WARNING: spoilers below. Still catching up? Read Steve’s review of episode 2 here.
Who’s got who? Who wants who? Who’s prepared to trade someone for someone else? Where are they? And how can they be acquired…?
It’s kind of ironic that this fifth series of Luther began airing on the day that the football world’s January transfer deadline window opened. The main concern of it so far has been who’s where and how another side can get hold of them. Especially here in this penultimate episode.
As this third part begins, Luther had Alice, who was wanted by both the police and crime kingpin George Cornelius. George had already got his son back from a loan spell with Alice, but found that Alistair was forced to retire through long-term injury – a very long-term injury. Luther was looking to re-sign his kidnapped Northern Irish teammate Benny Silver after a loan spell with George, having agreed a swap deal with the gangster for Alice.
Luther then reneged on the swap deal, deciding instead to snap Benny up in a last minute fire sale swoop instead. One that saw a lock-up container site burn to the ground. In response, Cornelius then unveiled new star striker Mr Palmer, a deadly target man that wasted no time making his mark in the game.
Keeping up with all this?!
As for the other fixture in this series, the nasty serial killer one – we learn that it is indeed all the doings of the Lakes, with the grisly couple having enjoyed quite a few ‘safe’ murders until Jeremy’s brain tumour started causing him to become disinhibited and more inclined to take risks.
Mr Lake well and truly went off-piste here though, breaking the rules of the couple’s lethal agreement (‘always play it safe’) and unveiled a new signing of his own, Penny from the flats. Concealing her in the basement and drugging his wife so she wouldn’t discover her, the man’s thinking is misaligned entirely, his conscience now about as sparse as the pair’s creepy modern pad (which we’re sure we recognise from when Grand Designs visited Patrick Bateman’s London pad).
DS Halliday and Luther managed to save Penny and arrest Vivien Lake at the climax of the hour. Jeremy, rather wisely, decided to skip London in an ambulance and seemingly allow his dear wife to take the fall for his crimes. Once she senses that’s the case, surely she’ll give him up to the team and give Luther and Halliday everything they need to track him down. If so, she’ll need to be quick about it. Only – judging by the trailer for the fourth night’s action – her deranged other half has a new victim in his crosshairs.
Luther just isn’t the same without Alice, and episode 3 really gave Wilson a chance to shine.
The Lake murders took a back seat here as we focused more on the fallout from Alice’s violent ways once more. The dynamic between Alice and Luther has very much shifted in this fifth series. The sexual tension is still there, but it’s barely visible. Instead, Luther’s affection comes more from unshakeable loyalty and a sense of never giving up on people than genuine affection now.
As ever, Ruth Wilson really fizzles and pops as Alice, all but stealing the show from the titular character and the hugely charismatic man playing him. Luther just isn’t the same without Alice, and episode 3 really gave Wilson a chance to shine. Whether she was sashaying around in a mink coat, expertly escaping her handcuffs or simply stealing someone’s orange juice, she’s just sublime. And judging by the preview of the final episode? It looks as though Ms Wilson and her fabulous creation will have a pretty big say in how Luther ends this thrilling series…
It’s all building up to a rather tense final encounter. Friday night’s closing instalment will, hopefully, resolve all at the final whistle. Our prediction is that there’ll be a last minute winner from Luther, with an assist from ‘boss’ Martin Schenk settling the Lake tie. With the distinct chance of a shootout involving Alice settling the Cornelius match-up.
Now all that’s left to do is wait for it to kick off. And kick off it certainly will.
Did you tune in for Luther series 5 episode 3? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below…