Wednesday, May 26, 2010

BBC One Dramatic Series: Luther, Episode 4

We are four episodes into the series now and there's been some time for viewers to start making comments about the show online.  I've read some these comments at various sites around the Internet and it seems that viewers either really love Luther or they really dislike it.  There is little middle ground.  Being someone who is used to the American style of television, I personally find this show quite refreshing.  I severely dislike reality programming preferring my entertainment to be of the scripted variety.  Sure, I love some flat-out nonsense fun entertainment but I also want some great drama in the mix as well.  I like a show that leaves me thinking long after it's over.  I like complex characters.

In my most humble opinion, this series just gets better and better.  I'm so very happy I started watching it as I've truly enjoyed all four episodes that have aired.  It's one of the best dramas I've had the pleasure of watching in a very long time.  The acting is superb and I greatly enjoy every single character.  Alice Morgan has got to be one of the best characters I've seen in a long time.  Even if you don't care for police dramas this show is worth watching for her alone.

That having been said, I want to keep my opinions to a minimum so as not to influence how anyone thinks of this show but I've got to say, this was my favorite episode of Luther yet.  It was an incredibly full show with a lot going on.  Luther is still plagued by the demons that have followed him since the beginning of the series.  Things seem to be getting a bit more complicated for him with each episode.  That's going to make for some excellent tension later on when things start coming to a head.  The ending to this episode came as a big surprise to me.  I certainly didn't expect it in the least.

There are only two more episodes to finish off the first series of Luther  You can catch the next one on Tuesday, June 1, 2010 at 9 p.m. on BBC One.

Now for the summary...(Be aware, there are spoilers here so if you want a surprise for the ending avoid the last paragraph!)

The show starts with a man bent over a woman's body.  He stands, then bends again and removes a crescent moon necklace from her.  He turns and walks away.  Luther is awakened by a telephone call.  The case is his.  There have been three victims in five weeks, spread across London.  The body is carefully posed with items from her handbag arranged around her head and her shoes placed soles-up at her feet.  The police know the killer will strike again soon so they are working against the clock to stop him before another woman dies.  Luther believes the killer is in the police database somewhere.  Our old friend DCI Shenk calls DCI Teller to the hospital where Henry Madsen is awake and, according to Shenk, it's looking very good that he will be able to be questioned.  Meanwhile, Luther visits Alice and they speak about Madsen's awakening from his coma.  He tells her he can't see or talk to her anymore while the whole Madsen issue is hanging over his head.  That does not please her. 

The man we see at the start of the show arrives home.  Luther and Ripley watch one of the victims on CCTV footage while discussing the case.  Luther's phone rings--it's Zoe.  They talk briefly before she has to hang up as Mark is awake.  Our mystery man, Graham, is listening to news of the discovery of the woman's body.  He turns the radio off then takes the moon necklace from his pocket.  His wife returns home and he gives her the moon necklace as a birthday present.  After seeing her wearing the necklace they must immediately go upstairs.  They go out that evening to celebrate her birthday. 

Luther has photographs arranged in a circle on the floor and he gets in the center of them to try and see things from a different perspective.  The police learn there was a necklace missing from the victim which helps them further profile the killer.  Graham makes an excuse that he has to work to leave the birthday celebration.  Luther and Ripley come to the conclusion that the victims must have trusted their killer and Luther suggests they're looking for a taxi driver.  We next see Graham taking a cab out into the London night scanning the streets.  Luther sits alone at the station going through CCTV while, at the hospital, Madsen screams out Luther's name which Luther later learns about from DCI Teller.  Thanks to CCTV, they get a plate and home information of a taxi driver and the police go out to make the arrest.  Graham stops and tells a young woman who is walking home a lie about a report of a nearby attack.  She gets into the cab thinking he will be taking her safely home.  The police pull over a cab and arrest the driver but it is the wrong man.  Graham's wife goes home with the man she is having an affair with.  They know that Graham knows of the affair.  We next see the body of the young woman Graham picked up positioned on the snowy ground.  After learning they arrested the wrong man and carefully observing CCTV more closely the police know they aren't looking for a real taxi driver. 

Alice goes to the hospital.  She tells the officer guarding Madsen that they need his assistance with crowd control.  When he leaves, she goes in and kills Madsen.  Shenk tells Luther of Madsen's death and asks him if he knows who would want Madsen dead.  Alice calls Luther and they argue over what she's just done.  She tells him she did it for him and he yells at her to stay away from him drawing the attention of everyone in the station.  Alice goes to Mark and tells him that Zoe has been lying to him.  They get a viable suspect in the case (Graham) and Ripley is ordered to bring his wife, Linda in.  Ripley asks Graham's wife to accompany him back to the station to speak.  She asks to go to the bathroom before they leave and calls Graham.  When she asks him what he's done be becomes enraged. 

Luther sits down and talks with Linda about Graham and is interrupted by Ripley with an urgent message.  While Luther is out of the room Linda goes through the case folder and sees a photo of one of the victims wearing the moon necklace Graham gave her.  Zoe and Martin talk about the situation between her and Luther.  She tells Mark that Luther isn't what she wants.  She wants to be with him.  Linda tells Luther that her husband knew she was having an affair. 

Graham goes to the house of Linda's lover, Dennis and attacks and kills him.  A hooker, Layla arrives at Dennis' home.  Luther finally gets a hold of Layla on the phone and tells her to get to a safe place and wait for the police.  She runs into the bathroom and locks herself in.  While Graham is beating on the door to get in, she sees the body of Dennis wrapped in plastic in the bathtub.  Graham begins tearing the door down.  The police arrive and Linda calls out to her husband.  He goes downstairs where he is confronted by Linda and the police.  Overcome with emotion, Graham drops the hammer he is carrying and the police take him.  Linda goes upstairs and sees Layla crying in the bathroom and sees Dennis' body.  She goes back downstairs and picks up the hammer, rushes outside and bashes Graham in the head, killing him as the police are leading him to the car.  Luther finally goes home and calls Zoe.  She doesn't pick up so he leaves a message for her.

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