tries to bargain with the detective that he will tell his son to stop killing if he is allowed to have his prison sentence reduced 5 years, as he believes what he did was manslaughter not murder. Luther laughs away his negotiations, telling him that this isn’t going to happen. Meanwhile, whilst they talk, this guy’s cell is being searched inside-out for clues in how he is able to communicate with his son in the outside world. It turns out that he had a mobile phone in there all along, but little do they know that this commander behind bars is still one step ahead of them. He knew that they would find the phone, and planted it there so that more policemen will be led to a building with a bomb inside. The bomb being detonated by a mobile phone call.

Luther goes back to the veteran and tries to blackmail him into giving him what he wants. And what does no prisoner want other prisoners around them to think they are? That’s right – a nonce. He slaps a brown envelope on the table between them, and the guy’s face twists in disgust at the picture he sees. He tells Luther that no-one will believe him, but Luther thinks they will as the story of how he controls his son to commit murders on behalf of himself says a lot about what their real relationship could really be like between them. The prisoner doesn’t give Luther an answer, or at least we do not see it. But it doesn’t take long for us to know what the outcome of that talk was.

In her office, the boss sees Luther on the BBC news, talking to a reporter about the gunman who is killing policemen. Everything he says is a lie, and is his way of painting himself as a target. Because he’s so smart, he also knows that the killer has been listening in to all of their police conversations, and so tells his boss over the walkie talkie where he is heading. This is a message for the killer, and he bites it hook, line, and sinker.

Outside a row of upper flats, we get the head-to-head of Luther and the gunman. Using his psychological wit to try and disarm the mentally unstable man doesn’t work and only winds him up enough to hit him in the face a few times with the butt of his gun. He still tries to use his father against him, telling him that he doesn’t have to live in his shadow anymore and that it’s him the police are after, not him, but the ex-soldier doesn’t buy it. Instead, he takes all the bullets out of his gun chamber bar one, and plays russian roulette with him. After the fifth one (empty load), Luther knows that there isn’t much time to act before the man finishes himself off, to prove he is nothing like his own father. Luther wrestles him to the ground, punching him in the face and disarms him. Job done! Of course his boss isn’t happy about him disobeying orders, but that’s what happens when you’ve got a maverick like Luther on your team. In the end, you’ve got to roll with it, like Oasis said.

So where will the next episode find us? If I was to guess I’d say the guy whom Luther decided to let fall from a great height at the beginning of episode one will come back into it, and join forces with Alice. This has already been suggested in this episode as we saw Alice playing psychological games with Luther from the guy’s bedside, telling us that he is indeed still alive. Ooo0o0o0o0o I can’t wait! Can you?

See you in a bit. Xxx

Kes – Film Review

Wowee! Never has a film totally swung my opinion of it from one extreme to another like this one. At first, I thought this film was a depressing clump of autobiographical drool, a way of showing how people a few decades ago in the lower working classes have no chance in hell of amounting to anything other than what their environment presented towards them. Just look at how that job advisor gave Billy – the young boy we follow throughout this film – only two options: manual work or office work. And it’s obvious this kid doesn’t want to do any of these things, especially to work down the mine shaft (he explodes in adolescent anxieties when this is ever mentioned).

Thankfully though, there is a small glint of a light beacon in Billy’s life to escape the downtrodden life paved already for him – his pet Kestrel, which he gives the name ‘Kes’. He looks after this bird, feeding it raw meat and training it to come back to him from gradually increasing distances. There’s a bond on that screen between them, and I found this really endearing and, if I’m being frank, it warmed the cockles of my heart, as I’m sure (if you’re anything like me), you have fond memories of escapism still lurking of your childhood in the rivers of your mind. But alas, Billy has many, many life struggles he has to deal with on a regular basis: he has to share a bed with his older, mean brother, and his father left them at an earlier age, leaving his mother angry and bitter. School isn’t any much better either: he gets picked on by some of the other kids, and gets into fisticuffs with a few. And the teachers aren’t caring towards him, most of all his PE teacher, whom after losing in a football match against the kids, trapped Billy in the showers and turned the water stone cold. In fact, Billy is surrounded by cold, cold, cold, and even though he’s so young (though his face looks like he’s never had a single good night’s sleep in his life) he’s wise enough to understand the sad situation he has been born into.

There is one teacher who takes an interest in Billy’s past time of kestrel training, after hearing Billy stand before his class and give a presentation on what he does. Everybody’s ears are listening intently to what Billy has to say; and even though he is perceived as a wrong un by most, the passion that comes through when he talk about  Kes is so genuine, so beautiful, that you forget all that. And looking from the outside, looking in, I can see that Billy is just a misunderstood kid to some degree, and prejudice has shrouded his life in a bad reputation. But on the flip side, he doesn’t help himself by stealing newpapers, milk bottles, and by stealing a book on Kestrels from a shop (after being told how he can’t take a book out of the library as he is too young to without someone 21 years of age to sign for him).

But to some extent, the fact Billy can’t use the library freely, and that nobody is there to encourage him to pursue his ambitions, or to give him self-belief and direction, tells me [based on the film] that society limits our desire, but breeds our miseries, depending on the environment we come from. It’s restrictive to free spirits, and Billy is an example of someone who is almost ashamed to tell the world that he wants to not work as a typical manual worker or office worker, but follow his desire and his love of kestrel training. He never does say this though, but it’s so god damn obvious to the viewer that he never has to.

