Ripper Street, Series 3 Episode 2: “The Beating Of Her Wings”


The thieves that caused the train crash were arrested and hung at the end of episode one, and although the case isn’t completely finished episode two of Ripper Street shifts focus onto the death of Clara Buckley and the discovery of a prison cell that housed a child in her basement. The episode opens with Ronald Capshaw (John Heffernan) paying a visit to one of Susan’s debtors, Clara and Horace Buckley, hoping to force them into signing over the deed to their store which Susan and Ronald have been doing all over Whitechapel.

When they reject his offer and tearfully beg him more time to repay the debt he invites Kendrick to help him force their hand even more and see if there are any valuables in the premises. I’m really really not liking Capshaw, I think he should get himself a swift death before the end of series 3. Anyway, the Buckleys are not letting their homes and possessions go without a fight and when Capshaw and Kendrick attempt to open what looks like a close Clara goes ballastic and attacks Capshaw who fights back, accidentally killing her. So it looks like Capshaw will have at least one death on his hands each episode. After Clara’s demise Horace runs away and Capshaw discovers an underground bunker that is housing a small child behind bars, and takes her to Susan.

A death in Whitechapel only means one thing, that “H” division are called and the crime quickly finds a resolution. Reid and Drake work the case together, probably to ease Drake back into “H” division before taking over and they initially assume that Horace may have killed Clara even though they hadn’t had any domestic disturbances in the past. Reid and Drake are incredibly competent detectives, they can spot some clues but they need Jackson to piece it all together. Although Reid is resistant Drake pushes him to ask for Jacksons help, and Jackson responds by asking Reid to take back everything degrading he has said to him and naming his merits. Of course Reid doesn’t but he attempts to which is good enough for Jackson, hopefully this is a signal that their relationship is back on track. They’re no good when they are constantly at odds with one another.

Once the merry band of murderer catchers is back together Jackson discovers splinters under the deceased Claras finger nails, splinters that the trio trace back to the cupboard that Capshaw was trying to get into. They then discover the cell beneath the shop only the child is now gone, so now the division have three things to solve, who killed Clara? why was there a child living there and where is she now? I always love it when children feature in Ripper Street as it reminds Reid of his daughter, Matilda, who supposedly drowned prior to the series. Even after all these years he is still constantly tortured by her death, he was the one that was with her and blames himself for not saving her. It destroyed his relationship with his wife, and she died without closure. The whole of episode two we are able to see him haunted by the memories of her, and her death and we rarely see him when he is not working a case but he actually goes home and spends time looking at pictures of her. Even though he is shaken, he attempts to keep it under the surface and carries on with the case, finding a link between the Buckleys and Obsidian Estates, and then proceeding to find Horace.

Horace seems like he has no backbone, he stood by and his wife defended his property and ran away leaving the child with the person who he watched kill his wife so of course the coward isn’t going to stay silent on what happened even though he had already made a deal. He confesses the Reid and Drake that he was in Susan’s debt and Capshaw had come to collect and accidentally killed his wife. He made no comment on the child that was being kept their even though Reid kept pushing him for an answer so the fellas decided to arrest Capshaw and see what he had to say of the matter. They probably would have been able to capture Capshaw with ease if he hadn’t taken the child to Susan. You see while “H” division where finding out who murdered Clara and who was in the basement Susan was getting to know the child with the help of Dr Frayn (Louise Brealey). They discovered that she had been brainwashed into believing that the Buckley’s were her parents and that her name was Alice, but when Dr Frayn dug deaper they discovered they some memories had been surpressed, memories of her biological parents and who she really was. She had been groomed to believe that her biological parents had been harming her and she feared the sight of them. Susan puts two and two together and realises that “Alice” is actually Reid’s lost daughter, and they now have some leverage over him.

Susan then teases Reid with this information when he comes to arrest Capshaw and informs Reid that the girl who she believes is Matilda is now dead. She informs Reid that the child had been abused by the Buckleys and had been brainwashed into hating Reid, that the Buckley’s are the real monsters not Capshaw. It’s quite sickening to see her manipulating Reid with his daughter, I understand that she believes her reasons are just but to me what she does is malicious. I don’t understand how her character could come back from this, theres plenty of characters that have overstepped but Susan has gone too far. Even Drake and Jackson who we’ve seen to occasionally be morally corrupt attempt to silence her but she presses on until Reid leaves and confronts Buckley. The confrontation between Reid and Buckley was absolutely marvelous, Reid is fuming over the daughter he lost to Buckley and believes that he was abusing her so his anger is just but he still seems in control at the beginning. Buckley clearly loves Matila/Alice as his own child, and made up all the fantasies that she believes to be real to stop her thinking about her previous life, he just wanted to keep her to himself even when he discovered she was Reid’s daughter. I found my heart breaking for both of them and I wasn’t prepared for what happened next, with Reid losing control and smacking Buckley’s head against the wall repeatedly, killing him.

I was not expecting anything like that to happen, sure Reid is a very different person to when the show started but I never believed he could take a life in cold blood. He did this in front witnesses, all of whom are police officers, Drake did give him a way to escape but this will change the show completely. I don’t know what to expect next week when the show comes back, it won’t just be another case, will it be the hunt for Reid? How can Reid clear his name? Although he was manipulated he clearly did it. How will Susan live with herself? This episode was even stronger than the first and I can’t wait until next week, but can we please have less Rose? I think she should have been written out a long time ago.

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