Luther: The Fallen Sun Ending Explained – So, Now What For Idris Elba’s Detective?

With major spoilers, we break down the climactic events, series throwbacks and future hints of the Luther movie, out now on Netflix.

Idris Elba in Luther: The Fallen Sun
Photo: Netflix/BBC Studios

Picking up where Series 5 of the TV show left off, Luther: The Fallen Sun sees Idris Elba’s brilliant but disgraced copper breaking out of the slammer to hunt down serial killer David Robey (Andy Serkis). A twisted tech genius with dodgy hair and an even dodgier fashion sense, Robey is luring his victims by hijacking their digital footprints and using their deepest, darkest secrets – or as he calls it, their “shame” – against them.

Robey is one of the franchise’s creepiest and most sadistic baddies. Not only is he able to properly go toe-to-toe with Luther both physically and mentally, but his vast resources allow him to carry out his crimes on a much grander scale than we’re used to seeing – think a very, very messed-up Bond villain.

Luckily, DCI John Luther – equipped with his signature grey coat and blood-red tie – is on hand to save the day, finally putting an end to Robey’s reign of terror and potentially setting up a budding movie series in the process. Let’s take a look at where we find Luther by the end of The Fallen Sun – and where he may be heading next…

Was Robey Behind Luther Getting Jailed?

At the end of Series 5, Luther was arrested by his boss, DSU Martin Schenk (Dermot Crowley), when the gangster George Cornelius passed on evidence of Luther’s involvement in the violent feud between him and Alice (Ruth Wilson). While the photo of Luther standing over a dead hitman didn’t quite tell the full story (Cornelius actually pulled the trigger), it presumably did blow open the fact that he’d been aiding and abetting a known criminal – and seemed like the smoking gun that would finally send Luther down.

Ad – content continues below

At the beginning of The Fallen Sun, we discover that Luther had been investigating the disappearance of a young man who’d been abducted by David Robey during or just before the events of Series 5. At the crime scene, a disguised Robey clocks Luther’s handling of the case and, attempting to get the detective off his trail, tells his cronies: “I want his shame.” We then see the media circus of Luther’s trial, with one reporter saying that a dossier showing “a litany of vigilante activity” had been leaked to the press.

So, while Robey wasn’t behind Luther’s initial arrest, we can assume that his vindictive role in exposing all of Luther’s past misdeeds shone a light on a trial that the Met would have rather kept quiet – and made Luther’s subsequent sentencing a certainty.

What Was David Robey’s Evil Plan?

It seems Robey had been watching too much Black Mirror, or Hostel, or both. He had built a “Red Bunker” under the snowy wilds of Norway, hidden from the outside world, where he would broadcast live “shows” to high-paying subscribers on the dark web. Aided by a small army of henchmen, these shows involved livestreaming the torture and murder of his victims – all of whom had been lured under threat of exposing their hidden transgressions, or “shame”. 

How Does Luther Stop Robey?

Luther and DCI Odette Raine (Cynthia Erivo), who’s now heading up his former unit, track down Robey’s hidden house of horrors thanks to information from his long-suffering wife. They are forced to surrender, though, when Robey threatens to kill Odette’s kidnapped daughter, Anya (Lauryn Ajufo). The pair are taken to the Red Bunker where, in front of the online audience, Odette is forced to stab Luther; the tables are then turned, and Luther is told to smash Odette’s kneecap with a hammer.

Before he does, Luther taunts Robey, brilliantly dubbing him a “sweaty anxious twat” in the way that only Elba can and telling him that his own shame has been brought to light. He spooks the viewers by revealing that their IP addresses are being tracked and that the police are on their way to the bunker, before taking out one of the henchmen with the hammer. Robey scarpers – initiating an incineration sequence.

Odette rescues Anya and manages to escape the burning bunker, while Luther gives chase. His pursuit ends when Robey’s 4×4 crashes and sends the two men into a frozen lake outside; Robey drowns in the icy water, surrounded by the bodies of his previous victims, while Luther is rescued by police divers, who’ve thankfully turned up just in time.

Ad – content continues below

Does Luther Go Back To Prison?

Having been whisked back to London by helicopter, Luther awakens in a hospital bed. This isn’t any ordinary hospital, though. As Schenk reveals, it’s a safe house. “Government?” asks John. “Government,” confirms Schenk. As Luther gets himself up, a convoy of black cars convene upon the country house he’s staying in. Schenk isn’t sure who “this lot” is, but surmises that it might be “a job offer” and tells his friend: “I don’t think you’re going back to prison…”

Indeed, it seems that our boy will be swerving any further jail time, with his takedown of Robey earning him a pass – and the respect of some higher-ups. Luther, reunited with his beloved grey overcoat (“I think they got most of the blood out,” says Schenk), is approached by a mysterious suited man. “If I may, unofficially, you did a commendable job,” he says, as Luther replies, “So, now what?” – a nice little callback that references the opening/closing line of most of the show’s five series.

Who Was the Man at the End?

The man speaking to Luther at the end, played by actor Guy Williams, is listed in the credits as “Tim Cranfield (Civil Servant)”. He gestures towards the car, telling Luther, “Chief would like a word.” We’re guessing this could be a big-deal British minister, such as the home or foreign secretary, or even the head of one of the intelligence agencies, MI5 or MI6. Whoever it is, it’s safe to say that Luther is moving up in the world – and will no longer be limited to the streets of London.

Does Alice Return in Luther: The Fallen Sun?

…Is the question on everyone’s lips. The answer, in a word, is no. Does this confirm that Luther’s old flame/nemesis really did kick the bucket after her climactic fall in series five? Potentially, although the continuing ambiguity means that she could easily be brought back for a future feature-length adventure.

Will There Be a Movie Sequel?

At the time of writing, Netflix hasn’t officially confirmed a sequel to The Fallen Sun, although the ending – Luther, in his signature garb, being courted by mysterious government forces as a new version of Massive Attack’s ‘Paradise Circus’ (the TV show’s iconic theme tune) swells in the background – certainly lays the groundwork for one.

Elba has hinted in recent interviews that he sees John Luther as his own version of James Bond – the role he is so frequently rumoured for – and that he’d like to explore more international adventures with him. With a first movie and a new government job under Luther’s belt, it very much seems like the ball is in Netflix’s court.

Ad – content continues below

Luther: The Fallen Sun is out now on Netflix.