When we last saw John Luther he had been framed by his partner, Ian Reid, for the murder of his ex-wife Zoe. He had tracked Ian down and cornered him, with the help of Zoe's new lover Mark and John's loyal stalker Alice, to a railway station. He had been stabbed by Ian. Alice had shot Ian - after a 2:1 vote against letting him face the consequences of his actions in court - and the police were closing in.
It seems forever ago that we last saw the perfect pairing of John Luther and Justin Ripley tracking down the bad guys; since we saw Ian Reid weasel his way out of another nasty scrape (no more!); since we watched the only person who seems to have John under control - DSU Rose Teller - snappily talk John out of yet another bad choice. But it hardly matters, because tonight at 9pm on BBC One, Luther returns for a slightly tweaked second series. A shortened run of just four episodes begins tonight and sees Luther investigating a murder case with disturbing details. The murderer wears a Mr Punch mask and is violent as hell! But it's a case of "back to work" for Luther, still mourning Zoe's death and now working on a new team under the leadership of DCI Schenk - the good guy nobody really wants to like.
Also returning - because it wouldn't be Luther without her - is sociopath stalker/murder/saucepot Alice Morgan, who committed the perfect murder back in Series One Episode One, and became something of an unlikely ally throughout the first series. How and why she turns up again is anyone's guess - since this is something of a low-profile BBC series there tends not to be quite so many spoilers available before transmission. And with this series I'm glad. It looks as though we'll be given two big two-part stories, but what those stories are about is anyone's guess. Expect gruesome murders, snappy dialogue, a moody atmosphere and more unconventional policing from everyone's favourite nasty bastard with a heart of gold.
And if you've never seen Luther before, then maybe it's time to start watching? Series One was mostly stand-alone stories - you should be able to pick up the basics as you go along. It's more than worth a look.