Luther Season 5, Episode 4 recap: We all fall down

Wunmi Mosaku as DS Halliday - Luther _ Season 5, Episode 3 - Photo Credit: Des Willie/BBCAmerica
Wunmi Mosaku as DS Halliday - Luther _ Season 5, Episode 3 - Photo Credit: Des Willie/BBCAmerica /

Luther’s fifth season comes to a close with Season 5, Episode 4, where no one gets a happy ending.

There is a cloud over the proceedings, as Luther looks to close out the two massive cases crushing down on him. The doubt is starting to form between Alice and himself, and his absence throughout the Jeremy Lake case has not gone unnoticed.

First and foremost, the Jeremy Lake case gets solved rather abruptly. Luther’s decision to go back to a house of significance comes as a little sudden and easy, but Luther being Luther, it’s understandable he’d get to the bottom of it after a long investigation is given his full attention.

But a lot of the issues of the episode come in the convoluted way of allowing Cornelius off the hook, and to further ruin Luther’s life.

As the smartest character on the show, he should know better than to let Cornelius snap a photo of him standing over the dead assassin (who killed Benny) and to take one of the murder weapons. It becomes a little too convenient to turn the story around on him, more a plot point than a character point. We’ll just blame it on the exhaustion.

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Luther’s life coming crashing down all at once is a long time coming, and for all of it to stem back to Alice is a fitting way to close off the season… mostly.

Halliday’s murder becomes unnecessary, more shock value than a genuinely big character moment. She’s proven herself as a wonderful addition to the cast, and so adding to the body count of major characters becomes more of an unfortunate late-game move. Wunmi Mosaku has been one of the best parts of the season, delivering a personable, go-getter excitement to her scenes.

She even looked to give him an out, a chance to leave, before Alice gunned her down. It comes across as everyone in Luther’s vicinity getting killed, more than a justifiable end to Halliday’s character. She’ll be missed in whatever comes next for the series.

The wild difference between Alice and Luther is that one cares for the personal, while the other cares for the whole. Alice is more drawn inward, wanting to protect what’s her or what’s owed to her, while Luther has always been drawn more toward saving others and fixing problems.

There’s always a part of wondering if Alice survived the fall in the dilapidated building. She’s been taken down before, and becoming Luther’s main antagonist seems a likely way to take the next season or the much-rumored movie. There doesn’t appear to be much or any blood, so perhaps she will return, more vengeful than ever.

The turn, of simply lying about Cornelius’ death, becomes a small sticking point where their fundamental differences of life could be more the sticking point to split them. They are polar opposites that attract, which makes their connection so compelling to watch as they bounce off each other.

But at the same time, Luther’s proven himself as entirely corrupt now, past the point of help. He’s gone too far in his recklessness, leaving friends dead along the way. He’s cut all ties to doing the right thing, even if he caught Jeremy Lake in the end.

(Or did he? He does handcuff Lake to the banister inside, but the police attention is more on Luther and Alice than the house, and so it’s entirely possible he escaped in the end.)

Luther’s end comes with a perp walk, disguising his bound hands under his trademark coat, looking tired and defeated. It’s been a long journey to be taken down by his own mistakes and, inevitably, Alice.

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Luther Season 5 Episode 4 leaves too many loose ends to be a fully satisfying ending, especially if there’s a long wait for a continuation. But it does have some good in there, with Idris Elba’s weary and frustrated performance, and seeing how far Luther as a character has fallen from his altruistic ways.

It’s an interesting descent into self-preservation the show manages to do, to take Luther from selfless dedication to saving others to, in the end, saving himself while the killer senselessly goes on a spree. He does get his man, but at the cost of everything.

What did you think of the finale? Let us know in the comments!