Ripper Street Season 2, Episode 4 Review: “Dynamite and a Woman”
Wow! “Dynamite and a Woman” was an electrifying and explosive episode of Ripper Street, full of the intrigue and tension we’ve come to expect. Much of the focus was on the fetching Constable Flight as he flexes his crime-fighting muscles and shows us what he’s made of. Also, he’s pretty cute. Romance may loom for Inspector Reid, and Abberline shows us his violent side. Anti-Irish bigotry, political bribery, and the battle between AC and DC raged on in this week’s episode. As always, there be spoilers after the jump.
“Dynamite and a Woman” begins with Constable Fight going to confession. We feel a tad voyeuristic has he explains that he’s “a liar.” It drives home the point that there’s a lot about Flight that we do not know. Later, a prisoner is being driven through the Irish ghetto in a Paddy wagon. The prisoner is Irish revolutionary Aidan Galven. Suddenly, the cop drops dead and with some help from a few people nearby—the prisoner goes free. Someone planned it; an unseen friend was waiting for Galven with a change of clothes.
If I didn’t know better, I’d think Miss Cobden had a wee crush on Inspector Reid. Who could blame her? She and Edmund are again spending time together, purely for educational and job-related purposes. * wink * Reid is summoned away to address the escape of the prisoner and the death of the driver. Captain Jackson doesn’t see anything to indicate foul play, and this is confirmed after an autopsy. Galven is a bad man who kills with bombs and without remorse. Flight and Drake head to the local Irish pub for “a look around.” Things get out of hand quickly and violence ensues. We meet Evelyn, a bar maid who looks a whole lot like Karen Gillan. It’s actually a chick named Charlie Murphy (Hilarious, since we Americans already have a Charlie Murphy). After the cops leave the pub, Galven shows up. He appears to be the father of Evie, but she’s none too happy to see him. She does tell him to skip town if he can, but he says has to stay to “run errands.”
A bunch of rich, bigoted political types sit around discussing how superior they are to everyone else, while Galven plants a cool and ingenious-looking bomb in one of their rooms. A man named Cecil Knightly is killed. Knightly was a politician on the take. He accepted bribes from basically anyone applying for government work—including the men working with Direct versus Alternating Current electricity. Reid also learns, from Miss Cobden, that there are tricky land deals afoot and major deals to be had. The plot, it thickens.
When Abberline hears about Galven’s escape, he’s hella pissed. He and Reid meet with Michael Donovan, an Irish representative who works with the British government. Donovan doesn’t care for the clandestine meeting location, and cares even less for the brutality Abberline dishes out. Abberline is sure the Irish are involved with Knightly’s death, and seems to think all Irish people know each other. Did Abberline rub lye into Donovan’s wounds? It sure looked like it. Yikes! Next thing we know, Reid is insisting that Constable Flight is “too green” to go undercover in the Irish community. Reid loses the argument, and Flight is sent to Evie’s pub to see about finding Galven.
Jacksons determines that Knightly died from a combination of bomb blast and electric shock. Galven knows only bombs, so what’s with the electricity? Drake and Reid realize there’s more going on. Terrorists want everyone to know what they did, and why. But this crime was done in secret, with attempts to avoid detection. Who else, they wonder, would have reason to want Knightly dead. Turns out, there were quite a few people. Meanwhile, Flight is drinking lemonade in the pub when Donovan arrives to harass Evelyn. Flight follows, but seems averse to getting his ass kicked by a trio of Irishmen. We remember that Flight still doesn’t drink alcohol—which Jackson finds especially offensive. Donovan puts pressure on Evie, but she’s not having it. He tells her she’d better let him know if Galven comes around. She clearly has no intention of doing that.
