Ripper Street Season 1 Review “A Man Of My Company”


It’s reckoning time for Captain Jackson on this week’s Ripper Street. We’ve gotten clues along the way that Jackson isn’t what he seems, and that he and Long Susan have a past life that they’d rather forget. When an American businessman, Theodore Swift, shows up in town with a gang of Pinkertons, it’s no surprise that they’re intent on tracking down Jackson and Long Susan.

The intrigue of the week begins with a ship engineer, Fanthorpe, murdered and dropped in the Thames. His company is poised to introduce a new type of marine engine that will give it a competitive edge in the steam liner industry. Everyone believes that now that Fanthorpe is dead, the company is finished. Swift wants to keep it that way so that his own company may benefit from the lack of competition. Thus, he is less than thrilled to learn that the mind behind the innovative engine is not the dead engineer – it is his wife.

Swift’s underhanded business dealings are window dressing for the real drama of the episode: the Pinkertons’ hunt for Jackson, led by Swift’s murderous bodyguard, Frank Goodnight. Through Goodnight, we learn that Jackson turned against his fellow Pinkertons because of his feelings for Long Susan. The relationship between Jackson and Long Susan has been somewhat ambiguous throughout the season. Sometimes it seems like they are very close and sometimes it seems like they are acquaintances that barely tolerate each other. We learn that their feelings for each other are still strong and, more importantly, that they are married.

Swift tasks Goodnight with finding Mrs. Fanthorpe and Long Susan. Unfortunately, young constable Hobbs catches Goodnight abducting Mrs. Fanthorpe. The poor boy is no match for the seasoned killer. It was incredibly sad to see him pinned to the table and stabbed in the back. When his dead body is retrieved from the river, Reid and Drake are devastated by the loss. Reid tears up and the entire police station falls under the hush of mourning. Reid and Drake suspect that Swift and Goodnight are behind the killing. The loss of Hobbs is both shocking and tragic. It was emotional to see the police all band together when one of their own had fallen. It was also sad to see such a lighthearted character killed so ruthlessly.

What nobody anticipates, though, is that Long Susan is actually Swift’s daughter. Jackson was charged with helping to guard her, the two fell in love, and ran off together. This was an odd turn of events considering that Swift is American and Long Susan has a British accent. It also seems odd that the daughter of a wealthy businessman would end up running a whore house. There are still pieces of this story that are missing. Now that their connection has been exposed, the relationship between Jackson and Long Susan needs to change. There should be no reason for them to keep things hidden any longer.

There had to be some sort of wrap up for Jackson’s Pinkerton backstory, and it was satisfying in a way. It was great when Jackson had Drake and Reid at gunpoint and made his way out of the station while simultaneously postulating on how Hobbs’s rigor mortis could have set in so quickly. The best moment, though, occurred when Jackson put a bullet between Goodnight’s eyes. It felt like justice was served, particularly because Jackson’s last words to Goodnight were that he shouldn’t have killed Hobbs. Susan sums it up when she tells him, “I never knew a man who could make cheating so heroic.”

Reid may have lost his hold over Jackson now that he secret is out, so hopefully their relationship will now also be able to evolve. Unfortunately, it looks like things are going to take a turn for the worse next week for Jackson. In a parting shot, Goodnight has framed Jackson for the Ripper murders. The season is coming to a close, so it will be interesting to see if the real Jack the Ripper makes an appearance.

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