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Season 3 - More Than Just the Show Rises From the Ashes

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So one small throwaway line to explain Mrs Reid's absence.

 

I will have to watch this episode another time to catch things I missed but apparently Long Susan is EEEEEEEVIL now.

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I've only seen 3.1, but I was floored that Susan was behind it all. I'm also interested if they're going to unite the 3 eventually, since it was pretty clear that they solved the case in about 45 seconds when they were together. 

 

I think it was a good idea to shake up the dynamic though; Drake can't and shouldn't be the 'lackey' anymore. I liked seeing the reporter return and the big cop with the red beard. 

 

I really like the move to Reid being more forensic and evidence-based in the crime solving, since they were alluding to that a lot in the prior series. He's really all in on it now. 

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The show doesn’t bring up Jack the Ripper much anymore, come to think of it—this was a riveting way to make sure his spectre lingers.

 

They did in 3.1, but I think that was it since S1 with the cop who thought everyone was JTR.

 

I don't get how they just let Capshaw go. I get that Reid was WTF, but I figured Drake would at least arrest him and Jackson would follow Reid to the shop. Now their only eye witness (again) is dead and Capshaw gets away with a train robbery, at least negligent for the accident, and probably second degree murder/involuntary manslaughter.

 

Long Susan is *cold*. Even Jackson was appalled. She is quite the crime boss now. Talk about good by ill gotten means. 

 

I do like Jackson's new gf too. The whole "feed me roast meat...defile me in unspeakable ways" was hilarious. Then when Jackson was screaming at Reid, she was like turned on by whole scene.

 

I always liked the reporter. I'm glad he's still around, and he's legit on the case, not stirring up shit. 

 

And it's only been two episodes! This show is rocking pretty hard.

 

I *need* Jackson's blue coat. 

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This show is rocking pretty hard.

Series 3 really is crazy-good so far. It’s been reinvigorated by its near-death, I think, going for broke in both story and acting.

 

I don't get how they just let Capshaw go.

I guess they believed Susan—she turned it around on them after all, clearing Capshaw by saying that Buckley, the witness, was lying and that Capshaw was Alice’s rescuer instead. And they just don’t have evidence yet to arrest Capshaw for the train heist. They had a witness description, but not ID.

 

I always liked the reporter. I'm glad he's still around, and he's legit on the case, not stirring up shit.

He’s still a bit of an exposition fairy—that’s a trope, not a slur—only present to deliver information or push the plot forward, but I do appreciate the character a lot more now than in earlier seasons. The actor manages to imbue his few scenes with so much feeling.

 

they solved the case in about 45 seconds when they were together.

Heh. Their crime recreation brought back fond memories of the “Fuck” scene from The Wire. (NSFW obv.)

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No one was denying that Capshaw killed the wife though and they had an eyewitness. Susan rolled the hard six on Reid just imploding. Drake was shown to be more leveled headed this episode so I'm surprised he just let Capshaw go, rather than, hang on to him and let's figure this out. 

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Series 3’s slightly longer run times have been put to good use, I think. Conversations are unhurried in ep. 3 like never before, and there are a wealth of character moments to appreciate.

 

This is probably the main reason why I think new platforms to deliver original content will eventually change programming. There's no reason for a show to only be 40 minutes or 52 minutes. Now they can take as long as they need to tell the story properly. 

 

I'm worried that Drake is going to die by the end of the season after his monologue with Rose.

 

So, did Drake know where Reid was all along? Because he didn't look surprised to see him. 

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Mostly, it made Drake look like Reid’s enabler.

 

I think they stitched it up when Drake was telling her through the window how they used to always go out for ice cream together. So he had more than just a stake in finding the child than just being Reid's friend. He also said in E1 how he wrote a letter when Reid's wife died, so it seemed like he was a friend of the family. It's a bit of a retcon but fair enough for me.

 

Long Susan can change her moniker to Stone fucking cold because damn.

 

Normally, I don't mind when shows kill off important characters. I think it's not done enough, or it's Game of Thrones where half the known world is killed off. Here, however, the strength of the show is so much the main three that I think it would be hard to get rid of one of them.

 

Showrunners who constantly talk about how they are doing a "dark and gritty" version of this or that needs to watch this show for the real definition. 

