It’s been far too long (for BBC viewers anyway) since Ripper Street was last on air, but some of us are still quivering with anticipation of this final season. With Drake (Jerome Flynn) apparently dead, and Reid, (Matthew Macfadyen), Jackson, (Adam Rothenberg) and Susan (MyAnna Buring) on the run from the corrupt Dove (Killian Scott), is this a case of the hunters becoming the hunted?
I do enjoy Ripper Street. Yes, it’s a bit stodgy and po-faced at times, but those clothes… that setting! We’ve known for a while that the move to Amazon from a BBC-exclusive show meant that creator Richard Warlow could finish his intended five-series story arc. Even though the fifth and last series has come and gone on Amazon, the BBC has announced the transmission date for the series… and it’s not too far away.
So what is the secret of the Whitechapel Golem? If this was EA Poe, it could be a gorilla with a straight razor; if it were Dr Who, it could be a giant rat from the sewers; but this is Ripper Street, so it’s likely to be something at once more monstrous and more human. We know there are two threads bound to be tied up this week; the mystery killer in whose place Bloom was executed, and Susan’s plot to rob the Customs House, retrieve her child and flee the country. Against this background, Drake and Reid, once friends and colleagues, are bound to clash.
There’s a ghost in the house, and it’s Long Susan – officially she’s dead, but when Rose sees her hanging around her child Connor, even Drake thinks she’s imagining it. Mathilda’s on hand to watch Connor, but who’s watching her? There’s some sort of wolf-creature on the loose in Whitechapel, and it’s already killed once, slaying Drake’s protege Thomas Gower – and maybe the rabbi Ratowski as well?
NB: Spoilers abound
When your idea of a romantic evening is paddling up the Thames with a bottle of plonk, you know you’ve reached a pretty low ebb. For Jackson and Susan – who has already murdered to preserve the secret of her escape from the gallows – it’s the last roll of the dice. They must surely leave the country or die trying.
NB: Spoilers all over the shop
The legend of Jack the Ripper has always ascribed almost supernatural qualities to the serial murderer, hence Ripper Street has always been suffused with otherworldly suggestion. This episode falls under the shadow of the most feared and legendary of spectral terrors – the vampire.