The finale of Luther is always explosive. The end of of series two, with the culmination of those psychotic twins terrorising London as part of a demented role-player game, was a stroke of genius. This time around we don’t get quite so many twists and turns, receiving instead a fistful of emotional impact.
The full horror of last week’s episode still hasn’t really sunk in, and this episode doesn’t adequately sum up just how much of a big deal that ending was. This could be for any number of reasons – they had a relatively short time in which they could convincingly chase and kill Tom Marwood; they had to set up the emotionally fraught final moments; there just wasn’t room to dwell on what happened. Maybe Luther had a good cry after the credits rolled on season three for the final time.
Far be it for me to say what actually occurred at the end of the last episode – that would be a spoiler too far. Suffice to say, it’s awful. What I can say, however, is that this episode brings a return of a certain young lady that most of the fans have been clamouring f0r – Alice is back! Oh Alice, you’re a maniac but you are brilliant. Yes, everybody’s favourite psychopathic parenticidal Ph.D. student (is she still studying towards that?) makes a re-appearance, just in time to help Luther out of a sticky situation. Of course, being Alice, she also puts him in one or two, but it’s nothing the big man can’t wriggle out of.
First, the plot. Marwood is still on the run, even more so after whatever happened at the end of last episode. In his fury, he kidnaps a pregnant woman and attempts to use her as a bartering piece to gain freedom. Luther, meanwhile, is under suspicion for murder yet again. Last episode means that he is suspect number one, and is also on the run. He, along with his small band of still-loyal friends (DSU Schenk, Benny Deadhead), sets about attempting to evade the law and stop Marwood before it’s too late.
The problem is the bad luck that plagues Luther every step of the way. Not only is he accused of murder on a weekly basis – his team having such low opinions of him that any homicide currently unsolved must surely be his work – but he is victim to some hideous circumstances as he tries to do his job (or what’s left of it). Marwood stumbles across Mary, whom he uses as a hostage and an important piece of emotional traction in the big final scene. Not that Mary leaves this episode unscathed either – at the end of this episode she is taken away in a police van. It would have been nice to see her a bit more proactive in the episode, but she certainly lends gravity to every scene she’s in.
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