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I was referring more to Drake enabling Reid’s brutality and corruption. Certainly Drake had his own motivation to find the girl, but in the scene where Reid threatens to drown the Artful Dodger kid, for example, Drake mostly stood there looking uncomfortable. Reid does offer assurances that he won’t murder the kid “yet”, but he’s still torturing him, and Drake doesn’t intervene. I suppose it would be hypocritical for Drake to object to torture here after he helped cover up the murder before, but still…I’ve noticed that Drake does step in when it’s Abbeline or Jackson.

 

The role reversal is interesting, of course: Drake used to be the physical one, the blunt instrument during an interrogation (or boxing match), and now that falls to Reid because Drake isn’t willing to serve that role anymore. IIRC, it’s why Drake tried to distance himself from Whitechapel and Reid.

 

Normally, I don't mind when shows kill off important characters. I think it's not done enough, or it's Game of Thrones where half the known world is killed off. Here, however, the strength of the show is so much the main three that I think it would be hard to get rid of one of them.

I still wish Ripper Street had been bold enough to do it. (If The 100 can, so can they.) It fit perfectly in that moment of storytelling and would've been genuinely surprising. Well okay, with that much foreshadowing, the surprise would've been the defiance of TV conventions. Reid’s absences in eps 3.3 and 3.5 are almost like they’re testing your theory, anyway.

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I'd rather Reid just walk away than be killed off because Long Susan and Capshaw are pretty shitty criminals and the three have bested craftier ones. I don't want Reid to leave, but I wonder if he's suitable for field duty anymore. I like his fancy database of criminals and meta data. The new forensic angle is something the show's developed since the start, and I think they'd lose that angle without Reid. 

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I watched 3.08 last night. It was a good episode and I really liked it. However, from the way they wrapped up all the story lines I would say they are not planning on a season 4. It worked well as a series finale.

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I think Series 3 was planned as the final one--I remember reading somewhere that the Amazon deal was for one season only. (FYI, Ripper Street was cancelled after Series 2 but was saved by a deal with Amazon.) I suppose nothing's official until it airs in 2015 on BBC/BBC America, of course.
 
Oh, hell...I just realized that S3's arc is totally meta: the show rose from the dead and was saved; Mathilda and Reid both figuratively rose from the dead and were saved. That explains a lot, really. I'd noticed the reinvigorated storytelling and acting of course, and figured it reflected the show making the most of its second chance. S3's story could've been planned before the cancellation, but somehow I doubt that much meta is a coincidence.
 
I've seen 3.8 just to take it in, but I need to watch it again before commenting. I can't stop thinking about the phrase "fearful symmetry"...

Edited by weyrbunny
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I'm on 6. I thought I missed something because Reid was walking around like it was business as usual. I thought that it was some kind of flashback episode. Though I'm pleased that the fingerprinting worked. Clearly, the fingerprinting is the figurative Chekhov's gun to the literal one Jackson was looking at. 

 

One thing I really like about the move to original content off terrestrial tv is that there is no constraints for time. This one was a little longer, nbd. I didn't feel like it was a padded episode. I liked all the one on one conversations. 

 

These three are pretty much unstoppable when they band together to solve the case. 

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E7 was a lot to take in. I agree with their POV on everything. I'm not that sympathetic with Long Susan though. I agree with her opinion that she needs to become pretty ruthless in order to compete with the men, and I have no problem with her basically blackmailing those men because the contractor thought he could just fuck her over. I don't agree that she needed to become a flat out crime boss in order to achieve her ends. And a straight up murderer. 

 

I didn't like that she was hypocritical about contraception and abortion either. Oh, I changed my mind because I'm pregnant now. 

 

I did like how the doctor dressed down Reid in the beginning of the show and then totally served up her mentor at the end to him. She was like, fuuuuck you. 

 

I did not see *George* coming. That was pretty fucking awesome, and I like how Drake figured it out with Matilda. "Oh, you didn't order ice cream? I'll take them back." I have an awful awful feeling that he's going to die. I don't think this is a show that needs to kill people off to be "dramatic". 

 

It could have been cliche, but at the end, Drake saying, "Hey, Rose, I don't want to be that guy. It's hard to do but you give me such hope." 

 

I still want Jackson's blue jacket. Now. 

 

If this show isn't the final, definitive exhibit on how these new services can't deliver original compelling content, I don't know what is. You know how all the 'name actors' started doing HBO/Shotime way back and turned them into viable channels. Between just this, OITNB, and House of Cards, I think there might be a similar shift. 

