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Sunday, 6 January 2019

REVIEW: Luther reaches high octane finale

Always the uninvited guest, Luther checks into George's hotel but his room service leaves a lot to be desired. The guns are called off. Both the snipers gun after his friends and the one he has trained at his sworn enemy. This is an enemy he keeps close as they form an unlikely alliance as the hunter (sulky sniper man) becomes the hunted. Luther has plenty more things to worry about, the main issue being Alice's realisation that he's lying. Her eyes go dark side which can only be a bad thing 

The loss of Halliday seems cruel and pointless but then perhaps that's the point. She could also be construed as another indirect victim of Luther's actions and, with Shenk discovering her body, the moment the DCI's excuses would no longer wash. Alice even references just that after firing the gun. There's no escape now, nothing he can fake will make the situation better. He's been found out.

What could have been an interesting public showdown as they weaved between cars, unfortunately, ended up in the most clich├ęd of settings - a big disused building. Luther was never going to kill Alice and Alice was never going to kill Luther despite how precariously close it got. A suicide seems an unjust conclusion for such a brilliant character. It's an anticlimax but sometimes life is unfair and a show like Luther would rather subvert your expectations.

The truth is, they had to end badly. They're an unhealthy, toxic and weird relationship. Anyone who wanted them to ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after may want to reaccess their views of romance. It had to be brutal. Alice has to be dead now, a second return from the grave would be a major case of jumping the shark. No, make that ten sharks. On top of a skyscraper.

While the focus is naturally on Luther and Alice, there is a bit lost in the wrapping up of the case. The scattered masks of Jeremy around his most recent victims' house are disturbing but brilliantly done though. We can assume Vivien will serve a smaller sentence as this was hinted at, but the fate of Jeremy is unknown, other than he severely bloody face. It's not enough justice for those crimes he committed.

We're so used to the sight of Luther confidently striding forward with purpose as the camera follows but the final shot is a role reversal. He walks wounded, defeated and handcuffed. Not followed by one solitary camera but a legion of police. It's not a definite end but if Luther does ever return it is a full stop on this chapter. If this really is goodbye then we will always have these twenty hours of brilliantly acted, scripted and directed psychological drama at it's very finest. There's no need for Idris Elba to be James Bond. Why? Because he was John Luther, that's why.

Contributed by Michael Lee

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