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Cult Recap

'Luther' finale and the return of Alice Morgan: What did you think?

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Season 3, episode 4 | Aired Tuesday, Jul 23 2013 at 21:00 BST on

The first episode of Luther's third series had the man-under-the-bed chills (not forgetting the hand-blending horror). Last week's episode three had the OMG-tension (not forgetting the oh-no-they-didn't finale). But this week's series finale topped the lot, thanks to the return of the one and only Alice Morgan.

Ruth Wilson in 'Luther'

© BBC / Robert Viglasky



Ruth Wilson's return as Alice has been teased by the BBC since series three was first confirmed. So there has been an element of frustration from some fans that we've had to wait for this episode - possibly Luther's last ever appearance on the small screen - to get our fill of the deliciously wicked and frighteningly icy fugitive.

Thankfully her return to the fold more than lived up to expectations and hype, making up for the three-week wait with more sizzling chemistry (do we call them Ali-uther or Luth-ice?) than you could shake John Luther's coat at.

Luther - S03E04

© BBC / Robert Viglasky

'Luther' season 3, episode 4



Neil Cross made every Tumblr-using, fan-fic writing, Luther-loving fanboy's dream, re-pairing Luther and Alice on the hunt for mad vigilante Marwood. Marwood you'll remember was the killer of... no, we still can't say it. It's too soon. Too soon.

Wilson had no trouble slipping back into the bombastic and mad world of Luther, delivering the show's maddest lines ("I'll kill you and eat you") with her trademark Joker-esque sinister smile. It's a huge credit to Wilson's acting talents that she has managed to morph Alice into a fan favourite. On paper her character sounds intensely irritating. On screen she's the perfect foil for the hands-in-pockets grunts and grumps of Luther.

Her life beyond Luther remains an enigma (SPINOFF SHOW! SPINOFF SHOW!), but even the most smallest morsels of information about what Alice has been up to were served up in style. On her short-lived marriage to an unfortunate chap called Bertrand, she casually recalled: "Some little girls grow up wanting ponies... I wanted to be a widow."

Luther - S03E04: DCI John Luther and Alice Morgan

© BBC / Robert Viglasky

DCI John Luther and Alice Morgan



And you could hear the sound of a million fan fiction writers' heads' exploding when she delivered that line to Luther. "I wanted something... you."

Aside from the Luther/Ruth dynamic, the rest of the episode was the usual Luther jumble of angry shouting, evil men chasing petrified women and unhinged darkness. We also got a great punch-the-air moment as dastardly angry Scottish man George Stark (David O'Hara) was given a thunderous stairwell farewell. The only downside was that it wasn't Luther who got to fire the killer shot.

You could pick holes in the Marwood cat-and-mouse until you're blue in the face, but if you're still watching Luther for gritty realism then you're almost as barmy as one of the show's serial killers. John Luther is part cartoon character, part superhero, part old-fashioned grumpy copper. He's never been remotely realistic, but that doesn't make the show any less enjoyable, fun or utterly addictive.

Luther - S03E04: Mary Day and Alice Morgan

© BBC / Robert Viglasky

Mary Day and Alice Morgan



What does the future hold for Luther? Well that probably depends on what writer Neil Cross wants and what Elba can fit into his schedule.

Elba has always indicated that he would have no problem continuing the show or taking it to the big screen. If Cross can get the funding, the show would be neatly set up for a movie with Alice coming into a more central role.

The much talked-about Alice spinoff is also still very much on the cards after tonight's episode. Whether Cross and Wilson are interested in such a proposition is another matter.

A fourth TV series would be slightly more tricky without the brilliant Warren Brown around to balance out the madness of John with his huggable and loveable Justin Ripley. But it is possible. With the current series ratings still so strong and the show's stock still so high, the BBC would have to be even more bonkers than a Luther plot twist to turn it down.

What did you think to tonight's Luther? Let us know below

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