Ripper Street is back for a 4th season and things have changed immensely. Long Susan (MyAnna Buring) is locked away in prison for her crimes, while Bennet Drake (Jerome Flynn) has taken over Reid’s old position at the station. Edmund Reid (Matthew Macfadyen) is living far away from White Chapel with his daughter, Mathilda (Anna Burnett). And Captain Jackson (Adam Rothenberg)? Not much has changed there. Jackson continues scheming his way through, while working with the police on the side. When the series premiere begins, we see Queen Victoria (Barbara Adair) preparing for her diamond Jubilee.
Next, we’re taken to the station, where Assistant Commissioner Augustus Dove (Killian Scott) gives the media a tour of the police station. We discover that all of Reid’s files have been shrunk to a more convenient form. We also see that the police have finally gained access to telephones. Drake is hounded by a reporter regarding the arrest of Isaac Bloom (Justin Avoth) for the murder of a Rabi, before Drake is pulled away from the scene, due to the discovery of a dead body. While checking out the body, Drake learns about conflict between the workers and a local Union involving Roy Teague (Andrew Brooke) and Abel Croker (David Threlfall). In order to gain assistance inspecting the body, Drake turns to his old pal, Jackson. Before Drake arrives, we see Jackson hide something, liquor himself up and pretend to be passed out on the bed.
After Jackson finally pulls himself together, the pair head to the coroner’s office to inspect the body. Before they arrive, we learn about the Muslim Patriotic League and the group causing trouble throughout the city. With Jackson’s help, Drake is able to discover where the man potentially came from. He also discovers a ring on the man’s finger. During this time, we also learn about what Reid has been up to. Reid is now living and working in Hampton-On-Sea with his daughter. He helps some local business men read the water’s waves. Afterwards, Drake heads to the location of the Queen’s festival and makes contact with one of the higher ups, Risaldar-Major Haroun Al Qadir (Stewart Scudamore). Al Qadir immediately recognizes the man’s ring and agrees to return to the station with Drake to identify the body.
Meanwhile, Rose Erskine (Charlene McKenna) pays a visit to Long Susan at the prison. Susan’s execution date is nearing, but she admits she is happy that she has been allowed to care for her son. Rose ridicules Jackson and his decision to stay away from his son, as well as Susan. Once Al Qadir returns to the station with Drake, Jackson takes off and refuses to say where he is headed. Al Qadir inspects the body and quickly identifies him as his son. Meanwhile, we see that Mathilda Reid and her classmate have skipped school and taken a train to White Chapel. They watch through a window, as a man makes love to a prostitute. Moments later, they rush off, so they can make it to the train and return to school, without anyone missing them.
Afterwards, Drake and Al Qadir decide to inspect the victim’s office. While there, we learn about his relationship with Imran Hafeez (Ronny Jhutti). Al Qadir has no love for the man and suspects him of having a role in his son’s murder. Next, the police receive a visit from Constantine (Derek Riddell). The egotistical detective quickly belittles Drake and his team. He picks on Sgt. Drum Drummond (Matthew Lewis) for still living with his mother, while ridiculing Frank Thatcher (Benjamin O’Mahony) for his family’s troubles. Regardless, Constantine proves to be helpful and leads the men to Hafeez. Meanwhile, Jackson heads to the courthouse and pays a visit to his lawyer, Frederick Cotter (Michael Ford-FitzGerald). He gives the man his money and renews his faith that Susan will be able to escape her execution.
Unfortunately, Cotter fails and Susan’s execution looks closer than ever. Jackson pays a visit to Susan and breaks the news that he could’ve acquire her dad’s money until he is dead for a longer period of time. She blames Jackson for all of her troubles and insists he didn’t try hard enough to help. After he leaves, Susan speaks with her colleague on the inside, Dr. Carlyle Probyn (Ed Hughes) and insists she’ll still be able to collect enough money to bribe the guards and make her escape. The man insists the guards will not help, without money upfront. Next, Edmund heads to the school to meet up with Mathilda. When he sees her, he notices soot on her collar and makes sure to point it out. Mathilda plays it off and pretends she was in school the whole day. During this time, Drake heads home and spends time with Rose. Their conversation turns bad and Rose begins to believe that Drake is angry with her, because she cannot give him a child. Drake attempts to reassure her otherwise, but his pleas fall on dead ears.
Drake and his men head to Hafeez’s location, which happens to be a meeting amongst local Muslim Patriotic League. Hafeez prepares to stand up and speak, before masked men enter and a fight breaks out. Hafeez makes a run for it, while everyone else is distracted. He manages to make his way outside, before being cornered. He is beaten briefly, before being saved by Major Haroun Al Qadir. Al Qadir quickly ushers the man over to the police station, where he can be questioned by Drake. Meanwhile, Reid and Mathilda receive a visit from Deborah Goren (Lucy Cohu). Reid sends Mathilda away, before Deborah tells him about Isaac’s troubles. She admits she believes Isaac to be innocent and pleads for Reid’s help, but he refuses. She also lets it slip and tells Reid about his daughter’s visit to White Chapel.
Edmund quickly reprimands his daughter and insists White Chapel is a place they should never return. He also threatens to send her away to school, before allowing her to depart. That night, Reid convinces Deborah to stay the night, but still doesn’t seem interested in lending his assistance to her cause. During this time, we see Isaac Bloom jotting all kinds of letters and numbers on the wall of his prison cell. In the morning, Reid discovers a partial note from Deborah. Eventually, Edmund succumbs to Deborah’s will, dusts off his hat and heads towards White Chapel. He pays a visit to Isaac and learns about his new obsession with words and numbers.
