Rophy says: Okay, here’s the deal. Luther is one heck of a show, and if the world were the way it was supposed to be, we’d have in depth recaps of every episode here at rophydoes.com, or at the very least, a top ten for every character or every episode, or every time our pants fell off. But the thing is, we are only one Rophy. We can only do so much. And we are big Ruth Wilson fans.
We stayed for everything about the show that is glorious and perfect, but we did start watching in the first place for Ruth. And it just so happens that Alice Morgan is one of the most consistently fucking awesome characters ever to grace our screens. So. Without further ado…
12 times we fell in love with a psychopath…
12. The time she… saw right through us
“Did you come here for sex?”
“Because you’d be surprised how many men do. Do you think they have any idea how fatuous they look?”
Sophy says: SHE KNEW WHAT WE WERE ABOUT RIGHT FROM THE START
Um. I just love the way she gets right up in his face and basically tells him how badly he/the rest of the world wants her. I guess there’s something about lacking empathy that means you also lack shame and therefore have the ability to be made of unbridled unf at all times?
Rin says: This was so early on too, and I guess, made it easier for us to love her immediately?
With you know, her face. And stuff.
11. The time she… dressed up as Dr. Cameron
“Madsen had a permanent guard.”
“Who was directed away from his post by some doctor.”
“Well, quite. Young, very pretty, dark-haired and heterochromatic.”
“Heterowhat? I’m sorry?”
“Different coloured eyes. Like David Bowie.”
Sophy says: She played dress-ups as our favourite TV doctor of all time, and she dispensed with a troublesome pedo. Is there anything Alice Morgan can’t do?
Rin says: SERIOUSLY. NO ONE SHOULD LOOK THAT ATTRACTIVE WHILST KILLING SOMEONE BY SUFFOCATING THEM.
I guess she knew that we have a certain soft spot for Aids Cameron.
Sophy says: AIDS CAMERON
10. The time she… cutely blew a man to smithereens with a shotgun
“He swore he wasn’t going to kill you. He thought the humiliation of prison would be worse. The beatings, the rapes, the incessant fear for your life… but I told him, ‘No, John, you’re wrong. Dying would be worse.’ Because well, honestly, it is, isn’t it? Dying’s just worse. So… Do I pull the trigger or not?”
Sophy says: Oh my god this scene was just pure gold. And it was the most glorious ending to the first series. I absolutely love Alice’s nonchalantly contemplative little speech about how death is just worse. And just… LOOK AT HER FACE. SHE’S ALL EENIE-MEENIE-MINEY-MO. ABOUT KILLING THE GUY. AND THEN IT’S MO, BECAUSE IT’S ALWAYS MO AND MO IS ALWAYS MURDER. OH ALICE.
Rin says: I loved this series finale! And how it pulled out to that extra-wide shot of them and panned around. It was perfect.
And yeah. She’s looking really cute again whilst killing people? I’m starting to think it might become a problem. I’ll be all, ‘But Aliiceee.. maybe we don’t kill someone today?’ And she’ll put on a cute crotchet hat and I’d have to just let her go out and play.
I’d be an accomplice to murder :(((((
09. The time she… did the brownies honour
“Are you still frightened of me?”
“Because I have no wish to hurt you, and I certainly have no wish to hurt Zoe. I think she’s admirable.”
“Are you saying you’ll leave her alone? I need you to leave her alone.”
Rin says: I think my favourite thing about this scene is that we start to see Alice taking into account what Luther wants. He’s still clearly in love with Zoe, so you’d think any self-respecting psychopath would just off her and be done with it. But no. Instead she finds Zoe admirable and gives her BROWNIES HONOUR that she won’t go near her. (The fact that she had previously threatened her with a pin to her ear, and broke into her home etc. etc. is neither here nor there )
Sophy says: One of the things I find most striking about Alice’s attachment to John is how oddly holistic it is. She doesn’t just want him, or, at least, she doesn’t just want him for one particular thing. She wants him for all the things. And most of all? She wants him for the thing where he actually likes her.
And, you know, making special friends with someone new can be tough when you met them through that time you killed your parents and butchered the family dog, but Alice makes the best of it. She reassures John that she’s not going to fuck with his woman… much, and she flirts like crazy while she’s at it.
Meanwhile it’s a testament to just how good Ruth Wilson is that she can pull off scenes like this. Things like the brownie’s honour moment? In the wrong actress’ hands and eyes and cheeky little smirk, that kind of thing could come off as so corny that it’s too corny, so cute that it just isn’t cute anymore. But Ruth nails it, naturally, obviously, of course.
08. The time she… wore a hoodie and picked up an apple
“Who is this?”
“And who is John Luther?”