Reid, Jackson, Drake, and Abberline discuss how Flight might better ingratiate himself into the Irish community. Jackson uses colorful analogies as he advises the Constable on how to get chicks—maintaining intrigue, pretending you have things in common, having vulnerability, feelings, etc. Flight seems able to do this, but as “Dynamite and a Woman” continues, we begin to wonder how much of what Flight tells Evie is grounded in reality. After all, Jackson told him to “lie” but to feel his own hidden truth. Oh, and there’s one more thing Flight needs to impress Evie—bruises. Sergeant Drake is happy to oblige. I’m with Jackson, Flight is irresistible.
Flight gives Evelyn the name “Bertrand,” and after a short conversation, she’s moved enough by him to let him sleep in her room while she works downstairs. He immediately starts snooping thought her letters and jewelry. She has a collection of lavalieres given to her on each birthday from a man, not Galven, claiming to be her father. Apparently, her mother was a fan of the giggity, and was “not known to be exclusive in these matters.” Before we know it, Flight and Evie are making out. Galven interrupts, and you can see in his eyes how much he wants to take “Bertrand” apart at the joints. He doesn’t though. Hell have tickets to America for he and his daughter after one last job.
Reid and Cobden attend a demonstration by Mr. Broadbent, an electricity magnate staging a live goat BBQ to convince everyone that Direct Current is the better way of harnessing electricity. LOL, amirite? Even Broadbent admits that the show is a scam. He tells Reid that even though bribery is illegal, everybody’s doing it anyway. Across town, a man named Ferranti has a competing demonstration of Alternating Current and powering all of London—even streetlights. OMG, amazing! Ferranti is clearly a more honest, intelligent, and scientific man than Broadbent. When questioned, he admits to also giving money to Knightly, but only so their good work wouldn’t be ignored in favor of those who pay. He’s not a suspect in the murder though—saying that he has no need to murder when he has the perfect logic of science on his side.
Back at Evelyn’s, Flight is made aware of Galven’s next bombing. He scribbles a hasty note and tells a random bobby to give it to Reid. We get a brief second with Sergeant Arthurton before our heroes receive Flight’s note and put it all together. Evie’s natural father is a man named Holland—who turns out to be Broadbent, who had been an apprentice to Thomas Edison. Edison was also a fan of Direct Current. Just one of many reasons Tesla was superior to Edison in every way. Piecing together the connection between Broadbent and Galven, Reid realizes that Broadbent is the mastermind, and that Galven’s next target is Ferranti. This is confirmed when we see Galven confront Broadbent, where they also hash out the business of who Evelyn’s natural father is.
Across town, Jackson is figuring out the mechanics of the bomb and how it uses paraffin wax as a time delay—giving Galven and Broadbent a chance to escape. Ferranti’s demonstration is well attended, even Miss Cobden is there. It starts as a smashing success, with people excited about London streets being well lit at night. Reid and his people race to Ferranti’s, where they arrive just in time to stop the explosion. Broadbent and Galven await the blast—when it doesn’t come, Broadbent goes back to make sure it does. He throws the lever, then Jackson reveals that he has disinstalled the bomb. Instead of facing his fate, Broadbent electrocutes himself with Ferranti’s device.
Evelyn waits for her so-called father, Galven, so they can leave for America together. “Bertrand” shows up to say goodbye. It’s clear that he’s gotten inappropriately attached to her. Galven isn’t coming though. On his way to do right by “his girl” Galven is stopped by Donovan and his thugs. They murder Galven in the street. Evelyn is not too shocked that he hasn’t shown up, and asks Bertrand to go with. She tells him that she knows he has lied about who he is, and asks him how much of his story was true. He cries as she walks away alone to board the ship. We realize that Flight’s confession took place after this story, not before. We still have much to discover about Constable Flight.
This was a character-heavy episode, giving us lots of insight on the skills and background of the newest member of H-Division. I’m worried, because last season, Ripper Street went out of its way to get us to love Hobbs, only to selfishly rip him away from us. They’d better not even think about doing it again. I want very much for Edmund and Miss Cobden to get serious, and for Bennet and Bella to have a long and happy life together. Who knows whether we’ll get it (um…besides the entire UK, who have already seen the whole season).
See you’s next week!