So, while I didn’t think I’d have to worry about stating this in any of these blogs for the Luther, Series 3 episodes, I think it’s only fair just in case anyone stumbles upon this blog without having seen last night’s episode (for those of us in the U.S., because it’s really last Summer’s episode for anyone in the U.K.) that there are SPOILERS in this blog!
So last night’s Luther was AMAZING, remember when I blogged that I wasn’t sure what to expect because the show may have already climaxed with the rescue of the three nurses, and with Luther putting Stark in his place? (if you don’t remember, I blogged it here), well hooray for being wrong, while the level of suspense was not as high as episodes one and two (especially one) the quick pace delivered what I consider a well spent hour in front of the telly!
Hopefully that’s a sufficiently built wall o’ text that anyone avoiding SPOILERS will read no further, let’s dive in.
The episode opens with a very nice couple heading home from bowling, and as they park and pause to kiss they’re attacked by a gang of young men (think Attack the Block… but WAY more intense and with no humor in sight), with what starts as a mugging, but rapidly escalates to beating the man with the bat, and what would have most certainly a gang rape.
Thankfully (and yeah I said it, thankfully!) a man shows up, and starts slowly walking up to, and then staring down the gang members when they notice him. They try intimidating him, and then when one moves towards him, without hesitation blows the guy away with a sawed off shotgun. The other gang members disperse rapidly, but he runs after, and shoots another, then walks back to the girl now trying to comfort the brutally beaten boyfriend.
Now, as this episode addresses, there’s a fine line between right and wrong when it comes to what transpired in this scene, and it makes for some great TV, that really makes you think.
Then we get a wonderfully pleasant morning, with Ripley at Luther’s apartment in the morning, and Luther uncharacteristically (though not out of character) invites him in, something Ripley reminds him that he’s never done before. Luther introduces him to Merry (see prev. blog for my deliberate spelling), before they head off to deal with the previous night’s troubles, regarding the dead muggers, who now, in addition to the manner in which they were killed, were set up to send a very specific message.
The tape over the mouth, which is found on each of the gang members reads “WWW.FOR-CAITLIN.COM 11.AM”. The first step in figuring out more about the vigilante (since the site won’t be live for another couple hours, and they don’t have enough time to shut it down before it goes live) is for Luther to interview the victim.
When Luther interviews her, she is easily able to describe what happened, and describes the man’s voice as “kind”, and explained that he even waited with her until the ambulance arrived for her boyfriend. However when Luther asks her to describe the vigilante, she pushes back, essentially saying that she’d rather go to jail herself, than help put in jail the man who saved her boyfriend’s life, and saved her from being gang raped (I really don’t have a problem with her position in this).
Luther doesn’t have a lot of time to spend on all of this though, there’s another victim of the vigilante. This one also with his mouth taped shut with the FOR-CAITLIN message, and this one also happened to be quite the unsavory individual. His crimes being (if I recall correctly, rape and murder).
Now again there’s a fine line with what’s going on here, and I’ll digress a bit… one of my other favorite dramas is Dexter. For anyone who doesn’t know, he’s a serial killer who preys upon other killers (and the occasional pedophile).
In my heart of hearts, I could never kill another human being in cold blood, whether they deserved it or not. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a show, where the scum of society, who have caused the pain and suffering of others are removed from this earth, in fashion much swifter than “justice”. It’s that very system of justice that’s called into question in this episode, and the idea that no one acting of their own will, without a socially granted system, should have the right to decide who lives, suffers, and dies, and yet, that’s the decision that the dead criminals in this episode have made, and the judgement that meets them, wrought by the vigilante is something that feels like it falls into a gray area. But that’s part of why I love intelligent television, like Luther, it requires self examination, and provokes thoughts on the things that we’d typically rather not consider.
Ok, done digressing, apologies if that was a bit much.
We don’t have to wait long to get more specifics on the vigilante’s motives, the website goes live. The vigilante gives his name, Tom Marwood, and Caitlin was his wife, who years ago he found raped and murdered in their home, and the man who did it, got paroled after serving only about half his sentence. After doing a bit of research on Tom, he’s spent the last few years, joining a gun club, (legally) acquiring firearms, taking martial arts, and survivor training, so suffice to say he’s very prepared for all his dark work. Because he can remain off the grid, the best attempt they have of finding him, is for them to try and figure out his next victim, which is MUCH easier said than done.
