Ripper Street ‘Our Betrayal’ – Series 2 – Episode 7
Following on from the events of last week, we have a series finale of two halves and it’s all kicking off. Poor old Drake has disappeared and his house is in a mess while Jackson’s brother comes to town with a stolen diamond.
After all the misery of last week, we were treated to a humorous opening – the likes of which have not been seen on Ripper Street before. It was a welcome change of tone and this dark vein of comedy ran throughout the episode all the way to the last scene. It was all so depressing that it became comical and a little silly because it was taking itself too seriously.
Matthew MacFadyen was in full Mr Darcy mode, channelling his incarnation of the Jane Austen character circa 2007 in Joe Wright version of Pride and Prejudice. It’s taken me a while to realise but Reid is basically what Mr Darcy would be like if Elizabeth left him and then he became an East End copper. Then there was Reid’s hyperbolic ‘evil afoot’ speech to Flight, which much like his inverted syntax, was a tad too dramatic and only added to the Darcy comparisons.
The scenes between Reid and Cobden felt very much like a bad romantic period drama. They were far less harsh than the brutality on the streets of Whitechapel and felt completely out of place. It was far too civilised and dare I say it, normal for Ripper Street. Perhaps if Reid had whipped out some Victorian contraceptives, created by Jackson (obviously), during the brief sex scene I would breathed a sigh of relief. I would have felt back on familiar ground but no such moment presented itself. Only a hack listening in on their coupling.
Aside from the disappointing lack of anachronisms, the introduction of Flight’s true nature and his relationship with Shine came far too late in the series. It would have made more sense to explore this storyline from the start. It is by far the most interesting story of the lot, bar the gay postal boys episode. It should have featured more prominently, running underneath it all as a subtle overarching story arc. Alas is was not to be and we were denied all of this intriguing plotting.
Saying this, both Joseph Mawle and Damien Molony gave standout performances as Shine and Flight respectively, one as the utterly evil villain and the other as the naive boy. They play their roles to a tee and make for a powerful combination. We needed more of these two earlier in the show rather than diverting into individual cases for the last three weeks.
But it wasn’t all bad. Drake came back! Only on Ripper Street can it be considered a happy ending when someone returns to the beat with a corpse draped over their shoulders in the pouring rain. Was I the only one thinking of Four Weddings and a Funeral when Drake arrived on the scene?
Only last week it was announced that Ripper Street has been axed due to poor ratings. It was a twist none of us saw coming but perhaps it’s not completely surprising given the weirder and weirder plot lines that we’re confronted with each week. Ripper Street was trounced in the ratings by ITV’s reality TV show I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! It’s a shame given the high production values and superb acting of Ripper Street.
I’m hoping the BBC will reconsider, mainly so that I can continue ribbing the show for its anachronisms. And of course we still haven’t had the dead Victorian photography and chair mothers case yet.
Next week on ‘Ripper Street’… It is the grand finale of series 2 and the last ever episode of the show. Drake is back in the fold, Shine will finally be confronted and what will happen to the diamond that Jackson’s brother has stolen?Tagged in: Adam Rothenberg, Damien Molony, jerome flynn, Matthew Macfadyen, Myanna Buring, Ripper Street, Victorian
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