The excellent British cop drama Luther is a dark and compelling series that ranks among the best of the genre. It features a commanding performance from Idris Elba as the titular detective who spends his days tracking down murderers while also getting himself involved in some sticky situations.
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The series consists of five seasons to date and is filled with violent and shocking moments. Just when the audience thinks they know what the show is going to deliver, Luther proves to have more wild surprises up its sleeve. It makes for a tense thriller that is totally unpredictable for its viewers.
10 Reed Kills Zoe
Ian Reed was Luther’s closest ally in the police department and someone who covered for Luther on numerous occasions. But after a series of bad decisions, Reed finds himself in trouble that quickly grows lethal and pits him against Luther.
In an attempt to lure Luther into a trap, Reed visits Luther’s estranged wife Zoe. When she sees Reed is unhinged, she tries to run and he shoots her. It is a shocking death to such an important character and Luther was, of course, framed for the murder.
9 Alice Kills Reed
While on the run following Zoe’s death, Luther teams up with Alice Morgan, a brilliant murderer he developed a strange relationship with. Together with Zoe’s partner Mark, they try to expose Reed as the true killer.
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Luther eventually corners Reed and gets his confession on tape but refuses to kill him in anger. Alice doesn’t think that is very fun and she pulls a gun on Reed. As Luther begs Alice not to, she asks Mark for his opinion and she tells her to do it. Without hesitation, Alice blows Reed away.
8 Ripley Is Abducted
The show is very good at setting up scenes of incredible tension where the audience knows the threat is lurking close by but cannot see it. In one memorable sequence, an officer named Gray escorts a witness back into her apartment.
As Gray inspects the house for any sign of the serial killer who is on the loose, viewers are just waiting for him to pop out at any moment. But the house appears to be clear. The scene then cuts to Inspector Ripley who is waiting outside in the car when the killer suddenly appears in the backseat and takes him.
7 Ripley Is Murdered
Following the betrayal and death of Reed, Ripley becomes Luther’s closest friend. Their relationship had some rough patches, but they reach a place of love and respect that makes them a really charming pair.
When tracking down a vigilante killer, Ripley corners the man and says he doesn’t believe he’d kill a police officer. Shockingly, the desperate man guns Ripley down. It is an abrupt and completely unexpected death for a character who audiences had really come to care about. It also leaves Luther with another murdered loved one.
6 Bomb In The Fridge
At the beginning of the show’s fourth season, Luther has stepped away from his role as a detective, but that doesn’t mean the killers have retired as well. With a new brutal killer on the loose, Luther’s former colleague Theo Bloom investigates a brutal new killer with his partner Emma Lane.
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While they are searching the apartment of the supposed killer, Theo gets the chilling thought that the killer is keeping body parts in the fridge. As he goes to check, it triggers a bomb inside the fridge that blows and kills Theo.
5 Alice Returns
Alice Morgan is certainly one of the most fascinating characters in the show and her relationship with Luther is incredibly unpredictable. In the fourth season, Luther is told that Alice recently died. Though he is skeptical, she doesn’t appear in the season at all.
When the fifth season begins, it’s easy to forget about Alice as Luther deals with various other problems. But then there is a knock at the door and Alice appears, casually greeting her old friend.
4 Benny Is Killed
Benny is another key ally of Luther’s who is often helping him with his off-the-books investigations. He is largely the comedic relief of the show but also a good friend to Luther. When Luther runs afoul of a gangster, Benny is captured to lure Luther out of hiding.
While Luther manages to save Benny from captivity, that turns out to be the start of his troubles. After a hitman tracks down Benny, Alice and Mark, Benny steps forward in order to protect the others and is coldly executed.
3 Alice Kills Halliday
One thing that becomes very clear throughout the series is that being Luther’s partner is a very dangerous job. So when Inspector Halliday is chosen as his newest partner, it’s hard not to be concerned for her.
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As the fifth season comes to a close, Halliday manages to stay alive long enough to arrest the killer. But as she confronts Luther out on the street, Alice comes out of nowhere and shoots her dead for no reason other than to make Luther angry. It is one of the most unexpected deaths of the series as Halliday was a sweet and funny character who didn’t seem deserving of such a cold-blooded end.
2 Alice Dies
The cat-and-mouse relationship between Luther and Alice was one of the most intriguing aspects of the series, especially once they grow closer as the series goes on. The fifth season of the show even confirms that these two carried on a romantic relationship before going their separate ways. Even with their occasional trouble and disagreements, it seemed these two were destined to be together.
That assumption proved to be very wrong. After Alice coldly murders Halliday, she shoots Luther and flees. Luther follows after her, attempting to arrest her, but it is clear she will not go quietly. They eventually find themselves in an abandoned building with Alice hanging over the edge. In a scene that mirrors the first scene of the series, Alice falls to her death as Luther looks on.
1 Luther Arrested
Though he is always determined to catch the bad guy, it’s hard to say that Luther is a good cop. He has excellent investigative skills, but he is also shown to continuously bend the rules of law as he sees fit, sometimes in very dangerous ways. This leads to some very close calls in which Luther is almost caught and exposed, but he always manages to sneak out of those situations.
However, in the final episode of the fifth season, Luther’s luck has run out. With the deaths of Benny, Halliday, and Alice, there is far too much for Luther to lie his way out of. Police corner him in the abandoned building and his once-caring boss puts the handcuffs on Luther himself. While there is no confirmation of the series continuing, this is a shocking end to leave it on.
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A writer and film fan. I always enjoy keeping up with the latest films in theaters as well as discovering some hidden gems I may have overlooked. Glad to be a part of Screen Rant’s positive and fun community and have the opportunity to share my thoughts with you.
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