Ripper Street: Father Knows Best

ripper-street-episode-6-06Previously on Ripper Street: Susan told Jackson to get lost, after he gambled and lost most of her money on a land deal in the Argentine, and Drake found marital bliss with one of Susan’s former girls.

Drake’s at a flower stall, buying a bouquet for his wife. The girl selling the flowers tells him the meanings of each of them, and he’s doing pretty well, until he selects yellow tulips, which apparently mean love without hope. He starts to head home, but then spots Rose sitting on the street, looking a little lost, and asks her what happened.

Rose takes him to the theatre where she works and tells him she’s leaving the place, because apparently the man in charge is trying to shake her down for sex. Poor Rose. She really does get crapped on by life, doesn’t she? Drake reassures her that things will work out for her, and Rose tells him Bella’s a lucky lady. He quickly excuses himself and continues on home, stopping to check out a smoke plume from what looks like a hell of a fire not far away. Inside, he finds dinner bubbling on the stove but Bella mysteriously gone.

Reid, Jackson, and Flyte arrive at the scene of the fire: a church, and Jackson immediately declares it arson, because he’s an expert in everything. He says this was done with whale oil. There’s a crowd nearby, and one man swears the Jews did this, and Reid goes over and grabs a kid who’s handing out presumably anti-Jewish broadsides. Reid asks who gave these to him and the kid claims not to know. Another member of the crowd points out the Hebrew writing on the church wall and Reid dispatches Flight to fetch a photographer.

The boys return to the station, where Drake’s waiting, panicking over where Bella might be. He can’t find her anywhere. Reid starts to say that he had concerns about this relationship from the start. Jackson tries to shut him up, but Reid persists, and Drake gets upset. Jackson quietly suggests they go ask Susan if she knows anything. Before he leaves, he tells Reid to keep his marital advice to himself in the future.

Susan’s having a visit with Rose, who’s asking Susan for a short-term loan, so she can get away from the theatre. Susan has nothing to give and tells Rose that the theatre is her best option. Rose isn’t terribly happy about the idea of letting this guy continue to take advantage of her, but Susan tiredly says men will always do that, and there’s not much the ladies can do about it. Jackson and Drake show up and, after hearing what’s up, Susan says she knows nothing about Bella’s family, and neither she nor Rose know of any special favourites she had before Drake came along. Susan gets up to leave and Jackson follows her out. She warns him never to come there again unannounced and he calls after her that this is his home. Not anymore, Jackson. One of the girls behind him gets a hilarious, ‘oh, mommy and daddy are fighting again’ look on her face for a moment.

Back with Rose and Drake, Rose is trying to reassure him, but he won’t hear it and blames her for what happened, because he figures if he wasn’t with her, he might have been home, protecting Bella. He meanly says that nothing good comes from being around Rose, and while that may be true (this girl does seem to attract far more than her fair share of trouble), that was unduly harsh, Drake.

Looks like the Christians have had their revenge, desecrating a synagogue with a pig’s head and blood and writing graffiti on the walls. The distressed rabbi prays while Reid waits nearby for a Mr Bloom to arrive. The name’s familiar, which makes me think we may have seen him before. Reid tells him a religious war is brewing in Whitechapel. The two sit together and Reid asks about the graffiti left at the church. It reads: Shall a trumpet not blow in the city and the people not quake in fear? Shall there be evil in the city if the Lord has not done it? He shows Reid a broadside now written in Hebrew, which a boy was passing out outside earlier. Reid recognizes the similarity with the broadside outside the church and knows it can’t be a coincidence. The rabbi comes over and Reid hands the paper over. Like the last one, it’s a call to arms, though this time of course it’s anti-Christian. The rabbi says that none of his congregation would write something so hateful.

Drake’s still walking the streets, looking for his wife. He thinks he spots her at one point, but it’s a different woman.

Rose, meanwhile, is drowning her sorrows in some pub. A young blonde woman—the same one who recognized Bella last week—comes over, introduces herself as Maggie, and invites Rose to join her and her friends. Rose rebuffs her—rather rudely—but when a man propositions her a moment later she joins them after all. Safety in numbers, eh?

