A Stroll Down Ripper Street Season 1
The eight-episode season has come to an end, so let’s review what we’ve seen and highlight some of its more crowning moments:
The series opened strong with a very grim episode that established the tone, mood and atmosphere. If I had one complaint, it’s that it spent too much time familiarizing the viewer with the dank slums of East London–luckily each episode afterward would just get better while also developing our three leads.
Over the course of the series we saw what lengths our detecting trio would go be it experimenting with new forensic techniques or torture methods. Even watching Jackson work his magic in the morgue was an education, whether he was high from the cocaine Reid provided him or not. But it’s the second half of the season where the writers begin to shine a hard light on Reid, Jackson and Drake. Reid’s strained marriage and the solace he seeks in the arms of Deborah, Drakes’ heartbreaking attempt at being a better man and Jackson’s (or Matthew Judge’s) past catches up with him. But the main question peppered throughout the season was what happened to Reid’s daughter? The finale centred on him chasing the notion that she was still alive only to be left hanging once more. The season ends on a “business as usual” note because that’s what these men do: they get shit done.
What the finale failed to do, however, was cash out on the epic set-up the penultimate episode left. Jackson was framed by Frank Goodnight as being the Ripper, but instead of milking the intrigue with that premise, he clears his name quite quickly to help find the abducted women (ie: the Reid’s daughter storyline). Also, Rose once again plays the damsel in distress – a role she assumed in the very first episode. Sure, she left the brothel but it would’ve been nice to see some development in judgment and strength in her character. But with Ripper Street being granted a second series by the BBC (nothing confirmed by us just yet), there is still plenty room to grow. See you next year, H Division!
The Best of the Side Characters
Hobbes – I just knew once they started giving Hobbes more responsibility (and lines), he wasn’t going to make it out of this season alive.
Atherton – That man with the glorious beard. On the death of young Constable Hobbes: “Sir, once we find the man who did this, we can kill him, yes?”
Miss Deborah Goren – Twice she’s taken a beating in her own orphanage thanks to a case Reid is working on; and at least twice she’s taken a pounding from Reid (hey oh!)
Best – Media, man! Bunch of leeches, amirite? Oh well, give him credit, at least he has his ear to the ground (too soon?)
The Best Torture/Interrogation Methods
“The King Came Calling” – Reid injects poison directly into a murder’s mouth to get him to tell them where the contaminated grain was.
“What Use Our Work?” – Jackson scalps a dead slave-trader and uses his hair as a wig to trick the sister/slave-trading partner into telling them where they were keeping their victims.