09/07/2013 17:05 BST | Updated 08/09/2013 06:12 BST

'Luther' Season 3 Episode 2 Review - A Hot Date Turned Cold, And A Broken Bromance

"You're such a gentle man," Mary told Luther during their sweet cafe date.

It's all relative, sweet, plot-necessitating lady. Because, even if Luther wasn't hanging witnesses off balconies this week, he was still adopting a fairly unique style of policing - when was the last time you spotted a bobby jumping on top of a white van in the middle of a market?

luther review

Luther was having a good time, for a short time...

And blow me down if it didn't get him results. All of five minutes later, and a decrepit human version of Mr Burns was sitting in his interrogation office, boasting about his strange dealings with the fairer sex and his control over Luther's real target.

Yes, it all got a bit creepy with those nice middle-class girls having their wine-swilling, carrot-chopping evening interrupted by a man in a wig, but, I'm sorry to say, crimes past and present, it all felt a bit bleak and inconsequential in this second episode of the run, adding to my sneaking suspicion that 'Luther' the show would be considered pretty average primetime fare without the qualities of Luther the person, plus sidekick, to keep us glued.

This was particularly apparent in the closing minutes, when the layers of Ripley's double-dealing onion got unpeeled and the Luther/Ripley bromance broken and rebuilt - all far more interesting and moving than the bits of crime that had gone before.


Ripley and Luther - a bond stretched, but not broken

More testament to these two leads if proof were needed - because, while the understated pacing of Warren Brown as a discomforted but ultimately loyal Ripley continues to mark him out for greater solo enterprises once this show finishes, the mark of Idris Elba continues to be that, while his own Hollywood star shoots off into the stratosphere, he remains completely believable as a London cop with few friends and lots of attitude.

Now come on, back to the cafe with you, gentle man.