Nothing quite kicks off a New Year like a brutal serial killer on the loose in London. Okay, Luther series 5 might not have been the cheeriest start to 2019, but Idris Elba’s sizzling detective drama was back firing on all cylinders.
Luther, Schenk and Deadhead are all back sorting out the grubbiest parts of London’s crime scene and their oldest and most deadly adversaries are also back on the prowl.
Here are the five talking points and burning questions after episode 1.
1. How is Alice back and why?
Despite dying off screen in series 4, we all knew from the season 5 trailer that Ruth Wilson was returning as Alice in season 5.
That didn't stop her popping up in the closing scene being any less surprising as Luther awoke in his ‘rustic’ London flat to a knock at the door.
Would it be London gangsters trying to kill him or his colleagues coming to rescue him in the nick of time? It turned out to be neither as Luther's oldest enemy/ally/ultimate weakness returned.
The sneak peek at the next episodes suggests that Alice is going to help Luther, donning a blonde wig and kicking butt with some bad guys. But nothing is ever quite black and white when Alice is around.
2. Can we ever look at Hermione Norris in the same way again?
We're not sure we’ll be able to watch Cold Feet in the same way after Hermione Norris’ chilling performance as consultant psychiatrist Dr Vivien Lake.
Initially, it appeared that she wanted to help the police, tipping Luther off about her sexually disturbed client James Houser.
However, there was something unnervingly cold about the psychiatrist and her dark psycho-sexual relationship with Houser. And when Houser was eventually caught, already dead, by Luther and DS Halliday, there was another twist to come.
The real culprit hadn’t been Houser, it was Lake’s husband. And trust us, you wouldn’t want to be invited around for dinner with this pair.
3. Has Luther killed off the night bus industry?
Writer Neil Cross has always managed to repeatedly better himself when it comes to creepy and terrifying set-pieces and the scene on the 15 bus to Aldgate might be his finest moment yet.
We all knew it was coming, but the moment that the LED head popped up at the back of the top deck and then slithered and slided down the bus floor to the victim was utterly horrifying.
Will anyone who saw it ever get a night bus, ride the top deck or even get on a bus again?
4. Who has George Cornelius's son?
Patrick Malahide’s old school gangster is another long-standing frenemy of Luther and the episode started with a bunch of George’s heavies kidknapping and beating up Luther.
The detective eventually got the upper hand with a James Bond-esque escape, but George and Luther still have some unfinished business.
George believes that Luther knows something about the kidnapping of his son. Luther doesn’t, but he is interested to know who is daring to take on George.
It won't be long before George and Luther butt heads again, but who is the real villain that is playing cat and mouse with the pair? Could it be Alice?
5. Is Luther's new companion doomed?
Luther doesn’t have the best record of keeping his colleagues alive. Lest we forget, poor old Justin Ripley.
Consequently, we can’t help but feel a tad nervous for the fate of Wunmi Mosaku’s DS Catherine Halliday.
Eager, moral and with the best intentions, has she got what it takes to survive in the murky and morally dubious world of Luther?
Luther airs every weeknight this week, concluding on Friday, January 4th at 9pm.
Never miss an episode with BT TV – catch up on the BBC iPlayer app.
Photo Credit: BBC Pictures