Drake returns home to unexpectedly find his wife there, acting like nothing happened. There’s a slightly older man there, with long hair and a long beard who seems somehow…icky. She introduces him as her uncle, Gabriel. Drake asks where the hell she’s been and she claims she left him a note. Gabriel breaks in to say that it’s his fault—he showed up out of the blue and called her away on distressing business. Over dinner, he tells Drake that his daughter recently died of typhus, and that before she went, she really wanted to see Bella again. By chance, he found out where Bella was living, and Bella rushed to the child’s side. Bella’s looking extremely uncomfortable throughout this conversation. Drake asks after the child’s mother and Gabriel says he wishes every day he could have her back at his side again. Gabriel asks Drake about his time in Egypt and reveals he did quite a bit of travelling and study himself—going around, seeking truth.

Maggie takes Rose home with her, to a building that’s been condemned but looks fairly nice on the inside. She says that lots of them live there, and anyone in need of shelter and friendship can find it there. They’re greeted by a young man, who tells them there’s soup, and that he’s made some new friends too. Maggie fondly tells him that Father will be happy with him. Another man, named Samuel, strolls over, and Maggie says he’s one of Father’s best pupils. He reels off a quote that sounds like it could be biblical in nature, then excuses himself and raps on a nearby door. Rose asks what’s through there and hears it’s Father’s inner sanctum. She asks who Father is and Maggie says he found this place and made them all a family. Riiiight. Rose, don’t drink any Kool-Ade these people offer you, mmmkay?

Bella cleans up after dinner and notices Drake still seems upset. She embraces him and he says she never once spoke of her family. She explains that it felt like they were in another life. She apologises and he holds her tightly and says it’s ok.

Rose explores the house, which is full of all sorts of curios and a few pamphlets, which she settles down to read before falling asleep.

Reid’s in his office, poring over the hate broadsides. Jackson comes stumbling in and Reid asks if he thinks the broadsides seem similar. Jackson’s not interested in the case, because he’s taking a night off to drink, vomit, drink some more, and pass out, in that order. Good to have a plan, Jackson!

Reid’s next stop is at Best’s office to ask Best if it looks like some of these pamphlets (there’s also an anti-Irish one in there) came off the same press. Apparently Best started out running presses as a kid. Well, that’s lucky. Best’s not interested in helping them, so Reid threatens to leave and get the opinion of someone who knows what they’re talking about. Since insulting Best is one of the best ways to get him to cooperate, he falls in line, takes a look, and notices a smudge that indicates the sheets were printed on an Albion, which can smudge at the slightest disturbance. Reid notes that these smudges occur regularly.

After their meeting with Best, on the way back to the station, Reid apologises for not being so supportive of Drake’s marriage and says he’s happy Bella’s home safe. Drake sweetly says he hopes to one day be able to say the same to Reid. Awww. Drake suddenly suggests they look for printing houses near train tracks, because he used to live in a place near the trains and they would constantly make the room shake.

Reid goes to Jackson and asks if he can figure out what type of ink was used in the printing, so they can narrow down the printshops. Jackson gets to work and determines that it’s Black Empire number 4. They use it to figure out they’re looking for Gaddis and Co. The boys head that way, find the Albion and whale oil, and then Gaddis himself comes out. Well, looky here, it’s Samuel! He immediately puts a knife to his throat, gasps ‘Father!’ and stabs himself in the neck. Jackson tries to stanch the bleeding, but the man was efficient and is carried out on a stretcher, dead.

Maggie comes in to Rose’s room to find her reading some of Father’s work. Rose asks Maggie if she really thinks there’s some sort of other world to come and Maggie says she sure does, because Father convinced her, and it was wonderful. She urges Rose to stay and meet Father, but Rose shortly says she’ll be on her way, thanks.

This Father that Maggie keeps talking about is none other than Gabriel, who’s playing a game of chess with Bella in his room and telling her she has had her time away, but now must renounce her adultery with Drake and return to the fold. She tells him that Drake is a good man and she loves him. Gabriel urges her to bring Drake to them. He goes on to say that his girl, Lily, howled for her and would have found the strength to fight her illness if Bella had stayed. She weeps and says she was a child herself and couldn’t stay.

Rose emerges from her room and hears the others chanting somewhere in the house.

