Once More Into The Bleed


Once Stringer Bell retired from drug dealing, he found welcome employment in the London police force

As the mad old waiter said in Twin Peaks, “It is happening again.”

Characters are bleeding from one series into another. Only this time it’s not the local bleed of Baltimorians from The Wire suddenly finding themselves a few miles down the road in balmy (or possibly barmy) Washington DC and The West Wing. This time it’s altogether closer to home as characters from Spooks, many of whom have been severely mutilated or, worse, simply written out, descend on the killing grounds of Luther.

I’m less worried by the reappearance of Stinger Bell pretending to be a gor-blimey proper London rozzer. After all String needed some sort of realistic exit plan after being roundly killed at the end of The Wire Season 3. You don’t come back to Baltimore after a shotgunning from Omar, especially not when it’s fatal. A quick change of ID and a switch to the other side of the legal tracks seems like the way for String to try to reinvent himself. No, I’m really worried about the reappearance of the arsey City trader from Spooks as blood-drinking, victim freezing mental mass murderer. Or the realisation that Ruth has obviously been cheating on Harry Pearce and far from ‘being abroad’ between Series has been living with a mass-murdering pretend cabbie and displaying none of the wry insight she really possesses.

Luther is one of those programmes that acts as a nexus, sucking in characters from other series and spitting them out as rearranged pseudo-people. It’s as if they’re not really who they are and are simply replaying words funnelled into their heads from strange schizophrenic broadcasting centres. They have double (sometimes treble) lives and it’s getting more and more confusing. Who knows when this madness will stop.

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