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I've literally seen no one else think this about the final episode, so I may be crazy. But I took it that Edmund running around in the surf with his daughter was symbolic and that he was actually dead. For several reasons, including the wording of the obituary saying Edmund Reid didn't recover, him throwing away his cane and running while it was read, and also the presence of the obit in his things on the beach itself. I took that all to mean he was no longer alive. 

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I liked how Reid didn’t react as expected. His “fingerprinting works! Oh right, murder…” facial expressions were classic, too.

 

It works! You figured it out. That she shot me. Oh, right.

 

I was worried that Drake was going to die. I'd say he got his own save/redemption.

 

I don't like that Best died, but it fit the story and it had to happen. It would have been a cop out otherwise. But he was able to get to Jackson who got the viewfinder thing to find the pictures, etc.

 

I thought it was a little weird that they all agreed to lock up Swift like that. I know Reid was right in saying that he would have gotten off. What the hell is the counselor going to say when she goes to build the tenements and they find a body? 

 

I don't think Reid is dead. That's an awful lot of show to play out and it's kind of a cheat to the audience not to throw in any clues. Plus, it's a slap in the face to the main women characters on the show too. 

 

This was still one hell of an 8 hours. Tell me it's not as good a True Detective. 

 

But on closer watch, I realized that Susan was always acting in-character and that her silence was about survival.

 

The actor had a way of sucking her face in and clenching her jaw all season like she was taking everything in and trying to figure out how to just hang on.

 

I don't think Susan tried to miss Reid either. Once Reid woke up though, she had to make sure she did something and just hoped he didn't remember much. 

 

So what are they going to do? Trot Jackson out of his cell to perform medical forensics from time to time? I hope they'll let Susan go to the clinic to deliver the baby at least. 

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I just found this site (LOVING the discussions) and watched RS when it originally became available, so I will need to re-watch to give any more in-depth commentary but series 3 is positively brilliant and hands down the best of the show and I think that can only be attributed to the freedom of the platform. I sincerely hope they do not alter it when it airs on BBC America! As wayrbunny and ganesh have so insightfully pointed out, the show has been elevated to a level that is truly art. YES! It's as good as a True Detective! I do think it was planned as a series finale but written with a glimmer of hope and possibility. I think the obituary was purposeful so that viewers think - Reid is dead...??? Is he really or was that just the found prepared copy from the newspaper for his likely death? It's the tiny crumb of mystery dangling before us. Hopefully we will be hungry enough for a series 4!

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Best had a file of obituaries where Reid's was contained. Reid ripped it out and kept it and told Drake that Best won't be needing it. I think Reid read it and realized he needed to walk away from Whitechapel. The counselor in E7 told him that he needed to think about his daughter, and his monologue to Susan, while designed to get her to flip on Swift also contained some truth about him letting go and walking away. He could have gone to Scotland Yard but he turned it down. I suppose one could argue that this was the death of the current Reid, but there's a new one now. 

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I don't think Reid is dead. That's an awful lot of show to play out and it's kind of a cheat to the audience not to throw in any clues. Plus, it's a slap in the face to the main women characters on the show too. 

 

 

I'm confused! How would Reid being dead be a slap in the face to the main women characters on the show? 

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If you're suggesting Reid hallucinated the rest of the series in a coma from when he got shot. He'd only imagined the doctor and the counselor being in positions to do good without influence from the other men in the city. 

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 Welcome, @julzzy! Opine away.
 

I didn't like that she was hypocritical about contraception and abortion either. Oh, I changed my mind because I'm pregnant now.

I was annoyed they went for the soap opera of a pregnancy at all. Just because Susan is in a position of strength in a “man’s business” doesn’t mean she’s less of a woman or that we need reminding that she is one. But I do think Susan changing her mind was about more than just personal selfishness. She originally objected to contraception and abortion at the Obsidian clinic because it was illegal and she was trying to go straight, not because she was against their practice. After realizing she couldn’t succeed without her former ruthlessness and criminality, she could agree to them as a return to her “do bad to do good” agenda. If she just wanted an abortion for herself, she could’ve traveled to the Netherlands or wherever else they were offered safely, I think.

BTW, in ep. 3.7, Susan says “It seems I must choose my prison” when talking about her pregnancy. Total foreshadowing for the finale and its choose-your-own-end motif.
 

I did like how the doctor dressed down Reid in the beginning of the show and then totally served up her mentor at the end to him. She was like, fuuuuck you.

Yeah, it was great that she didn’t hesitate for a second! It was also funny that Reid and Drake arrived all set to accuse the doctor, but then quickly had to change gears like, “Wait, that guy did it? Oh, we’ll arrest him instead.”
 

