(Quick Note: I started watching Ripper Street Season One despite it not being the type of show I would ever watch because I love Jerome Flynn in Game of Thrones- so take that for what you will about how I chose my entertainment. Handsome guys with nice eyes. I really liked season one except for the main character of Edmund Reid- liked it enough to watch season 2.)
Season 2 ended last year and I only just finished watching the DVD’s which I’ve had since they came out this summer. As a whole I didn’t like the season as much as the first but man those last three episodes they just sink into you and don’t let go. The last two I watched I hate to be cliché but I was riveted. The unraveling of Edmund Reid and the best boxing match I’ve ever seen made it my favorite of both seasons.
First the downside. As much as I like Jackson and his Madame wife Long Susan the storyline this year of her being blackmailed by the man who owns her property and him trying ever more desperate (and dumb) attempts to get them out of the debt just left me cold especially the way it ends for her. Without giving away spoilers I thought it was too removed and I wonder if Long Susan has any emotions besides cold and angry.
Rose. I really don’t care about Rose one way or another. She’s one of those characters who are involved mostly because they always, always get themselves into trouble. I wouldn’t say she’s a typical Mary Sue- I do root for her at times and the actress is really good but the character is just so annoying. It’s like they’re going with the inevitable Drake/Rose so need to find a way to keep her around long enough.
The season drags a little in the middle. It starts of guns blazing introducing Reid’s double in the horrid Inspector Shine who brutally kills and is generally untouchable even sets a spy up in Reid’s den but then he disappears until the end. There’s a very good story involving Joseph Merrick that was moving and made me cry but I probably couldn’t tell you anything about the people in the other episodes until those last three.
What made it great for me? Performances and the final showdown. I didn’t like Reid in season one thought he was an hypocritical stick in the mud who both used and judged the people around him including Bennett Drake whom he never really seemed to care about. This season nearly losing Drake and the inevitable showdown with Shine pretty much unravels him. Matthew Macfadyen does a really good job of slowly showing the cracks appearing until it all explodes in front of everyone.
Jerome Flynn is also amazing. He goes through hell and has a hefty sense of guilt that another actor might make tiring. But as Reid comes unraveled you can actually see Bennett coming back together and the last boxing scenes with Shine where he’s getting beaten nearly to death is intense to watch and probably some of the most brutal stuff in this season. Joseph Mawle, who plays Shine was one of my favorites in show. I only know him as kindly Benjen Stark so to see him as this sadistic and cruel monster was very interesting.
What can I say? I’m easily to please and it went out like wildfire. I cheered and as soon as I can I’ll be checking out checking out season three.
(One more thing I think this is one of those shows that is a cup of tea thing. It doesn’t shy away from violence, nudity and some seriously horrible people- the first season they were still looking for Jack the Ripper around every corner- so know what you’re getting into before you start watching!)