Ripper Street Season 2 Episode 8 Review: “Our Betrayal, Part 2”
Holy crap, Ripper Street season finale! You have blown me out of the friggin’ water. This week, comeuppances were attempted with varied degrees of success. Accusations were hurled, confessions given, and dirty laundry was aired for all to see. Fred Best was a jerk, haters continued to hate, and Rose’s singing actually seemed to improve. Abberline made an appearance, and all the strife and conflict of the season came into play. The Ripper Street season finale was outstanding, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it. As always, spoilers abound after the jump.
When we last saw Bennet Drake, he had hoisted the corpse of Mr. Hinchcliffe onto his shoulder and was taking him to H Division. In the slums, Jane Cobden is overseeing the teardown of dwellings to be modernized. Fred Best approaches her for comment—not on the dwellings, but on her clandestine meetings with Inspector Reid. See, Fred Best is torn between reporting real news and running a sensational story. You’d think someone being blackmailed over his own sexual exploits would be a little kinder. Cobden isn’t able to answer Best, due to the discovery of several bodies in various states of decomposition.
Jackson investigates both Hinchcliffe’s murder and the new bodies that have come in from the slums. It appears that all of them were killed in the same unusual way. Meanwhile, Sergeant Arthurton continues to train Drake’s replacement to take on Inspector Shine in bare-knuckle boxing. Reid continues to press Werner for information about Hinchcliffe’s murder. Werner thought he was safe from a beat-down, but gets worried when he sees that Drake is back. But wait–Drake hasn’t agreed to come back to H Division, and has no interest in bashing heads for Reid. Bennet wants to be a better man. He may even want to be the man Rose believes him to be.
Rose has received top billing in the theatre coinciding with her boss looking mysteriously beat to hell. Rose dashes off to thank Susan for her influence, when in fact, it was the creepy hand of Duggan. Now that Susan has given in to his gross demand, she’s supposed to be free of him. Duggan has moved in to her place, and is awful about basically everything.
Jackson and Judge haven’t given up their scheme of selling the diamond and paying off Duggan. The DeGraal men remind Judge that they’ll be right there to kill him if he tries to sell the diamond to anyone. When Judge approaches Jackson for more spending cash, his brother puts him to work. They use insects to determine the time of death, bringing Reid ever closer to solving the murders. Since Drake’s days are now free, he enjoys coffee and conversation with Rose as she discusses her nerves about her upcoming performance. Wisely, Drake tells her to use a song that speaks to her heart. When Rose asks him to come hear her, we know that she’ll be singing just for him.
Constable Flight has finally grown the stones to confront Inspector Shine. He has ratted Shine out, and intends to arrest him. When Shine reaches for his garroting tool, Flight draws on him…and fires. We really want Shine to be dead, but he isn’t. Somehow, Flight only grazed the murderous blackmailer. Dang! Flight escapes and immediately turns himself in to H Division on a charge of accessory to murder—for Hinchcliffe, and for Joseph Merrick. That’s when we realize that Flight wasn’t asleep on the job—he was deliberately helping Shine kill Merrick. Flight’s half-confession makes Reid angry enough to get physical. That’s when Flight reveals that Shine sent him there to spy for him. Arthurton throws Flight in a cell at Reid’s insistence. When Jackson protests, Reid explains that Shine must have killed all those people, and that only Flight can help him prove it.
Reid heads to Councilor Cobden’s office, not yet realizing that Best’s salacious story about them has gone to press. Reid has no time for such nonsense—he’s busy solving murders. He and Cobden piece together that the family killed and left in the slum owned tons of property. They were murdered so that someone else could take over their holdings. But who? When we see that whoever it is also owns the brothels of Tenter street, we know—it’s that goddamn Silas Duggan. Reid doesn’t know that yet, and needs Jackson to put it together. Reid also takes a moment to say that even though he has a bunch of murders to solve—as soon as he’s able to seek his own happiness, he wants to seek it with Jane. That would be very sweet if he wasn’t still married to someone else.