I did not see *George* coming.

I’m glad you were surprised. I realized it within a scene or two after noticing that the actor’s voice was an unusual register.
 

I hope they'll let Susan go to the clinic to deliver the baby at least.

Heh—Jackson just became a single parent like Reid, didn’t he? (Even if Susan doesn’t hang because she’s pregnant, she still goes to prison for attempted murder, I think.) Maybe Jackson could take a parenting class at the clinic, too.

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I think Reid and Drake knew that the doctor was the culprit. They went to see the lady doctor to ask where he was and were like, "oh he's here." Then she confirmed it, and "well, that was easy."

 

One thing I like was how Drake did a lot of regular policework and less punching people. 

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Hmm…I remember the doctor having ordered abortion supplies, which set Reid and Drake off after her. If they were only asking for her help, I stand corrected. I still think their “Him?” reaction was funny.
 
----
 
I see Reid’s ending as a variation on the classic Shane ending: the injured gunfighter rides off into the sunset and it’s up to the audience to decide whether he lives or dies. (Modern examples include Cowboy Bebop and the Ryan Gosling movie

Drive

.)
 

I think the obituary was purposeful so that viewers think - Reid is dead...??? Is he really or was that just the found prepared copy from the newspaper for his likely death? It's the tiny crumb of mystery dangling before us.

I think the ambiguity or mystery is whether he will die, not is he already dead or having a coma hallucination or whatever. And there’s a lot in the finale to suggest that Reid is not long for this world: the headaches, ringing ears, staggering, almost falling. (Was he so unsteady on his feet during eps. 3.6 and 3.7? I don’t think so.) The obituary amplifies the ambiguity of course, for the obvious reasons, and because the words are antithetical to the happy beach scene.
 
You could take the beach scene as uplifting, since it shows Reid finding peace in life rather than death. But I can’t forget how S3 is peppered with drowning imagery and shipwreck horror and River of Forgetfulness references and “going to the sea” as a final destination/death metaphor. Water has been ominous, and listening to the obituary while Reid stands in the ocean does not make it less so.
 

I suppose one could argue that this was the death of the current Reid, but there's a new one now.

Agreed. It also occurred to me that the final scene of Reid at peace could be another instance of Ripper Street subverting the ton of death foreshadowing, just as they did with ep. 3.4’s cliffhanger.

 

I was indifferent to True Detective, having seen more interesting and more poetic debates on existentialism and nihilism in anime. So I much prefer Ripper Street. Their endings and themes are kinda similar, I guess.

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If you're suggesting Reid hallucinated the rest of the series in a coma from when he got shot. He'd only imagined the doctor and the counselor being in positions to do good without influence from the other men in the city. 

 

No, wasn't suggesting that. The only time I thought he was dead was what I outlined in my post: when he was running in the surf with his daughter in the unspecified future. 

 

 

I think the ambiguity or mystery is whether he will die, not is he already dead or having a coma hallucination or whatever. And there’s a lot in the finale to suggest that Reid is not long for this world: the headaches, ringing ears, staggering, almost falling. (Was he so unsteady on his feet during eps. 3.6 and 3.7? I don’t think so.) The obituary amplifies the ambiguity of course, for the obvious reasons, and because the words are antithetical to the happy beach scene.

 

You could take the beach scene as uplifting, since it shows Reid finding peace in life rather than death. But I can’t forget how S3 is peppered with drowning imagery and shipwreck horror and River of Forgetfulness references and “going to the sea” as a final destination/death metaphor. Water has been ominous, and listening to the obituary while Reid stands in the ocean does not make it less so.

 

YES!!! Very much agree with all you said. There was too much strewn throughout the season in regards to his failing health for this to not be a *possibility* at the very least. 

 

I liked the ending because it could be seen as him having a happy ending living on the beach with his daughter or it could be the scenario I envision where the beach scene was more symbolic. 

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I was indifferent to True Detective, having seen more interesting and more poetic debates on existentialism and nihilism in anime.

 

They're both 8 hours shows with a central mystery so I was coming from there. TD was very good. The point was that RS is an example that premium cable-level content can be developed beyond just HBO and Shotime. I hope the show gets some publicity and opens up doors for more of this. 

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Hi guys! Since we've got editorial content now I've broken the episodes out. weyrbunny's excellent comments and recaps are included in each thread now and you can move specific discussion over to the relevant threads. I will keep this open as a spoiler zone catchall for season 3 talk.

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