Luther Series 4’s conclusion began with apparent clairvoyant Megan (Laura Haddock) passing on Alice’s message as: “Tell John that Stacey Bell has the owl”, referring to a woman who killed her grandma when she was 17, and was something he only ever discussed with Alice, so how did she know? Was she a real medium or a charlatan?
Elsewhere, once he escaped, George (Patrick Malahide) put a price on Luther’s head for inconveniencing him, while more grisly murders took place.
This second episode got sidetracked into another story about a cold case regarding Jonathan Black, a young boy who was murdered many years ago, while Luther moaned that Stephen Rose (John Heffernan) was ‘trying to get back what he lost’ and he takes from others what he hasn’t got (well, he wasn’t exactly firing on all cylinders, was he?)
There was a decent trailer-worthy moment as our hero took a bin to the face of two bikers who were contracted to take him out, but he had the most to do in the episode whereas, for example, both Schenk (Dermot Crowley) and Benny (Michael Smiley) felt sidelined in this second episode, the latter not having a lot to do other than poring over Rose’s hard drives.
The link between the murderer and the deceased boy, and tying that in with what Luther had been informed in the first episode about Alice Morgan did feel tenuous at best, so it felt more like it took away from the storyline rather than added to it.
In addition, the conclusion to the Stephen Rose storyline felt rather rushed and not very well handled. I’ve watched the second episode twice and thought I’d missed something in how it’s meant to relate to the cold case but I can’t see that I have. If you can think of something I’ve missed, please post below.
I also felt like anything which came out of Megan’s mouth was more confusing than all of Gollum’s riddles put together in JRR Tolkein’s works. Rather than offer a satisfactory conclusion, this episode posed more questions than answers – very much a shame after the incredibly strong start with the first episode.
I look forward to more Luther, but given that every series is around two-and-a-half years apart, don’t hold your breath. Idris Elba is clearly committed to the character, though, so he will no doubt fit it in amongst his zillion movie roles.
If you missed it, you can watch the episode on BBC iPlayer, up until January 21st. Also, click on the packshot for the full-size image.
Episode 2 Score: 6/10
Director: Sam Miller
Producer: Marcus Wilson
Writer/Creator: Neil Cross
DCI John Luther: Idris Elba
DS Emma Lane: Rose Leslie
DSU Martin Schenk: Dermot Crowley
Benny Silver: Michael Smiley
George Cornelius: Patrick Malahide
Megan Cantor: Laura Haddock
Steven Rose: John Heffernan
Jimmy Segar: Mark Carey
June Segar: Lorraine Hilton
Declan Segar: Tommy French
Mohan Rai: Ash Rizi
Tara Black: Annabel Bates
Katie Woodward: Hannah Bourne
Hannah Woodward: Emma Fischer
Owen Woodward: Luke Ward-Wilkinson
Sean Woodward: Ben Abell
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.