Ripper Street Theory - Last Episode

11/24/2019


Ripper Street Theory - Last Episode

Please take it easy on me as this is my first attempt at constructing a theory content sort of post. I know it’s flimsy and doesn’t hold up well, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it ever since someone mentioned it in a forum after I looked up the ending for the last episode. I’ll try to link the post of that below, but right now I’m just more keen on publishing this. Don’t worry. I’ll come back with an edited post. 

This is most likely a red herring, but they did it so well in the last episode that I actually fell in love with how they did it. 

I’m just here to elaborate on someone else’s theory, so I don’t claim it as my own. If you haven’t seen all five seasons on Netflix, don’t go beyond this point, because the rest are spoiler alerts. 

// SPOILERS AHEAD 

Ripper Street Theory - Last Episode

Theory: Inspector Edmund Reid is Jack the Ripper. 

I’ll go over several reasons/points why this seems plausible based only on the final episode: 

Ripper Street Theory - Last Episode

Ripper Street Theory - Last Episode

Ripper Street Theory - Last Episode


Ripper Street Theory - Last Episode


Ripper Street Theory - Last Episode

#1 The first tell, according to the OP, and where I founded this whole theory on, started with Edmund Reid being explicitly upset at the actors for singing the song last sung by Mary Jane Kelly (Ripper’s last victim) the night she died. Reid started to stand up and proceeded to yell at the actress in front of the stage telling her she ought to be ashamed for carelessly singing “A Violet From Mother’s Grave” to make the audience laugh. Reid eventually got pulled away by the other cast members and he started to calm down backstage when one of the other actresses explained that the song was the theater's way of honoring the dead prostitute rather than making fun of her. Reid nods and silently understood that none of these people were directly related to the case like he was, and therefore cannot sympathize with the poor victims like he did. 

OP mentions that it looked like Reid became triggered by the song in a way that a murderer would be. And that he looked like he was about to confess. 

The counter-argument for this is that Reid was the head inspector that presided over this case closely. So his reaction is fairly within reason and not at all unnatural.  Again, the OP* was just speculating. 

*OP = Original Poster 

Ripper Street Theory - Last Episode

Ripper Street Theory - Last Episode

#2 Not connected to OP's original comment. The rest of the details are provided by yours truly. We see Reid in a lot of dark alleys alone wearing a tall stovepipe hat often captured in shadowy scenery with barely any light. Similarly to how Jack the Ripper is drawn to be elusive in most depictions you see of him today. This isolated Reid makes for an eerie picture as he was always surrounded by his comrades, Captain Homer and Sergeant Drake, especially during the darker scenes earlier in the series. And he sported bowler hats instead while working as a detective. 

Counter argument: A lot of English Gentlemen are probably walking around like this in White Chapel back in the 1800s. And this was just captured in such a way to emphasize Reid’s loneliness after his friends have died and his daughter moved away from White Chapel. He isn’t wearing his detective bowler hat because he is dressing according to events. And it would be in poor showmanship of highly-valued Victorian manners if he shows up with a bowler hat instead of a fancy Ascot hat to go the theater. 

Ripper Street Theory - Last Episode

Ripper Street Theory - Last Episode

#3  It looked like Mimi was going to be his last victim. 

Reid invited Mimi to dinner but Mimi broke to him the news that she’s marrying an old Count that her parents had arranged for her and so she too, must leave White Chapel. She can't stay, even though she is very fond of Reid. 

If the dinner had gone through, and if Reid was the dormant killer, then Mimi could have been in deep waters. This could have been the fashion in the way Ripper slaughtered the Big Five. The Big Five is the first five victims that seem to be under Ripper’s portfolio and the rest were copycat attempts by other aspiring murderers. 

Counter argument: Mimi was the only last standing female character that is a true friend of Reid from the previous arcs so it makes sense why she’s the only other female that Reid interacts with. 

