Ripper Street S2E3 - "Become Man" Recap

In a music hall where both Jackson and Long Susan are present, a strange musical about Jack the Ripper is being put on. During a moment where the lights go out, a city counsellor in attendance is abducted. His friend, Mr. Pemberley, shouts for help when he sees him missing after the lights come back on. Additionally, Rose works there as a server. Reid and Drake are brought to the scene to investigate. Reid is able to learn that the gang of kidnappers are a group of womyn who are supporters of Jane Cobden, a female County Councillor of London. Things are a tad awkward when Drake sees Rose again but they maintain an air of polite formality. Meanwhile, Jackson and Long Susan's relationship is stressed by her debt to Silas Duggan.

Reid has Jane Cobden come in for polite questioning and informs her that a group of kidnappers have acted in her name. Long Susan tries to sell her brothel to Duggan to get out of her debt but it is of no use. Long Susan and a lawyer who is a client then become victims of the kidnappers. Later, she learns from her abductor that they have a personal grudge against Thomas Ely, the lawyer, as he apparently caused a severe facial injury to one of them. Reid has to bring both Rose and Drake's wife in to learn the identity of the client. After examining his possessions, they are able to identify the belongings as Ely's.

Flight brings forth the name of another kidnapped man, a factory foreman, taken by the gang. When Reid learns that he used to work at the Match Factory, he realises there must be a connection to the London Matchgirls strike of 1988. Miss Cobden is committed to helping those ill-used girls, the foreman acted as a barrier between the womyn and the owners. The lawyer was responsible for drawing up a document that scammed the girls out of their rightful compensation and the politician was also involved in it.

Long Susan is shown by her kidnapper that she is not so independent as she would like to think. Despite her beliefs that she is a businesswoman, she is still under the rule of men. Reid visits Cobden to help learn the identity of the match girl(s) leading the strike. Long Susan turns up at the station, somewhat battered, with a bag containing the right index fingers of the men they kidnapped and a note demanding a ransom in exchange for the lives of the men. Long Susan is unable to tell them where the hideout is. Jackson doesn't want Long Susan going back, but she agrees to make the decoy ransom drop. She wants to do it so that the womyn may have a slightly better outcome.

Reid, Jackson, and Drake stand watch as Long Susan is out in the public marketplace, preparing to make the drop.  Long Susan warns Rain about the risk she is placing herself and the girls if she doesn't turn herself in. Following the drop, three womyn emerge from the booth all dressed in the same garb and the inspectors are all forced to separate and follow after them. After they have all gone, the real Rain emerges and Long Susan is forced to follow her alone. Rain corners her and asks why she didn't call the police. She tells her she comes to her as her equal, wanting to help, and tells her about Duggen and how he wants her to pay off her debt with her flesh. Rain warns her not to do it, saying that the first time will change her forever.

The trio return to the station and are met by Cobden, who is able to provide them with a lead to track down the location. Rain returns to the hideout with Long Susan and makes it rain (why do people insist on doing that? It only makes a mess you'll have to clean up). Long Susan goes downstairs and finds Rain pouring preparing to light the men on fire. She is too far lost in her grief and vengeance after the loss of her sister to see reason, not caring that killing the men will doom her and the other girls to hang. Long Susan tries to reason with her, saying that she has become man with such actions. Upstairs, the police descend on the house and begin arresting everyone. Long Susan pleads with Rain to cut the men loose, saying that it will save her and the other womyn from death and Rain eventually relents, pulling out a knife and preparing to do so. Then Jackson comes down and only seeing Rain standing over Long Susan with a knife, shoots her dead. Long Susan begins crying and shouts at her husband not to touch her.

Following the arrest, the womyn learn of Rain's death and are all devastated. Reid apologises to Long Susan for putting her in harm's way and asks why she chose to run with Rain. Long Susan tells them that Rain only wanted the best for her girls. Following the release of the men, the city counsellor speaks out against womyn in the work force and blames them for the loss of his finger. Reid speaks with Cobden and asks that she not see all men as being as bad as him. Jackson pleads with Long Susan to understand that Rain was a crazy woman and that he had the best intention of trying to save her. She asks him to leave her in peace.

Ripper Street airs on Mondays on BBC One at 9PM.

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