As you may recall, last season saw Susan fake being hanged, then take shelter with a crooked smuggler named Croker, who also had a young man named Nathaniel under his wing. But Nathaniel, well, he had issues. Apparently his idea of a good Saturday night was chewing fellow human beings to death. And that would be bad enough, but he’s also the secret brother of everyone’s boss, Augustus Dove. And Dove found out about Reid walling in Susan’s father a couple of years ago, so now Reid’s a wanted man. Reid managed to slip the trap just long enough to pursue Nathaniel into the city’s sewers, along with Drake and Jackson and Susan. Drake was the unlucky one who found Nathaniel first, and he paid for it with his life.

So here we are, three days later. It’s time for Drake’s funeral. While most of Whitechapel’s police force is gathered at the gravesite (btw, H division seems to have an excellent officer’s choir), Jackson sees the opportunity to get himself, Susan, and Reid out of the sewers. It takes a little effort to get Reid engaged, but he manages and Jackson leads them all to a theatre owned by Mimi.

MIMI! All right! I’d just been thinking I kind of missed her. She continues to be awesome, by the way. She takes them all in, feeds them, and even manages to finagle the whereabouts of Susan’s and Jackson’s kid out of some council employee. Seems Rose has just decided she is DONE and handed Conor (who’s going to have some serious attachment issues) over to Dove, who legally adopted him. In THREE DAYS. I know Dove’s connected and this was the Victorian era and background checks and things were much less stringent, but that still seems unbelievably fast. Dove has also managed to get a house in the suburbs and a stern nanny and is now recruiting further staff. Susan, of course, unable to help herself, dyes her hair so she won’t be recognised and parks herself across from the house so she can see her son.

At H division, things are a tad chaotic, what with there being no leader. But Dove’s on it: he brings in Jedediah Shine, whom you may remember (or not–I sure didn’t) as that asshole from K division who menaced the Elephant Man and was nearly killed in a bare-knuckle boxing match by Drake. He’s just as much of a thug as ever, and has an eager acolyte in Thatcher, though of course Drummond’s not a fan of this change in management.

Oh, Drum? He’s living with Matilda right now. Chastely, it seems, for which he gets teased a fair bit at the station. But he doesn’t care because he loves her and still gets to see her in her nightgown, which in 1893 was practically the equivalent of topless and in a thong. Right now, it’s less about sex and more about ‘I know you’re dealing with some stuff and I want to be here for you,’ which is very sweet.

Anyway, Nathaniel is, I guess, trying to restore some balance to the universe by saving some animals. Specifically, fighting dogs. He starts with just one, stealing a prize pit bull off a douchebag who’s then stupid enough to try and report the theft to H division. Thatcher quickly realises the man’s a dogfighter and sends him on his way.

Reid and Jackson find where Nate was staying for a while, realise he’s got a fighting dog, and figure he’s going to use the dog to make some quick cash to escape with. They also find a card advertising a prayer meeting, which they think is a bit suspicious. They guess this is a cover for the dogfights, and yes, they’re right about that. Just before they arrive, Nate frees all the dogs tied up, waiting to fight, chasing away the owners and audience and causing some entertaining general mayhem. Reid and Jackson show up, see Nate, and Jackson just starts shooting. American, you know. It’s not like you two are wanted men and this is a crowded London street IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY, JACKSON. Geez. And all he manages to hit is the dog. JACKSON! The poor creature suffers for a while until Nate mercy kills it, bringing the animal carnage up to three dead dogs in one episode.

Turns out, that dog’s original owner, Jenkins, was at that fight. He’s dragged into H division and strung up painfully by his wrists in a cell until he agrees to do Shine’s bidding. Shine and Thatcher plan to set a trap for Reid and Jackson by advertising another fight in the newspaper. But Drum, disturbed by all this, tells Matilda everything, and she manages to warn her father off. Instead, he and Jackson capture Thatcher and send him riding through the streets of Whitechapel naked, bound at the wrists, with a sign that says, ‘Welcome back, Shine’ on his back. Shine gets a rather frightening look that seems to say, ‘bring it.’

Oh, they will, Shine. They will.

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2 thoughts on “Ripper Street: Closed Casket

  1. Your reviews are still being read…just wanted to let you know. I am enjoying your recaps as I watch the series. The tone of this first episode of the last series started to lift considerably towards the end, with a Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid vibe.

    Anna Burnett (Matilda) is an excellent actress, I am coming to realize more with every scene she’s in.

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