At the station, Constantine tells the others about an execution of another man, who was a graduate of Deccan College just like our current victim. Augustus identifies Mr. Abdul Karim from a photograph. Constantine insists the man is their murder suspect, as well as Victoria’s right hand brown man. Despite Constantine’s theory, Drake insists he is wrong. Augustus places Hafeez in Drake’s care and refuses to be overruled by Constantine. During this time, Kay Teague (Emer O’Grady) walks to the pier, climbs to the top of a building and leaps off, while Roy Teague watches from the ground. Meanwhile, Drake attempts to encourage Hafeez to speak. Hafeez says very little, but insists Drake wouldn’t believe him no matter what he says.
Susan watches Reid, as he leaves the prison. She is belittled by the doctor for her crimes and future execution. On the street, Reid speaks to Jackson, who is seen purchasing a large spring. Reid attempts to acquire information from Jackson, but is bashed for running away and never responding to Drake’s letters. Next, Jackson pays a visit to Abel Croker and renegotiates his debt. He also discover Croker’s love from turmeric powder. Back at the station, Drake speaks with Al Qadir about Sayid’s writings. Drake admits he wouldn’t want to punish his son, unless he actually acted upon his words. Meanwhile, Reid pays a visit to Bloom’s apartment. He inspects the room and checks out the rooftop of a nearby building, before being forced to rush back home.
Next, Rose is urgently called by Susan. When she arrives, Susan attempts to convince Rose to take her son, after her execution. Rose attempts and is adamant she’ll be able to talk Drake into it. At the station, Jackson discovers something in Sayid’s neck wound. He picks up the phone and accidentally eavesdrops on Drake and Rose’s conversation regarding his son. Within a matter of minutes, Jackson interrupts and is ridiculed by Rose, before he tells Drake about the turmeric powder found in the wound. Afterwards, the Major is allows to seek with Imran, who opens up about his time with Sayid. Imran also reveals that Sayid was a thief and stole a great deal of money from the Indian dockers. Reid arrives at the Freeman house to pickup his daughter. While there, he becomes intimate with Elenora (Clare Foster) and immediately recognizes his mistake.
The Major relays the information to Drake regarding the 200 pounds stolen from the Indian seamen. He admits the funds were meant to be distributed to the Lascar, until his son stole it. Drake quickly goes to work shelling out orders to his team and telling them to speak with the Indians and investigate shipping records. Before they can begin, Constantine arrives and shows off his authority. He takes Imran and admits he will rough up the man, in order to gain knowledge, if necessary. Drake and the gang head down to the docks and speak with the Indians. While there, they learn that Sayid had a white girlfriend. During this time, Sgt. Drum and Augustus manage to link Kay Teague to the money. Next, Drake and the Major visit Kay’s funeral, where they discover an Indian baby and that Roy has done missing. Augustus speaks with Croker and agrees to leave the business of the docks to the dockers.
The next day, Reid returns to Isaac’s bloom and encounters a few children, who refer to him as Golem. He chases them, but is quickly stopped in his tracks by a group of other Jews. Reid is quickly saved by Deborah and introduced to a local rabi named Max Steiner. Max reveals that he was attacked by Isaac, before he was arrested for murder. Roy Teague finally shows up and speaks with Croker. He admits to his crime, before he is stabbed several times and left to bleed out on the floor. Jackson pays a visit to the prison and speaks with the Doctor. He threatens the Doctor and his wife, if he doesn’t help Susan. He also reveals he has a new plan and provides the doctor with a bag of supplies. Reid returns to Isaac and asks him about the attack. He also encourages Isaac to claim his innocence, because he might believe him.
Isaac admits he’s thought about what he might’ve been, if he’d never been forced to leave his home town. He also attempts to convince Reid that a vortex is coming and will wipe out the town, despite the pier being moved previously. Constantine returns Imran to Drake and admits he was wrong. He also agrees his punishment of Imran would’ve been more satisfying, if it would’ve helped with the case. Drake is called into his office, in order to chat with Reid. An argument quickly ensues and Drake ridicules Reid. He also agrees to hand over all files pertaining the Bloom’s case. They head to the dead room, in order to inspect Bloom’s victim. We see that the body is riddled with bite marks. The evidence presented by Drake points directly towards Isaac as the murderer, but Reid still remains skeptical.
After that, Jackson finally admits it is time to go and see Susan. At the prison, the three men witness hanging of both Isaac Bloom and Susan. Afterwards, the Queen’s celebration begins. The Freemans visit Reid’s house and discover that Edmund and his daughter have left. Jackson heads to the cemetery and released Susan from her mask. We also see the contraption he built to spare her from death. The pair heads to Abel Croker and acquiring a room for Susan. That night, Drake speaks with Reid and offers him a place on the police force. Of course, he insists Reid will need to obey his orders at all times and drop the Bloom case. Reid apparently agrees, as the episode comes to an end.
Ripper Street Season 4 Episode 1 Review
Ripper Street is back and it appears to be bigger, bolder and longer than ever before. We barely skip a beat from Season 3, as Susan is thrown into the slammer and awaits her execution. Isaac Bloom has found himself in a similar situation. Despite Edmund Reid’s desire to escape White Chapel with his daughter, he is ultimately pushed back into the fold. With the crew back together and Susan out of harm’s way, Season 4 is off to a good start. Reid will need to unravel the Bloom mystery, with or without support. Will he be able to do so, without drawing ire from his old pals?
All in all, a great episode, which deserves an 8.5 out of 10. Be sure to catch up with previous recaps of Ripper Street right now!