Ripper Street: The Dreaming Dead

So, Shine’s days are seriously numbered. Turns out, getting repeatedly battered about the head is really bad for your brain, and now even his doctor’s like, ‘I have no idea how you’re still alive. Here, have some morphine!’ The man’s on a very ticking clock, so he needs to get on with things.

Young Robin, son of the Sumner brother and sister who Nathaniel killed last week, flees to Whitechapel. Conveniently, the recently demoted Thatcher is the bobbie on the beat, and because he was a regular customer the kid knows and trusts him. The boy tells him what happened, and Thatcher delivers him to the LemTeam.

Reid loses his damn mind and starts screaming excitedly at the kid, demanding information. Luckily, Susan and Jackson are there to tell him to lay off and give them a minute with this completely traumatised boy. Reid, realising he’s getting a little too wrapped up in all this, takes a step back. The boy opens up to Susan and Jackson, telling them where the cottage is.

Reid sets off, with Jackson in tow, but when they reach the cottage the place is clean. Like, REALLY clean. Too clean. It’s obviously been scrubbed down by someone who really knows what they’re doing. They notice a rug is missing, and follow tracks outside to the cart, which has been burned near the river. They deduce the bodies were wrapped up, transported to the river, and dumped. Jackson thinks this is the end, since those bodies’ll be swept out to sea, but Reid wonders if the sluggishness of the river in this part of London might work to their advantage.

While they’re considering that, they hear a hansom cab pull up and find Shine poking around the cottage. Another policeman who was nearby when Robin talked to Thatcher reported back, so now Jedediah’s on the case. Reid and Jackson keep him subdued with superior firepower and a pair of handcuffs and tell him all about the Golem being Dove’s brother, and how their only purpose right now is to rid London of this menace.

Once he manages to free himself, Shine heads to Dove’s house and tells him what he knows. He wants to use Nathaniel, who’s recovering in a locked room upstairs, as bait to lure Reid out, but Dove has a better idea: use Mathilda.

Shine obligingly puts the squeeze on Drum, who goes to Mathilda and tries to persuade her to help bring her father in peacefully. She can’t be party to that, because he’s her father and all. Apparently she’s completely forgotten that just a couple of weeks ago she basically handed Reid right over to Dove. Where were your filial instincts then, Mathilda?

So, it’s up to Drum to lay the trap. He does so by lighting the signal candle in the window after Mathilda goes to bed.

Meanwhile, over at Mimi’s theatre and fugitive safehouse, Mimi and Susan have a lovely little scene together. Mimi notes that Susan was really good with poor Robin, and makes some touching observations about Susan’s and Jackson’s relationship, adding that their son is very lucky to have them. Can Mimi get a spin-off? Or, can Lydia Wilson just be in everything? I really love her.

While they’re having this chat, Robin pokes around and finds a newspaper with giant pictures of Reid, Jackson, and Susan splashed across the cover, with WANTED all over it. Like any sensible kid, he panics and runs. He runs right to Leman Street, where Thatcher is a bit overwhelmed at the moment. Before he can secret the kid away, Drum strolls in, sees the boy everyone’s been looking for, and hands him over to J Division, which is the Hackney police force. But J division just delivers the kid to Dove and that incredibly creepy nanny of his.

Reid sees the signal candle, but before he can pursue a supposed meet-up with Mathilda, he and Jackson need to go poke around the part of the river where the dumped bodies are likely to be found. They find something there, but it’s not what they were expecting. It’s Robin, dead and disposed of, just like his parents. Jackson just can’t even manage this anymore, and he definitely can’t manage Reid getting almost excited, saying they can use this new find to recalculate where the other bodies might be. Jackson’s all, ‘Are you f-ing kidding me with this? This is a CHILD! A DEAD CHILD! This is what Dove is willing to do, and let’s not forget, he HAS MY SON.’

Jackson says he’s done with Reid’s crusade, and he goes back to the theatre to collect Susan, telling her they’re going to get Conner and get the hell out of there NOW.

Using the information that Susan’s unfortunate late spy provided, they sneak into the house at dawn. The nanny, who apparently never sleeps, discovers them and raises the alarm, bringing in two policemen. Jackson shoots them, then levels the gun on the nanny, warning her he has no problem shooting women. Equality? Susan’s having none of it, grabs the gun, and shoots this evil woman herself. Girl Power!?

The ruckus has woken Nathaniel, who busts out of his room and goes to get Connor, to protect him. Susan and Jackson find him upstairs, holding the boy, and tell him who they are and what Dove did to Robin. Nathaniel breaks a bit, and hands the boy over to his parents. Jackson gets ready to shoot Nathaniel, who actually begs for death, which is strangely heartbreaking. He’s done such terrible things, but he’s clearly suffering and just incapable of maintaining control, and he knows it and just wants it all to end. It’s…awful.

Jackson, however, does not shoot him. He and Susan run, with their boy.

And Reid strolls right into the trap that’s been laid for him. Drum and two dozen constables walk Reid back to the station, where Shine is waiting, delighted. As a crowd gathers, he orders Reid to kneel, but Reid refuses. So Shine gets ready to fight him. Reid, seeming exhausted and wrung out, refuses to fight, too, so Shine just begins beating him. Drum flinches. The crowd throws its support behind Reid, urging him to kick this man’s ass. Mathilda shows up and starts screaming in horror, struggling to get to her father. Reid does eventually begin to fight back, but Shine still bests him, and gets ready to stomp his head to a pulp on the steps. Mathilda screams again, and Shine’s swelling brain makes him falter. Reid is dragged inside and locked up.

Mathilda takes all of two seconds to realise what happened. She slaps Drum and screams that she’ll never forgive him. Amazingly, he doesn’t seem to have considered this outcome. How could he not think this would be the death knell of their relationship?

Shine celebrates this victory by going to an opium den. He gets good and high, then purposely overdoses on morphine. Shine’s gonna go out on his own terms. And perhaps it was for the best, for him, because he does it just seconds before Dove comes in, switchblade out, ready to kill him. Dove realises the man’s already dead, probably figures that’s one less bloody crime scene he needs to bother with, and leaves. But man, he’s going to be pissed when he gets home tonight.

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