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 :))


Fargo – Season 1, Episode 5 (Review)

Kicking the fifth eppy off, we have a sequence of events, exposing to us – the beloved audience – how Lester got the shotgun. BTW – he got it in a sport’s shop. It was funny how he got suckered into buying it as well: the store owner told him to make an offer for the ‘random socks’ – there was a table full of bagged assorted socks, and some of them were men’s, some women’s, and the guy couldn’t tell Lester which were which, or if either bag contained male and female socks (well I found it funny!). Lester offers him 3 dollars, 4… 5 dollars, and then the store keeper, who is frankly unamused by his pitiful offers, tells him “I’ll give it to you for 50, and I’ll throw in that here shotgun in for free, and some bullet”. That was a paraphrase – I can’t remember exactly his words – I’m not an audible Rainman damn it!

I call shotgun…

So what else happened? Oh yeah – Lester is in the jail cell, ain’t he? That’s where the last eppy finished off last time. And Lester ain’t looking too great. He’s sweating like a mutha fucka, like he’s eaten the world’s hotist chilli, like he just had the runs, like… you get the gist. You know why he’s in this bad way, don’t you: he’s trapped in the cell with the deaf guy and his bearded friend (I should really try and remember their names, shouldn’t I? Nah – F it!). And the bearded one gets all the details out of Lester that he needs – more specifically, he gets the name of the person Lester knows who killed their late boss, Hess. One name: Lorne Malvo. Or at least, he thinks that’s his name (he’s right, the spineless grass!) The two man motley crew leave Lester (they got bailed out), and Lester starts having flashbacks of the recent events – flickering, tramatic events.

Please don’t hurt me.

The sheriff and Deputy Molly come to visit Lester in jail, but he can’t respond to them on the accounts that he’s having flashbacks, and is not [himself] personally present in the room – only his body. They rush him to the hospital in an ambulance, like good law abiding officers. Molly, in the back with Lester, is a crafty bugger, and tries to weed information out of Lester – she’s taking advantage of his whacked out state of mind, and is trying to get him to confess to some shit. And at the hospital, he finds out from the nurse that Lester had a shotgun pellet lodged in his hand, and that’s why it was all puffy, gross, and infected. I like how, in the beginning of that scene, how the vending machine gobbled up her change. I hate it when that happens. I remember when that happened to me, ages ago mind you, and then I kicked the machine, and then the chocolate bar came tumbling out of to the bottom; and when I unwrapped that Cadbury’s Dairy Milk (other choco bars at available – visit your local newsagents for some proof) the chocolate had congealed. It wasn’t the best chocolate I’ve even bitten into. I still remember it, which it weird; but what’s even weirder is how I’ve rambled on a tad too much on a relevant subject, and a negligible one at that. If you’re reading this (and you’ll know if you have, because you would have just done so)…. I’m so sorry. Not…

I’ll leave you on a little bugbear I had on this episode: why-o-why did Deputy Molly leave the back of Lester’s washer-dryer open? He managed to open it up, hoping to find evidence (soz Mol – he moved that hammer), but she never bothered to leave it like it was. It’s like she wants Lester to know she broke into his house whilst he was in hospital. Oh, and another thing – who leaves the key under their outside doormat, Lester? Jesus Christ – make it easy for the criminal/criminal policelady why don’t ya. Okay, rant over – tune in tomorz, or the next day, when I write more bollock on something I’ve recently scene on the screen that I like to term “the moving painting on the wall downstairs. Peace mofo!

God damn it, Molly!

Fargo – Season 1, Episode 1 (Review)

If you were a fan of the original Coen Brothers movie, you’re sure to dig the vibe of this TV series. It’s early days (for me anyway – you might have watched all of season 1 by now) but I can tell you that this episode has managed to keep in tact that humdrum mood to it of a sleepy snow-ridden town, plus creep in lots of dark humour to boot. It kind of reminds me of Twin Peaks by how ordinary and earnest all the people are in the town, and how the police force seem to be hapless yet able to sufficiently manage their job all at the same time.

Without spoiling too much, I’ll say this: after Lester Nygaard (Martin Freeman) meets Lorne Malvo (Billy Bob Thornton) in the hospital A & E waiting area, his whole world gets flipped on its shell. Not only does Lorne do something Lester didn’t want to do, but the words Lorne said to him there (and later in the cafe) gets into his head to such a degree that he ends up doing something he’s sure to regret.

…I don’t think I gave the game away there (phew! to you).

I’m interested to see how the series pans out. So much has happened already, and I can’t see Lester working at that insurance company for much longer. My guess is that he’s got to run away before the police catch onto him. But Lester is such a push over – can he really keep this up? And for how long? If he’d of grown some balls much earlier on in his life, he wouldn’t have done what he did. Or maybe it was just because of a stupid washer-dryer. I doubt it.

Molly, the deputy policewoman, is one to watch too. I like her bubbly nature and the naive aura to her. I also enjoyed very much the moment she found out what had happened at Lester’s house that all important night. And just a quick mention to Sheriff Bill Oswalt – shit, is that you Saul Goodman? Um, yes it sure hell is. (I’ve watched Breaking Bad and am now currently watching Bob Odenkirk’s portrayal of Saul – now known as Jimmy McGill – in Better Call Saul.)

I digress. But anyway, I’m definitely going to watch the rest of this season. Trust me: if you like crime drama doused with thick dark comedy, you have found your Nirvana right here. Plus, I hear there’s going to be a second season coming out later in the year, so I’m totally psyched!

(Oh dear Lester – didn’t mama ever tell you never to talk to strangers?)