Ripper Street has been consistently good this season, my enjoyment has ramped up considerably, perhaps out of a gratitude for having access to it on the BBC again!
With the revelation that Reid's daughter is alive and well, so begins a race to find the poor little mite before she falls into the hands of some of the less noble members of the Whitechapel echelons. As usual it is loyal Bennett Drake who delivers the shocking news in his very quiet and considered way.
This episode is a study in how the decisions of the past have resonation here in the present.
It seems the fragile mind of young Matilda is set on the path traced by Reid as he sought the most famous Whitechapel criminal of all time and namesake of the very show which we watch... She is tracing the steps of the Ripper Victims who had died prior to her boating accident. She has reminders props that those lead the police to focus on the unfortunate women had also had them on their person and has to use a mirror shard to good effect to ward off the sweet faced teenage pimp who expects to try the wares before unleashing it on the low menfolk of the borough. He sees the error of his ways when both Father and daughter take retributive action on him.
Bennett Drake earns the child's trust through a shared memory of strawberry ice cream, but a gaffe in calling him Inspector Reid rather than the rank he held at the time of the accident sends her scurrying out into the streets again.
We are rewarded by a heartwarming scene in the Reid Family Nursery when Matilda like a little homing pigeon gravitates to a place of safety and a plan to get away from London back to the safety and peace of Margate is hatched, but a final reckoning is required so Reid takes it upon himself to take culprits into custody.
Captain Jackson has the terrible task of proving to himself just how deep his beloved wife's involvement in the event of months past and his tenacity sadly pays off. I have throughly enjoyed the performance of Adam Rothenberg as the grizzly old soak come brilliant doctor of forensic medicine and his performance has nuance that was not really as evident in the previous two series.
His animosity against Susan for dropping him like a hot stone when the opportunity to better herself came along ,was always muted by his belief in her intrinsic goodness, but as he grows ever more aware of the Bearer Bond fiasco and the death in custody that prevented the revelation of the person who actually was the orchestrator of the train Robbery, he begins to realise there is no doubt of her involvement so whilst he saves her from Reid's angry confrontation at Obsidian, he is hurt by the depths she has sunk to to win.
Susan is not truly evil, but she is up to her neck in the mire of the deaths and then the efforts to cover their tracks and the cracks have really been starting to show. Most telling, she sits in splendour in the "throne room" counting house mistress of all she surveys and is utterly unsatisfied.