Ripper Street: 2.05 - Threads Of Silk And Gold
This review contains spoilers so steer clear if you haven’t seen episode five yet.
Right, we covered women's rights a couple of weeks ago, so this week Ripper Street takes gay rights in the late 1800's in its sights. Revolving around that central theme is a story of corruption, both of morality and trust. There's murder and betrayal as Reid and Drake investigate the murder of a telegraph boy and subsequent uncovering of blackmail and corruption in the financial district, while Jackson continues causing problems for Long Susan.
There’s character development galore in this episode which is a huge improvement over last weeks Irish adventure. Newshound Fred Best, played by David Dawson, had some depth added to his previously lightweight portrayal of the vaguely annoying reporter. Silas Duggan had another scene where he confirmed his status old school hard bastard, slicing and choking seven bells out of Jackson. On the relationship front there was further strengthening of the female characters, with Long Susan re-emphasizing exactly who is in charge of her relationship with the wayward American, or what’s left of it. Her understanding of what Jackson’s recklessness with their money will cost her contrasts brilliantly with his complete ignorance of what Duggan will likely force her to do. Jackson has always been selfish and impetuous, he’s now starting to see there are consequences to his actions.
Alongside that Reid finally gave in to his obvious attraction to Councillor Jane Cobden. Although how painful was that scene? Seriously, Reid needs to lighten up a little, the man is way too serious. We hear more of Reid’s more liberal views, and see a nice scene of Drake and his wife Bella, which introduces us to a thread that looks to develop next week.
Ripper Street is swiftly turning into one of the best things on TV and a must see each week. Its secret is simple, extremely well written and well acted protagonists, ones that you actually care about and believe, all set in a world that’s a living and breathing re-enactment of the late 1800’s.
You can catch this episode on iPlayer and the series continues on BBC1 Monday at 9pm.