Idris Elba's 'Luther' Return Gets December Premiere: Our Wish List

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December 17: That’s the night we’ll sleep with the lights on. Why? It’s the date Idris Elba returns as Luther. And this time, he’s chasing a cannibalistic serial killer.

BBC America has finally announced the plot line for the one-night, 165-minute event. It begins with Detective Chief Inspector John Luther — last seen tossing his trademark jacket into the Thames and walking away with killer/confidante Alice Morgan (Ruth Wilson) — on a leave of absence. He’s “laying low in a rundown cottage” when he receives visitors, new faces DCI Theo Bloom (Darren Boyd) and DS Emma Lane (Game of Thrones’ Rose Leslie), who come with "a shocking piece of news that draws him back to London in search of the truth.”

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Meanwhile, a cannibalistic serial killer (John Heffernan) is terrorizing the city, “eating body parts as he goes.” Detective Superintendent Unit Martin Schenk (series stalwart Dermot Crowley) and his Bullpen need to connect the dots between the victims. They’re not smart enough to do it on their own, of course, so Luther gets back in action. “I think Luther goes back just because he can’t stay away from it for too long,” Elba says in the release. “Ultimately, because he’s a protector, [he] just wants to be able to fix what he can see other people won’t be able to…”

Luther himself still needs fixing though. “[H]e’s dogged at every turn by ghosts from his past. Isolated and volatile, it will take every fiber of Luther’s being to keep it together,” according to the network.

What are we hoping to see? Here’s our wish list.

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Idris Elba and Ruth Wilson in the Season 3 finale

1. A satisfying conclusion to Luther and Alice’s story. So far, the network has not given a definitive answer as to whether Ruth Wilson, who now stars in Showtime’s The Affair, will return. If Alice, who came in at #79 on Yahoo TV’s list of the 99 Greatest TV Characters Since Tony Soprano, isn’t in the picture — and we suspect she’s not if Luther is in a rundown cottage (so not her style) — her absence needs to be a story point. Our theory: Their relationship, romantic or not, got too volatile and they parted ways. Could that “shocking piece of news” that Luther receives be that Alice is dead? Is the “truth” he’s in search of who managed to kill her and why?

Another possibility, if creator/writer Neil Cross wants to keep that character in play but off-screen, could be that Luther is told someone important to him was killed by Alice and he has to determine if she actually did it. That would lend itself to a Wilson cameo via phone or video in the end.

If neither of those scenarios is remotely correct, then we better at least get to see or hear the memorable message Alice left Luther when she bolted.

2. Another great tweed coat. When BBC America released the first look photo below, we were worried…

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… but apparently we needn’t have been!

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3. A sex scene. We mention this only because the release says Da Vinci’s Demons Laura Haddock co-stars as Megan Cantor, a mysterious woman from Luther’s past.

4. More unbearable suspense. With a cannibal on the loose, we assume we’ll be seeing some disturbing images, but what’s truly terrifying about Luther is the waiting game. Remember that scene in the Season 3 premiere when we watched for a near-silent minute as a woman got ready for bed and then climbed in. The camera lingered from across the room as she fell asleep and then, finally, a man slid out from under her bed on his back. Cross told EW he writes very specific stage directions in his scripts to create that kind of suspense. “For that scene particularly, it will say something like, ‘Hold for as long as we can bear it, and then a beat more,’” he said. “Scenes like that, the director will shoot them long specifically, and then we find the precise timing in the edit. There’s a certain alchemy to it, which is if you hold too long, it loses all power and people start fidgeting and get bored. You’ve got to hold it just, just, just until it becomes unbearable.”

5. Luther roughs up someone and looks damn sexy doing it. “Street” and “suave.”

Luther airs Dec. 17 at 9 p.m. on BBC America.