Luther has ruined selling fridges online for all of us - episode two reviewed

PUBLISHED: 10:58 03 January 2019

DCI John Luther (IDRIS ELBA) - (C) BBC - Photographer: Des Willie

DCI John Luther (IDRIS ELBA) - (C) BBC - Photographer: Des Willie

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After ruining night bus travel for us, now Luther has put paid to selling fridges online. The plot thickens in episode two of Luther as two killers remain on the loose and our hero is ignoring looking for one of them while hiding the other one. Standard. CONTAINS SPOILERS.

Jeremy (ENZO CILENTI), Vivien Lake (HERMIONE NORRIS) - (C) BBC - Photographer: Des WillieJeremy (ENZO CILENTI), Vivien Lake (HERMIONE NORRIS) - (C) BBC - Photographer: Des Willie

Things we can no longer do now that we’ve watched the new series of Luther, part two:

1) Take a bus at night.

2) Sell a fridge online.

3) Have heart surgery.

The LED killer in Luther (C) BBC - Photographer: Des WillieThe LED killer in Luther (C) BBC - Photographer: Des Willie

4) Visit a psychiatrist.

In last night’s episode, maverick copper Luther (Idris Elba) welcomed back his nemesis, muse and previously-thought-dead kind-of girlfriend Alice (Ruth Watson) who arrived at his door with a flank full of lead and therefore diverted him from the day job, namely hunting a serial killer whose trademark is an LED hoodie and a sideline in cardiac surgery.

As he picked tiny pieces of lead from Alice’s side – the lingering camera shots gave the impression of someone stirring frog spawn into blancmange – Luther discovered how Alice was bound up in the concurrent storyline which doesn’t involve a barking mad heart surgeon with a light-up hood keen on crawling along the floor of buses in order to dispatch passengers.

Alice, we discovered, was not only not dead, but had also been pursuing a new line of work as a diamond seller in Europe. Double-crossed on a deal brokered with George Cornelius (the chap who attached electrodes to Luther’s privates in London’s Rizzoli ballroom in episode one, played by Patrick Malahide), Alice managed to escape her kidnappers by hat-pinning them to death causing the car she was being driven in to crash.

Alice Morgan (RUTH WILSON) fails to be spotted by DSU Martin Schenk (DERMOT CROWLEY) - (C) BBC - Photographer: Des WillieAlice Morgan (RUTH WILSON) fails to be spotted by DSU Martin Schenk (DERMOT CROWLEY) - (C) BBC - Photographer: Des Willie

The diamonds were lost in the car’s smashed glass and a vendetta began: Alice, it transpired, had kidnapped George’s son and the ransom she was demanding involved him giving her the money for the jewels plus VAT for her trouble.

Meanwhile, DS Catherine Halliday (Wunmi Mosaku) was busy being the nicest person to have ever been involved in Luther and had persuaded DCI Martin Schenk (Dermot Crowley) in literally less than 15 seconds that the man they fingered as a serial killer in episode one wasn’t the right chap, what with this being a four-parter and all.

The pair turned up at Luther’s door just as he was picking the last bits of frog spawn from the blancmange and as Halliday shared her theory, Schenk popped upstairs after hearing a noise and, as you do, took a blood-stained cloth and deposited in an evidence bag he happened to have on his person before going to check the bathroom. Thankfully, he didn’t check it very well and so didn’t spot Alice hiding behind the door pointing a gun at him.

No sooner had Halliday and Schenk left than George and his gangsters turned up: if Luther’s not careful, his neighbours will start thinking he’s selling fridges on Gumtree or something.

Alice at window. Alice Morgan (RUTH WILSON) - (C) BBC - Photographer: Des WillieAlice at window. Alice Morgan (RUTH WILSON) - (C) BBC - Photographer: Des Willie

As Alice and Luther disappeared into the loft, George cased his house and then had his henchmen pepper the attic with gunfire as our intrepid pair escaped through a secret hatch, stole a car and headed to Alice’s childhood home, the one where she killed her parents (and the dog) and where she was keeping George’s son drugged and tethered to her bed. Ah, home sweet home.

There were some romantic flashbacks, as we saw Luther and Alice in a beach house wrestling with each other on the sofa and – in Luther’s case – with his conscience as he tried to square being a moral guardian AND having a sociopathic girlfriend whose idea of a good time is stabbing people’s brains with a hat pin.

In an episode filled with Alice, the crazed killer on the loose became the sub-story as we learned that the loon-at-large was, in fact, the husband of ice queen psychiatrist Dr Vivien Lake (Hermoine Norris, who plays glacial like no other) who ‘controls’ him by literally turning a cold hose on him and turning up at work to watch him perform surgery while shaking her head at him, sadly.

Jeremy Lake (Enzo Cilenti) is a heart surgeon whose bedside manner includes cheerfully telling patients they are “diseased whores” before taking them for surgery while “aroused”. It’s a close call which is more terrifying: a renegade surgeon or a bus slithering psychopath and seeing as Jeremy is both, he’s a man you definitely don’t want to meet after dark or under theatre lights.

DS Halliday (WUNMI MOSAKU) - (C) BBC - Photographer: Parisa TagDS Halliday (WUNMI MOSAKU) - (C) BBC - Photographer: Parisa Tag

Despite Vivien’s darkest threats to ensure that Jeremy remained a good killer, he went off-piste on Gumtree and bought a fridge from a woman in a tower block who he met, drugged and forced into a suitcase, presumably so he can take her home to do dastardly things to her while Vivien watches.

None of this is doing much for the health profession’s reputation – or the police’s come to that, as Luther bumbles about trying to cover Alice’s back while ignoring serial killers and stealing cars.

Having delivered George’s son back to him and suggested he sell his house to pay Alice’s debts rather than delivering George the woman herself for retribution (he wasn’t keen, he had seen Luther’s house and realised how much it’s worth), Luther went back to his day job but before you could say “blimey, he’s actually about to do some of the stuff he’s paid for”, George was back on the phone with some videos of colleague DS Benny Silver (Michael Smiley) who he’d kidnapped and was torturing in a lock-up, like in Reservoir Dogs.

Meanwhile, DSU Schenk has realised Alice isn’t dead and has been bleeding in Luther’s house – what he doesn’t know is that she’s posing as a prostitute at George’s house and killing his son via the trusty method of hat pin in the noggin. There’s never a dull moment for Luther, is there?

Vivien Lake (HERMIONE NORRIS) - she may be aiding and abetting a murderer, but she does have a lovely kitchen (C) BBC - Photographer: screengrabVivien Lake (HERMIONE NORRIS) - she may be aiding and abetting a murderer, but she does have a lovely kitchen (C) BBC - Photographer: screengrab

Episode three continues tonight at 9pm on BBC1.

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