Ripper Street, S4 Ep5 – No Wolves in Whitechapel

The penultimate episode of Ripper Street season 4 was another thrilling and profound chapter that was shaped by the overarching narrative of the season more than any individual case. The tragic death of Thomas Gower from the previous episode, sparks a whole new investigation into what was believed to be Drake’s airtight case of the Golem of Whitechapel. And since Reid had always had his doubts about the guilt of Isaac Bloom, he finds more reason to re-open the case, discovering some painful things along the way.

Ripper Street, S4 Ep5 - No Wolves in WhitechapelMuch of the episode also dealt with the unraveling of Drake’s personal and professional life. For the latter, his authority and competence as a policeman is called into question because of all this new evidence that Isaac Bloom was not the culprit after all in Rabbi Ratowsky’s murder. Another body turns up, killed in the same fashion, and the Whitechapel community is in an uproar as they believe H Division has failed to keep them safe once again (referring to the terrors caused by the Ripper himself.)

Then there’s the clash between Drake and Reid, whose dynamics had changed drastically ever since the latter became Drake’s subordinate. The actors discuss this change themselves in the Behind the Scenes clip for the episode. Reid is unaccustomed to working under Drake so he acts as if he is still the latter’s superior, and of course this undermines Drake’s authority, something that pains him deeply. He is justified in confronting Reid about this, but it really throws a wrench in their relationship.

Making things worse, Drake also has to contend with Rose’s claim that Susan is alive. While we the audience know that she is telling the truth, and she goes so far as to question the guard who had watched over Susan in prison, we can’t really blame Drake for thinking she’s become too paranoid, in her seemingly obsessive love for Connor. He is under more than enough pressure as it is (compounded with a lot of guilt over Thomas Gower’s death), and the confrontation with Rose in public, causing him even more embarrassment as she rants at him in front of H Division, only makes his predicament more pitiable. It’s a tricky situation to balance and Drake, for all his great qualities, might not be equal to this task.

Ripper Street, S4 Ep5 - No Wolves in WhitechapelIn the meantime, Susan is desperate to make her escape so she ropes Jackson into her scheme. With the help of Croker and Nathaniel, they are able to sneak into the customs house to steal some valuable porcelain goods. But the operation is not without its costs, as some guards fall victim to the ruthlessness of Croker and his associate.

And the overarching narrative of Ripper Street this season pays off as we see a shady connection between Augustus Dove and Abel Croker, and we finally discover the identity of the Golem of Whitechapel.

As mentioned in the previous review, the underlying theme of Ripper Street is that all actions have consequences, and as the season races towards its conclusion, it is clear that this trend will continue. Our characters will be feeling the painful results of decisions they have made in the past and they will have to choose how they confront these challenges. The mysteries are unraveling little by little and everything is set to come together in the final episode, which will no doubt be full of even more exquisite misery.