Wednesday, June 2, 2010

BBC One Dramatic Series: Luther, Episode 1.5

This episode was amazing!  The ending was full of action and a huge surprise.  I wouldn't have expected the events that unfolded at the end to have happened at all. 

Episode five offers up several interesting plot twists and surprises.  The first surprise for me was when Luther asked Ripley to send information about an American suspect they had to a "Detective Munch in New York who works Special Victims".  Having been a fan of Richard Belzer's Detective John Munch character from the days he first appeared on Homicide:  Life on the Streets to his current stint on Law & Order:  Special Victims Unit it was quite a treat to see him mentioned in Luther.  I was really hoping to see John Munch, even for a few seconds, but, alas, that didn't happen.

As with each episode in this series thus far, this show delivers excellent tension and intriguing twists.  We have a heartless American bad guy, a good guy gone bad and a heartbreaking event at the end of the show.  There was a lot packed into the episode and it set the scene for next weeks season finale beautifully.

As with every other post about Luther, I've got an extremely in-depth summary of the show for you.  Please note that if you haven't watched it yet reading this summary will give you spoilers you might not want.

Now to the summary...

We see a lorry with "Fine Art Removals" painted on the back doors pulling away from the curb as a man, James, looks on from a balcony.  He walks back into the flat which is empty except for several pieces of luggage.  He is there with his wife, Jessica and it appears they are getting ready to leave on holiday or are moving as he asks her if she has the passports.  A lorry identical to the first pulls up to the building but the man recognizes the two people from the lorry as being a different from those he just saw off.  He allows them to come up to the flat and they jump him and put a gun to the woman.  A third man with an elaborate tattoo on his face enters the flat and appears to want 18 cut diamonds of outstanding quality.  When the tattooed man is told by James that he doesn't have the diamonds, the man and woman with the tattooed man tear apart the luggage that is on the floor.  The diamonds are nowhere to be found.  The tattooed man tells James that he has two hours to get the diamonds and bring them back to him or they will start cutting up lovely Jessica.  James agrees and the tattooed man gives him proof that he is not bluffing about his thread to cut Jessica.

We next see James being led in to speak with Luther and Ripley.  James asks to speak with DCI Ian Reed.  Luther informs him that Reed is elsewhere but he can assist him.  James holds out a blood soaked handkerchief that contains Jessica's tongue. 

One of the kidnappers refers to the tattooed man as "Dan" and we see a bloodied Jessica, who is now bound with duct tape over her mouth being led into a room where she is chained.  Dan wipes the elaborate tattooing from his face.

James tells Luther he came to see the police because he doesn't have what the kidnappers want and no way of getting it.  The diamonds are inside Jessica because she swallowed them, he tells Luther.

DCI Reed returns to the office and identifies Bill Winingham, a money launderer who procured the diamonds for James and is the only one who knows about them, and is the prime suspect.  Reed offers to find Bill Winingham because Winingham and his family knows him.  Seeing as how the diamonds must be delivered in a little over an hour Luther wants to use diamonds from the police evidence safe to try and save Jessica.  Teller is opposed to the plan but, after being assured by Luther that the evidence will not be out of his sight for a second, she allows the plan to proceed and she gets the diamonds.

Zoe and Mark are arguing over Luther.  Mark is packing to leave as he is wanting to go away for a couple of days to give Zoe time to think.  He tells Zoe that if she decides to stay with him there will be no recrimination, no blame but Zoe will never be able to see Luther again.  No phone calls, no emails--nothing.  After he leaves, she calls John and asks if she can see him.  He cannot see her right away and tells her he will call her the moment he gets a chance.

Luther goes back into the room with James and drops the diamonds on the table in front of him.  James doesn't believe the diamonds will satisfy Dan but Luther tells him it's the best they can do.  Luther tells him that he will give the kidnappers the diamonds with a note attached that when Jessica is released they will get the rest.  James and Luther both agree they will not go for it but Luther insists it will at least keep Jessica alive a bit longer so they will have more time.

Reed bursts into the home of Bill Winingham who immediately starts insisting that what happened wasn't his fault.  Reed tells him they all know the rules.  Winingham doesn't know what happened.  The kidnappers were supposed to call with the all clear but he's heard nothing.  Winingham tells Reed he has no idea where they are now but Reed insists that isn't good enough.  He tells Bill that he must tell him the truth now and asks who Bill's nephew recruited for the job.  Bill tells Reed about some American his nephew met while in school in America.  Winingham insists he doesn't know where the kidnappers and Jessica are.

Back at the police station Luther and James await the call from the kidnappers.  When it comes through, James answers with Luther listening in.  James tells the kidnappers he has what they are looking for and is told to meet them at Westfield Shopping Center, Central Hall in 20 minutes.  James starts to tell them he can't make it in 20 minutes but the call is disconnected.  The police were unable to trace the call.

