The second (and possibly final) season of “Ripper Street” came to life Saturday (Feb. 22) on BBC America. While the show has already aired overseas on the BBC, this is the first change U.S. viewers have had to see it.
The Season 2 premiere beings when a sergeant from a neighboring district is hurled out the window of a boarding house, landing viciously on a fence post. Upon inspecting the apartment he was tossed from, Detective Inspector Edmund Reid (Matthew Macfadyen) finds morphine and a connection to Chinatown. The injured sergeant’s life is saved, and he begins recuperation in the hospital.
While investigating it’s discovered that legalized opium is being made into heroin, powering the drug trade in Chinatown. That’s where Detective Inspector Jedediah Shine (Joseph Mawle) comes in. as he works with the injured sergeant. It’s eventually revealed that he’s connected to the drug trade as well, through a Chinese immigrant named Blush Pang who seems to be running it.
It all falls apart when her brother arrived to return her to China. While the brother fights Shine in the street, Blush stabs him to death, due to her allegiance to Shine. When Reid takes her into custody, he tells Shine just how clear he is about the corruption that’s happening, though he can’t make the direct connection that would implicate him. The thing that stands out is how smug Shine is about it all, as if he’s above the law.
In an effort to free himself of any obstacles, Shine kills the hospitalized sergeant with drugs, framing Reid for the murder. As the premiere episode comes to a close things are not looking bright for Reid. What Shine doesn’t know if the Elephant Man, Joseph Merrick (Joseph Drake), saw him commit the crime.
All the same, Shine looks to be a powerful foe for Reid, which will hopefully make for an interesting season. What did you think of the premiere?