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Luther – S3E2 – Episode 2

When we last left our London pals, the Copycat Fetish Killer had just killed a couple, after basically roosting in their attic all day. Episode 2 opens with the killer boarding a bus and dramatically snacking on a package of crisps, with interspersed scenes of officers at the couple’s home, where the woman has been left in bed wearing another Siouxsie and the Banshees getup.

Luther | Mary Day

That’s the cold open; after the opening credits, we see Luther and his new lady friend, Mary Day, are at a diner, and they have been up all night talking. He finds an almost innocuous way to tell her about his anger issues, and she doesn’t want to believe this about such a “gentle man”.

Meanwhile, we cut to George Stark, whom we previously learned is investigating Luther, sleeping on the floor of his restaurant basement/dank headquarters/lair. Erin Gray enters, wakes him up, and gives him coffee. Looks like he’s been living this way for a while; she’s used to it.

At the very end of the previous episode, we got to see Ripley make a ridiculous decision: agreeing to help Stark and Gray in their investigation of Luther. The reason? He’s got a bit of a twinge in the nether regions for Gray, a theory that is furthered by the fact that we see the two of them have a short conversation where she tells him to be careful; she’s all concerned for him and shit.

That’s when Ripley gets a call to the scene of the Copycat Fetish Killer’s most recent crime scene (the couple’s home). Ripley arrives and speaks with Schenk, who says he can’t get a hold of Luther. We know this is because Luther is out romanticizing with his new friend of the female persuasion; of course he has his phone off. Whereas, in the past, Ripley may have covered for Luther; here, he chooses to just be like, “I don’t know where that man is. I’m not his daddy.” Well, not in so many words.

Luther and Mary finally say goodbye for the evening/morning, and Luther turns his phone on; it proceeds to blow up with calls because, you know, murder investigation and all.

Luther gets to the crime scene and sees that it’s the couple he was trying to call, in the previous episode, when Ripley barged into the station and accused Luther of “warning” Ken Barnaby (dude who pureed his fingerprints). Luther suggests, if he’s so interested in the Barnaby arrest, that maybe Ripley should go do that and leave Luther to handle this on his own. It sucks to see Luther and Ripley going against each other, but I’m also liking the sly way Luther is dealing with it.

The Copycat Fetish Killer makes it back to his Batshit Cave with newspaper all over the windows and lady faces all over the walls, looks through his newest trophy pics, and then receives a text telling him to simply, “Come now!”

Back at the couple’s home, Luther and Schenk have a conversation; Schenk wants to know what the deal is between Luther and Ripley. Luther tells Schenk that Ripley and Erin Gray have been seeing each other, and he thinks Gray has been filling Ripley’s head with ideas. Since that’s exactly what Gray wanted Luther to think, I really hope Luther is just playing along with it here (I think he is); I want him to be two steps ahead, and not that easily tricked. Schenk tells Luther to fix it.

Luther calls Erin Gray and tells her the two of them need to have a chat. The meet in a parking garage; he likes to meet on roofs, and she likes to meet in parking garages. He warns her to not use Ripley to get to him; that Ripley is a good man who doesn’t deserve to have his heart broken. I’m going on a limb and saying Luther knows Gray and Ripley aren’t actually seeing each other, but Ripley doesn’t know that. Gray is manipulating Ripley, and Luther knows it. When he walks away, she laughs as if she is fooling Luther; that has to mean Luther isn’t fooled by her at all.

Luther | Erin Gray

We next see a “Paul” awkwardly walk into a medical facility, sign in while creeping out absolutely everyone in sight, and be led to a room with some old guy. “Paul” is the Copycat Fetish Killer. We’re not told the old guy is his father (maybe?), who is the original Shortage Creeper, but that is what is implied.

At the police station, Luther keeps us up to speed on everything that has happened so far in the Copycat Fetish Killer case. It’s a nice exposition scene that lays everything they know out on the table. They know Ronnie Holland, the lead detective on the old Shortage Creeper case, was murdered because he could connect those old murders to the murders that are happening now. What they don’t know is, if Holland knew who the killer is, why would he let him into his home?

