As much about character insight as plot, Luther Season 5, Episode 2 keeps things moving fast. It’s like he never left us.
This recap of Luther Season 5, Episode 2 contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
So: not only is John Luther back, but the delicious Alice Munroe (Ruth Wilson) is too. Episode 2 opens with a couple of scenes in which some of the earlier puzzle pieces fall into place: we now know who has George Cornelius’s son and why Cornelius thought Luther would be in the know. Turns out Alice and George have some rather dramatic history, and Alice isn’t the sort to just let it lie. She turns to Luther for a bit of first aid after the confrontation with Cornelius at the pool, and it’s just about done when the boss, DSU Martin Schenk (Dermot Crowley), turns up at the door with DS Halliday.
Schenk is an interesting bloke. Episode 2 shows us he is a synthetic man manager, as well as a perceptive and intelligent detective. He encouraged Halliday to voice her doubts: there are clear inconsistencies between what they knew about the killer they were looking for and the psychological file Vivien Lake had left them.
Ah yes, the sophisticated and slippery Lake. This episode goes deeper into her relationship with the killer (but I’m not going to spell out for you exactly who it is just yet), which is something like a cross between manager and dominatrix, setting non-negotiable rules and boundaries. Hermione Norris is still a bloody good actor.
We get to know her husband Jeremy too, a little insight provided in three different contexts. We see him talking privately with a patient (he’s a heart surgeon), using a playful Patrick Bateman turn of phrase. Then Luther and Halliday visit him, finding him more than a bit off. And finally, we see him performing surgery, while his wife is in the viewing gallery. He’s a smug bastard, except in her presence.
Luther and Alice confer over what to do about Cornelius’s son: Luther is into diplomacy and Alice wants to just – you guessed it – kill the sod and scarper. This gives us a very interesting scene about the contrast in Alice and Luther’s priorities, concluding with Luther going to visit Cornelius.
Luther’s deal with Cornelius was respectful and a good try but was not good enough, once Cornelius had thought about it again, putting another well-loved character in danger. Funnily enough, though, Alice seems to have anticipated that, not hanging around, but going for a pre-emptive attack. If this turns into war, Halliday might have to solve the murders all by herself.
On that topic, looks like there might be another one on the way… In a brief scene near the end, the killer cons his way into a young woman’s home, ostensibly to buy her fridge. Don’t think he’s used the same approach twice so far; surprisingly careful for someone who slipped up a little earlier.
We’re halfway through this short season now. We know who everyone is and we know what’s going on… But how much worse is it all going to get before it gets better?