Sophy says: See the hoodie-wearing in and of itself is already impressive. But then you add in the fact that the hoodie is grey. And then you add in that her hair is red. And she’s picking up and apple, which is also red. And there’s foliage that’s bringing out the green in her eyes. And I CAN’T.
In terms of the scene, I think her little smile at the end is so genius and totally brings you back to the start of the episode when she simply declared that John Luther is her friend. Because he sure fucking is. Breaking you out of asylums is definitely what friends are for.
I read a review of Luther S2 which complained that it’s ‘so unrealistic’ that Alice broke out of the institution, and I laughed, because okay, exactly what it not unrealistic about Alice Morgan and Luther in general? The show is not a procedural; if NYPD Blue is what you’re after this is not for you. Luther gets about as close to fantasy and a non-fantasy show ever has, and to say that it’s stupid because something Alice Morgan did was far-fetched, is like saying Buffy the Vampire Slayer is stupid on account of all the demons. Which puts me in mind of an amazing Ruth interview that all Luther fans should read, in which she discusses the peculiar unreality of her character, and proclaims herself Catwoman.
But back to that whiney-ass review. They specifically complained that we didn’t see Alice escape from the institution, and suggested it was a cop-out – the show just couldn’t find a way to explain it and was glossing over in the hopes that no one would notice.
Maybe. Maybe not. Personally I loved that we didn’t see Alice escape. Because Alice is freaking Houdini, okay? She’s magic as a magician and you’re not supposed to know how they do their tricks! What made her escape so delicious to me was how little attention it got. Because it’s a given, isn’t it? Alice Morgan is a genius and John Luther is her friend.
How could she not escape?
Rin says: I agree. It’s so much better that we don’t see how she actually breaks out, because the key card is enough. You see that and you’re like, ‘pschhh, she’s out of there :-j’ .. TO BE HONEST SHE PROBABLY DIDN’T EVEN NEED THE KEY CARD. She’s Alice Morgan, for fucks sake. She could break out of Azkaban
AND SHE SHOULD ALWAYS WEAR GREY HOODIES FOREVER AND EVER? AND CONVERSE SHOES? AND HOLD REALLY SHINY RED APPLES?
07. The time she… screamed maniacally into the phone
“You implicate me, you implicate yourself and you’re too in love with your own genius for that. Conspiracy to murder will just be the start of it… I can send you to hell. You’ll burn for the rest of your life.”
“Which is why I would appreciate some gratitude! I did it for you! Pig! Filth! I did it for you!”
Sophy says: OH MY GOD RUTH’S ACTING. I mean Ruth’s acting is flawless with a side of spine-tingling in every scene on this show, and well, everything else she’s ever done. But this scene stands out in a crowd of special. The slightly strange intonation – the emphasis on appreciate – the way you can feel the rage building inside her and roaring forth. She’s like a small child having a tantrum, except children aren’t scary and cool as ice like Alice Fucking Morgan, so their tantrums are a little less mesmerising.
Rin says: Um. Yeah. Ruth Wilson for president. Honestly. It’s just how it should be. Like, you can’t watch this scene and not be in awe of the power and command Ruth holds when she’s onscreen.
And also be slightly amused by just how mental Alice is.
06. The time she… was used as a threat by a man 3x her size
“I spoke to a good friend of mine last night. If anything happens to Jenny or anything happens to me, she is gonna come for you with the wrath of God. She’ll take whatever you’ve got left to love and make you regret the day you ever came across my path.”
Sophy says: This was so genius. I mean. Imagine having a friend you’d feel quite comfortable asking to murder for you? And she was also really pretty and sometimes wore grey hoodies and cavorted with apples?
I absolutely love that they brought in a mention of Alice and her relationship to John at the end of the series. It made up for how unbelievably pissed I was that she wasn’t in the last two episodes. No wait, it really, really, really didn’t. FUCK YOU, SHOW. If series 3 doesn’t contain plenty of John, Alice and Jenny being the most dysfunctional and head-in-hands pseudo-family ever, I’ll hunt you down and force you to MAKE IT AGAIN.
Oh and PS, you should have inserted a shot of Alice swimming with sharks at the end there. Missed opportunity. Now go stand in the corner and think about what you’ve done.
Rin says: Yeah. I spent a lot of time looking for at least background Alice to get me through the night, but APPARENTLY THEY JUST DECIDED TO NOT USE HER? EVEN THOUGH SHE’S THE BEST THING EVER? Upsetting.
And I guess this just proves how awesome Alice is, because she doesn’t even need to be there for us to include it on our list. Just mention her as your little killer assassin and bam. You’re golden. Alice
05. The time she… made a sex motion with her hands
“All right, I want you out of my way, I want you out of my life.”
“Haha, yes, I’ve been hearing that a lot today.”
Sophy says: AHA;DKFH;DH;ALKHLKH I CAN’T. OH ALICE.