At the hospital, Ripley visits Ken Barnaby. Earlier, we saw Ripley running like mad down a hallway to catch some guy taking out the trash. When he caught the guy, Ripley took one of the bags and sent it to the forensics lab; we weren’t told what was in the bag. Now, in this scene with Ripley talking to Barnaby, we learn what was in the bag: Barnaby’s hand. The doctors had to remove it, and it was to be incinerated; Ripley got to it first, though. He tells this to Barnaby. This is when Barnaby tells Ripley that his wife has multiple sclerosis; if she loses him, she has nobody to care for her. Ripley says he’s sorry, but Barnaby tells Ripley to take his sorry and piss off. Before pissing off, Ripley has the balls to ask Barnaby if Luther warned him; Barnaby doesn’t know what the fuck Ripley is talking about because, as we know, Luther didn’t warn him about shit.

Luther | Ken Barnaby

While he’s driving around, no doubt looking for another attractive lady to ram into, Luther takes a call from the station. They went through Holland’s phone records and found that he’s been making regular phone calls to a William Carney, convicted killer who served 25 years for killing a girl.

William Carney is the old man Paul is visiting. They’re sitting outside, now, and Carney is looking at the picture “Paul” has on his phone of his latest victim. As “Paul” is leaving the medical facility, Luther is coming in; he even holds the door for Paul. After asking the receptionist for Carney, she informs Luther that Paul just left; Luther takes off out the door trying to catch him. Paul makes his way onto a bus, while Luther makes it onto a van; of course, Paul is riding the bus, while Luther has climbed on top of the van looking for Paul. Luther phones in Paul (last name Ellis) and returns to William Carney’s bedside.

Here, Luther and Carney have a very forthright conversation where Luther ends up looking at Carney’s phone and seeing the pictures; that’s when Carney is just like, “Yep, dead girls.” Luther asks Carney who Paul Ellis is, and Carney says he’s a fan, so maybe he’s not the guy’s father.

Elsewhere, Stark and Gray are sitting in a car outside Luther’s apartment. They’re going to do something hilariously hypocritical: break into Luther’s apartment. You know because, when investigating a corrupt cop you say breaks the rules, it’s always best to break some rules. Gray didn’t want to do it, but Stark is clearly just like Luther in that he’ll do what he thinks he has to do. Case in point: Stark reads one of Luther’s post cards and thumbs through one of his books. He wants to read through all of the books; Gray tells him to get a search warrant if he wants to do that. “What would be the fun in that?” Stark retorts.

As Carney is being hauled away in a police car, Luther takes a moment to call Mary; he gets her voice mail, so he leaves her a message. Bow chicka bow wow.

Back at the station, Schenk clues the rest of the officers (and us) in on their thinking: William Carney is the Shortage Killer, and Paul Ellis is the Copycat Fetish Killer (by the way, that’s my name for him; not theirs).

Luther | Carney

Next we get a nasty scene with Luther interrogating Carney about his obsession with feet. Let’s just say the explanation involves broken bones and muscular vaginas and leave it at that. Then Carney compares his victims to steaks. Luther thinks Carney found Paul Ellis, but Carney says Ellis found him. Then Luther is pulled out of the room and handed a file. In the file is the name of April Ellis; she was a victim of Carney 30 years ago, and she had a son. The son was Paul; he was 12, and he saw Carney murder his mother. As Luther continues to sit with Carney in the interrogation room, he says police are on their way to Paul’s house; we see Schenk arrive at Paul’s apartment, see how Fortress of Serial-Killer-itude it is, and proceed to not find Paul. Paul happened to be out. Well, rats.

Where was Paul? He was on his way to break into another home.

