The second season of Luther runs to just four episodes but in a format switch each story is two episodes long.
The advantage of this format is that the stories get a lot more time to develop. While in the first season there was a monster of the week vibe to most of the murderers (Alice Morgan excepted of course), this time it’s different and the situations are more developed.
Speaking of Ruth Wilson’s Alice Morgan, her absence from the show is notable. She does appear in the first two episodes (briefly) but really doesn’t tie into the plot. And the absence of that central character does leave a hole in the show.
Other than that, it’s largely business as usual with Luther perpetually skirting the line of legality and sometimes crossing well over.
The acting is top to bottom good in Luther, but particularly in season two, the selling point is Idris Elba. His world weary Luther is believably sharp and just likable enough for you to accept his more out there behavior.
The situations presented stretch believability at times, but they are presented with such intensity that you don’t really care to analyse that, you’re just wondering where exactly it’s going to go next.