"Luther" Episode #3.4 (TV Episode 2013) Poster

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A welcome return
Tweekums23 July 2013
Warning: Spoilers
After the tragic finale to the previous episode the vigilante killer Tom Marwood sets off after Luther's new girlfriend Mary. He is unsuccessful but Dec Supt Stark thinks that Marwood is trying to help Luther get rid of people who could harm him in return for Luther letting him continue to kill 'undesirables'. This leads to Luther being arrested but he is soon free again when Alice Morgan rescues him from Stark's custody. Meanwhile Marwood has kidnapped the wife of the prison doctor who is treating his wife's killer and Luther and Alice must avoid being arrested themselves while trying to get to Marwood before he can kill again. This leads to a confrontation where Luther must decide which of the two women he cares about should live and which Marwood should kill!

After the sad ending to the previous episode it was great to see things brighten up with the return of Alice Morgan… she may be a sociopathic killer but she is a fun character and Ruth Wilson does a great job in the role… it was just a shame that the BBC's trailers for the episode spoilt the fact that she was returning to the series. She has a great chemistry with Luther which makes their unlikely friendship more believable. As always Idris Elba put in a fine job in the title role and is supported by a fine cast of secondary characters. The story was as melodramatic as we've come to expect from the series and the finale was exciting and lead to a nice little twist (which most viewers should guess) at the end. Overall this was a fine conclusion to the third series; I hope we get more and if we do I hope Alice becomes a regular character again.
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Season 3: Brutally engaging despite some weaker threads and a slightly rushed final episode
bob the moo1 August 2013
Having been very disappointed with the first season of this show, I was pleased to find that the second season had a much better grip of what it wanted to do and that it continued this into the third season. It isn't the most realistic show or the most clever but the show has a great atmosphere of morbid decay which combines very well with brutal and shocking crimes and characters. This third (and final?) season keeps the second's structure of 4 episodes which play like a full season but do have elements that stand alone to make it also work as two two-hour specials.

The first of these specials has a great air to it and produces some horribly tense situations. The thread of Luther being investigated as potentially (?) acting outside the law is a bit overly-familiar but yet still works well and has good tension between the characters. The second set of episodes continues this thread and moves to a vigilante killer which offers a nice morality edge to the plot. This story works very well for the first episode but does too much too quickly in the second episode. Major characters come and go as if they were on a busy bus route, the killer changes actions and acts out-of-character and in a way that really makes very little sense – mainly to create a certain climax which the writers want to get to. This latter aspect particularly breaks the internal logic of the show; not that realism or logic applies, but the show has its own rules and reality and within them the viewer goes along – when they are broken it shakes you outside of these and makes it harder to be engaged with the action. This happened in the final episode for me and it was a shame that it didn't work as well as the previous 3, also a shame because this sudden shift loses the morality aspect which was working pretty well.

Mostly the season worked though. It had a brutal edge that adds to the generally grim (but beautiful) portrayal of Luther's London – it isn't flashing murders like CSi, you are forced to feel their horror and, although it is still an entertainment show, I liked that as an aspect. The cinematography really helps this and so too do the performances – or at least most of them. Elba is great; gruff, tired, determined all in one package. It is no Bell in terms of the characterization (what is?) but it works and he has a great presence throughout. Brown is good support for him but this season Amuka-Bird is not quite as good as she is more a plot device than a character. O'Hara is a very nice foil for Elba and the two of them made real tension in their few shared scenes. Guillory is terrible – but it is not all her fault. Her character feels fake and is clearly happening for plot reasons, even her introduction is clunky and the show would have been better without her character. It would also have been better without her; she is stiff and doesn't fit the tone of the show and, worst, has no chemistry with Elba – she makes those around her worse by virtue of acting with her – it is impressive to see how consistently this occurs, but I wish it didn't.

Overall this third season of Luther continues the engaging and satisfyingly brutal tone and works it to good effect with the exception of the rather convoluted and unconvincing final episode. Elba is a powerhouse throughout it and the production is generally very strong, from the cool opening theme, the great cinematography and use of locations and even the fragmented "coming next" structure over the closing credits. It isn't perfect but I really hope they do a fourth season because what this show does well, it does very well.
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Love Luther, but this episode is insulting!
pfoster3830 January 2019
I know the show reaches a bit but, seriously!? None of the conclusions or the theories in the episode have the slightest basis on any of the events that have happened. Even if it was condensed, it still should have had at least a smidgen of plausibility! Ridiculous!
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A Terrific Conclusion to the Season
Hitchcoc14 September 2017
I thought the pacing, the plot twists, and the portrayals of evil in this episode were quite wonderful. Luther is always under the gun. There are two out to get him (for whatever reason), he can't seem to have a romantic connection, and he seems perpetually hurt. I love the return of Alice. She is truly superhuman in the most bizarre way (she is also beautiful). Her acting is quite astounding. At first, I couldn't really dis the vigilante because he truly had an acceptable motivation. But, of course, once he got the public's acceptance, he began to feel utter power. This leads to him not only killing for revenge but, rather, for self preservation. The cool ending is great fun.
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A Thrilling Conclusion
thomasjay-5227728 June 2018
No better way of ending a season. An extremely well paced finale that flies by in not time at all, the face off between John Luther (Idris Elba) and arguably the series' best villain Thomas Marwood (Elliot Cowan) set in an isolated backdrop with stakes that are toweringly high the episode manages to completely wrap up all loose ends whilst depicting the characters at their very best. Elba's character as ever is at his abnormal best and the villain Marwood is perfectly crafted by the shows creatives giving a grounded and understandable antagonist that is perfect opposed to the protagonist. A thrilling rollercoaster of emotion an incredibly tense episode to perfectly end off this season
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Pretty bad in my opinion
ninjatushar12 May 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Well Toms character was not portrayed very well here. Why on the roof scene is he playing a villain like that? Why would he not just shoot both women in front of Luther and then shoot Luther, then himself? Or at least shoot both the woman, leaving Luther completely alone. I simply do not understand the logic behind his actions. He had nothing to gain by doing what he did, he was never getting out of there and he has already killed innocent people, he should have no trouble killling the person who was the most responsible for his downfall. Anyway how does he know which one Alice is? He was pointing the gun at Alice when Luther said shoot Alice, he shouldn't even know which of the two is Alice. He doesn't know what Mary looks like in the first place.
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