Meanwhile, following Luther’s visit with Gray, she and Stark now want Ripley to go on-the-record, right now, with his account of every lie Luther has told, every law he has broken, every piss he’s taken; everything. Ripley won’t do it unless he gets a deal. Ignoring the fact that Ripley sucks ass for turning on Luther, he definitely has a point. Why would he rat out Luther, if he’s going to go down, too? I don’t know, but I’m getting more and more convinced that Stark and Gray are going rogue with this little investigation of theirs. I mean, come on; their headquarters are in the basement of a Benihana’s for crying out loud.

At the station, the interrogation of Carney is being threatened by some bureaucracy regarding the mental/physical state of Carney. At the same time, Ripley runs into Luther and lets him know Barnaby’s fingerprint has been reconstructed enough to get a match. Luther is just like, “Yeah, I don’t give a fuck; I thought I already told you to arrest the guy. Geez. Who are you trying to convince? Me or yourself?” Again, not in so many words.

Time to catch up with lovable Paul. He’s just out and about… walking around inside this house, presumably looking for the place where he’s going to sit completely still for the next six hours. Then he makes his way into the bathroom, where he does one of the grossest things I’ve seen anyone do on this show (and, yes, that includes all the murdering); this dude picks up three toothbrushes, sticks them into his mouth, and sucks on them. *blargh*

Luther | Toothbrushes

Back in the interrogation room, Carney claims he did not “create” Paul; he says it was Paul’s mother who did that. Paul’s mother, a prostitute, would make Paul wait in the cupboard while she did her business. Carney says, Paul found Ronnie Holland, looking for Carney. Paul killed Holland, after he told Paul where to find Carney. Paul showed up to kill Carney, but Carney convinced him that killing is fun. I don’t know if Carney is telling the truth, but it’s pretty convincing, and it gives me the heebie-jeebies.

This whole time, Carney has been sucking on his oxygen mask like he is the prostitute, and this eventually convinces the bureaucrat to end the interrogation. I have no idea why the fuck she would do that, because Carney was in the middle of talking all about the victim Paul is currently waiting for (she of the now ruined toothbrushes). I would get stopping the interrogation if Carney wasn’t basically being all “Yeah, I’m a murderer, and I know about other murders. What of it?” The fact that the interrogation would be stopped right in the middle of that conversation doesn’t make a whole hell of a lot of sense.

Now we jump over to the home that Paul was wandering about; it’s the home of the receptionists from the medical facility/nursing home. Apparently they live together. One of them shows up first, alone… of course. She gets undressed and heads for a shower. This is a bit different from the earlier murders because we get to see Paul peeking out while hiding. While the one girl is in the shower, another arrives home, and you can tell she has one of those feelings that she’s being watched but just ignores it. The first girl finishes her shower and they head out of the bedroom; turning out the lights and leaving Paul alone in the dark.

At the station, Luther is still stressing over who the victim could be when he has an epiphany. He sees Carney being helped into his wheelchair and realizes Carney couldn’t stand having so many pretty nurses seeing him as weak and pathetic. He confronts Carney about this, and Carney confirms it… for some reason.

Out at the receptionists’ house, they’re getting closer and closer to being victims. The one who felt something, earlier, sees a shadow, and she seems like the more perceptive of the two of them; That is, until Paul starts making noises upstairs. First, they think maybe it’s their third roommate Aisha, but after calling out to her with no response, you’d think they would call the police or something right? Wrong. The “more perceptive” one actually says “It’s not as if there’s actually anyone there.” The show makes it a little difficult to care when these people die because they keep doing things that seem like they want to die. She actually goes right upstairs, and without even carrying any kind of weapon. She sees an open wardrobe (the one Paul was hiding inside of earlier, and the one she took a long look at earlier), and she just goes traipsing into the room like there’s nothing in there. Paul is hiding behind the door. That’s when the girl who stayed downstairs starts hearing more noises, and what does she do when the other girl doesn’t answer her calls to her? She goes looking for her, of course! She finds Paul, he ties the two of them up, and they recognize him.

