Luther's back! That's assuming he can bring himself in from the cliff's edge. Hiding on the fringes of society, on leave from the police he waits for his murderous paramour to return. To his dismay, Alice may never return according to his former colleagues, so when traumatic events occur there's only one thing for it: Return to the fold, return to his old tricks, try and half-heartedly solve a series of murders, and find out what happened to his darker other half.
As Hackney's Batman, he surveys his manor from the rooftops, once more embroiled in the chaos of it all. A murderer is stealing identities, linking one to another, terrorising London with his rapidly escalating cannibalistic audacity. There's the guvnor of an East End firm, who admires Luther even when calling a hit on him for his own protection. He has a new partner to fail to replace poor Justin in Game of Thrones's Rose Leslie. And yet, as ever, forever in the shadows of his mind, there is Alice Morgan; Ruth Wilson's influence felt even when not witnessed. We're told what could have happened to her and we, like Luther, refuse to accept it. Sure creator Neill Cross wouldn't break our hearts so cruelly?
The biggest disappointment, the biggest worry, is the fact there are only two episodes of this 'season' of Luther, that it exists as a bridge of possibilities. The ending of season three allowed no more Luther in the format we'd been accustomed to: A grisly crime, a grisly DCI, corners being cut and London terrorised. This mini season of two one-hour episodes facilitates that; allows a return to the character should the James Bond buzz around Idris Elba die down.
But we can't help but feel that while this episode of Luther is solid, it's only just a bridge. A self-cannibalisation of the show we loved, the compelling character we can't help but return to. But, in the end, it matters little. Elba, Cross, Luther and the spectre of Alice Morgan continue to pull us in.