The Excellent British Police Drama Luther is a dark and compelling series that ranks among the best in the genre. It features an imposing performance from Idris Elba as the titular detective who spends his days tracking down killers while also getting involved in some tough situations.

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The series spans five seasons to date and is filled with violent and shocking moments. Just when audiences think they know what the show will offer, Luther proves to have more wild surprises up his sleeve. It’s a tense thriller that is totally unpredictable for its viewers.

10 Reed kills Zoe

Ian Reed was Luther’s closest ally in the police department and someone who covered Luther on numerous occasions. But after a series of poor decisions, Reed finds himself in fast-turning lethal trouble and confronts him with Luther.

In an attempt to lure Luther into a trap, Reed visits Zoe, the wife from whom he separated. When she sees that Reed is unhinged, she tries to run and he shoots her. It is a shocking death for such an important character, and of course Luther was framed for the murder.

9 Alice kills Reed

While on the run after Zoe’s death, Luther teams up with Alice Morgan, a brilliant assassin with whom he developed a strange relationship. Together with Mark, Zoe’s partner, they try to expose Reed as the real killer.

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Luther eventually corners Reed and gets his confession on tape, but he refuses to kill him in anger. Alice doesn’t think that’s very funny and points a gun at Reed. As Luther begs Alice not to do it, she asks Mark for his opinion and she tells him to do it. Without hesitation, Alice blows on Reed.

8 Ripley is kidnapped

DCI Justin Ripley at the crime scene

The show is great at setting up scenes of incredible tension in which the audience knows the threat is lurking nearby, but cannot see it. In a memorable sequence, an officer named Gray escorts a witness back to his apartment.

As Gray inspects the house for any sign of the serial killer on the loose, viewers are waiting for him to come out at any moment. But the house seems to be clear. The scene then passes to Inspector Ripley, who is waiting outside in the car when the killer suddenly appears in the back seat and takes him away.

7 Ripley is murdered

John Luther lying next to the body of Justin Ripley

Following Reed’s betrayal and death, Ripley becomes Luther’s best friend. Their relationship had some rough times, but they come to a place of love and respect that makes them a truly lovely couple.

Tracking down a vigilante killer, Ripley corners the man and says he doesn’t think he would kill a police officer. Surprisingly, the desperate man knocks Ripley down. It’s an abrupt and completely unexpected death for a character that audiences had really cared about. He also leaves Luther with another murdered loved one.

6 Bomb in the fridge

Darren Boyd and Rose Leslie in the fourth season of Luther

At the start of the show’s fourth season, Luther has stepped away from his detective role, but that doesn’t mean the killers have retired as well. With a new brutal killer on the loose, Luther’s former colleague Theo Bloom investigates a new brutal killer with his partner Emma Lane.

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While searching the alleged killer’s apartment, Theo has a chilling idea that the killer keeps body parts in the fridge. When he goes to check it out, he shoots a bomb inside the refrigerator that explodes and kills Theo.

5 Alice returns

Alice Morgan is without a doubt one of the most fascinating characters on the show, and her relationship with Luther is incredibly unpredictable. In season four, Luther is told that Alice recently died. Although skeptical, she does not appear in the season at all.

When season five begins, it’s easy to forget about Alice while Luther grapples with various other problems. But then someone knocks on the door and Alice appears, casually greeting her old friend.

4 Benny is murdered

Benny is another key ally of Luther who often helps him with his unofficial investigations. He’s largely the comic relief of the show, but he’s also good friends with Luther. When Luther confronts a gangster, Benny is captured to bring Luther out of hiding.

As Luther manages to save Benny from captivity, that turns out to be the beginning of his troubles. After a hitman locates Benny, Alice and Mark, Benny steps forward to protect the others and is coldly executed.

3 Alice kills Halliday

One thing that’s very clear throughout the series is that being Luther’s partner is a very dangerous job. So when Inspector Halliday is chosen as her newest partner, it’s hard not to worry about her.

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When season five draws to a close, Halliday manages to stay alive long enough to arrest the killer. But when she confronts Luther on the street, Alice comes out of nowhere and shoots her dead for no other reason than to make Luther mad. It’s one of the most unexpected deaths in the series, as Halliday was a sweet and funny character who didn’t seem to deserve such a cold ending.

two Alice this

Alice falls and dies at the end of season 5

The cat and mouse relationship between Luther and Alice was one of the most intriguing aspects of the series, especially once they grow closer as the series progresses. The show’s fifth season even confirms that these two were in a romantic relationship before going their separate ways. Even with their occasional issues and disagreements, it seemed like these two were meant to be together.

That assumption turned out to be very wrong. After Alice coldly murders Halliday, she shoots Luther and flees. Luther follows her, trying to arrest her, but it is clear that he will not leave quietly. They eventually find themselves in an abandoned building with Alice hanging off the edge. In a scene that mirrors the first scene of the series, Alice falls and dies as Luther watches.

one Luther arrested

Idris Elba in Luther Season 5 BBC America

Although he’s always determined to catch the bad guy, it’s hard to say that Luther is a good cop. He has excellent investigative skills, but has also been shown to continually break the rules of the law as he sees fit, sometimes in very dangerous ways. This leads to some very close calls where Luther almost gets caught and exposed, but he always manages to sneak out of those situations.

However, in the final episode of the fifth season, Luther’s luck ran out. With the deaths of Benny, Halliday, and Alice, Luther has too much to lie about. The police corner him in the abandoned building and his once-loving boss puts handcuffs on Luther himself. While there is no confirmation that the series will continue, this is a shocking ending to leave it on.

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