YMMV / Luther

  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • The grey hero of the series, DCI Luther. True Cowboy Cop who is on the edge and will stop at nothing to make sure that the worst of the worst are stopped? Or is he a burnt out cop unable to feel for the victims driven to win by his sense of self worth? A man so apathetic to all the horror that the only person he can relate to is a cold-hearted killer.
    • Alice Morgan, a cynical genius whose outlook on the Universe — how everything and anything can be rendered into pointless nothing — led her to murder her parents after years of hidden resentment. Or a brilliant young woman shaped by being seen yet unseen who relishes her time with Luther as he knows her real self. And will do anything to help the closest thing she has to a friend. Including, as of episode four, Murder Henry Madsen.
    • Ian Reed's skill at psychological manipulation makes it very hard to tell whether he had always secretly been spiteful and amoral, or whether he was a decent guy who was tempted by the promise of easy money, panicked and behaved like a coward when things went wrong, and then pretended to lack remorse as a way to troll Luther into putting him out of his misery.
  • Award Snub: Despite massive acclaim Idris Elba has never won an Emmy for playing Luther, even with being nominated for all four seasons. However he did get a Golden Globe and a SAG award, so that softens the blow a bit.
  • Bat Deduction: Some of Luther's detective work is arguably just guesses that happen to be right.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: The title theme "Paradise Circus" by Massive Attack, and happens to be a pretty good summation of Luther's character.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Alice Morgan can go from grieving daughter to flirtatious vamp at the drop of a hat.
  • Foe Yay: Alice Morgan and Luther. The interrogation in which they first meet — mixing in scientific theory and relativity — sounds like good-natured flirting of two people on a first date.
    • Gets pushed to eleven in one of the final scenes of episode one. A confrontation on a bridge leads to Luther deflecting a knife from Alice and nearly choking her on the spot.
    Luther: Stay away from Zoe!
    Alice: Kiss me, Kill me... do something.
    • The fact that they keep calling each other to taunt/flirt only adds to this.
    • In episode three Alice and Luther admit they are scared of each other.
    • Alice's reaction to Luther walking away when he declares he can't see her again in episode four sounds a bit like a lover scorned.
      Alice: No.
      Luther: Yes.
      Alice: No!
    • In episode Six Alice finds Luther has broken into her flat. She thought he was an intruder and, armed with another sharp implement and wearing a nightie, says casually...
      Alice: If you wanted a key, all you had to do was ask.
    • In the same scene Alice tells Luther that if he killed Zoe, he must have had a good reason. Luther then states that he didn't do it. Alice face-faults as if she was hoping he'd say the reason was her.
    • In Series 2 Episode 2 Alice askes Luther to run away with her He says no
    • Lampshaded also in the title sequence song.
    Look at her, with her eyes like a flame
    She will love you like a fly will never love you...
  • Fridge Logic: Why would Mark believe Luther's claim that he's innocent of Zoe's death, especially when he's working in cahoots with the woman who was behind him being beaten up?
    • How the hell did Cameron Pell sneak into the backseat of Justin's police car without being noticed or, apparently, opening the door?
      • When Gray and the ex-wife exit the car, we can see the dome light doesn't work.
      • With Mark he had interacted with Luther enough to realize that a.) he did love Zoe and b.) if Luther was guilty he wouldn't waste time trying to lie to Mark.
  • Genius Bonus: When Erin is pissed off at her colleagues in Episode 204, she quotes the last line from Animal Farm.
  • Idiot Plot: Nearly everything about the end of series 1 with regards to Luther being framed for Zoe's murder and his attempts to clear his name. Reed tells the rest of the unit a story about Luther being responsible and trying to say Reed killed her instead. Rather than wait to see the evidence peacefully, everyone takes Reed's word for it and goes all in on believing that Luther's guilty. Luther, for his part, never tries to tell anybody about the incident with Reed killing the kidnapper Sugarman and how that escalated, (complete with the hotel security footage that would show both men were there and the maid who can testify that Luther saved her when another man tried to shoot her) never volunteers to have the record of his phone calls brought in as evidence, (which would beyond a doubt establish that Zoe called him right around the time she was killed, and possibly that he wasn't at the house at the time she was killed) never tells anyone to look in Reed's locker for the diamonds Reed stole, (which would be a good first step to blowing holes in Reed's story and at least implicate him for serious corruption that would require further investigation, which might help Luther) and doesn't even make a serious attempt to get Reed to implicate himself when the two meet in the park while under police surveillance. Instead he comes up with a cockamamie plan that involves convincing his ex-wife's new lover Mark that he's innocent, (instead of, y'know, trying to convince the police that he's innocent) having Mark break into Reed's locker to steal the diamonds, (again, instead of just telling his colleagues in the police that the diamonds are there) then trick Reed into following Mark to a spot where Luther and an armed and unhinged narcissist/sociopath, (whose behavior makes her a major wild card) Mark, and Luther can work together to trick Reed into incriminating himself on a recorder, which is far less convincing than Reed incriminating himself on a recording while under police surveillance. (Since Reed or a lawyer representing Reed can always try to argue later that Luther may have tampered with/altered the recording, or that Reed was simply humoring a man with a gun by saying anything he wanted to hear, both of which they couldn't say if Luther got Reed to do the exact same thing while the two are being watched by the police.) The whole situation, and Luther's "solution" to it is so dumb that it sounds like it comes from a particularly trashy Soap Opera.
  • Nightmare Fuel: The pin in the ear scene.
    • In episode three a satanist has a thing for writing in human blood. Thing is, he tends to write whole novels at a time.
  • Magnificent Bastard: One could make a strong case for both Alice and Luther.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Ian Reed crosses it when he kills Zoe. Vigilante Man Tom Marwood crosses it when he guns down Justin Ripley and right after attempts to kill Mary Day, proving his claims of protecting the innocent are so much garbage.