Reid tries to bring Shine and Duggan to justice but is blocked at every turn. Daniel, Jackson, and Susan plan revenge on Duggan while selling the diamond. Rose gets her chance to sing at the music hall. Drake challenges Shine in the police boxing finals.
Inspector Shine beats a man from H Division in a boxing match while Fred Best contemplates whether to lead the front page of the newspaper with Drake’s discovery of the dead silversmith or with Reid and Cobden’s affair. Best goes to seek a comment from Cobden as she investigates the possibilities of renovating St. Paul’s Wharfside when they discover some rotted bodies walled up in one of the condemned houses.
Jackson investigates the bodies of both Hinchcliffe and the rotted bones found at the Wharfside. Reid asks Drake if he might introduce him to their suspect, but when he does Drake does not stand by long enough to create the proper threat of torture. Reid can’t find it in himself to beat another man and Drake doesn’t want to be a man who will anymore. He tells Reid that their way of life brings misery to everyone they care for and that he won’t do it anymore.
Rose finds herself top billed at the music house and goes to thank Susan, but it turns out Duggan is the one to thank. Rose senses the awkwardness of the situation as Susan walks out, ashamed and helpless. Meanwhile, Daniel is followed by the syndicate men and Flight secretly buys a gun. Jackson continues his investigation of the bodies and has Daniel assist him. Rose returns the picture of Drake and Bella back to him. They drink coffee and she tells him about her top billing, but she worries the song she is to sing is wrong for her. Drake tells her to sing a song from the heart. She asks him to come see her perform and he promises to attend.
Flight goes to see Shine and shoots him, but only grazes his arm. Shine claims he cannot be ended and Shine fleas the scene. Meanwhile, Jackson tells Reid about the bodies and how they were all likely killed by the same man by garroting. Flight turns himself in to H Division for accessory to murder and tells Reid that Shine had placed him there as a spy.
Reid goes to see Cobden to further his research on the identities of the rotted bones, but as he arrives he finds he is stared at by idlers in the building. He finds that Best has published the story about he and Cobden and that his arrival has confirmed the story. Reid, however, is unconcerned and set on his current task. He finds that whoever owns the house where the bodies were found also owns Tenter Street brothel. He tells Cobden that he has some things to finish and that when he’s done he would seek to find his happiness with her.
Reid returns to H Division where Jackson and Daniel are plotting about how to sell the diamond. Jackson tells Reid that Duggan owns Tenter Street and leases it to Susan. Daniel reveals that Duggan now resides at Tenter Street rather than at his barber shop. Meanwhile, Susan is offended by Duggan and oversteps herself. She tells him that she has given him what he wanted and that he should leave, but he says that he loves her and cannot be without her. He promises that if she allows him freedom with her that she will have everything she could ever want. Meanwhile Daniel persuades Jackson not to kill Duggan because he is the one man who can sell their diamond.
Reid tells Abberline about Flight, Shine, Duggan, and the dead bodies and they plan to bring everyone in come morning. Meanwhile, Arthurton convinces Drake to attend the semi-final boxing match to help coach the H Division man. H Division wins, meaning the winner goes to the final against Shine. Abberline arrests Shine and brings him to H Division where Reid talks with Duggan about his holdings and misdeeds. He gets nowhere. When Reid brings Flight to incriminate Shine, he finds that Flight’s history makes him an unreliable witness. They both go free.
Jackson goes to see Susan, hoping to save her from Duggan. He promises to make her happy again, but she is not interesting in happiness. She does, however, want vengeance and thinks to use the syndicate men to assure Duggan’s death as he attempts to sell the diamond. Meanwhile, Abberline tells Reid that the Yard wants him to break off his affair with Cobden or else find other work. He begins to write a letter to Cobden.
Susan convinces Duggan to pursue the purchase of the diamond. The exchange is to take place at the music hall the night of Rose’s debut. It is the same night as the boxing finals. Reid convinces Drake to take the challenger’s place in order to combat Shine. Rose, meanwhile, is looking for Drake at the music hall. She sings and is very good. Daniel sells the diamond to Duggan and makes his escape. Jackson is cornered by the syndicate men and he takes them to Duggan who now has the diamond. Cobden gets Reid’s letter and goes to see him at the boxing match.
The syndicate men kill Duggan and as he dies Susan tells him that all his estates and holdings will now be hers. Susan, however, still does not want any of Jackson. Drake beats up Shine, but Reid wants Drake to kill him. Drake won’t do it. Cobden arrives just in time to hear Reid give the order to kill. She is horrified and leaves.
I think the most striking thing about this episode is Reid’s desperate descent into darkness. For a man who tries so hard to be a good and enlightened man, it is something else to see that bloodlust in his eyes as he screams at Drake to kill the man they are unable to bring to justice. Betrayal and loss have plagued Reid since the beginning of the series, but with everything coming to a head in this episode, and his complete inability to find the justice he so believes in, he becomes desperate indeed. We’ll have to see what happens next season, but there’s a good chance he’ll lose more before he gains it back again. It looks as if he’s lost the respect of Drake, and while it’s likely his letter to Cobden broke off their affair, it seems like he may have lost her love as well. Reid is no stranger to loss, but it really seems like he can’t catch a break – and it is almost always his own doing that does it.
As for Drake and Rose, its always good to see them together. And for a while there it looked like Drake was going to be at the music hall for what was basically Rose’s declaration of love in song form. However, as is the norm in this series, events had other plans and Drake ended up ditching Rose. We’ll have to see where their relationship goes next season and if she’ll forgive Drake for missing her big day – or maybe if she ends up getting picked up by a talent scout, bringing that decision into play. Drake may just have lost the best friend he has to help Reid in a pursuit he ended up deciding wasn’t worth it. He really may just as well have gone to the music hall that night to support Rose.
But it is the nature of drama for characters to make bad decisions, because where else would the drama and tragedy and eventual joy spring from? Looks like there’s plenty of drama to clean up next season, especially considering the season ended on such an open-ended cliff hanger. I, for one, am looking forward to Susan taking over Duggan’s empire. Might she become a crime lord herself? Will Jackson end up having to track her down or will he hide her involvement in certain illegal affairs? And will Daniel get away with all that money or will Jackson have a way of catching him before he goes? So many ways this thing could go. I am looking forward to it all in season three.