Luther: 3.04 - Finale Review
The final episode of Luther series three (or ever?) and it's all coming down to this! Stark and Erin's investigation of Luther! Tom Marwood's anti-crim rampage! Alice Morgan, reappearing out of nowhere in the least surprising guest appearance in ages!
Very exciting. So, can out hero make it out alive? Will his love interest Mary get shot in the face? Can dead-looking sidekick Justin Ripley be resuscitated? Can this finale live up to expectations? Join me and find out, using iPlayer as necessary to avoid spoilers.
The Madness Of George StarkI've been fairly positive on this series of Luther, and generally when I go into an episode of a show, I do so wanting to like it. I've been looking forward to this conclusion since the third run began, and the first part last week got us off to a good start.
All of which is a winding way of saying that as a whole, I'm not sure this finale entirely did it for me. There were a lot of nicely shot scenes and tense sequences, Luther remains well-made television, but the story was odd. In particular, the Stark/Erin investigation felt like a subplot which seemed a good idea at first, but then became a problem when they started trying to think of an ending. So we simply had Stark go mad, whilst Erin looked peturbed but did nothing. It was quite bemusing how able Stark was to simply get away with anything, including arresting policemen for seemingly no reason and abducting witnesses for barely more than that. It's not just that people let him do it, but his motivation for any of it was sketchy too. So he was just a flailing crazy man.
And then, of course, they both got quickly shot by Marwood, bringing that whole chapter to a close. Marwood himself wasn't quite as interesting as last week, more of a standard gun-toting lunatic than a social media avenger, but I was expecting that: they want to focus on the main character's struggles in this last one.
Alice Don't Wait For No InvitationNot to mention, both those storylines were elbowed out of the episode rather by Alice Morgan, returning out of nowhere because it's the final episode, whether there's space for her in the plot or not. She stole some scenes, as you'd expect, made some clever comments, and then she and Luther run away together at the end, after he seemingly realises Mary isn't insane enough for him. Alice also kept marching around primly, like a well-trained soldier in heels.
The final skyscraper showdown was exciting, even if they had to shove the characters awkwardly through hoops to get there. Thrilling action, nice to see the back-up characters defend themselves rather than get saved by Luther, even if it came down to his choice at the end. And then that ending, where Luther and Alice wander off together... Is this a set-up for a future series/movie about these two "on the run" dispensing vigilante justice, or is this the total ending for the character, with any further projects to happen in flashback? And where does this leave the threatened Alice spin-off?
All good questions, and maybe we'll hear answers from the creatives in the coming days. For now, this was a slightly low note for Luther to go out on, which is a shame for such a damn good show. On the other hand, it still has a pretty high average, doesn't it?