Father comes around the chessboard and tells her that he and Drake are quite similar, having waded through muck and blood and come out wanting to clean up the streets. So, he’s pretty sure Drake would understand their work. He strokes her face and kisses her, and that’s when Rose pokes her head in and gets an eyeful. She panics and flees, and Father calls Maggie and one of the others to go find her. They chase her into some nearby building, but Rose hides in a privy and gets away.

Back at the house, Father cuddles Bella.

Reid and Jackson are having a cozy evening together, and Reid’s reading a book called The Golden Bough, marveling at how it brings together religion and mythology. Jackson points out that the two things aren’t so far apart from each other and it’s pretty clear that Jackson’s an atheist, not that that should come as any surprise. Jackson asks Reid if he really believes this whole long-lost uncle routine Bella’s trying out. Reid does not and wonders what the real deal is here. Jackson says that love is based on faith, and if you don’t have that, then you have nothing, which is probably why Drake hasn’t demanded the truth from his wife.

At the Drakes’, Bella’s making dinner. Someone knocks on the door and Drake opens it to find Gabriel outside. As soon as she sees him, Bella starts to tell him it’s too soon and demands he leave. Drake grabs the man and demands to know who he is. Bella begs Drake to let the man go and begs Gabriel to leave. Drake tells the man to get lost and never show his face there again and Gabriel obligingly leaves.

A little later, Bella lies in bed, her back to her husband, who urges her to tell him what’s going on. She only says she thinks he would have been happier if he married Rose. I doubt that, the amount of trouble that girl manages to get herself into. He’d be constantly stressed out. He insists that Rose is part of his past and he loves Bella, though at least Rose never kept secrets from him.

At Leman Street, Jackson checks out a very crispy body. Reid brings Drake in and explains that the man was about to set fire to another church, but a constable spotted him, so he decided to set fire to himself instead. He seemed to be in the grip of some sort of religious mania as he burned. Reid finally notices that Drake’s a bit checked out and, guessing this has to do with Bella, urges him to take a personal day. Reid knows, perhaps better than anyone, the importance of a work-life balance, though he learned that lesson a little too late.

At the house, Father announces to his followers that their brother, Jacob, gave himself to the flame that day, but he’s gone on to a much better place. He goes on to tell them that they love their fellow man so much they want to tear them away from the false temples of worship and set tribe against tribe to teach them what hate is bred in their idolatries.

Rose finds Drake on the street and breathlessly tells him she saw Bella with Father. He harshly tells her to shut up, but she persists, saying she can’t bear to see him cuckholded. He slaps her hard and immediately regrets it, but she runs away before he can apologise.

Bloom arrives at Leman Street, his arm in a sling thanks to some vigilantes. Reid takes him to his office and shows him some of the Hebrew broadsides they found at Samuel’s printshop. Bloom says these are the words of John Dee, a very famous astrologer, mathematician, and student of the occult. Reid asks who studies this and Bloom tells him it’s popular stuff. They trade some slight barbs about the idea of rational men who also believe in religion, which Reid dismissively thinks is mostly hocus pocus. Bloom thinks otherwise and believes man yearns for something beyond himself. Reid tells him about Samuel Gaddis, and the name clearly rings a bell, because Bloom asks Reid if he’s ever heard of the Order of the Golden Dawn.

Reid goes to the Order’s HQ, where he’s greeted by a woman named Jemima Swan, who’s played by the same actress who was Jane in Coupling. 40 British actors rule strikes again. She immediately pegs Reid as a policeman and he shows her the broadsides and tells her he’s after information on Gaddis. She says that Gaddis was the disciple of a man named Gabriel Kane. Both men left the Order, and she recognizes the broadside as Gabriel’s work. She has no idea where Gabriel is now, and explains that, while he was a brilliant mind, he only saw a world drenched in its own cruelty and thought that some sort of end times were at hand. He believed he was the man who would bring about the cataclysm that would help purify the world. She thinks that he’s preparing to lead his followers out of this world in a mass suicide. Jemima then shows Reid a photo of the founders of Gabriel’s cult, and right there in the middle is a very pregnant Bella. Reid asks about her and Jemima says that she was Gabriel’s holy queen, and that he named her Bella. Reid rushes away.

Drake’s taking his time off and using it to stalk his wife, who returns to Gabriel’s and is admitted. She tells him she can’t bring Drake to this place and begs him to leave them both alone.

Drake, meanwhile, hammers on the door and is admitted by Maggie.

