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Season 1 Episode 5

Episode Five

Aired Tuesday 9:00 PM Jun 01, 2010 on BBC
out of 10
User Rating
108 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

An armed gang kidnaps an art dealer's wife and demand payment in diamonds. Tensions arise between Luther and Reed when the operation goes badly wrong.

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  • Could have been another way

    Strictly on the ending: he could have called the police when the phone dropped, when no one was responding to him, (but especially) after he heard the shot, as he drove to his home - but he didn't. A wee bit forced.

    (Shout out to Det Munch in SVU!)
  • Disappointing.

    I've been enjoying Luther, in much the same way I enjoy Spooks - it's nonsense, but it's fun to watch. Idris Elba is brilliant; it's hard to believe that he was Mr Super-Cool Stringer Bell in The Wire, so uncool and permanently about-to-lose-it is his character in this. My other favourite is Alice Morgan, cheerfully hammed up by Ruth Wilson. What TV copper wouldn't want an attractive evil female genius going round sorting out his problems for him, including his semi-ex wife's irritating lover (Paul McCann) and a child murderer who - until Alice's intervention - refuses to die? She's the original mad, bad and dangerous to know girl, but you can't help liking her.

    While the plots have stuck to nicking villains (helped by Luther's trademark gimmick, psychological insight), Luther going round to punch holes in his ex's doors (in a loving, non-threatening way) and Alice going round threatening (or murdering) anyone who poses a threat to Luthie's happiness, it's all been fine. So what went wrong in this episode? Two things. First was the violence (even though we didn't actually see it) in what turned out to be the fairly throwaway central plot about the kidnap of a couple involved in diamond theft. They didn't need to cut her tongue out, especially at 9.10pm. Unfortunately that example of too much too soon was a harbinger of things to come.

    No sooner had the tongue been removed than we learned, very suddenly, that Luther's sidekick DCI (the one who looks a bit like Ian Beale from EastEnders - and, to confuse things more, is called Ian) had been on the take all along, and was involved in the diamond sting. No warning, no subtle hints dropped in previous episodes, just bang - one minute he's a solid copper, the next he's visiting the chief crook and telling us that he's been happy to cream off a slice of villain-on-villain robberies all these years but draws the line at the tongue business.

    This is plotting of the "OK and by the way Ian Beale has been a major league crack dealer all these years" variety - technically feasible, but so sudden and unforeshadowed that it renders any attempt to get 'into' the series completely pointless, because you don't know how they're going to arbitrarily redraw the characters and their relationships next. Plenty of coppers have been revealed as bent in TV shows, but the idea is that you give the audience some clues and let us work it out for ourselves, not just lob it in like a giant brick when you need the plot to take a 90-degree turn. It goes without saying, of course, that Luther's response to discovering his friend's villainy was absurd, with the normally voluble DCI keeping quiet about it long enough to end up framed for a murder which Ian had committed, thus bludgeoning us into a cliched (sorry - classic) season finale in which he's on the run from his own colleagues. At least he's (apparently) going to be helped by louche, homicidal nuclear physicist Alice, my favcourite new TV character of the year. I'll watch it for her, if nothing else.moreless
  • Diamonds aren't so Forever

    As a couple prepares to leave the country in possession of some very valuable diamonds they are attacked by a band of thieves demanding the diamonds as ransom for dealer's wife should he not return with the diamonds. He goes to the police and it's up to Luther and the unit to stop his fiancée from being killed. Surprisingly, a cop inside Luther's circle is involved in the crime indirectly and tries to set things right. As Luther tries to help his colleague down a road of deception and murder that ensues he loses someone close to him that he can't bear to lose and that will turn his world upside down. Great setup for the end of series, can't wait for next ep.moreless
Thomas Lockyer

Thomas Lockyer

James Carrodus

Guest Star

Donatienne Dupont

Donatienne Dupont

Jessica Carrodus

Guest Star

Danny Lee-Wynter

Danny Lee-Wynter

Tom Meyer

Guest Star

Michael Smiley

Michael Smiley

Benny Silver

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (1)

    • Alice Morgan: "The mind is its own place, and in itself, can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven." The universe is not evil, John, it is just indifferent.

  • NOTES (1)


    • Rose Teller: 'The evidence won't leave our sight for a second'?
      John Luther: We'll get it back.
      Rose Teller: We'd better, 'cause, right this second, I'm pedalling thin air like Wile E. Coyote.
      Rose refers to the Looney Tunes character and his unending quest to best the Roadrunner which inevitably ended with him plunging to splat on the desert floor (after a bit of pedalling), smashed by an anvil he'd meant for the roadrunner, hit by a train, etc.

    • Rose Teller [ about Evangeline Nixon ]: Anything?
      Justin Ripley: Not a word, no prints on record, no nothing.
      John Luther: You know, she may not have been our problem up until now, but she's been someone's. You don't start off at kidnapping, you work your way up to it. Why don't you send her details to Detective Munch in New York. He's Special Victims Unit there.
      Justin Ripley: Sir.
      Detective John Munch is a character in the U.S crime drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, a special squad dealing exclusively with sex crimes.