Ripper Street Season 3, Episode 4 Review: Your Father, My Friend


With ‘Your Father, My Friend’ Ripper Street gives us the episode that we deserved last week. In the closing moments of ‘Ashes and Diamonds’ Drake discovers that Reid’s daughter, Mathilda, is still alive and that Susan lied about her demise to ruin Reid. This episode doesn’t beat around the bush and we immediately have Drake discovering Reid at a beach hut in Margate where Reid’s family had vacationed many years ago. Once Drake has informed Reid that he is certain that the child is Mathilda the two immediately leap into action and head back to Whitechapel to find her and bring her home. It was refreshing to step away from the procedural format for once, they started off a compelling storyline with Mathilda and Susan so it was quite frustrating last week when they didn’t develop it, I know it has only been a couple of weeks but it feels like this episode is long overdue.

Susan is the person that fed Reid the lie about his daughters abuse and death so it’s only natural that she is their first stop once back at Whitechapel. I adore the character of Susan but I’ll openly admit that her actions this season have been despicable so I felt a sense of triumph with the realization that Reid and Drake intend to make her answer for what she has done. I still wasn’t prepared for what happened during the confrontation though, Reid grabbed her by the neck when pressing her for answers and ended up strangling her as Drake stood by and let it happen. Reid has always been the respectable member of the trio and even though he killed Buckley I believed he still was, but he is driven by anger now. The character progression we have seen from Reid is immense, although I’m not completely fond of his outbursts, seeing what he has gone through has made it understandable. He would have most likely killed Susan if it wasn’t for Jackson drawing his gun and threatening to shoot him, and there was a prolonged moment between this and Reid actually letting go that I was unsure if he would or not. I was thankful when he did, I didn’t want another death by Reid’s hand as he had enough to answer for.

After leaving Susan’s home Reid and Drake continue on to find Mathilda certain that she is lost in Whitechapel. They are joined by Aberline who arrests Reid for Buckley’s death but assures him that he will do anything to find Mathilda if she is indeed out there. He attempts to keep Reid away from the investigation but fails, which isn’t too much of a shock. Would Reid really sit this one out? Jackson does not join them, he is busy grappling with the information that Susan, the woman he loves, would do this to Reid and be the cause of the train crash that killed 52 people. Even when confronted with evidence from Dr Amanda Frayn and the journalist Fred Best he still has to confirm with Susan that she knew nothing about it. We see him being taken in by Susan, he knows that she was involved but still believes that she had no knowledge of it. I understand that he loves Susan but it seems uncharacteristic of him to believe her at face value when he has had little to no contact with her the past few years, he doesn’t know the person she has become.


Elsewhere Mathilda is looking for the father that she doesn’t remember, the person that the Buckley’s have poisoned her mind against. She has almost no experience in the outside world as she has been hidden away and sheltered her whole life, yet she remembers names of streets and is searching them to find Reid. She is taken in by someone who seems friendly to her, but is in actual fact a pimp and would like her to be one of his new girls. It was uncomfortable to watch him take her back to a brothel and almost force himself on her when she attacked him. It would have been worse if Reid and Drake hadn’t intervened, giving Mathilda time to get away. The twosome almost got her, with Drake trying to get Mathilda to remember them but that ended up frightening her off, Reid may be her father but he is also the person she is terrified off. She still hadn’t made sense of her memories and figured out which ones were real and which were a figment of her imagination. I’ve got to give a round of applause to the casting director because the majority of child actors we see are atrocious but Anna Burnett who plays Mathilda has been phenomenal. She portrays the characters sadness, confusion and fear beautifully and with ease and I hope to see a lot more of her in the future.

After losing Mathilda at the brothel Reid and Drake realise the streets she is looking for are where the Jack the Ripper murders occurred many years earlier. Mathilda was around then and Reid was investigating it at the time so she had been more exposed to the case than a young child should have been. Reid made an observation that when he lost Mathilda the first time she had gone through a metamorphosis, she had become withdrawn, even from her father she loved dearly. What she had seen of the original case had essentially broken her mind and the Buckleys hadn’t helped matters, they used it to their advantage. It was nice to see them reference the Ripper case again, for a show that is called Ripper Street it very rarely does and it didn’t feel completely forced this episode.

When Reid and Co. had figured out the trail the police went to the next location leaving Reid behind as the thought of him frightened her. He had other plans though and went home to find Mathilda there, and it was heartwarming to see them reunite. Mathilda had gone there because she believed it was safe, she thought the Ripper victims should have gone there also because he father would protect them. Mathilda’s mind was still fragile so the two reuniting could have gone either way but it was wonderful to watch Mathilda’s thoughts clear and have her realize that her father was a good man, not the frightening being that she had been led to believe. Mathilda was back and Reid had got what he lost all those years ago, he always seemed like a broken man but now he was whole again. Him and Mathilda could ride off into the sunset and leave the ugliness of Whitchapel behind, but of course we’re only halfway through season three so that’s not going to happen just yet.

Jackson arrived with the evidence he has gotten from Fred Best and presents it to Reid, informing him that he now has grounds to arrest Capshaw. He still insists that Susan had no knowledge of what was happening which is quite baffling, what does she need to do at this point to make Jackson believe? Does he have to watch her kill someone? Reid could have delegated the responsibility of making the arrest to Drake but he did not, he decided to see this through. When he goes to Susan’s and presents evidence to Capshaw a bullet comes out of nowhere and hits him in the head. It was a bit of a shock to the system seeing that, Reid has just gotten his daughter back and we see him lying motionless with blood pouring out of him. Susan emerges from the curtain behind holding a pistol, revealing herself to be the shooter (of course). She then says that Reid was a good man, and clearly shows regret that she’s killed him before offing Capshaw and then begins to arrange the murder scene to made it look like it was a standoff between the two. When she kneels beside Reid he stirs and opens his eyes for a brief moment before laying motionless again.

I was yearning for some action for the main storyline last week but never did I expect for it to turn out this way. If Reid is dead then the first half of the season makes sense, we’ve seen Drake in the position of authority and him working closely with Jackson, perhaps this was to ease us into a Reid-less Ripper Street. It’s heartbreaking if it is the end for Reid, he almost had perfect resolution with his character by getting Mathilda back and he could have had a happy life away from Whitechapel with her. I’m in two minds, its ingenious to kill off the protagonist and it’ll be quite interesting to see where the story will go from here but I didn’t want Reid’s story to end that way. We did see him stirring, so maybe he is still alive and he’ll just be out of action for a few episodes but will make a recovery in time for the last episode where he captures Susan once and for all. I guess we’ll find out next week!

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