Ripper Street “Whitechapel Terminus” Review (Season 3 Episode 1)

Ripper Street Season 3 Premiere 2015 Whitechapel Terminus (8)

I was extremely happy when Ripper Street was saved from the abyss of cancellation. It’s a consistently strong show with compelling characters and fascinating depictions of historical events in London at the turn of the 19th century. We start out 4 years after the events of season 2, and the relationships between all of the characters have dramatically changed.

Reid has gone back to the straight and narrow and is obsessed with building his archives at the police station. He’s basically creating an old fashioned database of all of the criminals in Whitechapel. While he’s refocused professionally, he’s also newly widowed. This should free him up for a scandalous love affair, perhaps with Councilwoman Cobden, again.

Captain Jackson is no longer working with the police force and no longer talking with Reid. This isn’t entirely surprising considering how volatile their relationship can be. Reid has been a real jerk to Jackson on numerous occasions, so hopefully the latter just got sick of it and walked. Jackson’s also moved on from his destructive relationship with Long Susan. He’s now dating (or sleeping with) Hermione, a pretty woman who seems less world worn than Susan, but equally capable of putting Jackson in his place.

Detective Inspector Drake has been away in Manchester, but returns in time for the episode’s main action—a violent train accident that kills more than 50. To say that things are awkward between Drake and Reid is an understatement, particularly because their boss wants Reid out of Whitechapel. Drake doesn’t appear to have fully gotten over Rose, and the feeling may be mutual. The problem is that Rose is engaged to someone else.

Then there’s Long Susan. After gaining her financial independence, Susan is making some questionable decisions. Her solicitor cooks up a scheme for them to get untraceable notes that they can use to further Susan’s philanthropic endeavors. The solicitor sets up a train heist that goes terribly wrong when two trains collide over Whitechapel. While the catastrophe brings together all of the major players, there are numerous victims, including Freddy’s lover. Susan is going into dangerous territory and there will be reckoning. She’s clamoring for respectability, while acting like a common criminal behind the scenes. Things aren’t going to go well when Councilwoman Cobden finds out who she’s getting into bed with.

This episode was a good set up for where everyone is at this point. There were also several interesting historical features, including the Necropolis Railway. I had never heard of that before. The London Necropolis Railway was used to transport bodies to less crowded cemeteries outside of the city in the 1800s and early 1900s. I also liked the 1744 Great Northern Railway featured throughout the episode. This show really excels about bringing the time period to life.

I hope that Drake, Reid and Jackson are able to work out their differences quickly and get the team back together. I like that they are all able to move on to new love interest possibilities, though I doubt they’ll be able to completely shake off their pasts.