All Eyes On “Luther”

Luther

My first two post were about movies, so I thought id spend this next post to talk about some damn good TV. For my inaugural TV post, Im happy to share Luther with you. Luther is probably my favorite police/detective drama. It is helmed by an outstanding performance by Idris Elba as Detective Chief Inspector John Luther.

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I feel lately, crime/detective dramas have become way more about gimmicks. Everyone has a special technology or unique skill set to give them insight to crimes. It was cool at very but now, its become kind of dull. Luther doesn’t have any of those gimmicks, he is just a dedicated police officer. He is almost dedicated to his own detriment. Luther is a detective for the Serious Crimes Unit, which only deal with the worst kind of criminals. These things motive and haunt him just the same, and for all the amazing work he can do. He can be a danger to himself and others when faced with the consequences of his fixations.

Something I really enjoy about BBC shows, they love to kind of start telling stories right in the middle. When Luther starts, it isn’t him just getting his job, or coming out of the academy. He is coming to the climax of the biggest case of his life. He is in pursuit of a serial pedophile murderer named Henry Madsen. His pursuit is critical because he has information to the where abouts of a young girl, that if they dont reach her in time will perish. Luther corners Madsen, and in his desperation Madsen almost falls off a ledge. While he hangs in the balance Luther refuses to help him up until he tells him the whereabouts of the girl. This is your first glimpse that Luther dances on the line. Madsen eventually relents, gives up the information and now expects Luther to save him. Luther lets him fall to his supposed death. Madsen does not die and is instead falls into a coma. Thats all within the first 10 mins of the series. The series picks up right after 6 months later. Luther is reinstated, after the Madsen case he had a nervous breakdown requiring sometime off.

Luther is troubled, even after all the work he has done. He is viewed amongst his peers as damaged goods. Some people consider him a dirty copper even. You find out rather quickly that he even has a very real anger problem. His closest friends pretty much just over look it, knowing that his results speak for him the loudest. His reintegration into the police force is even further complicated by his martial troubles. Not only did he take a break from the police force, he took a break from his marriage, more or less at his wife’s request.

Where the story of Luther shines the best, is his relationship with the antagonist of the series. This is something BBC shows tend to leverage more, since episodes run for much longer, they can afford to establish a relationship with bad guys of the show. As I said before, Luther is borderline obsessive, he is very confrontational with the villains. Since he deals with psychopaths on the regular, this often makes the obsession go both ways.

This is where Ms. Ruth Wilson comes in. While Luther is more a less a giant stage for Ibris Elba to put his acting chops on display. Everyone body needs a wingman and Ruth Wilson’s Alice is almost a show stealer.

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Episode one spoilers incoming. Luther is investigating the brutal murder of Alice’s parents. Alice was the one who called the police and is very visibly shaken by the whole idea. Long story short, it doesn’t take long for Luther gut to point to Alice. We come to learn Alice is a narcissistic psychopath, and killed her parents. With all the circumstances, Luther is unable to come up with concrete evidence to arrest Alice. You see, Luther understands murders and psychopaths. While he is angry he can’t arrest Alice, you almost get the sense that he respect her by some degree. Unable to arrest her in the first episode, she becomes his confidant and in some aspects a love interest for the remainder of the series. She offers him insight to other crimes and investigations, and even comes to his aid when he needs to walk on the other side of the law. This relationship is what hooked me on episode one, and it was a very sweet ride there after.

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This is the beauty of Luther as a show. It is certainly has the gritty feel which everyone loves these days, but is way more visceral than normal shows. Luther is damaged goods, and thats why you want to watch him. He is not a knight in shining armor, calling him a knight might even be stretching it. He is more akin to a loyal guard dog, in his heart is the will to do the right thing, to protect the right people. However, at the end of the day, he is still a dog, and dogs bite.

The show really runs his character through the mud, where you’ll question his motives, his loyalty and his sanity all at the same time. A common theme that seems to occur is Luther getting falsely accused of crimes. The crazy part is, Luther dances on that fine line so much, you can’t even blame his peers for thinking he is guilty of whatever he happens to be accused of personally. We’ve always had that moment with a friend or acquaintance “Really? He/She did that? … Well, im not surprised”.

The entire show is on Netflix, I highly recommend you guys check it out. I could talk about Luther for hours but I dont want to spoil anything. It has some amazing twist and turns, especially in the first season, which felt pretty close to perfect.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEwrOnrlERY]

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