Luther series 5 episode 4 review: is this really the end?

Is this really the end of Luther? Spoilers ahead in our review of the series 5 finale...

This article comes from Den of Geek UK.

This review contains spoilers.

Is this the last ever episode of Luther? Do we know that? Because it both does and doesn’t feel that way. Even if it is supposed to be (and like I say, I don’t actually know), enough has been left hanging that I feel another go-around wouldn’t be entirely a bad idea. But on the other hand, there was something of Luther coming full circle in this episode with a barrage of callbacks to the first series: the uneasy alliance of John, Alice and Mark; the reference to Rose Teller (what happened to her?); and our hero gripping the hand of his adversary as they dangled from a great height, which is how this show opened back in 2010.

So that all feels like it’s tying ends up. But as Idris Elba shuffles away to a badly-chopped Nina Simone, nothing has really been solved. Yes, a price has been paid by his actions, but not by him. It’s been paid by the people dragged into his increasingly deadly orbit.

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Speaking of which, Benny’s death was indeed a metaphorical jump off the pier, with that description playing no great role in catching his killer. (Having spent a wee bit more time with that guy than Benny did, I’ve decided he should’ve gone for ‘he looks he’d be on the packet for Just For Men in The Netherlands.’ But we’ll never know now, right?)

And as for Catherine, shot in the head by Alice, that may well go down as one of the most brutal deaths we’ve seen on TV in a long, long time. And it gives me no pleasure/comfort that I’d pretty much decided it was going to happen at the end of episode one. Because its only real purpose is to make Alice an anathema in John Luther’s eyes. And maybe the viewers’ eyes too. If the constant whining/gaslighting/death rampage wasn’t enough already. (For a smart woman, Alice uses a lot of pop psychology.)

But before we get into that, let’s take a look at the capture of Jeremy Lake, the plot the series still wanted us to care about as recently as Tuesday.

Vivienne’s in the box with Catherine and Schenk but she’s giving nothing away. I can’t stress enough how flawless Wunmi Mosaku is in these scenes (and indeed everything I’ve ever seen her do). Buy sadly, not even the idea that they’ve had their last Christmas together can sway the woman rocking a paper jumpsuit. What the hell does Christmas look like in that house, anyway? *Tries fruitlessly to erase mental image of Jeremy in that mask with a cracker hat on*

But then the guv turns up in the office (where no-one appears to recognise him), grabs himself a shot of water, has a browse through Jeremy’s literal wank bank and goes to work. Because the bad doctor’s husband has upped his game and one minute some hapless shopper’s talking about buying bog paper and something that sounded so middle class I didn’t actually know what it was, the next he’s hanging off a bridge like God’s Banker wearing one of those Tony Wonder masks from Arrested Development.

Turns out the other bad doctor is off playing Happy Families. Not the version that’s a fun card game for kids. Not even the one where you have to pretend you haven’t all just had a massive row when a neighbour pops round to borrow a radiator key. No, an even worse version that involves slaying what appears to be a metric shit-tonne of people. But Luther catches him and that’s all fine, don’t worry about all those bodies, we just need to appoint a new King of Plumbers, and everything’s pretty much situation normal.

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I get the feeling, though, that’s not the plot Luther wants us to care about any more. That’s what can probably best be described as Luther’s personal life. That starts with what promises to be a pointless scavenger hunt, which is mercifully cut short by our rogue copper hunting down George, going through Fire Martial Goon like a knife through butter and persuading our chirpy gangster to show him where Alice and Mark have been, again literally, fridged. They catch Just For Men and shoot and then kill him, with cheeky George taking a photo of John next to the body. Because security. Also because he spends more time on his phone than the average 13-year-old. I’d bet good money the first thing he did when he left the scene was tweet that it was snowing.

Still, he was back in time to be simultaneously arrested and A-Team shot at by Alice. Both he and that nice cake stand survived. Phew.

So here we are, at the end, trying not to misunderstand Luther. And maybe Luther. Will he be back? Is Alice dead? Have they got George bang to rights? Is Luther going to go back to work like nothing’s ever happened? Even if Luther does return, I’m not sure it will answer any of these questions anyway. Because Luther.

Thanks for listening. Until next time.*puts hands in pockets and runs away*