After the chaos at the end of ‘Your Father, My Friend’ ‘Heavy Boots’ begins with Susan taking care of Reid at the Obsidian. She has granted Fred Best an interview so she can tell all of her shock regarding Capshaw’s activities and how justice has now been served with his demise, she also seems to be giving herself a pat on the back for finding Reid so quickly after the almost fatal shooting and getting him the treatment that he needed. It’s not a shock that she is making sure that he stays near by so she is able to watch over him in case he wakes, to discover what he remembers. Honestly, I thought the new Susan that we have grown to know over the course of the past four episodes would have made an attempt on his life at some point during the episode to silence him before he has a chance to wake.
Seeing Reid so vulnerable while lying in a coma was quite disturbing, over the past few years we have known him as the man to rely on, the man that would help you even when he was in despair. Last week Mathilda even said that the Ripper victims should have come to their home as Reid would have been able to care for them. With Reid in his motionless state we see how much he means to his peers, Drake has shut himself away with the engaged Rose and Jackson is drinking himself stupid a lot more than usual. They see the end for Reid and that isn’t hampered when Aberline forces them to visit Reid as Dr Frayn explains that he took bullets to the abdomen and to the head, showing no signs of getting any better. Aberline pushes them to attempt to see that he isn’t getting any worse and that they are needed in Whitechapel, they need to stop dwelling on Reid’s state. This didn’t exactly have me jumping for joy, the twosome may have agreed with him but the look on theirs and Dr Frayn’s faces says otherwise. The only person that seems to be hoping for the best is Mathilda who says that they wouldn’t be bought together if Reid was going to be taken away from her again, she believes that he will recover. That genuinely brought a smile to my face and had anticipating Reid’s recovery, Mathilda truly is one of the better characters to be introduced this season.
Reid’s absence isn’t just felt amongst his peers, but throughout Whitechapel. One of the opening scenes in the episode is of people in a pub singing a song celebrating him demise, and with his demise Whitechapel loses all sense of decorum. With Reid laid up the thugs of Whitechapel use this as an excuse to wreak havoc and go further than they would have done if Reid was around to keep them in line. This week follows the antics of a group from the Black Eagle Brewers as they turn their hands to murder to punish publicans for ordering elsewhere. Yes it seems petty, and I wonder how many petty conflicts will escalate without Reid around to instill fear in them. The Black Eagle Brewers gang’s M.O. is to drown the publicans with their own beer and place them into beer barrels, and when the first body is discovered Aberline insists that Drake and Jackson put their grief aside so they can put a stop to the killings.
Ripper Street has run for three seasons now and I don’t think we’ve ever seen so much of Aberline in one episode, taking on Reid’s position and spearheading the investigation. He seems like a mix of both Reid and Drake due to his sense of reasoning and his brutal ways of getting answers, he was truly enjoyable to watch and I hope we see more of him in the upcoming episodes. We also get to explore both Drake and Jacksons new relationship as they are attempting to track down the Black Eagles which is quite fascinating to watch, in the previous seasons they were adversaries forced together and now they are firm friends and their bromance provided lighthearted moments in an otherwise depressing episode. The twosome and Aberline with the help of the thus far underused Constable Grace proved an effective team as they were able to trace back the murders to Teddy Shipman who after much prodding gave up his brother Walter, saying that he was responsible for the murders as he was trying to live up to his brothers legacy.
The group found this out just in the knick of time as Walter and the rest of the Black Eagles had decided to go one further in their rampage and kidnap and drown Constable Grace. Of course in true Ripper Street form Drake, Jackson and Aberline burst into the brewery in time to save Grace from coming to any major harm, and ‘H’ division probably hope that this would put to bed anyone else that had gotten any ideas now that Reid isn’t with them. Well the closing moments of the episode show that they may not have to be without him as Reid is reawakened by memories of past cases and reuniting with Mathilda. The last memory the audience sees is actually of Mathilda sitting in her room when Reid walked in which we saw last week, and I have a feeling that he probably doesn’t remember anything that happened after that, making Susan a happy woman. With Reid back in action next week I’m assuming that he will be trying to recover his lost memories, which will inevitably bring about Susan’s downfall. I’m hoping that we see Fred Best join the fold as he is still questioning the train accident and the bearer bonds, and we see from his conversation with Susan that he is not going to be fooled by her stories.
I may not have been please with Ripper Street going back to its procedural format with ‘Ashes and Diamonds’ after an major event had occurred, but I think the writers managed a lot better with ‘Heavy Boots’. Reid’s absence was felt throughout the episode whereas with ‘Ashes and Diamonds’ he was more of an afterthought. The episode also fleshed out the characters of Aberline and Constable Grace which was a breath of fresh air, and showed that ‘H’ division can function effectively without Reid, which is a little depressing to me. Reid may have woken up but after this episode I believe that he is on his way out of Ripper Street which is why we’ve seen the other members of ‘H’ division take center stage, that and Reid said he wanted to leave with Mathilda. My theory is that Reid will investigate his own shooting and discover Susan as the culprit and ride off into the sunset with Mathilda at the end of the season. I have loved seeing the other characters interact but I don’t think I’m ready to let go of Reid yet, so lets hope the remaining episodes prove me wrong. But I do want Reid to be happy. I’m confused.