Meanwhile, as if this weren’t enough for Luther to handle, he gets a call from a very distraught Merry, who needs to see him, as she also had a pretty rough morning. Just as she was leaving Luther’s, Stark and Gray show up, ask what she knows about John, ask her if she knows about John’s late ex-wife, and then heavily imply that he murdered her, because she had left him for another man… So Luther meets with her, she asks about it, and Luther gives her a VERY brief recap of his wife’s murder, she pretty much says she’s not sure if she can trust him, and doesn’t want him around.
Yeah, Stark and Gray hit a super new low, which Gray realizes, considering she makes some attempt at seeking forgiveness from Justin, later in the episode.
Meanwhile after this, Luther tracks down and contacts the brother-in-law of Tom Marwood. What he doesn’t know is that Tom had cloned the brother-in-laws cell (we see this as Tom is kidnapping a man who turns out to be a convicted pedophile, named Dennis Cochrane who’s been writing and working on changing society’s outlook on pedophilia so that people are more accepting of sex between adults and children… disgusting).
So when Luther goes to meet with the brother-in-law, he’s met by Tom instead, there’s a brief chase, but Tom catches up to Luther, as either stand on opposite sides of a small creek (great choreography and cinematography!). They have a very short conversation where Tom (who has Luther at gunpoint)
asks Luther, to just let him go for the next two days, saying that they’re on the same side, and even goes as far as to try and get Luther to admit that at the very least he’s been tempted to mete out justice himself. Luther tells him “I don’t have that right”, but Tom does get away.
So now Luther, and Ripley who’ve learned about the kidnapped pedophile have to find him, and quickly Tom Marwood has updated his site, letting people know that he’s kidnapped Dennis Cochrane, and lists his crimes, and now people have a chance to weigh in as to whether Cochrane should be spared, or hanged. Most people, unsurprisingly, hope that the pedophile dies. I don’t blame them.
So Luther has all of this going on, and still goes to see Merry, to try and make things work, since she’s the best thing to happen to him, in well forever. He tells her that he’ll tell her everything about everything, but gets a call with an update about what’s going on with Marwood, and gives Merry the key to his place.
In a play to try and sway the masses who are voting, Luther and Ripley speak to one of the pedophile’s victims, whom he kidnapped and raped years prior. Luther, telling her that this is the hardest thing he’s ever had to ask a person to do, asks her to attend a press conference, and plead for Cochrane’s life, she tearfully accepts. Unfortunately, whether this was her intention all along, or if she had a change of heart at the press conference, when she speaks in regard to Cochrane who “ruined [her] life”, instead of pleading for his life, she asks for Marwood to “Kill him”!
Luther and Ripley find out, from a friend (and fellow pedophile) of Cochrane’s about a place that they’ve taken victims, an old barn, and Luther and Ripley hurry over, just as a mob is starting to grow (Marwood, had made his whereabouts public, just to get a mob). Marwood opens the barn doors, and just sort of waits in front of the mob, almost as if asking one of them to take action.
Luther however breaks through the mob, and has to fight them off, while trying to hold up the now hanging Cochrane, yelling at Justin to follow after Marwood, who has run off in the chaos.
Ripley has caught up to Marwood while all of this is going on, and Marwood, who’s hit a dead end, points his shot gun and tells Ripley to back off, and let him go. Ripley tells him that they’re “on the same side”, and that he can’t just let Marwood off the hook, and get away.
And so, with much more hesitation than he ever showed for the criminals, Marwood shoots Justin, and it was pretty rough to watch.
Luther of course shows up, just after Marwood’s gotten away, and finds Justin dead on the pavement, shouting at him to “GET UP!”, but knowing that it’s useless.
Finally, Luther gets a call from Marwood, just a bit after, blaming him for Justin’s death, and the last scene we get is of Merry, waiting at Luther’s place, hearing a strange noise, and then looking out the window, to see Marwood standing there.
Now I have two questions regarding the next episode. The first is, more of a statement: We better get TONS of Alice! and the question is about the internet troll murder. Will Luther let the evidence on Barnaby just kind of get shuffled out of focus (which would happen easily considering all the other stuff the police have been handling, from Paul Ellis to Marwood, and considering how sympathetic the killer is)? Or will Luther come down will the full force of the law regarding Barnaby, as a final tribute to Justin?
Either way, I’m both thrilled and distressed that tonight we get the conclusion to the miniseries tonight!
Thanks for reading, and happy watching!