The police have all entrances and exits covered by CCTV and Luther, as well as other undercover policemen, including Ripley, are on the scene.  James enters the mall and the police see two people in hoodies handing James a note, instructions.  Luther orders Ripley to pick up the two people in hoodies.  Luther stays with James who puts the diamonds in a bag he got from a coffee bar.  Ripley follows the kids in hoodies and learns they were apparently given money to give James the note of instructions.  Luther, still with James, follows him to level two where James, after pausing for several seconds, drops the bag containing the diamonds into a rubbish bin then walks away.  All stairs and escalators to the second floor are covered and the police see a man and woman approach the bin and the woman takes out the bag containing the diamonds.  The woman looks into the bag but what she is looking for isn't there.  She goes back to the rubbish bin and begins rifling through it.  The diamonds aren't there.  The woman starts to make a phone call and is immediately pursued by Luther and Ripley.  Ripley tackles her on the first level but the man with her was lost.

As Ripley and Luther are putting the woman in the car, her phone rings.  Ripley tosses it to Luther who answers it.  Luther tells the caller he doesn't know who he is or where he is but that he is still in control and asks him to not put the phone down.  Dan stays on the line and gives Luther one minute to talk to him.  Luther informs him that James kept the ransom because he figured Jessica would die even if the kidnappers were given the money so why lose both things.  Luther tells Dan that all he wants is Jessica to which Dan replies that he also wants to send him to prison.  Yes, Luther does want that but he understands that isn't an outcome he can expect so he will go for Plan B which is to get Jessica back alive.  Luther gives Dan his first name and asks for three hours to get him what he wants. Dan tells Luther to give him a number and in one hour he will call him.  Dan will not provide proof of life as it is a game of trust now.  Luther gives Dan a number.

Bills nephew, Tom, the man with the woman at the shopping mall, calls him to tell him things have gone bad.  Reed is still with Bill and he talks with Tom and asks where Jessica is being held.  Tom refuses to say.  Reed states that Tom can still get out of the situation with the money but Tom doesn't understand how.  Reed tells Tom that Jessica has the diamonds but that he must get her away safely before he can have the money.  Tom insists he cannot do that but Reed tells him that if he doesn't, hand to God, he will kill Tom himself.

The police can find no prints or record of the woman they arrested at the mall.  Luther tells Ripley to send the info to a Detective Munch in New York who is part of Special Victims.  Teller is worried that they may not get the diamonds back that she took out of evidence control.  As she and Luther are talking, Zoe walks up to his office.  Teller gives Luther two minutes to speak with her.

Zoe wants a moment of Luther's time that he cannot give.  He doesn't want her to make a scene in front of everyone.  She tells him the last few days have just been a way of saying 'goodbye' properly and she thinks they both knew that.  He tells her he didn't know.  He orders her out of his office then angrily throws his phone through the office window. 

Luther asks Ripley if he spoke to Munch and Ripley gives him the name of the suspect.  Evangeline Nixon.  She has a long history of violence, extortion and suspected kidnapping.  She is married to Daniel Sugarman who has an even longer history of violence, extortion, kidnapping and murder than she does.  Reed returns to the office and tells Luther there was no sign of Bill Winingham. 

Dan calls and Luther tells him he has most of what he wants but Dan doesn't just want most and that the deal is off.  Dan tells him that he doesn't care about Jessica.  Right now, her value seems to be verging on worthless.  Luther mentions Evangeline but Dan thinks little of that.  He knows she's safe and strong and will never give him up.  Dan gives Luther one last chance.  If he receives 100% of what he wants in an hour Luther gets 100% of Jessica.  Luther brings 80% he gets 80% of Jessica.  If Luther takes longer than an hour he doesn't get to know how Jessica dies or where she is dumped.

Tom goes to Jessica and tells her he know the diamonds are inside of her and that he's there to help her. 

Luther goes in to question Evangeline.  He tells her they offered Dan a swap:  her for Jessica.  He plays an edited recording of the conversation he just had with Dan to make her believe that Dan finds her worthless; that he doesn't care if he gets her back or not.  Luther gives her 10 seconds to take him up on a one-time offer to tell him where Dan is.  As he is getting ready to leave she tells him she wants to serve her time in the States.  He can arrange that.

While Tom is trying to free Jessica, he receives code from Dan that he is on his way to where she is.  Luther and Ripley leave the police station to go to where she is as well.  Tom frees her but he is too late.  As he is backing his car out, Dan pulls in behind him. 

The police arrive to find only Tom's car and an ear on the hood of it.  They enter the building where Jessica was being held and find her and Tom both dead.  Reed is clearly shaken by the turn of events.  Teller orders Bill Winingham tracked down and charged as an accessory to multiple murder, kidnapping and extortion.  Reed offers to track down Winingham and Luther will go after Sugarman.  Luther doesn't think Reed looks fine despite claims by Reed that he is.

