TV Recap: Ripper Street, ‘Our Betrayal – Part One’

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Plot: After the death of his wife, Sgt. Drake (Jerome Flynn) has gone missing from H Division and has dove back into the world of bare knuckle fighting. Rose (Charlene McKenna) keeps unflagging watch over him. Jackson’s (Adam Rothenberg) brother Daniel Judge (David Costabile) arrives from Africa with a massive diamond he stole. He and Jackson try to circumvent the diamond syndicate in London to avoid the certain hit the syndicate will put on the brother. Jackson sees this as a way to reclaim the trust of his wife Long Susan (MyAnna Buring) who is mired in the inescapable clutches of Silas Duggan (Frank Harper). Meanwhile, Flight (Damien Molony) and Reid (Matthew MacFayden) look into a con man who seems to be under the protection of the dreaded Inspector Shine (Joseph Mawle). Shine’s return uncovers a shocking truth that could deep six Reid’s division.

‘Our Betrayal – Part One’ is the obvious table-setting episode for the Series 2 finale. Yet, outside of one major plot point, this was by far one of the worst episodes of the brilliant season this show has produced.

Photo Credit: Steffan Hill/Tiger Aspect
Photo Credit: Steffan Hill/Tiger Aspect

The main problem with the episode was the pacing — everything moved at a snail’s pace. Every storyline was told in an agonizingly slow speed and at episode’s end, things happened but you had no real investment in it. Long Susan decides to leave Jackson (we guess) and finally sleep with Duggan to repay her debts because “life isn’t fair.” This storyline has been going on for weeks and it’s been the same result over and over again — Susan doesn’t want to sleep with Duggan, but we all know she will. And unless something radical happens this whole thing has been a waste of time and a waste of Susan’s character. Remember it wasn’t long ago when we thought she’d be breaking out as a major wild card in the series, but since that episode, she has remained in the background. Reid’s affair with Jane Cobden (Leanne Best) is another subplot that hasn’t added much to the series and tonight, while sparks flew between the two, the inevitable happens, reporter Fred Best (David Dawson) hears them and will expose the affair. Really? We went there already? And the whole Jackson’s brother plot was weak as well. Are we seriously introducing a new character this late in the game?

The return of Shine was a welcomed one, but is it too little, too late? The show avoided even broaching this story until the end of the season, literally a month has passed and no Shine at all. Now, he’s crash landed back into the series to conclude everything. A bit of a waste if you ask me.

Photo Credit: Tiger Aspect
Photo Credit: Tiger Aspect

The Bennet storyline was intriguing but ruined for the most part by the inclusion of Rose’s puppy dog like loyalty to the estranged detective. Rose’s dialogue was pretty cliche as they come and the performance of those lines was equally cliche, which unusual because Rose actually has been one of the better female characters on the show.

There’s a lot that could’ve been done here tonight, but alas it wasn’t. This was an overly somber, crowded and chaotic episode, very uncharacteristic of this show. ‘Our Betrayal – Part One’ was a let down, but given this series’ track record and the potential the finale has, we’ll give this episode a pass for all sins committed.

Bill Bodkin is the gray bearded owner, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break. Most importantly, he is lucky husband, and proud father to a beautiful daughter named Sophie. He can be seen regularly on the site reviewing The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, and is the host of the site's podcast, The BreakCast. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English. Follow him on Twitter: @BodkinWrites