And this is what changed my mind about Kes the film as I thought about more and more, as I lay in bed, thinking about what I’d just watched hours earlier. I’ll admit right now that I’d been a bit tired after having a long day doing nothing, so was drifting in and out of a state of half sleep as I watched the first 20 minutes of the film, but after that it really broke the spell and gained my complete attention. The realism of this story is what shocked me, and the whole film makes profound sense by the very last scene, where Billy finds his Kes had been killed by his older brother out of spite. He brings the Kestrel’s corpse into the house (finding it in the garbage bin), and swings it’s lifeless, limp body around the room, showing his brother and mother the damage done. The damage being his shattered dreams, and how his pessimistic background, environments, and the structured expectancy of society has closed Billy up like a clam who is unable to show the world the pearl he holds inside; and now that pearl, that glimmer of hope, has been eradicated by those closest to him.

At first, I just thought that this was a reflection on the director’s own pessimistic outlook, but then I did a teeny-weeny bit of research and found that the story had been adapted from a novel. Okay, so it’s possible for two people to share the same ideology, but then I found my father (he was watching the film with me) saying how this was exactly how his childhood was. And then it hit me, after putting together all the snippets of stories he’d told me of his own youth throughout the years, how he wasn’t lying. And if I take it a step further, I can see the correlations of this story in my own life, in my own generation of a lower class society, and how this effects the way we all approach life on a mental level. The old saying ‘crabs in a bucket’ comes in to play here – how nobody in your class necessarily want to see you climb out of the circumstances you’ve inherited, and this film demonstrates three levels of that: the class of family, the school class, and the work class. And everybody I know has a hobby/a ‘Kes’ they use to vacate their minds from the stresses of life, and how we all need a rope of hope to keep our positivity alive for greater things. I’m not saying hope is an illusion, no way – hope is a necessity, because without it, you’re doomed to the gloom around you. Yet it all just depends what lenses you view life through, because it’s all out there – a spectrum of good and evil –  and it’s all a matter of perception, how you see things. In a strange way, this film Kes is a rather hopeful story, even though on the surface it’s depressing as shit, because it can be used as the perfect allegory of how you should never let anyone tell you what you should and shouldn’t do with your life (or at least bow down to it). You’ve got to fight for what you want, and that mostly happens on a mental level, whereby you have to tough it out and proclaim to those around you, and the world, that this is who I am, and this is what I want to be and how I want to spend my life. Because after all, this is your life we are talking about here.

Part of me wants to watch his again, just in case I missed something. But I feel it’s save enough for me to reward this film what I’m about to award it, seeing as it transcends the experience of most films for me (it’s always a good sign when a film gets you thinking about it, long after you’ve watched it – all my favourite films do that to me).

I give this film (for the meantime): 9/10

Fargo – Season 1, Episode 3 (Review)

I’ll admit, it took me and minute or two to catch on with what was happening at the start of season 3: a chunky-clunky guy getting dragged out of his office cubicle, past his work colleagues, and into the car park where he is stripped bare, par the underwear (he had beautiful underwear!) and thrown into the back of a car. Oh yeah, I should have mentioned who’s doing the dragging here (and by the poor sod’s tie as well): it’s our good friend, Mr nice guy himself, Lorne, the hitman. After this all happens, we come to the scene at the start of episode one, and I’m thinking, “Ohhhhhh, I get it now – very clever.” Yes people – we are being shown what happened before Lorne and Lester met by chance at the hospital, and before all hell broke loose in this quiet, sleepy, snowy, humdrum town in Minnesota.

But why the devil do they shown me what took place before the first episode began? Why confuse and befuddle little old me to almost lose the plot (emphasis on the word ALMOST!!!)?? Well, it becomes clear later why this is shown at the start of the episode when Deputy Molly goes to visit Lester at his work (yes, even his workmates were surprised he’d returned only days after his dear, dear wife got killed). Whilst Molly’s there, pretending to want some insurance, she “accidentally” nudges off her case file onto the floor. Lester, being in the tricky situation he’s in right now, offers to help pick up the file. The papers inside the file can be seen by him, with the top photo showing Lorne, dragging the chubby office worker out of the building by his own tie. (Hilarious if you ask me how straight-faced o’ Billy Bobby does this scene.) Of course, Deputy Molly has just set Lester up to see how he reacts when he sees the photo of Lorne, as Molly has a hunch the two of them know each other somehow. Sheriff is peeved by Molly’s downright dirty tactics, and tells her again to leave Lester, the widower alone as he has suffered enough. But not enough of him to go on a job visit to a client’s house.

Lester goes to see Hess’s widow, Gina, whom is eager to get her late husband’s money by any means possible. She proves this by asking him “What’s a girl gotta do” and then positioning her crotch right up in his face, with her leg up over his shoulder on the chair. This results in one of her dim-witted sons seeing this through the window, and then accidentally firing an arrow into his brother’s ass with his crossbow.

Other things that happen in this episode: Lorne blackmailing Stavros for more money (even though he’s working for him to find the blackmailer), switching his pills for amphetamines, and sliting the throat his rockwelller, King. And he even manages to get Stavros to let him live at the property, so that he can catch the blackmailer when he turns up again (har har). And Lester is being hassled by the mute guy and his interpretor at his work – luckily Molly came at the door just in time.

So, that’s what happened in this episode. I’m still amazed Lester is allowed back in his house when the crime scene hasn’t been cleaned up, and that the Sheriff is willing to turn a blind eye to Lester going back to work so early. No doubt his is a highly entertaining show, but maybe they should retitle it, Farcego, instead of Fargo. I’m just saying…

Roll on episode 4!

Oh Molly, you aren’t just about to knock over that file on your right-hand side, are you?


Lester, in another sticky situation.