4 BIG questions we have after Luther series 5 episode 1

Idris Elba's return as DCI John Luther came with shocks and a huge end-of-episode reveal – but what is going on? SPOILERS

Luther S5 (BBC, EH)

Luther’s (literally) explosive return saw Idris Elba’s maverick detective juggling his hunt for a sick serial killer with the shock reappearance of Alice Morgan and a battle with a notorious London gangster.


The episode featured a big plot twist and left a lot of questions unanswered. Here, we unpick the events of the Luther series five opening…

Why is Alice back?

Luther S5 (BBC, trailer, EH)

In the final seconds of the episode, Ruth Wilson’s psychopathic character Alice – who supposedly died off screen in series four – bangs on Luther’s front door and greets him with one word: “Wotcher.”

Wotcher is London slang for “hello” or “what’s up?” and is a greeting that’s been used by various characters in Luther throughout the series.

The sneak peek of what happens next, shown just after the first episode, shows clips of Alice seemingly acting as an accomplice to Luther.

From holding up a gun in Luther’s house and peeking through window blinds with the detective by her side, to driving a pin into an unknown man’s neck and appearing in another’s doorway in a blonde wig, it seems like Luther’s new official sidekick DS Catherine Halliday has some competition.

What is Luther’s problem with DS Halliday?

Luther (BBC, EH)

Wunmi Mosaku’s DS Catherine Halliday is Luther’s new bright-eyed, bushy-tailed sidekick for series five. She is smart and keen to prove herself, so why does Luther seem so unsure about her?

Well, if Luther’s conversation with his boss DSU Martin Schenk is anything to go by, they appear to have an issue with Halliday getting fast-tracked from the public sector.

“None of us like it but that’s the way it is,” says Schenk. “Give it ten minutes and DS Halliday will be Superintendent Halliday.”

“So are you telling me to behave myself?” asks Luther.

“I’m saying that we’re the dinosaurs and she’s the meteor, so yes, don’t show her how it’s done, show her how it’s supposed to be done.”

Cue Luther hiding his maverick ways from Halliday throughout the episode and frowning every time she makes suggestions. Looks like poor Halliday has her work cut out for her…

What is psychiatrist Dr Vivien Lake really up to?

Hermione Norris, Luther (BBC)

At the beginning of the episode, we are led to believe that Hermione Norris’s psychiatrist is actually helping Luther get to the bottom of who’s committing the gruesome killings across London. Alas, nothing is ever that simple in the world of Luther, as Vivien Lake turns out to be too good to be true.

Lake originally contacts the police to raise concerns about one of her former patients, James Houser, who she believes might have lapsed back into acting out his violent sexual fetishes.

Luther and Halliday take Lake’s concerns on board, but agree that there’s something a bit off about her and listen in on a phone call between her and Houser that leads them to Hampstead Woods.

In a tense chase scene through the trees, Luther pursues the killer and, just when he thinks he’s lost him, Houser appears behind Luther with a slit throat. It’s set up to look like Houser is the one Luther has been chasing all along, but by the end of the hour we discover that Lake is in fact framing Houser for the killings.

It appears as though she is doing this to protect her husband, who we later see being hosed down, bloody water trickling off his lacerated back and down the drain. Then there is a shot of him standing with a pillow case over his head, his clothes burning in the background while the camera pans out to reveal their wedding photos.

But who exactly is Lake’s husband? Why is she letting him kill and how did he get the cuts on his back?

Who has kidnapped George Cornelius’s son?

Patrick Malahide, Luther (BBC screenshot)

Someone is holding the gangster’s son hostage and Cornelius is convinced that his long-time nemesis Luther is involved.

At the start of the episode, Cornelius’s men bundle Luther into a van and bring him to their boss, who questions Luther at gunpoint about the whereabouts of his son. Luther insists he knows nothing and manages to break free.

But Cornelius is still suspicious, and after his son’s captor phones him to tell him to exchange the ransom for his son at an outdoor pool, Cornelius arrives and the only sign of his son is a video on a phone of him chained to a bed.

A hooded figure appears behind him on the other side of the pool and Cornelius, in a rage, shoots at them repeatedly – but they get away, leaving only a trail of blood.

Cornelius growls: “Yeah, you run, I’ll find you. I’ll get ya.”

Let’s hope he finds them soon, because until then he’s going to be on Luther’s case…


This article was originally published on 2 January 2019