Ripper Street “The Incontrovertible Truth” Review (Season 3, Episode 6)


This week’s Ripper Street was my absolute favorite of the season so far. A high society woman is found in the company of a naked, murdered flower seller. Reid must figure out if it is a case of slumming it that got out of control, or if there’s more to the situation than meets the eye.

This episode worked really well on several levels. It’s Reid’s first case back since being shot and he’s got a new calm about him. He seems to have regained his sense of purpose and returned to the more even keel Reid that we met at the beginning of the series. The trio of Reid, Drake, and Jackson also is getting along well—like back in the good old days. Their mission is to solve a crime and all the other personal drama is off the table.

All of the action centers on events at the police station, which I also really enjoyed. It was like watching an Agatha Christie movie; there’s a limited cast of potential suspects—the Major, his wife and the scumbag cousin—a murder weapon, and a motive that has to be gradually untangled by Reid and Drake. Even though they didn’t go roaming the streets of Whitechapel, the conflict in that neighborhood felt particularly vibrant. It’s shocking to think that rich Londoners would travel into the skeezy part of town to sample the taste of the poor life. It makes me think of Pulp’s song, “Common People.” It’s a completely pathetic activity because if they get too uncomfortable, the rich can always flee back to their cozy homes and forget about all the misery and poverty in the city.

In addition to highlighting the class differences of the time, Jackson’s work with the body reminds us that fingerprinting wasn’t always standard evidentiary procedure. He comes up with the idea of using the still uncertain technique to try and identify whose bloody fingerprint is on the knife. He eventually concludes it’s the Major. Sadly, even though the wife is not guilty, she takes the blame because of her masochistic need to get close to and even experience death. This just proves that money can’t save someone from being a complete basket case.

Let’s pause for a moment and talk about Laura Haddock, who played Lady Vera. Some may recognize her from Da Vinci’s Demons. She looks like what I imagine Shiloh Jolie Pitt will look like in 10 years. She bears an uncanny resemblance to Angeline Jolie that is kind of distracting. She did a great job at subtly showing how psychologically damaged Vera is. This could have easily been overdone. In the end, you feel bad for Vera as she is led out and her husband is willing to watch her go to the rope.

I liked that Reid kept his cool and worked the case. This is Reid at his best. I also think that Jackson’s new woman is absolutely perfect for him. She doesn’t take any guff and isn’t going to let him get away with anything. This is a much healthier relationship than what he has with Susan. I feel like Susan is so bad at this point, she’s either going to become a Lex Luthor-like criminal mastermind or she’s going to die. There is no middle ground left. It looks from the preview that Jackson is going to figure out next week that Susan is actually the one who shot Reid. Will that finally make a difference in his feelings for her?