Luther, “Episode Four”

I started out loving Luther. You know this. But after a thrilling and frankly fantastic opening episode, the last three have been particularly disinterested in fully exploring the Luther-Alice relationship and at this point, the procedural story has to be really good to make me feel like I’m not losing something when Alice is only in five minutes of the episode. Unfortunately, apart from the final scene and a creepy theme, the case this week isn’t really good and thus doesn’t make me feel like I’m not losing something.

“Episode Four” feels like an episode full of anti-climaxes and dead ends. At the end of last week’s episode, Luther and Zoe got back together. In this episode, she’s not really talking to him and basically wants to forget that the whole thing even happened. After three weeks of anticipation, Henry Madsen wakes up, saying “Luther,” only to be killed by Alice just a few minutes later in the episode’s running time. Both of those stories could have sustained the episode in their own rights, but instead, they’re dealt with in a swift fashion and the episode turns to the disappointing procedural plot, which only accentuates the underwhelming feeling of this episode.

Said procedural plot is creepy in abstract — male serial killer who is offing women because he’s losing his wife, mostly because he’s an insane person who has a female handbag fetish — but it’s not very thrilling or interesting in the execution. The ending sequence, where the killer orders a hooker and she quickly finds out his intentions, is insane and exciting, but there isn’t much leading into that. I appreciate the series’ attempts to try something different with its cases, but it’s certainly the weakest part of the formula.

Moving forward, I’m hoping the quick developments with the stories related to Luther are actually unwrapped again in the next two episodes because the last two have felt more like stalling than anything else, which is unfortunate because of the great Luther-Alice framework. I have faith that the series can rebound in the next two weeks, but I’m less interested overall. It’s too bad.

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