Let’s review what has happened this season, shall we? But before we go any further, this is your official *SPOILER ALERT* warning.
Don’t review if you have yet to watch all eight episodes.
A lot has gone down in the mucky East End. A beloved young copper was killed, Sergeant Drake fell in and out of love, Captain Jackson and Long Susan‘s mysterious past was revealed, more than a few slaps and punches were exchanged, and Inspector Reid suffered possible false hope about his missing daughter, as well as trouble at home with his wife.
Things get a little dicey when Inspector Reid and his team have to rescue Rose from a sketchy pornography shoot after Captain Jackson discovers she has a “leaning to smut.” Luckily they get there just in time before the culprit kills her off.
Next, a local toy maker is murdered, leading the H Division boys into a brutal world of child gangs. We are introduced to the lovely head of a Jewish orphanage, Deborah Goran, who provides information about the boy charged in the toy maker’s murder.
Sergeant Drake and Inspector Reid successfully send the boy away, and save him from the life of a merciless Whitechapel gang member. Learn more about children living in Victorian poverty.
We also learn that Inspector Reid’s wife, Emily, is still mourning her young daughter, which has caused a riff in their marriage.
The cracking team pair up with the Independent City of London police force to help solve a sudden cholera outbreak. Their sources lead them to scour outside their own borough to find what it causing the deadly epidemic. Meanwhile, Mrs. Reid visits a possible investor in her shelter for ex-prostitutes, but soon finds herself afflicted with cholera herself!
Captain Jackson finds a cure for the ailment in his lab while the rest of the team catch the culprit who started the outbreak by injecting poison into the flour supply. All ends well for Mrs. Reid as she is cured, and gets the endowment she was after for her shelter.
Inspector Reid tells his fellow policeman, “you and I, we are not magicians, we cannot see through walls or read men’s minds…we fight with all the skills we may muster. Beyond that, we may do no more.”
Next, the brutal clearing of a local slum due to railroad construction leaves many stranded civilians in its path, including a young pretty thing, Lucy Eames, who used to work for Long Susan. She witnesses a murder that becomes the topic of the episode and leads Inspector Reid and his men into a web of conspiracy, eventually leading to corruption charges of the County Councilman and advocate of the railway site.
The episode also touches on mental illness and Victorian asylums. To find out more, check out the ‘Ripper Street’ blog ‘Locking up Women for the ‘Good of This City.”
In Episode 5, the Wild West comes to Whitechapel, and ‘Game of Thrones’ actor Iain Glenn guest stars as Sergeant Drake’s old war buddy from the Sudan, Colonel Madoc Faulkner. Faulkner causes quite a ruckus in a jewel robbery which he claims is justice for the corrupt Queen’s Empire, and his presence brings back sore war memories for Sergeant Drake. Find out more about the British Empire’s War in Sudan.
Drake is sidetracked by Madame Rose, whom he is pursuing, but by the end of the episode realizes that she could never be a “bobby’s wife,” as she confesses to him later. After Rose uses the dreaded “friend” word in describing their relationship, it’s bye bye love.
Reid and his wife continue to feel a disconnect as the season progresses, leading him to make some moves on Ms. Goran. Their kiss is a shocking and unexpected moment, which leads to many future awkward scenes to come. But he is forced to get his head back in the game when a group of global terrorists led by a Jewish anarchist threatens the city amidst the historic dock strike of 1889.
The investigation creates a riff between he and Ms. Goran, as she knows the anarchist from their days in Russia, and defends his philosophies.
Reid puts Jackson’s experience of a Pinkerton at work by investigating the strikes from the inside, which culminates in Jackson getting tortured. His unfortunate circumstance does not come at a loss, however, as his one-liner quips like “Come and get your cream, peaches” makes the pain well worth it.
In Episode 7, an international shipping magnate arrives in town with his Pinkerton to complete the acquisition of an ailing London shipping line. These new cast of characters directly lead to the big reveal of Captain Jackson and Long Susan’s American past.
The shipping magnate turns out to be Long Susan’s father, and the Pinkerton and Captain Jackson have some unfinished business which culminates in a traditional ‘last man standing’ gun-slingin’ duel.
We find out that Long Susan and Captain Jackson are married, and that the brothel has been their cover for some unruly dealings they were part of back stateside, including Jackson’s involvement with the Pinkerton Agency.
Find out more about Pinkertons.
Unfortunately, our young copper Hobbs is murdered by the American Pinkerton, and cruelly thrown into the River Thames. It’s a good thing that Captain Jackson was at least able to avenge his death by eliminating his killer.
Rest in peace, dear Hobbs.
The season ends with Reid struggling to retrieve more information about his missing daughter, and simultaneously has his hands full with catching a vicious kidnapper who is running a white slavery ring operation in a posh part of London. Rose is, again, subject to the the perpetrator’s wrath and needs saving. Luckily, Reid and his men are more than capable of doing so before any permanent damage is done.
We also find out more about what happened to Reid’s daughter, and why he is still holding on to the hopes of her being alive.
While the season answers a lot of our questions, there are still many more doors left open for new mysteries to be solved next year!
If you care to re-live the series over and over again, pre-order your copy of Season 1 today!
You can also purchase the show on iTunes.
See you next season!