Review of Ripper Street ‘A Man of My Company’
SPOILERS: Do not read this if you have not seen episode 7 of ‘Ripper Street’
This week was the penultimate episode in the series and saw the Whitechapel trio investigate the murder of an engineer of a ship company but that was only part of the story.
Most importantly, the audience finally learned the truth about Homer Jackson or Matthew Judge and Long Susan. It was a simple love story of a man falling for his boss’s daughter and running away with her. The secret wasn’t as dark and mysterious as it was thought to be. Viewers may have been expecting something quite sinister and a bit grisly – the show is called Ripper Street after all but it was all quite tame.
Instead the shocking moment of the episode came when Hobbs was murdered. He was killed in such a callous way, first paralysed by having his spinal cord cut, then tossed into the Thames to drown. Throughout the series Hobbs has been an endearing character on par with Drake, Jonathan Barnwell has given a wonderful performance as the young officer and it is a pity to lose him.
Hobbs’ eagerness to learn from and please his superiors makes his character so appealing. On top of that he has not yet been tainted by the horrors of Whitechapel. It is all the more tragic because of the potential that he had has now been extinguished. Hobbs would have been part of a new breed of police officer, employing forensics and careful analysis to help him solve cases. He was under Reid’s wing and had learnt so much from the forward-thinking detective. Moreover, he is so likeable that if one of the lead three decided to leave he would have made a welcome addition to the team. For this very reason it seems to me a risky move on the part of the writers, even if it does make for a bold and dramatic twist in the story.
This episode was full of all sorts of twists and turns in the plot, and framing Jackson as the Ripper was one an artful little triumph that is going to carry over into next week. It seems that Long Susan’s father did get the last word after all when it came to his daughter and Jackson. It will be interesting to see how Reid and Drake manage to get Jackson out of this fix.
All in all A Man of My Company leaves the desecrating of history books to one side this week. There were hardly any anachronisms this week to speak of instead it was all about the big secret that viewers have been dying to know since the start. There was much drama and action – particularly the showdown in the middle of the East End – Wild West style. The scene somehow worked, with the dame rushing to her man once the gun slinging ended. It was very much a cowboy cliché and yet it never seems to get old.
For me, the untimely death of Hobbs seems so unjust of the writers and I hope some form of replacement fills this gap. As much as I like Sergeant Artherton, the officer with the big, bushy ginger beard whose seems to only communicate via his eyes, I don’t think he could quite step in should Jackson end up getting hanged. Perhaps they will bring in a plucky, young woman to mix things up? Although how this would work against the backdrop of Victorian England will be interesting to see – then again from what we’ve seen on Ripper Street so far anything is possible.
Next week on Ripper Street… Can the show outdo itself for the finale? Will Jackson swing for a crime he didn’t commit? The Jack the Ripper murder case is reopened. The case that everyone hopes to be explored in the series finally gets an airing.Tagged in: Adam Rothenberg, jerome flynn, Matthew Macfadyen, Ripper Street, Victorian
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