Reed goes back to Winingham and tells him about Tom.  Reed blames himself for the deaths because Tom tried to free her on Reed's orders.  Reed wants to know what Winingham told Sugarman about him.  He wants to know if there is any info Winingham can give him that will help him find Sugarman before Luther.  Winingham gives him the name of a man Sugarman will go to for help with passports.  As Winingham is getting a drink for him and Reed, Reed takes off his tie and strangles Winingham.

Luther and Alice meet at St. Giles Church where John Milton is buried.  He tells her she was right about all the things she said about Zoe and him; that there is no love in the world.  She tells him he hurt her badly but what she did to Henry Madsen she did for "wholly unselfish reasons".  She tells him that what she did to Madsen proved something to her that she hadn't believed up until that point, that there is love in the world.  As he is leaving, he takes his wedding ring off and drops it into the offering box at the church.

At the station, Luther asks for progress regarding locating James.  There is nothing.  Luther goes through Evangeline's things and discovers her passport is a fake.  He wants to know who made it. 

At the airport, Luther meets with the man who made the passport.  He literally drags him out the window of his car and, after being shown a photo of Dan, the man tells Luther Dan is staying at the Renaissance hotel.  Luther lets him go but, before leaving, asks the forger what he meant when he said "not again" when Luther showed him Dan's photo.

Reed takes Winingham's body to a quarry and, as he's looking at it in the trunk of his car Luther phones.  Reed calmly answers the phone.  Luther tells him he knows what he is about to do; that he can't hurt Sugarman because if he does, he will go down for it.  Luther won't mind giving Reed two minutes to break Sugarman's legs but he must be there to tell him when to stop.  Reed tells Luther to meet him alone at the fountain at three. 

Luther goes to the Renaissance and questions the desk clerk about Dan.  Meanwhile, Reed arrives at the same hotel and sees Luther's car.  He enters the hotel and questions the clerk as to the room where Luther is going.  Luther keys his way into the room and picks up the Bible.  Dan puts the diamonds in his pocket as Luther comes around the corner surprising him and hits him with the Bible.  They struggle and when Luther gets Dan under control tells him someone is coming for him very soon if he isn't here already. 

Ian Reed comes into the room with gun drawn.  Luther, holding onto Dan, tells him that he cannot kill Dan.  Reed questions Dan as to what Winingham said to him about him.  Dan starts to talk and Reed shoots him in the head.  Luther falls backwards in surprise and picks up his gun.  The two men hold their guns on one another as Luther tells Reed they can make the situation go away.  Reed confesses that he knew about the robbery and let it go ahead for a percentage of the take.  Luther asks if he knew about the kidnapping and Reed says he didn't.  Luther tells him they can still make the situation work.  Luther gives Reed his gun as a sign of trust.

The door starts to open and Reed thinks Luther has double-crossed him.  He fires at Luther as the main enters and Luther pulls her to the floor.  Reed fishes through Dan's pockets for the diamonds then flees the room.  Luther pursues him into the hall but loses him.

Later, Teller and Shenk are in the room with Dan's body.  Shenk informs them there were no diamonds found and that the concierge gave him a description of the gunman.  Shenk shows Luther a sketch which Luther doesn't identify. 

Reed sits down on a bench to drink while his phone constantly rings in his pocket.  Luther is calling and leaves a message that they must start talking before the situation brings them both down.  Reed takes his gun out and puts it to his temple but he cannot pull the trigger. 

James walks into the office of a jeweler where he wants to get the diamonds valued.  Ripley opens an office door and walks into the room and informs him the diamonds they used to try and get Jessica back alive were fakes that were evidence in a fraud trial.  He arrests James.

Zoe is listening to a call from Mark telling her he's coming home when there is a knock at the door.  Reed has come to see her.  He wants her to call John and ask him over but not to tell him that he is at her home.  She tells him she can't because Reed is scaring her.  When she refuses to call John and not let him know Reed is there Reed takes his gun out and tells her to do it.  She gets her phone and calls Luther.  She asks if he can hear her and when he says 'yes' she screams that Reed is there and he has a gun on her.  Luther runs to her house with her still on the phone as Reed holds the gun on her ordering her to shut up.  When Reed turns his head away, Zoe stands up with a knife in her hands.  Reed turns around and fires, the sound of which, causes Luther to stop dead in his tracks. 

Luther gets in his car and rushes to Zoe's house.  He calls Teller and asks her to send a medic.  He arrives at her home to find her dead and Reed gone.  Luther runs out the back door into the rain.

Enjoy this scene from episode five of Luther where Zoe is telling Luther that their relationship is over.  The clip was uploaded to You Tube by the BBC.

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