Season 1 Episode 5

Episode Five

Aired Tuesday 9:00 PM Jun 01, 2010 on BBC

Episode Fan Reviews (4)

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out of 10
111 votes
  • Not since "Passion"

    There are moments in television, seemingly underrated moments where a show flips itself on the head. As a person myself writing scripts one of the hardest things to do is take away a character that's firmly rooted in the lives of your main cast or even harder yet to take away a part of the main cast. When you do a question arises; how will your show be now that they're gone? There have been moments of utter failure on television from this very thing (see: Grey's Anatomy) and one such example is when a showrunner decides not to even ask the question until it's too late (see: Smallville's Lana Lang). As such it's a necessary question but a tough one because it needs to matter. This mattered. Not only did they manage to make Zoey a obstacle/important character to our protagonist and thus us but they also managed to create a scenario which albeit is a little bonkers and unrealistic, of significance. I mean this is a person we know cares deeply about Luther, and we know (if we didn't already, from this episode alone) that Ian was basically Luther's best friend. Imagine your best friend pointing a gun at your ex who just broke your heart. Ask yourself: would you shoot him? Now imagine you can't even act at all because you're not there. I mean it's a horrible dilemma and I cared because I understood and related. That's great television folks. This is great television.
  • 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.
  • 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.
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