In Luther S01E01, Alice Morgan attacks Zoe Luther. During the attack, Alice lies to Zoe that John had assaulted her and had said that Zoe was dead amongst other things. Alice is shown to be methodical, so I believe this to be out of character for her. Why does she lie? What did it achieve?

UPDATE: After rewatching the scene, Alice describes how Zoe 'died' and says:

I'm worried that someone might want to hurt you like that someday.

before releasing her. Was that all a scare tactic?

1 Answer 1


Alice Morgan is an amoral character who has already murdered her parents for not particularly good reasons. She knows Luther thinks she is guilty but has not produced enough evidence. But he is a threat. But she also has a strange attraction to his character (this becomes much more obvious in later episodes).

So there are several plausible reasons why she attacks and lies to Zoe.

One is to put emotional pressure on Luther (he might be removed from the case if he becomes too involved and his boss knows it). At the very least it would impair his judgement. Telling fibs to Zoe may, indirectly, cause her to put emotional pressure on Luther: attacking her certainly will.

But perhaps the motives are mixed. She already knows Zoe and Luther are separated and that Luther still loves his ex (or is it soon-to-be ex?) wife. As well as creating emotional turmoil for Luther, maybe she wants to create a belief in Zoe about her husband's character that will guarantee she will never want to rekindle the relationship.

Either way, Alice is clearly not averse to committing immoral acts to further her own interests. Lying is a lot less bad than the acts she has already committed. So there is no reason to expect her to avoid lying if it turns the screw on Luther.

Lying to further her own objectives is entirely within her character.

  • I get the attacking part. It's the lying that got to me. I've updated the question with more information.
    – topher
    Apr 13, 2016 at 16:38
  • @topher The lying is still consistent with the idea that she wants to put pressure on Luther's relationship with Zoe, foreshadowing Alice's own, later revealed, attraction for Luther as well as piling emotional pressure on him via his disintegrating relationship with Zoe.
    – matt_black
    Apr 13, 2016 at 16:43

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