‘Ripper Street’ episode 5: ‘The Weight of One Man’s Heart’ Review

The best episode of the series so far in which we learn more about Sergeant Drake…

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Sgt Drake comes to the fore as we find more about his past leading to some great character development for him. Up until know he has mainly been the muscle that Reid can unleash upon any suspect, but we have seen hints that he can be nice when he wants to be but also may have a few skeletons in the closet. A face from Drake’s past turns up in the shape of Colonel Madoc Faulkner (Iain Glen) who were soldiers together and both have experienced the horrors of war. There has been a spate of robberies and Faulkner is the one behind them. The reveal of the perpetrator early on in the episode is good as that is usually crammed into the last fifteen minutes followed by their demise. The episode concludes in tense fashion as Faulkner attempts a raid on the Royal Mint and although the end was predictable it was very exciting.  

Jerome Flynn is great as copper Drake and it’s a testament to his acting abilities that despite being the least developed character up until now he was always my favourite of the three leads. Everybody knows the tough guy turns out to be a big softy and that’s the same with Drake, his romance with the prostitute Rose, made us see his vulnerable side. I’d been wondering why she was always hanging around in other episodes as she hasnt added much apart from her brush with death in the series opener ‘I Need Light‘. However, I’m sure she’ll be connected to Drake in future episodes. I felt alot of sympathy for Drake as she turned him down and it looks as though he will be back at Reid’s side taking his anger out on the villains of Whitechapel next week.

The balance of case of the week and character development is perfected, as Drake’s story is connected to the case – I didnt loose interest in the episode as I have done in previous weeks. Although the best performance came from Flynn, Iain Glen‘s turn as the damaged Faulkner was excellent making him a sympathetic character even though he’s this weeks villain. After serving in the war getting pretty much nothing for his troubles and the emotional damage it did to him his plight is something we can relate to as soldiers returning from service today have similar problems.

Jackson (Adam Rothenberg) get’s little to do this episode, I didn’t mind too much as I don’t particularly like the character. I would like to learn more about him though and I’m sure his secrets will be divulged soon with the feisty brothel owner Susan also key to his past.

Last week I had lost a lot of interest in the show after a couple of average episodes. However this week’s installment delivered a top notch case, cast performances and character development, making it the best episode of the series so far. I hope that it continues for the remaining episodes.