A murderous rampage, a precipitous confrontation, a shocking death: Luther series five ended as it should, in a hail of drama and gunfire.
But is all really as it seems?
Viewers have become used to being on their guard over the course of the BBC series, and the final episode was no exception.
This may be the last ever episode of Luther (although star Idris Elba still wants a movie version), but fans have been closely scanning those final climactic moments for any clues as to what could happen next in the tale of DCI John Luther.
*Spoilers for Luther series five to follow*
The final moments saw Luther’s perennial nemesis/ally/lover Alice (Ruth Wilson) apparently fall to her death.
The moment seemed conclusive, a final breaking of the warped relationship that has kept the series alive for almost a decade.
Ruth Wilson in Luther (BBC)
Except, of course, we’ve been here before with Alice, and some fans don’t believe (or don’t want to believe) that she’s really dead.
In particular, a balaclava-clad figure in the back of the final shot, who unlike the other armed police is not wearing a helmet, has caught some viewers’ eyes.
Could this be Alice, who somehow managed to survive her fall and has now come to watch Luther led away?
Then there’s the fact that this final scene echoes the show’s very beginning, where Luther chases down a criminal before watching him (apparently) fall to his death.
That bad guy survived his fall, just. Maybe Alice will too? This may be the end of Luther the series, but if the creators are serious about bringing the show back for a film, surely they will want Ruth Wilson and Idris Elba’s characters to face off one last time?
There were other details that caught the sharp eyes of viewers too.
Dermot Crowley in Luther (BBC)
When DSU Martin Schenk (above) picks up Luther at the end, he appears to grudgingly cuff his troubled detective and lead him away. Except, was there a sleight of hand involved here too?
You see, Schenk first removes Luther’s coat, before cuffing him and placing the coat over Luther’s apparently manacled wrists. Why would he do that?
Could Luther be about to make a dramatic escape?
Whatever the truth surrounding this final scene, it’s clear that there are plenty of possible exit paths should Luther eventually decide to come back for more.
And if you want to get really meta about it, maybe this whole series has been a set-up for another kind of police investigation. Step forward Line of Duty…
This article was originally published on 5 January 2019