Ripper Street Theory - Last Episode

Ripper Street Theory - Last Episode

 #4  The way he reacted to the brutal butcher scene of Mary Jane Keller in one of the flashback scenes looked like a criminal revisiting the crime scene. In one of the close-ups to his green eyes where the spilled, bloody guts were all mixed in, Reid’s expression looked like it dawned on him that he did this the night before. He was also very reluctant to go to work when his head inspector at that time tried to summon him. 

Counter argument: Reid's reaction again falls under the normal range.  Just as how any of us would if we saw someone gutted and disfigured with their organs rearranged. Organs misplaced where they shouldn’t be. A scene so diabolical that Chief Inspector Abberline describes that very experience in  wanting to “unmake the world.” With someone as soft-hearted as Reid, who makes someone else do the dirty work for him when it comes to rough inquiries with lead suspects (always left it to Sergeant Drake to throw in the punches), it’s very believable why he would be wide-eyed and traumatized like the rest of us. For a young inspector, that is a lot to take in.  He was very reluctant to show up to work because he has been having family issues for quite some time. Their daughter had gone missing, and it was Reid's fault that their daughter is gone before Season 1 even launched. After Matilda's disappearance, a rift had formed between Reid and his wife. 

Ripper Street Theory - Last Episode

Ripper Street Theory - Last Episode

#5 During the hearing of the crime in court where Reid was asked to list the crimes of Jack the Ripper, he looked bored. There was also this scene where Reid tries to chase after a new Ripper suspect at a bar where the original trio/musketeers met. The bartender and Reid were captured in this mirrored shot, that it looked like it was explicitly implying that Reid was the Ripper right in front of your face.

Counter argument: Pretty sure the reason why Reid was so blasé about the list was because the shock has been finally processed in his system. Not because he was the killer who could careless about reciting his notorious deeds. Also, I think just as any man who has been taught to suppress his emotions, that’s also partly why there isn’t any wonder as to why Reid’s voice wasn’t shaky or tearful. As for the bartender scene, I think that’s just another bait for the red herring.  

That’s all five points covered. 

Ripper Street Theory - Last Episode

Ripper Street Theory - Last Episode

Ripper Street Theory - Last Episode

If you like the spin on this episode, let me know in the comments below. I really liked it. It makes you wanna go back and re-watch episode 1 all over again to see if you missed anything. Similarly to how Disney put Lumiere and Cogsworth bickering at the end about who predicted correctly about who would break the spell when Belle first arrived in the castle looking for her father. It’s like a portal loop that was cleverly put in there for the viewers to step into. And I think Ripper Street directors executed the same mechanic successfully. I love how they subtly made an innocent character look like a suspect. So I really praise them again for doing that well. Reid was also the protector of White Chapel, so to see him as the possible killer that could possibly resurface again, is a very chilly way to end the series. 

I always like extending the life of a show whenever it ends, so this was a fun way to do it. I hope no one takes this seriously if you are a hardcore Ripperologist, or even just a Ripper Street fan and you happen to disagree with the whole theory. 

If you put Season 3 into this equation, it overthrows this whole elaborated speculation. Remember when Matilda hid in their own house inside her bedroom and Reid found her there while every other copper from H Division was looking for her outside? She said she hid there because she knew her dad could protect all those poor women from Jack the Ripper.  And then we all started bawling. 

But that's why I made a disclaimer at the very beginning that this theory is based only on the last episode and nothing more. 

I love Matthew Macfadyen so much. He is an amazing actor. I can’t wait to watch him in Succession playing Tom Wamsgans. As soon as I find someone who has the username and password they’re willing to lend me lol. Jk, I’ll probably collect it myself, if it ever becomes available in a box set or be released on Apple+ 


Thank you for reading. If you’re also a fan of Ripper Street, let me know what you think in the comment section below. 


Take care, 

Mari xx 



Ripper Street Theory - Last Episode



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