The Most Shocking Moments in Lutheran Art

The Most Shocking Moments in Lutheran Art ...

Warning: Luther Series 1-5 will receive significant spoilers.

Luther, like his grizzled, rule-breaking protagonist, has never been one to risk anything. Over its five series so far, the Idris Elba-fronted crime drama has had more than its fair share of shocking moments, whether they be unexpected plot twists, spine-chilling set-pieces, or major character deaths.

So, ahead of the release of Luther: The Fallen Sun, which will certainly have its own set of surprises, we take a look back at the memorable, WTF moments that had Luther fans yelling at their tellies or hiding behind their couches.

The film is a must-see if you want to go back to Luther's dark underworld. Two other tips, though: don't watch it right before you go to bed, and don't become too attached to anyone.

Ian Shows his True Colors

DCI Ian Reed (Steven Mackintosh) is introduced not only as DCI John Luther's long-serving teammate in the Met's Serious Crimes Unit, but also as his best and most loyal friend in the fifth episode. Reed is revealed to be dirtier than we ever imagined.

We get the impression that something's not quite right when an art dealer who's being held to ransom for some dodgy diamonds arrives at the SCU office, promising to see Reed, but only later in the episode do we learn how he organized the robbery: "To make a few easy quid." As the situation spirals out of control, Ian too... and villainy arrives.

The Bullet Bites Zoe

It's obvious that things won't go to plan when a desperate Ian pays a visit to Zoe (Indira Varma) - Luther's estranged wife and the love of his life. But what happens next is the show's first truly WTF moment.

Ian, his mask gradually slipping, invites Zoe to the house to chat; initially, she's surprised to see him, but his erratic behavior soon raises her suspicions. The tension escalates until Reed pulls a pistol on Zoe, prompting Ian to pull the trigger, leaving Luther to watch as his beloved Zoe is murdered by his former best friend.

Murder by Live Stream

When season two of Luther premiered in June 2011, live streaming may be a standard practice now, but it was in its early stages. Nevertheless, the show explored the idea for a particularly shocking scene, which saw Cameron Pell (Lee Ingleby) – a killer inspired by the famous London bogeyman Spring-Heeled Jack – taunting Luther and his friends via a live feed.

Pell places his camera on an undisclosed street in the capital, and the Serious & Serial team scrambles to locate him. As a man answers, he beats him to the ground. The cocky killer, wearing his signature Punch mask, walks to the camera and slicing his throat.

A Bad Day at the Office

Luther's beauty is that much of its violence occurs in everyday situations and otherwise "safe" areas, boosting the shock factor. One of the most terrifying examples of this comes in the latter half of series two, where our hero hunts down a pair of twin psychos who are playing a deadly, real-life RPG on the streets of London.

The twins' quest for XP points involves them attempting to one-up each other's body count, leading to a horrific set-piece that's likely to give any 9 to 5er nightmares. One of the gamers bursts into an inner-city office block, grabs a hammer and a water pistol full of acid, and begins to terrorize the unsuspecting workers.

The Snow Monster Under the Bed

Luther's third series begins with one of the most terrifying pre-credits sequences ever to grace British television. As her feet dangle over the side, a woman lies on her bed, contemplating things, before taking off her heels, getting ready, and sleeping in for the night.

A creepy guy dressed in black peeks out from under the bed, then... cuts to credits. The scene, which reportedly drew reactions from some traumatized viewers, sent out the message early on that series three would not be played. It also provided a compelling argument for why you should always purchase a divan bed base.

Ripley Meets His Maker

When our hero's shaky moral past threatens to return to haunt him, Justin's relationship with his partner DS Justin Ripley (Warren Brown) is strained, and things are starting to look up. Except when a rookie detective goes on his own to pursue violent vigilante Tom Marwood (Elliot Cowan).

Ripley tries to reconcile with Marwood, but he's gone too far into the dark side. "You're not going to shoot me," Ripley insists, before Marwood unloads his rifle into the young DS's chest, sending him flying backwards. By the time Luther arrives on the scene, Marwood has scarred, leaving him with nothing to do but cradle his deceased pal.

Fridge Trouble: Nuking the Fridge

Luther was placed on a leave of absence at the start of the fourth series, so it was up to newly introduced DCI Theo Bloom (Darren Boyd) and DS Emma Lane (Rose Leslie) to investigate the case of a cannibalistic serial murderer who is terrorising the Big Smoke.

Theo is having a hard time figuring out why he calls Luther for a consultation. He sees a trail of blood leading to a refrigerator, and he gently taps the handle to open it. Boom!

The Commute from Hell

In the first episode of series five, Luther creator Neil Cross provided another memorable surprise — this time destroying public transport for us.

This terrifying sequence takes place on board a classic London double-decker, following an unsuspecting woman who is brutally interrupted by Jeremy Lake (Enzo Cilenti) – an impulsive criminal outfitted out in a freaky doll mask and a LED-hemmed hoodie – and we've broken this down in greater detail here.

Benny Bye Bye

Benny Silver (Michael Smiley) is a loyal friend of the Serious & Serial unit, who is prone to indulge Luther's off-the-record blunders in series five.

Benny, who is battered and bruised, meets up with Alice (Ruth Wilson) and Mark (Paul McGann) before deadly assassin Palmer (Anthony Howell) grabs his hero moment. Luther, however, is forced to listen to another of his pals cark it.

The Shock Exit of Halliday

At the end of series five, Luther and his new partner, DS Catherine Halliday (Wunmi Mosaku), a sincere teammate with a strong moral compass, are taking a breather outside. He accuses Luther of using her as a bait to deter the psycho killer. “That’s not what happened,” he protests.

Poor Halliday's death is a shock not only because she's so innocent (she hasn't even met Alice), but also because she serves as a moving reminder to Luther — and us — of how dangerous Alice can be. This is almost Cross' attempt to demonstrate that, despite her charm and anti-heroic traits, Alice is still a cold-blooded murderer at heart.

Alice Crosses the Edge

The climactic confrontation between Luther and Alice in Series five comes to an end in an all-important cliffhanger. After a fatal cat-and-mouse game in an under-construction structure, she wins the upper hand, with a bleeding Luther (who has been shot many times) on his knees.

'Guess what, there's one bullet left,' she says. He aims the pistol at her head, but she cuts him off with a razor to free herself, falling onto the hard concrete below.

Luther: The Fallen Sun will be released on February 24th in select cinemas, as well as on Netflix on March 10th.