Susan has had it with Duggan and his crap. She slept with him, so she owes him nothing. Now he’s saying that he loves her, even as he lets his friends call her ugly names. He tells her that she can have freedom so long as she is his. I don’t think he understands what freedom is. Judge convinces Jackson to sell the diamond to Duggan, and pay him back with his own money. We all know that Homer would rather kill Duggan than have any amount of money.
Abberline confronting Flight is a hell of a scene. The Chief Inspector is furious, mortified, betrayed. Flight cries as he explains his role in the murders. Awwwww. Reid is less concerned with Flight; his focus is on the impending arrest of Jedidiah Shine. The next day, Duggan and Shine are both brought to H Division, where Flight’s previous crimes come to light. He was a bootlegger who made the kind of crappy, poisonous booze that blinded or killed people. He wanted to outrun his shame by becoming a better man. No dice. Reid’s questioning of Duggan goes nowhere. Duggan knows Reid has no proof and that Shine won’t turn on him. Couple that with Flight’s word now being worth nothing, and Abberline has to release Shine and Duggan both. Dammit! Before Shine goes, he hints at how much he’d love to kill H Division’s fighter, Wheelwright, in the boxing ring.
Jackson approaches his wife with the plan to unload the stone to Duggan. Susan reveals that the debt is paid, infuriating Jackson. Nobody could feel worse about that situation than Susan. She’s not interested in happiness with Jackson, but she can totally get on board with setting Duggan up to be murdered. Back in Reid’s office, he and Abberline discuss how to handle the situation with Shine and Flight. Abberline seriously wants to murder some people. Reid tells him that “Evil men do as they please. Men who would be good, they must do as they are allowed.” Authoritarian, perhaps—but true. Before Abberline departs, he informs Reid that he can either break it off with Cobden, or find a new job. Damn. Reid immediately pens a letter to Jane, a letter we never see.
Susan pouts to convince Duggan to buy the stone. Jackson hatches a plan where the DeGraal guys will go after him. He’ll then lead them to Duggan, who will have given Judge the money and taken the stone at exactly 9pm. So far, so good. Finkel rats Jackson out to the DeGraals as planned. It’s all gonna go down at the music hall where Rose is singing. Reid seeks to prevent the murder of his boxer by Shine. They end up smashing the poor kid’s hand on purpose so he can be replaced by Bennet Drake—who I guess is back with H Division after all. Wow! Of course, this means Bennet is not available to hear Rose’s performance. Watch for the bloodlust on Arthurton’s face as he and Drake enter the boxing hall.
The fight starts out as you’d imagine, with Shine saying every awful thing he can think of about Bella. The final segment of the Ripper Street season finale splices Rose’s sweet song about happiness and love, with Duggan’s murder, Judge’s betrayal, and the rest of the fight. Oh yeah, Judge made the trade by 8:50, and took the money and ran before Jackson could arrive—and before anyone told us why he calls Jackson “Twinkle.” That guy sucks. The DeGraal’s kill Duggan happily, taking their stone back. Susan says everything she needs to say to Duggan, and that she’s taking all his money. Jane receives Edmund’s letter and dashes to see him. Drake finally starts fighting back, and soon has the better of Shine. Jackson prepares to take his wife and go, but Susan wants nothing to do with him still. Sad, but understandable.
Shine is on the ropes, and Reid can’t stop screaming for Drake to kill him. Really, he keeps saying, “Kill him!” We understand his feelings, but it’s unbecoming of a man like Edmund Reid. Cobden rushes in and sees Reid screaming for the death of another police inspector. Drake certainly could have killed Shine right there in the ring. He doesn’t. He is a better man. He makes the choice that even Reid can’t at this point. Drake defeats Shine, but he leaves him alive. Reid regains his composure long enough to watch Jane Cobden run out. Aaaaaand, scene.
I’m gonna save my extended commentary on the season for the Ripper Street Season Two Wrapup, which will go up some time this week. For now, this was a smashing end to a fantastic season. Big thanks to Amazon for keeping the episodes coming. Season Three in 2015.
See you’s then!