Ripper Street, S5 Ep1 – Closed Casket

The final season of Ripper Street has begun and it picks up where we left off in season 4, with the death of Bennet Drake. Our main trio has been irrevocably broken up and the remaining main characters must go into hiding as they continue their quest for justice. Now, more than ever, are they determined to expose the identity of the Golem of Whitechapel, but this will prove more challenging than ever with them all being fugitives of the law, hunted relentlessly by Augustus Dove, the assistant police commissioner determined to protect his brother and his reputation.

Ripper Street, S5 Ep1 – Closed CasketThis first episode is really all about setting the stage for the final chapters and putting all the players in place. It begins somberly, with the loss of Drake weighing heavily on Whitechapel. The death of an integral character of Ripper Street really drives in the idea that this will be the last season, one final story to hopefully tie up loose ends and give our characters some closure. The new, haunting opening theme is an indication that the end is near. We see the departure of Rose from the story, as she is too devastated by her loss. She entrusts Connor into the care of Augustus Dove, a decision that further cements the latter’s status as an adversary to Reid, Jackson, and Susan.

So they’re the new trio now, brought together by circumstances, and for all intents and purposes, stuck together. The episode sees the return of a few old characters. First, there’s Mimi Morton, Jackson’s old flame, and the proprietor of the Alexandria theatre. The three seek refuge with her and she surprisingly opens her doors to them, providing shelter and secrecy as they work out their plan. Mathilda Reid has to contend with losing her father’s protection and support but I’m sure that she will be strong enough to face the trials ahead.

Ripper Street, S5 Ep1 – Closed CasketAnother addition to the season is the return of Reid’s enemy, Jedediah Shine (played by Uncle Benjen Stark, Joseph Mawle.) Dove enlists Shine’s help to track down Reid and Jackson and Shine takes over Drake’s position in Leman Street. Cocksure young Thatcher takes a shine to Shine (ha) while Drummond is more worried. Shine is ruthless and sinister and will surely be a great threat to Reid as the latter tries to build his case against Nathaniel.

The dynamic between the brothers Dove and Nathaniel continues to be a fascinating part of Ripper Street, which has always been able to develop all its characters. One is both protective and ambitious, able to maintain a façade of calm and control even when doing dark deeds. The other struggles to contain his animal urges and though he has committed gruesome acts, his sad and dejected demeanor sometimes makes him seem more human than his brother.

The various characters are in place, all moving towards a set goal. There will be hardships ahead but these characters have survived so much already and are full of unsurpassed determination. The curtain is about to close on Ripper Street but it’s clear that there will still be one last, compelling journey ahead.