Well, Ripper Street is back and we’ve skipped four years into the future. Everything has changed drastically. Homer Jackson (Adam Rothenberg) has moved on from the police force and is working as a doctor. Meanwhile, Bennet Drake (Jerome Flynn) has become a detective inspector in another town. For Edmund Reid (Matthew Macfadyen) things have taken a grim turn, as his wife passed away. Meanwhile, Susan (MyAnna Buring) has made quite the name for herself. She no longer runs a brothel, but instead is a successful business woman, who is well respected around White Chapel.
When the episode opens, we’re introduced to a new set of criminals including Gregory Enright (Raymond Waring), who is crippled. Despite his condition, he is formidable crim. He hooks up with several other criminals, before heading to a train station. Meanwhile, we see that Edmund Reid has been busy working to put together an archive or database on all of the criminals of WhiteChapel.
Captain Jackson is busy being Jackson, as he’s found a new lady friend, Mimi (Lydia Wilson). He obviously no longer has a relationship with Susan Hart. As for Drake, he’s seen boarding a train, where he encounters a mother and son pair, who also board. During the train’s journey, Drake feeds the pair, while speaking with them. While aboard the train, Drake looks at the newspaper and discovers that Rose Erskine (Charlene McKenna) has become a successful dancer and celebrity.
In the meantime, the criminals begin the operation, which is set to highjack a train. While Gregory works the controls, the other criminals stop the train and take control. After the train is robbed, the pair guide the train down the tracks. It is discovered that the train is packed with explosives from the Necropolis company.
Next, we get to see Susan, who is meeting with Jane Cobden (Leanne Best), before her solicitor, Ronald Capshaw (John Heffernan) enters and provides her with some documents. Ronald and Susan discuss their venture of opening a clinic, which face extreme opposition. Eventually, Susan heads to the clinic and speaks with the head nurse and looks at a list of the current nurses training at the clinic.
Before the stolen train arrives in WhiteChapel, everybody is going on about their normal lives. Once it arrives, a disaster strikes, as another train runs directly into it. Chaos ensues in the city, as Reid begins to drag bodies from the rubble. Next, Jackson shows up and offers his services. The eccentric journalist, Fred Best (David Dawson), arrives and begins shooting photographs of the scene. Eventually, the boy Drake was speaking with emerges from the rubble, before Drake carries someone out. Sadly, the boy’s mother is found dead, which forces the trio to begin caring for the boy. Of course, Susan arrives with medical supplies. Reid and Drake eventually pull a little girl out from under the rubble.
Don’t forget old Rose, who shows up in a very classy dress and speaks with Fred, who discovers a friend, Tom, who was hurt in the crash. Meanwhile, everyone gets back on speaking terms and the crew winds up having to track down the cause of the crash. One of the train’s conductors is pulled from the crash and provides the group with their first lead, by uttering the words, “masked men”.
Sgt. Donald Artherton (David Wilmot) makes an appearance, when he tells Jackson that Drake is now in charge. Eventually Reid and Drake head to the switch room, where they discover the dead signal man. Since the pair are worthless without Jackson, they end up coming back with him and he provides the men, with information regarding the dead man’s death.
Meanwhile, we discover how the criminals react to the news of the crash. Enright sobs, while Guns returns to the meeting point, with two bags. He calls out for the mastermind of the operation to come out, but he never does. At this point, nobody knows who masterminded the operation, not even the criminals. Guns leaves everything behind, including the loot and his guilt. A few minutes later, Ronald Capshaw emerges from the shadows and collects the bags, before transporting them to Susan. When Susan enters, the pair discuss the situation and Susan is visibly anger. She even threatens to burn the bonds. Ultimately, the pair agree to keep the money, since it will keep the clinic going.
Eventually, Drake, Jackson and Reid begin to piece together the mystery. They discover some shotgun shells and the imprint of AWR on the dead signalman’s neck, which means the murder weapon was American and from the Winchester company. Reid speaks with a criminal, Cree, and questions him about a robbery involving some similar weapons. Cree tells them about a skinny man, who wore very shiny shoes and appeared to not be from the area. Eventually, Reid collected a list of employees from the train station and finds out about Enright. The crippled criminal is eventually arrested, before the other criminals fall.
After the arrest, Fred Abberline (Clive Russell) informs Reid that Drake has been reassigned to H division. With 55 innocents killed at their hands, all of the criminals are scheduled for execution. This leaves Susan and Capshaw to walk away without any trouble. However, the pair speak with Reid, after a memorial is held for the victims. When Reid speaks with Capshaw, he takes note of the man’s shiny shoes. Reid quickly returns to Cree’s jail cell, but finds the man dead.
Ripper Street is back from the dead and I am certainly glad! The pilot episode for season 3 definitely did not disappoint. The beginner was very emotional with Drake. Jerome Flynn plays a emotionally crippled man incredibly well! It is difficult not to feel sorrow for Drake. Of course, Jackson hasn’t changed a bit, besides getting a new job and a new woman. Meanwhile, Reid lost his wife and turned to building a criminal database, which already proved to be helpful.
The episode featured an old fashioned terror attack, which would fit well in modern society. It is nice to see the show has already set up a conflict, which is going to carry on throughout the season. I look forward to seeing how Susan and Ronald handle the situation and who winds up hanging for the crime. All in all, the episode was excellent, especially the costumes, which are awesome. The episode deserves an 8.5 out of 10.