Ripper Street ‘Our Betrayal part 2′ – Series 2 – Episode 8

Neela Debnath

5093462 low res ripper street 300x200 Ripper Street ‘Our Betrayal part 2 – Series 2 – Episode 8Spoiler alert: Do not read this if you have not seen series 2, episode 8 of ‘Ripper Street’

Picking up from the end of last week from the Ripper Street equivalent of the Four Weddings and a Funeral ‘Is it raining?’ scene, the Whitechapel trio are back together and on the case.

Far from being the usual anachronistic mess, this episode elevated itself to the status of a legitimate, compelling drama, building to a tense and exciting climax. I can forgive past silliness because I was left on the edge of my seat. Particularly, when Drake is deciding whether or not to deliver a fatal blow to Shine or bestow mercy on this bent copper, who enjoys garrotting innocent people in his spare time.

The script has been carefully crafted. Even the usually annoying Abberline, who blusters onto the scene and proves to be more of a hindrance than a help, served a purpose. He came into his own and the dynamic between Abberline and Reid was interesting to watch. Presumably this is what the pair was like between the Ripper case tore them asunder.

Speaking of characters coming into their own, I was pleased to see that Artherton, the officer with the big bushy ginger beard who usually communicates via his eyebrows, was given some more lines. It was surprising to hear him give some advice to Drake, who would have thought Artherton actually speaks?

Overall, the time was used well by the writer and there was an immense amount of detail and attention to the story. It was a cinematic experience and possibly the most beautifully shot episode of the show. The interspersing of Rose’s number with Drake’s boxing match was done just right.

The whole instalment ended brilliantly on a cliff hanger of sorts. We never find out what happens to Flight, perhaps he will be left to rot in a cell, and what has become of Rose? Will she finally embark on the acting career she’s been dreaming of?

Then there’s Reid, a man who gets others to do his dirty work. We’ve hardly scratched the surface of his character but from the way he was ordering Drake to kill Shine, there is more there than I previously thought. I’m glad the drippy Mrs Reid was sidelined because without his wife, Reid is a loose cannon, we’re never completely sure what he will do. If you thought Jackson was a maverick, then he is nothing compared to all the madness that Reid could potentially unleash.

Yes, I’ve constantly ribbed the show for its anachronisms but for all its foibles there is no denying that it is a rather marvellous and acceptable guilty pleasure. Well, more acceptable that the reality television that trounced Ripper Street in the ratings game. There is so much here to explore and it would be frustrating to lose such a brilliant piece of British television.

Last week I wrote that the show had been axed but this week there was a further twist in the fate of Ripper Street, LoveFilm has expressed an interest in funding the show for a third series with an exclusive online premiere. I really do hope this is not the end of Ripper Street. It had a brilliant mix of acting and aesthetics even if the plotting was rather squiffy.

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  • Tribeless

    What cretin has cancelled a new series? This is top, top BBC drama.

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