mp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B003R4ZMS6">The Big C" and "The Office") as a man of much instinct and intellect, but also a short temper and personal torment. His workaholic actions have driven his wife (Indria Varma, TV's "Human Target") into the arms of another man, and he can't accept it.

Luther's rather shaky marriage is an ongoing struggle throughout the season, as is his unusual relationship with Alice Morgan (Ruth Wilson), a cunning young woman. How cunning? In the first episode, she murders her parents, but gets away with it because even Luther can't prove she's to blame. In subsequent episodes, Alice digs deep into his personal life, uncovering one big secret that she can use against him, to the point where he must accept her as an ally, however dangerous.

In the criminal-of-the-week department, Luther faces a sniper who targets the authorities, a creepy kidnapper and, most memorably, a blue-collar schlub who moonlights as a serial killer of women. Through it all, stakes are high, rules are broken, consequences are tragic, and Elba and Wilson deliver amazing performances.

No pun intended, but it's wholly arresting TV that gets my highest recommendation. "?Rod Lott

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