In the latest episode of Ripper Street, Edmund Reid (Matthew Macfadyen) has returned to work, as he wastes no time arresting Lady Vera Montacute (Laura Haddock), who is covered in blood. Vera is accused of killing White Chapel flower seller, Ida Watts. Bennet Drake (Jerome Flynn) and Captain Jackson (Adam Rothenberg) are along for the investigation. First, they learn that Vera was found unconscious in a lodging house, with the dead Ida Watts.
Reid interviews Lady Vera, but is unable to receive any helpful information, while Sgt. Donald Artherton (David Wilmot) is suffering from gout, which keeps him off of his feet. Jackson goes to work and performs an autopsy on Ida. He discovers that she has been stabbed to death. He also discovers a small glass container, which seems to be holding a drug of sorts. When Reid returns to the lobby, he encounters Lord Montacute (Charles Edwards), who has come to look for his wife. Although Reid interviews the man, he learns nothing, but remains suspicious. Mr. Montacute also threatens Reid and tells him a darkness will hang over him and the police station, if Vera isn’t released by sunrise.
Since the inspectors learn that both women have been drugged, Reid investigated a known drug dealer, Tom Denton (Daniel Kendrick), who happens to be the cousin of Ida. During the initial interview, Denton refuses to give up any helpful information. Meanwhile, Captain Jackson continues pestering Reid to get permission to leave, since he agreed to meet with his girlfriend, Mimi Morton (Lydia Wilson). Of course, Reid convinces him to stick around. Next, Vera is brought to Reid’s office, where PC Bobby Grace (Josh O’Connor) is given orders to watch over her. Vera doesn’t make it easy on him, as she flirts with Grace relentlessly.
Next, Reid interviews Vera again. Although he makes little lead way, she seems startled to learn Lord Montacute has come for her. Bennet Drake speaks with Tom Denton and receives nothing helpful, but he suspects Denton of knowing more than he is telling. When the pair return to the examination room, Jackson tells them the drug is a mixture of cocaine and morphine. He explains that the drug could effect people in different ways. He mentions that Vera could have been enraged by the drug, while Ida could’ve been paralyzed. He also reveals that Ida recently cut and died her hair. It is also noted that both women look very similar. Jackson attempts to leave again, but Reid guilts him into staying.
With Reid’s encouragement, Drake returns to Denton and intimidates him. When Drake gets ready to cut Denton’s big toe off, Reid intervenes and saves Denton, which influences Denton to speak with Reid truthfully. When Drake returns to the lobby, he discovers Mimi and Edgar Morton (Richard Goulding). Mimi heads off to see Jackson. When Drake turns to Edgar, he is punched in the face, but doesn’t retaliate. Instead, the pair share a conversation about Rose (Charlene McKenna). Edgar tells Drake that Rose will have a good life and will be loved, if Drake will let her go. He insists this is something Drake cannot give him, before leaving Drake with a choice to make.
During Reid’s interview of Denton, he discovers that Denton set up a sexual encounter between Ida, Vera and her husband. While Jackson and Mimi tour the station, Jackson grabs a book about fingerprints. Jackson stays in the examination room with Bobby Grace, as the pair plan to make a welcome home gift for Reid. Next, Drake interviews Lord Montacute, while Reid speaks with Vera. Vera questions Reid about his near death experience and what he saw, to which he replies nothing, but he admits to feeling something. He insists he wasn’t afraid, since something was holding onto him.
Vera requests Bobby Grace to join them. When he goes, she begins to confess to the crime, while Reid listens and Grace writes it down. Afterwards, she signs the statement and Reid returns to Jackson. Reid learns that Jackson was able to obtain fingerprints from the handle of the knife, which Reid refers to at the Incontrovertible Truth. Afterwards, Denton, Vera and Lord Montacute willingly give their fingerprints. After Jackson examines the prints, he discovers it was Lord Montacute, who killed Ida.
As the sun begins to rise, Reid returns to the lobby to find Chief Inspector Fred Abberline (Clive Russell), with Lord Montacute. Reid speaks with Abberline and tries to convince him that the fingerprints are reliable and that the Lord is the killer, but Fred is having none of it. Vera is led away in cuffs. Reid confronts the Lord and belittles him for letting his wife take the fall for the murder, before removing his handcuffs and setting him free.
Afterwards, Drake, Reid and Jackson sit outside in front of the police station. After Drake leaves the pair, Jackson questions him about his daughter and originally wanting to leave White Chapel. Reid insists something kept him alive and it wasn’t to fish. Jackson heads inside to get his hat. When he returns to the examination room, he looks at the fingerprinting machine, before pulling out the gun, which was used to shoot Reid.
When the episode first started, it felt slightly odd that we didn’t see Reid’s recovery. In fact, it felt a little bit out of place. However, after the first twenty minutes or so, things really started to come together, as the episode took on the classic Ripper Street style. The episode was a success partly due to the excellent acting, especially by Laura Haddock, who played the slightly off Lady Vera immaculately. It was also fun to experience Captain Jackson learn how to take advantage of fingerprints. I also enjoyed Bobby Grace’s moments and am glad he wasn’t killed off or locked up, which was the case with those previously in his position.
Of course, the episode ended up setting up a lot. Bennet Drake has a big choice to make and I feel like it will end in a very bleak manner. Will he allow Rose to leave White Chapel and live a better life? While Reid appears happy with the situation, things will soon get crazy, if Jackson discovers Susan’s fingerprints on the gun, which shot Reid. All in all, the episode was very bleak, with a surprise and sad ending for Vera. I also felt sorrow for Reid, as he enjoyed himself on the streets of White Chapel. A good episode, which deserves an 8 out of 10.