Father tells Bella her love for Drake is not real, but her love for Father is.

Maggie leads Drake through a room filled with praying acolytes and gestures towards Father’s door. He goes in and Father tells Bella this is destiny, and that Drake came without her having to bring him. He tells Drake that he’s Bella’s teacher, savior, and father of her child. Bella tearfully says the little girl, Lily, was hers. Drake tears up, unable to fully process this information and betrayal. Father goes on to say that they both want Drake to join them in this place and escape from a world he knows is blood soaked and blackhearted. Since Drake doesn’t agree immediately, one of the followers knocks him out.

Reid goes to Drake’s and knocks on the door, but of course there’s no answer.

Back to the station he goes, where Jackson tells him he found peyote in Barbeque Bill’s belly. It’s pretty uncommon in London and Reid gets Flight onto sniffing out any suppliers.

Drake comes to, bound and gagged, with both Bella and Father at his side. Father removes the gag, takes a ball of peyote, intones: ‘This is my body, which is broken for you,’ and tries to force it down Drake’s throat. Drake fights him, so he hands it to Bella, threatening to break Drake’s jaw. Bella manages to get it in his mouth and she and Father force him to swallow it. Father goes on to say that there are some who believe the world is in its final, most sinful phase. He continues that he knows Drake really wants Rose, and promises to bring her to him so they can enter the next life together.

Rose is back in the same bar where she met Maggie, which seems pretty stupid. And sure enough, Maggie and one of the other followers find her and cart her off. Rose is wasted enough to go with them quietly, and she’s dumped in a room where Drake’s already in the grips of the drug. He begs Rose to forgive him and she gently hushes him.

Flight’s found the horticulturalist providing the drugs, and notes that the same people who bought it also bought belladonna, which is highly poisonous. He and Jackson realize the followers plan to kill themselves with it and Jackson races off to brew up an antidote.

Bella brews up the belladonna into a very pretty looking infusion and ladles it into a silver goblet. Father gathers his followers together and, with Bella at his side, hands out the goblet. They pass it around the circle, each taking a drink.

In another room, Maggie forces Rose to take her peyote and reassures her that, that night, Gabriel’s light will flood inside her.

Reid and his men arrive at the house and find everyone in Father’s room. Everyone’s passed out (we hope), except for Bella, Father, and Drake. Father’s got the goblet up to Drake’s lips.

Rose spits the peyote back at her captors and fights them both off, which I have to admit is both impressive and pretty badass, considering she’s still at least a fair bit wasted. She grabs a poker from a nearby fireplace and bursts into Father’s room, where she takes him out with one good whack to the skull. Damn, girl. She flings off Bella as well, and she’s restrained by Flight. Jackson arrives with the antidote, which he hands to a policeman with instructions to give it to anyone who drank. Jackson forces Drake to vomit up the drug and gives him the antidote, just to be safe, reassuring him he’ll be ok, as Reid and Rose hover over him.

Later, Drake’s helped out of the room, begging to be allowed to see Bella. She manages to pull a knife from her pocket, cuts Flight’s hand, and snatches Rose, holding the knife to her throat. Bella shouts that she deserves her shackles and that he can have Rose. She says she knows Drake really wanted Rose all along, and though he tells her that’s not the case, she says there’s no point in any of it without his love. She shoves Rose away and stabs herself in the belly. Jackson rushes over to her, but there’s not much he can do for a gut wound.

Reid visits the synagogue, which is being cleaned up, and sits beside Bloom, who tells him the carpenters and workmen of the area, no matter what their religious affiliation, have been donating their services both at the synagogue and at the church. So, the world’s not as hopeless as Father thought. Reid says he sees horrible things every day, but he still has to cling to the hope that man isn’t a lost cause, because that’s just too horrible to even consider. Bloom tells him that a man without faith is a man without hope, and the two go back to sitting contemplatively together.

Drake buries his wife, tossing a single yellow tulip in the grave with her. Ooof. Susan and Rose and some of the other girls watch from behind him as dirt is shoveled onto the grave. As Drake starts to walk away, accompanied by Reid and Jackson, Rose catches him up, takes his hand, and tells him that she’s there, if he ever needs a friend. He tells her to take her hand off of him, because he’s made of nothing but death. Oooh, Drake! Poor man.



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