At the beginning of the episode, Fred Abberline (Clive Russell) calmly tells the officer to keep his cool. Nathaniel (Jonas Armstrong) and Susan (MyAnna Buring) are locked into adjacent cells. Nathaniel tells Drum (Matthew Lewis) that he saw his brother kill Thatcher. Susan confirms she believes Nathaniel’s story, but Drum has no intention of taking their word for it. Jackson (Adam Rothenberg) threatens to shoot Drum, but the boy remains adamant he wants to do things by the book. Reid (Matthew Macfadyen) calms Jackson and tells him he is the only one, who can make the case against Dove. Drum meets with Augustus (Killian Scott) in his office. He unchains him from the chair, before escorting him to the morgue.
Robin’s (Joseph Harmon) body is laid out on the table. Jackson begins the autopsy, while Nathaniel confesses to Mathilda (Anna Burnett) and Fred. Nathaniel discusses his mother’s death, while also speaking about his intense hunger. Jackson manages to collect evidence confirming Robin was suffocated to death. He also insists the death was violent. He finds evidence linking Robin to the type of coats worn by Augustus. However, Drum insists it isn’t enough. Jackson gets a feel of Dove’s head and quickly notices he has a fever. He recalls the rash on Mimi’s neck and quickly connects the rash to Scarlet Fever.
Jackson explains that Robin likely passed the illness to Mimi and Dove. Nathaniel tells the others about Dove saving him from Abel Croker. He reveals that Dove killed Abel and saved him like he had done so many times before. Dove’s shirt is removed and his rash is disclosed. Drum covers up Robin’s body, before the intro scene plays. Fred meets up with Bradford (Patrick Drury) and the others. He works with the pair to negotiate the futures of Nathaniel, Susan, Jackson, and Reid. Augustus is escorted from the jail, while the men discuss his future. They arrange for Dove to be escorted to Dartmoor Prison and given a new identity.
Dove speaks to his brother, before he is led away. He also tells Reid he knew chaos well before he arrived in White Chapel. Edmund is escorted outside. He takes a walk with Fred and learns about the commission’s decision. Nathaniel and Susan are expected to be executed, while Jackson is scheduled to return to America. As for Edmund Reid, it appears he will be forced to resume his duties at H Division. Reid and Fred cross Miller’s Court, which is where the Ripper’s last victim was discovered. Reid contemplates what would happen should he refuse to return to Lehman Street. He is told his refusal would result in the execution of Captain Jackson.
Back at the jail, Nathaniel puts up a fight as he is escorted out. Susan is led out next. Next, Reid gets Jackson out of his cell and gives back his belongings. He finds the stolen vase and rushes outside. He is given the opportunity to speak with Susan. Jackson promises to save her from execution, but Susan refuses his help. She tells him to go and be a father for their son. Next, Reid speaks with his daughter at home. Mathilda makes it clear she wants to move her relationship with Drum further along. Edmund insists things need to be done right. Jackson sells the vases and gives Mimi (Lydia Wilson) a portion of the proceeds. Mimi says her goodbye and Jackson takes off with Connor. Reid meets up with Jackson and escorts him to the boat.
Reid tells Jackson he is heading to the prison for the executions. Jackson prepares to send Susan a message, but he stops himself and insists it wouldn’t matter. As Jackson departs with Connor, Reid imagines himself boarding the boat with Mathilda many years ago. Dove is escorted to Dartmoor and scrubbed clean. He is given new clothes and thrown in a cell. Nathaniel is given the opportunity to speak with Susan, before the execution. He tells Susan he has met a priest, but he admits he doesn’t feel he should be forgiven. Instead, he promises to say a prayer for Susan. Reid watches as Nathaniel is escorted to the hangman’s stand and hanged. Susan follows shortly afterwards.
Jackson speaks to Connor about his mother, while their boat sails far from Whitechapel. We jump back to the past. Edmund and Bennet Drake (Jerome Flynn) meet with Fred. Reid is led into a building, where he inspects the Ripper’s latest victim. Back in the present, Mathilda and Drum get married. Mathilda is also visibly pregnant. Drum invites Edmund to come an visit them, but Mathilda insists that can never happen. We see another flashback of Fred meeting with Reid in a pub. Fred attempts to convince Reid to return home for rest, but he refuses. Edmund has become disenchanted and no longer believes the Ripper will be caught. His daughter’s disappearance is also taking a toll.
Nonetheless, Edmund admits he wants to work and has no intention of going home. Fred forces Edmund to stop drinking. Bennet follows Reid out of the pub. Reid tells him to stop following him like a dog. He insists he will only lead him into trouble. We jump back to the present and see a portrait of Drake getting hung in the police station. Fred interrupts. They speak privately in Reid’s office. Edmund tells his friend that Mathilda has started writing a novel and that Drum is now a teacher. Fred tells Reid about the death of Mary Sparks and her husband George Chapman, who was once a suspect in the Ripper slayings. Fred explains that George used to be Seweryn Klosowski. Nonetheless, Reid recalls that Klosowski, but insists he wasn’t the Ripper.
