Luther Season 5 Episode 3 Impressions


Hell Hath No Fury Like Cornelius’ Rage

Having a single episode drip-fed across each day of the week is something I wish more shows embraced. No sooner had we finished digesting that iconic bus scene on Monday, we’re on to the next episode to stew over deepened investigative work. This of course leads us into tonight’s penultimate episode of the season where the battle lines are drawn and both main stories gain some serious traction. While the tone of the show remains in melodramatic waters, this third episode shifts the focus away from the investigation to focus on George Cornelius, ending with a devastating loss for team Luther and a nail-biting finale to come.

Last night’s episode saw Benny kidnapped and mercilessly tortured by George Cornelius and his cronies. Luther decides to submit to George’s demands and grabs Alice, ready to trade her in exchange for his technologically gifted friend. Unbeknownst to him, Alice has blood on her hands. George’s son’s to be precise. When the cocky crime boss catches wind of this, seeing his son lying in a pool of his own blood, he erupts into a fiery blaze of rage. With vengeance on his mind, he phones a particularly dangerous man to tip the scales back in his favour after Luther manages to successfully navigate his way into getting Benny back to safety.¬†

With George and Luther’s war brewing in the background, we see more of the mentally unstable couple as Vivien Lake and her husband share a glass of wine and plot their next move. Behind Vivien’s back, Jeremy has the helpless Penny locked up downstairs in his basement, revealing the horrific truth over why he’s kidnapped her and just what it’ll take to set her free. After an ominous warning, he leaves Penny to stew over his words and heads to work. After a series of close calls and cat-and-mouse games, this story ends with Vivien arrested and Penny safe, for now. With Jeremy still on the loose and nowhere to be found, Jeremy’s reign of mentally unstable murders seems to be far from over.

This third episode marks a change in direction for Luther in many ways. While the other two episodes preceding this focused more on the investigation, Luther’s third episode turns its attention squarely onto George Cornelius’ storyline. It’s an intriguing showdown for sure and something that promises to come to a head during tomorrow’s finale. One way or another, it seems unlikely that both will be left standing when the curtain closes on Luther’s frenetic fifth season.

Luther’s history has been one of ups and downs but there’s no denying that the enigmatic pairing of Alice and Luther has partly been the reason the series has managed to stand the test of time. While the show doesn’t push boundaries in the genre or offer anything particularly outstanding, the excellent acting and overall polish in this series is something that helps Luther stand out as a heavy hitter in the crime drama genre. While DC Halliday continues to stand out like a sore thumb, her overly cheerful demeanor is called out by Alice in a seemingly self-aware bite of amusing dialogue which is a surprisingly nice touch.

The final scenes of the episode are likely to be another big talking point in this fifth season and for fear of spoilers, we will not divulge what happens in this review. Suffice to say, it’s a shocking moment and something that raises the stakes to unprecedented heights. The game really is afoot now and Luther has been pushed over the edge. Blood will be spilled, vengeance will be served but will it be Luther who pays the price or will George Cornelius finally gets his comeuppance?¬†Roll on tomorrow’s finale!

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