Tomorrow night, the first season of Whitechapel draws to a close. If you missed last week’s episode, here’s a brief recap so you don’t get lost in London’s dark streets . . .
After DI Chandler manages to convince his team of investigators that a Jack the Ripper copycat is on the prowl, they spend this week’s episode trying to prevent the next murder. Three women have been mutilated, and according to the Ripper canon, the next two will be killed on the same night—September 30. Chandler debates with Buchan, the self-declared Ripperologist, about whether or not both women were actual victims of the Ripper or if there had been a copycat even back in 1888. The trick is in deciding which murder scenario the current killer would imitate.
Meanwhile, the police talk to several local prostitutes, who say a man resembling a soldier is a regular who likes to play rough. They quickly zero in on Private John Leary and even get DNA evidence from the body of the last victim. Apparently the killer licked her eyes—because disembowelment isn’t enough?—but the evidence is contaminated before they can compare it to a sample from Leary. So DS Miles coerces Mary Bousfield, the eyewitness at the first murder, into positively ID’ing Leary from a photo lineup. The police put surveillance on him, as well as on Mitre Square—where the Ripper once left a body—on the night in question.
Leary leads the cops on a wild goose chase that takes them straight to a press mob, and Buchan inadvertently causes a scene and gets arrested while trying to get involved. Chandler is the first to realize that during the distractions, no one was watching Mitre Square. He screams, “Noooooo!” and runs in slo-mo, which is TV code for, “He’ll be too late to stop some horrible thing.” Sure enough, he and DS Miles find Mary’s eviscerated body back at the square. The episode ends with one of her kidneys being mailed in a box to DS Miles’s home, where his kid receives it and brings it to Miles at the breakfast table and it starts leaking blood. Talk about a jumpstart for your day.
The second installment finds the detectives flailing as pressure mounts. There’s a leak to the press, they accuse each other, Chandler questions his own investigative skills, and Miles, whom I thought was a prick but at least a decent cop, corrupts the process by nudging an uncertain Mary to finger the suspect in the lineup. The leering Leary fooled no one since he was too obvious, and the too-eager Buchan might as well have worn a sandwich board that said, “I’m going to screw up your operation by being a busybody!” But the cliffhanging ending was pretty ewwtastic, and I haven’t a clue at this point who the killer might be.
Read about the first episode of Whitechapel here.
Elyse is a freelance writer/editor who likes soup and the Bee Gees, but doesn’t enjoy piña coladas or getting caught in the rain. She also blogs at Pop Culture Nerd and tweets as @popculturenerd and @EditNinja.