Ripper Street: Ashes and Diamonds Review

When the episode opens, we get to witness an old fashioned seance conducted by Alex le Cheyne (Jason Manford). During the process, Alex begins to choke and winds up dying. Immediately, Captain Jackson (Adam Rothenberg) and Bennet Drake (Jerome Fylnn) begin to investigate the crime. With Edmund Reid (Matthew Macfadyen) missing, Drake leads the case and quickly has a few suspects.

For starters, Drake is forced to question Olivia Wakefield (Georgina Rich), who happens to be one of the victim’s of Alex’s false clairvoyance. Olivia’s husband, William (Philip Judge), died in the train crash. Drake and Reid also suspect Ezra Marvell (Philip Arditti), who happens to be a fake clairvoyant. Then, we have Juniper Kohl (Sophia La Porta), who is a harlot and a dancer.

With Jackson’s help and a good nose from P.C. Bobby Grace (Josh O’Connor), it is revealed that the man was killed using Hydrogen Cyanide. As Drake continues to investigate, he discovers that Juniper gets around quite a bit and has been involved in three affairs. Ezra is eventually locked up for being a fraud and becomes one of the main suspects of the murder. Afterwards, Olivia introduces herself to Drake and seems to believe she has a ghost inside of her house. After investigating the premises, Drake and Jackson discover that someone broke in. At this point, Drake discovers several dirty pictures of Juniper. After confronting her, she admits to her bad behavior and wishes to destroy the pictures, but Drake hangs onto them.

Drake is also questioned by Chief Inspector Fred Abberline (Clive Russell) about the murder of Horace. Drake covers up for Reid, by claiming Horace tried to attack him with a knife. Meanwhile Susan (MyAnna Buring) and Dr. Amelia Frayn (Louise Brealey) continue to care for Mathilda Reid (Anna Burnett).

Although everyone seems to want Drake to take Reid’s place, he doesn’t seem interested. While Jackson and Mimi Morton (Lydia Wilson) continue to get along, Susan seems interested in getting back together with Jackson, but it falls through, when she discovers Jackson is in love with Mimi. Meanwhile, Drake, Jackson and Mimi are invited to the theater, where Rose Erskine (Charlene Mckenna) is set to sing. Although Drake shows up late and leaves early, Rose knows he is there.

After the concert, Rose follows Drake home and brings him some dinner. After an emotional breakdown by Drake, the pair embrace and seemingly engage in intercourse. In the morning, Rose pays a visit to Susan and Ronald Capshaw (John Heffernan) and speaks to Susan about her relationship and feelings for Drake. Meanwhile, we discover that William Wakefield isn’t dead at all. Instead, he is simply pretending to be dead, in hopes of collecting an insurance payout and running off with Juniper.

Next, Susan and Capshaw agree to get rid of Mathilda and send her to Switzerland. Olivia pays a visit to the police station, where she is allowed to speak with Ezra Marvell, who tells her all about Juniper. Olivia tracks down William and confronts him with a knife. Drake, Jackson and Bobby follow Juniper to the home, with plans of arresting the frauds. When they enter, they discover Juniper and William dead.

Meanwhile, Fred Best (Davis Dawson) receives a telegraph, which he takes to Jackson. The information within suggests Susan could’ve had something to do with the train crash. Of course, Jackson refuses to believe it. Back at Susan’s, Rose pays another visit and catches a glimpse of Mathilda on the stairs. As Rose runs outside to inform the authorities, Ronald Capshaw and Susan make haste to get rid of the girl. However, on their way to the boat, Mathilda escapes into the town.

The episode ends with Drake walking to the shoreline, where he confronts Reid.


Man! This was a terrific episode of Ripper Street, despite the absence of Reid. In fact, it could’ve very well been the best of the season thus far. The tragic romance between William and Olivia was somewhat foreshadowing all of the relationships within the entire series. It was also fun to see how Jackson reacted to the news from Fred. Despite his animosity with Susan, he still defended her vehemently. If worse comes to worse, will he be able to do the right thing, even if it harms Susan?

Of course, the episode was a success thanks to the tremendous action from Jerome Flynn. It is impossible not to feel sorrow along with Drake. The scene with Charlene McKenna and the follow up sex scene were haunting, bleak and terrific. That scene alone make this episode a 9.5 out of 10.

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