Fred tries to convince Reid to being the man in for questioning. Edmund refuses and tells his friend to go home. Afterwards, we watch as Reid hangs evidence on H-Division’s chalkboard. He receives a letter moments later and learns about the re-opening of the New Alexandria Theatre. He heads there that night and speaks with Mimi. Reid watches as Mimi takes to the stage and speaks to the audience. Again, we jump to the past. Edmund has begun to drink heavily. He crosses Miller’s Court and spots several soldiers having sex with a woman. Bennet finds him at the pub moments later and attempts to take him home.
Back in the present, Reid is called to a murder scene. A woman is taken away for killing her husband. Edmund finds himself reminiscing on Woodseer Street. He visits the Jews Orphan Asylum and finds it totally empty, aside from a few beds. Reid visits the theatre again. This time, he and Mimi listen to a record on a phonograph. When he returns home, he receives a book in the mail. He opens the Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine and reads The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. The next day, Reid receives a letter from America. He learns that Jackson has died. He is given a few items from Matthew Judge’s will. They include a newspaper article about Jackson becoming a hero, as well as Jackson’s ring. Reid passes the information along to Mimi. We also see a picture of Connor and Jackson in America.
Reid explains that Jackson saved two girls from a river, but died due to the cold. Later, Reid watches as Fred puts a note in a door. He grabs the note after Fred departs. The note encourages Reid to take action against George Chapman. Reid heads to the nearby pub and asks George Chapman (Marko Leht), if he knows Elizabeth Taylor. Reid announces he is from H-Division, before we jump back into the past. We see Bennet caring for Reid, as he vomits uncontrollably. Bennet helps him shave, while getting him prepared for the inquest. Once the pair arrives at the inquest, they’re welcomed by Fred Best (David Dawson), who is sitting in the audience. Moments later, the inquest into Mary Jane Kelly’s death gets underway. A woman speaks about Mary singing the night of her murder. She sings a few lines of the song, before Reid rushes out.
Bennet confronts him in private. Reid asks what he is supposed to say. Drake tells him to tell the truth. He insists people need to understand the cruelty of man. Reid takes the stand and tells everyone about the horrific injuries to Kelly. We jump back to the present and George reveals his wife is unwell. Reid inquires about the gun nearby. George admits nobody can be too careful. Reid slides the glass across the table and George catches it. Reid notes George used his right hand. Reid tells George his wife registered missing property with the police. He tells George to tell his wife that the missing property has yet to be found. Reid leaves moments later. The next day, Reid visits the theatre and speaks with Mimi.
Mimi tells Reid she will not be around that night. She admits she is scheduled to meet with an older man, who wishes to marry her. She also tells Reid she believes he is forced to remain in Whitechapel as a sacrifice to everyone else. Reid visits the theatre that night anyway. A young woman takes the stage and begins singing Mary Jane Kelly’s song. Reid screams loudly and tells them that it is a disgrace. He is escorted back stage. He learns that the entire play is about the Ripper. Reid returns to the police station as snow begins to fall around him. Inside, the others party and drink. He tells them to go about their business, as he heads to his office. Reid pours a drink and sits at his desk. Edmund begins looking through the occurrence reports, as the episode comes to an end.
Ripper Street Finale
The finale of Ripper Street’s 5th season was definitely much different than I initially expected. In fact, the finale felt much more like a true ending than a simple season finale. Most characters were given satisfying endings. Susan and Nathaniel made a sacrifice and went down together, while Drummond and Mathilda got married and moved far away from Whitechapel.
Mimi got the theatre back up and running. While she developed a bond with Edmund, it simply wasn’t meant to be. Her true feelings for Matthew Judge remained. Nonetheless, Jackson had returned to America, where he became a hero and perished due to his heroic deed. Reid and Fred were forced to wander the streets of Whitechapel, while still hunting the true Ripper.
The 5th season’s finale was very satisfying, but bleak. Edmund Reid virtually became a haunted replica of Abberline. He was left alone with nothing, but Whitechapel and its seedy inhabitants to keep him company. Is this the end of Ripper Street? The season was almost perfect from beginning to end. Even with the absence of Drake, the show managed to remain excellent. I am confident it would do the same without Jackson and Susan.
However, the episode would make a fitting conclusion for the show too. If it ends right here, I would understand entirely. If it continues, I would definitely watch another season. All in all, a 9 out of 10 is deserved. Catch up with previous recaps of Ripper Street right now.