You know, I think she and Anya Lame-ass-Made-Up-Maiden-Name would get along really well.
Rin says: HAHAFHHFAHEOFEHAAHAHAHAH.
HER LITTLE FACE AS WELL. I CAN’T.
04. The time she… knew there was love in the world
” ‘The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.’ The universe isn’t evil, John. It’s just indifferent. That hasn’t changed. It can’t. But what I did for you proved something to me. Something I hadn’t believed until that moment.”
“It’s you who’s right. There is love in the world.”
Sophy says: Oh my god, this scene. Her face. Her hair. The tea-cosy beanie. His hand on her face. Her eyes. Her eyes closing. And that dialogue. My heart was honestly skipping beats all over the place.
This is Alice like a child again. Except here she’s not having a tantrum. She’s having perhaps the gentlest and purest experience of her adult life.
Rin says: This is such a gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous moment, for Alice herself and for Alice/Luther. I love that she can be this evil genius type character, but also be innocent and unaware. Because she can feel things! (That scene should be on this list ) The way she says that last bit… oh Alice. I die.
03. The time she… held up a stocking
“Alice, I need you to help me.”
“You’re asking me to be your accomplice?”
“Excellent. Where do we start?”
Sophy says: JUST. THEIR FACES. AND. LOOK AT THEM. BECAUSE.
I love how eager she is to be John’s accomplice.
Rin says: HAHAHAA. They’re like the odd-couple burglars in crime. They could have a sitcom. There would be a laugh track.
Sophy says: Sometimes I feel like Luther itself should have a laugh track. I mean that in an awesome way.
02. The time she… meep meeped and felt his heart beat
“So I see you escaped.”
“Like a princess from her tower.”
“They’ll find you.”
“Well, they can try. But they’re Wile E Coyote. And I’m the Roadrunner. Meep-meep.”
“Come on. Yin and Yang. Bonnie and Clyde. Bert and Ernie.”
“Come with me. I know you want to. You’ve got a telltale heart…”
Sophy says: I had to put in all that dialogue, because holy crap this scene was full of gems. We may not have gotten much of Alice in s2 but what we did get was perfection. And okay, wait a minute, it was perfection in s1 too and we got lots of it so, fuck you show, etc, etc.
Everything about this scene is magnificent. I mean, look at her with the gun to her head and the bright shiny smile? That’s Alice Morgan in an image, it really is. And like… BERT AND ERNIE?? WHO SAYS THAT? AS IN WHO IS AWESOME ENOUGH TO SAY THAT? I CAN’T.
Also, the way Ruth and Idris move together is just glorious. Rin pointed out that it has a lot to do with the way the show chooses its angles, so Luther camera dudes? A+ on helping to make these two so graceful together. And it’s that easy physicality that underscores how impossibly and unavoidably close these two have become. Because she knows him by now, through and through, and he knows her right back.
Because I am who I am. And you are who you are.
Rin says: This scene was so fun to watch Because there were so many moments where I had to pause and stop because it was just too much. TOO MUCH. Like, the princess from her tower, and how she’s sitting up all proper and perched. AND THEN THE SMILING WITH THE GUN. AND THEN SHE DID THE MEEP MEEP AND I HAD TO GET OUT OF MY CHAIR AND GO MAKE TEA???
And then it was all Bert and Ernie and OH MY GOD TELLTALE HEART IS SO SWEET AND TOUCHING AND DELICIOUS PUFFER FISH?
I swear, I can’t ever imagine anyone else being able to play Alice the way Ruth does. It just wouldn’t work?
Sophy says: Totally. The thing is that Ruth as Alice is one of those once-in-a-blue-moon castings that is just so utterly right it’s almost offensive to think of anyone else attempting the role, no matter how great of an actress they may be. And that’s not even looking at the fact that she has the insane chemistry with Idris. Like.
01. The time she… squeed quietly in the back of the cab
“Well, I enjoyed our chat. You’re very interesting.”
Sophy says: The things Ruth Wilson’s face does. I will never not be in awe.
I love how she’s sitting there in silence, just smiling giddy, devious little smiles to herself, because she has a new toy to play with and it’s a really, really good one. So yes, as early as this? I was in love.
Rin says: Oh please. We were goners from the moment she was onscreen Covered in blood and all
The blood probably just spurred us on?
Sophy says: ALICE LIKES SHARKS???
… and one time she almost loved us back.
“You seeing anyone?”
“None of your business.”
“Because I’m not. Most of the people in here are women. Not that I mind per se. Needs must.”
Sophy says: SHE DOESN’T MIND OUR VAGINAS, YOU GUYS. IT COULD HAPPEN.
Rin says: …… I don’t know what we’re doing anymore. What the hell kind of operation are we running here?