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"Luther" Episode #1.5 (2010)

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8 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Best episode of the series so far

9/10
Author: Tweekums from United Kingdom
6 June 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This series has been very up and down so far but as it approaches its final episode it seems to have founds it footing, providing a gripping story which sets things up nicely for next week's conclusion. Just as a couple are about to leave the country for a new life abroad a violent group storm into the house and demand the man hands over eighteen high quality diamonds which were stolen from the wrong person, to show they mean business they cuts his wife's tongue out and threaten worse if he doesn't give them what they want in two hours. There is just one problem; she has swallowed them and he is sure they would kill her to get them out. He goes to the police and Luther persuades his boss to let the payment go ahead using diamonds stored in the evidence locker for another case. It looks like the exchange will go according to plan until the man does a runner with the gems. This means Luther must find the kidnapper and persuade him that he can still get what he wants without harming the woman further. Things are somewhat complicated by the fact that unbeknownst to him his colleague DCI Reed was involved in the initial robbery and is running a parallel inquiry to make sure he isn't implicated in any crime. This leads to people dying including somebody very close the Luther.

It is a shame that this series didn't really find its footing until so near to the end but those who stuck with it will be rewarded with this episode which features far less of Alice and spends far less time dealing with the relationships between Luther, his wife and her new boyfriend. Once again Idris Elba puts in a good performance as the eponymous Luther but the real acting credit goes to Steven Mackintosh who plays his friend DCI Reed, a police officer who will do anything to keep his colleagues from finding out what he has done. I won't spoil the ending but will say it came as a real shock and has left me looking forward to next week's concluding episode to see how it is resolved.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A true rollarcoaster ride of nail biting tension with a heartbreaking conclusion.

10/10
Author: maureen_smith5 from United Kingdom
27 April 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The first four episodes of this truly legendary show were amazing especially the second and fourth but the fifth and penultimate episode of series one takes it to another level with the acting out of this world,twists and turns galore and one of the most heartbreaking and emotional conclusions I have ever seen setting up a storming finale.

A rich couple are about to move abroad when a group of thugs break into their home and demand some stolen diamonds back but problem is the wife has swallowed them though luckily the gang don't know this,they order hubby to get them the diamonds by an hour and to prove they are serious they cut the wife's tongue out and kidnap her. DCI John Luther(a just majestic Idris Elba)takes on the case when the hubby informs of it and tries to fool the bad guys by using evidence locker diamonds to give to the hubby for the exchange. All this goes wrong though and Luther soon finds to his horror his mate and colleague DCI Ian Reed(an astonishing Steven Mackintosh)is involved in the kidnapping and covers his tracks by taking out the gang members. But Luther is on to him and after a confrontation in which Reed gets away tragedy strikes as Reed to frame John for everything murders someone very dear to his heart so he can get away,after this things will never be the same again.

This is a quite breathtaking hour of television and takes Luther to another level into classic status with it gripping from first second to heart wrenching final moments and the acting of Elba and Mackintosh deserves award after award and their showdown is fantastic.

As I said before the acting is just stunning with Elba just for once topped by Mackintosh who's Ian Reed turns from smallish role into a top villain and is the definition of a dodgy copper and his constant sweating and lies will have you gripped and we see someone who covers his tracks in any way how including eliminating somebody he probably really liked and not caring for his so called best friend Luther,Mackintosh is simply off the scale brilliant here and deserves to be remembered in the history of this show and for this episode alone.Elba it goes without saying is superb as all the other times before this episode and this episode has one of the best confrontations between Luther and Reed in a hotel room and their meeting will make your hairs stand on end,the final scene too will break your heart and Luther's reaction will make you think of anyone who loses a loved one especially in this way.The actors are all excellent but don't get to have a lot of top moments and for once the wonderful Ruth Wilson's Alice Morgan is sidelined a tad but her scenes still are excellent.Warren Brown(Justin),Paul McGann(Mark)and Saskia Reeves(Rose Tellar)all make their mark along with the husband and wife and the kidnappers.The only other person who comes close to Elba and Mackintosh in acting is Indira Varma who plays Luther's wife Zoe who after small appearances has her chance to shine and she may appear to be a strong willed person but becomes vulnerable as this goes along and despite not being with him she still deeply loves Luther,she is terrific.

This is a rip roaring episode and takes the series to the level it is at now,right from the start it sets up the cliffhanger the episode ends on with the kidnapping setting up Luther getting involved before the exchange goes wrong before Luther finds out Reed is involved before they meet in a showdown at the hotel before finally Reed kills the loved one in a edge of your seat sequence,all of it is like a constant series of twists and turns before it ends in such a upsetting and thrilling style that many shows would never get near it for tension.

I can't really think of a negative apart from Wilson's Alice was underused and the kidnapping plot is slightly forgotten a bit.

At the end of the day this is just stunning and thrilling television with Elba and Mackintosh giving arguably career best performances along with Varma having her moment to shine along with a charged exchange between Luther and Reed and a heartbreaking finale.

Television at its staggering best.

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