That’s when the third roommate comes home. Aisha goes upstairs to her room; Paul leaves the other two tied up and goes to get Aisha. As he walks into her room, boom, Luther is there. He called Aisha when she was approaching the house and then came in with her. Luther and Paul stare at each other for a moment, until Luther tells Paul to say something; eschewing that idea, Paul instead screams and tries to stab Luther. They struggle for a bit, and Luther wins–Luther always wins struggles–and he ends up with Paul’s knife, while Paul is on the ground. Paul gets to his feet, and stares at Luther for a moment. Suddenly, Paul smiles and proceeds to dive through the third (or higher?) story window onto a greenhouse. No doubt Stark and Gray will try to say Luther threw him, even though Aisha was there witnessing the entire thing.

When the police–the other police– arrive, Paul is still alive on the ground, but presumably won’t survive. Luther sullenly gives the all-clear, and back at the station, we see an officer deliver a picture message to Carney; it’s a picture of the three women flipping off the camera, while Luther just looks smooth. Take that, asshole! (or “dickhead”, as the officer takes the liberty of calling Carney).

Luther | Dickhead

Meanwhile, after we see all this shit with Luther looking like an awesome cop, we cut to Ripley in Barnaby’s hospital room, arresting him.

Then we check in on Mary Day; she’s received Luther’s earlier message, and she calls him. She gets his voice mail this time, and there’s a cute scene where she mentions they’re crossing messages.

The episode continues with Ripley taking another step closer to betraying Luther when he returns to the restaurant basement/dungeon to go on-record about Luther, after signing a deal guaranteeing he won’t also go down, of course. Their recording is interrupted, though, by Luther. It seems he had a phone tracked (Ripley’s? Gray’s?), and it led him here. He comes in and immediately starts ripping on their shitty headquarters. I think he even makes a Secret Squirrel reference, but I could be wrong because I have a bit of difficulty with the accent on some words.

Here, we get to see Luther verbally intimidate Stark into backing down. “If you take me down, I’ll take you down even faster and even harder.” It would look terrible on Stark for people to find out Luther so easily found them and took all their shit. Then Luther turns to speak with Ripley, but he just shakes his head and walks out… carrying all the evidence Stark has against him.

After Luther is gone, Stark rips all of his pictures of Luther off the wall; he pretty much throws a hissy fit.

While driving away, Luther begins listening to the recording of Ripley. We hear everything we had already heard Ripley say earlier, but then comes the part we didn’t hear, when the camera cut away. We hear Ripley say that Luther is a great detective and, to his recollection, Luther has never broken any laws. Ripley wasn’t betraying Luther after all! This surprises Luther just as much as it surprises us.

The episode ends with Luther pulling up at his place with Mary Day waiting there for him. They have a short conversation about not playing games with each other. Then they go all vacuum on each other’s faces. Credits.

Luther | Sucking face

About John Elrod II (285 Articles)
John is currently untitled. This complete lack of definition would drive most into abject bitterness and utter despair, but not someone of John’s virility. No, John is the picture of mental stability and emotional platitude.

2 Comments on Luther – S3E2 – Episode 2

  1. So many good things!

    OK, first, I think Luther did warn Barnaby. He definitely didn’t suggest that Barnaby cut off his hand, but I think his intention with that call was, “So, we’ll be getting your fingerprints tomorrow. Just so you know.”

    Those women in the house were so annoying. They had many chances to get out of there. Even if they called the cops from across the street, hiding behind a car and making sure their roommate didn’t enter, that would have been better than investigating.

    The picture Luther sent was too damn cool. I wonder whose idea it was for him to pose like that. I’m gonna say it was Idris’. With his fine ass.

    I love it that he’s always two steps ahead. And I am SO happy Ripley wasn’t a bastard.

    Now, where the hell is Alice?

    • I’m actually completely fine if Alice turns out to be nowhere; I’m not her biggest fan.

      And I swear everyone in this show just wants to die; that’s why they never run out of the house, and they always investigate.

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