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04 November 2013 @ 07:51 pm
Ripper Street: Am I Not Monstrous?  
The 2nd episode gives us Damian Molony who looks younger here than he did as Hal which might speak to the power of his acting.

Sure, so compared to last week's episode, this one was not as offensive. Mainly because everyone in this one was White so the race thing was a non-issue. The gender thing continues to be so, though.

Here's the problem: I recognize that the show takes place during a time when women had very limited options. So I can sort of excuse the fact that most women on this show are either wives or prostitutes. However, I'm extremely against the notion of women having to suffer horrible fates so that the men in their lives can suffer in turn. That is not a story line or plot point that needs to happen for the sake of historical accuracy. It's just lazy writing.

Inspector Reid (Matthew Macfayden) and his wife, Emily (Amanda Hale) had an interesting dilemma last season in that they were each dealing with the loss of their daughter in completely different ways. While Emily mourned, Reid stalwartly refused to believe she was dead and thus refused to mourn. While it was clear the couple was in love, their marriage was straining under their inability to meet the other even halfway. It made for some compelling scenes and I felt equal amounts of sympathy for both. But we just found out in the latest episode that apparently Emily is now suffering from hysteria.

According to Reid (who is clearly blaming himself for the whole thing), he gave Emily false hope that their daughter still lived and then later slept with another woman. We definitely saw the 2nd part in first season but nowhere at any point did I ever feel like Reid falsely convinced Emily their child was still alive. If anything, I thought series 1 concluded with the Reids being finally joined by the idea that their daughter was truly gone. So what was up with this random re-write? Also, it was more than clear that Emily's fate was a mix of the show writing out Amanda Hale but also giving Reid one more thing to brood about. The man doesn't need more things and my sympathy for his character isn't one iota larger having heard about his wife. If anything I find the whole situation ridiculous and let me repeat, LAZY.

But moving away from my gnashing of teeth over the gender-related problems with this show, we finally meet Constable Flyte (Damian Molony). As we saw from the previews and a little bit here, he seems a man who is perhaps a tad bit too invested in morality and doing "the right thing." He didn't get to do too much other than suffer abuse as the new guy by Drake and Jackson, although he managed to pull in some good footwork...which more or less got completely canceled out by his utter failure at standing guard. If I didn't know who Molony was, he probably wouldn't make that much of an impression on me but as it is, he wasn't bad. I found his accent interesting because it sounded sometimes Irish, sometimes lower British, sometimes upper British. Having heard Molony do an excellent upper British accent as Hal, I'm guessing he made the conscious choice to make Flyte someone trying to rise above his born class by altering his accent to something more genteel which is a nice touch.

Next week seems focused on Long Susan (Myanna Buring) and since she's the last woman standing in this show, I will give it a watch.