Ripper Street: “Your Father, My Friend” Review
Ripper Street fans rejoice as Abberline becomes less of a jerk, Best and Jackson solve a crime, and Drake literally talks someone down off a rooftop.
When we last left Whitechapel, Mathilda Reid had run from her captors and is now alone on some very dangerous streets. “Your Father, My Friend” begins with Drake informing his boss of this, leading to Reid having a minor breakdown right there on the beach. It must have been really dusty in my apartment, because tears sprang up in me during Reid’s frustrated scream. At Obsidian Estates, Capshaw has traded many of the stolen bearer bonds for cold, hard cash. He seems very pleased with himself, while Susan is disgusted with him and horrified at what she has allowed to happen. Did she know Capshaw was a terrible man when she hired him? Kind of.
The dialogue is even better than usual this week, as jabs and zingers flew left and right. I’d love to sit with Ripper Street’s writing staff and cast, just to see how they manage to make such flowery dialogue seem so natural. When Reid busts in to Obsidian to question Susan, he ends up losing his temper—again. And why not? Susan, who he’s always been good to, lies to his face—again, and almost gets choked out for it. Jackson stops it, leading Reid to utter a surprising line: You are watched, Bitch. Well then! Meanwhile, Capshaw has taken the money and fled, for now.
On the streets Abberline appears, wanting to get Reid back to the station because of Buckley’s murder. A short conversation later, every copper in Whitechapel is looking for the girl. Well, not Reid himself, but everyone else. Jackson is especially suspicious, but decides to question Dr. Frayne rather than his estranged wife. Elsewhere, Mathilda (who now recalls that her name is not Alice) encounters Tommen of the House Baratheon. Just kidding, but she does meet Harry Ward (Dean-Charles Chapman–Tommen B and Martin Lannister on Game of Thrones), who is a youthful pimp with a sassy hat. After buying her a potato and a scarf, he decides that proper payment for that is multiple rapes—starting with him. Confounding, since Tommen always seemed so sweet. 😉 But, the pimp is spotted by someone who recognized Mathilda.
Jackson’s meeting with Frayne is a productive one. She ends up admitting that she lied. Frayne suspected that Mathilda witnessed one or more of the Ripper murders, which haven’t actually been mentioned on Ripper Street in a while. Turns out, what Mathilda is actually recalling is Reid’s research and evidence on the murders, which she looked at without her father’s knowledge. I’d swear I saw a pic of The Black Dahlia at one point, but that can’t be right, can it? The witness to Mathilda’s corruption is brought to Reid, leading them to swarm Ward’s brothel and collect her—but not before she takes a sizable gash out of Ward’s face. Good for her! Abberline is furious when he sees Drake and Reid take some giant guns and head out to get the girl. Cue slow-motion badass walk. Nice! Note also that the archive Reid spent years building turned out to be vital to this investigation.
When the men arrive, Mathilda flees out the window. Drake catches up, but is stymied by a barred window. Still, he reminds the girl, “Your father, my friend,” and that he used to bring her strawberry ices when she was little. Strawberry Ices with Uncle Ben. Awwww. Still, the girl runs away. Eventually, the men of H Division deduce that Mathilda seems to be following the trail of the Ripper murders, but ends up in the home Reid shared with his family. Reid finds her there, and I barely saw what happened because I was crying so damn hard. She remembers the house, her name, who her father is—and that he keeps people safe. It’s a beautiful scene, one that gives fans what we’ve been hoping for since Season One. Watch Edmund die a little inside when his daughter asks where her mother is. Sorry kid, she died while you were being held captive. Watch for Arthurton to cover for Reid when he leaves the station to find her.
Across town, Fred Best and Jackson chat it up about Susan, Capshaw, and their respective roles in the train crash that killed Best’s boyfriend. See, “Your Father, My Friend” applies just as much to Jackson as it does to Drake. Turns out, Best has a document that will fry Capshaw, and Jackson takes it from him at gunpoint. We know where The American going next—he’s gonna talk to his estranged wife. She’s still lying, and acting affronted that he’s questioning her. Jackson tells Susan what she knows, accuses her of using him, and let’s her know he’s glad that he didn’t win her back the last time he tried. Jackson knows Capshaw is a villain, and that Susan must know more about that than she’s saying. Before we know it, Jackson and Hart are using each other’s real names and having standing-up-giggity in some filthy alley. Really? Those crazy kids! But Susan isn’t done screwing up yet in “Your Father, My Friend.” Not by a damn sight.
His daughter returned to him, Reid intends to take the girl and leave town. They’ll live someplace nice, like the seaside. Before they can go though, Jackson arrives with the document that will take Capshaw down. We know Edmund. We know he can’t leave until justice is served. But what to do with Mathilda? Reid takes her to the only safe person he knows of: Counselor Cobden. She seems shocked that Mathilda is alive—and why not? But she does agree to take the girl for an hour or two. Reid then heads to Obsidian estates to confront Capshaw, who had his hands mysteriously behind his back the whole time. Shots ring out, and before we’re even sure what happened, Reid is on his back in a pool of blood. Dammit! There’s an incredible shot where we see Capshaw’s ugly mug reflected in Reid’s blood. Stunning!
It was actually Susan who shot Reid in the face. I guess he was right to call her a Bitch. I wonder if Susan knew fans would be screaming for her to kill Capshaw at this point. I know I was. Watch for Capshaw to make some horribly sexist comments to Susan as she stands there, horrified at what she has become. Reid was indeed a good man, and Capshaw was barely a man at all. Finally, she takes Reid’s big ol’ gun and plugs Capshaw dead in the face. Susan then arranges the weapons to make it look like Reid killed Capshaw after Capshaw shot him. Without DNA or even finger print technology, that will probably work.
But wait. Edmund moves, clutches at his shooter. He’s alive! We hoped they wouldn’t actually kill Edmund Reid, especially now that Ripper Street is renewed for two more seasons. Reid thinks Capshaw shot him. Susan looks terrified. Aaaand…scene!
“Your Father, My Friend” was a spectacular episode. Sparkling dialogue, intense drama, and a heaping helping of vindication. As usual, I can’t wait to see what happens next.
See you’s next week!