**CAUTION** A couple of spoilers for Season 4 of Ripper Street are contained herein**
I’ve loved Ripper Street from the off. It pushes my buttons on many levels; the Whitechapel mythology, a brooding (and emotionally bruised) trio of leading men, headed up by the delectable Matthew ‘I’m not Colin Firth but I make a cracking Mr Darcy anyway’ MacFadyen who was flanked by Jerome ‘don’t ask me to sing’ Flynn and Adam ‘I ride like a cowboy’ Rothenberg. For four seasons now I’ve watched, gripped, as the plots veered from the barely credible to the truly batshit insane, all framed within the most ridiculous cod-Victorian dialect. Despite the convenient amnesia of the script writers from time to time (most notably when it came to the strange between seasons disappearance of coppers Flight and Shine), I’ve loved this show, and when Amazon Prime took it over from the BBC for series three and four, I was really pleased. It deserved a longer life than the two seasons that the Beeb gave it.
One of the things I’ve loved throughout is the fascinating dynamic between the smouldering and charismatic Adam Rothenberg’s Homer Jackson/Matthew Judge and the sometime cat house proprietor ‘Long’ Susan Hart/Caitlin Swift, played by the exquisite and amazingly talented Myanna Buring. Their relationship truly has transcended everything, including the grave, and while it could be said that they drag each other down, their fall from grace and into hell has been unified the whole way. And that’s the reason for this blog post, really. This scene, all twenty four seconds of it, from Season 4 Episode 5 ‘There Are No Wolves in Whitechapel’ is so erotic, it made me gasp. Allow me to show you…
There’s something about the way he pulls her close in this scene; he grabs her low on the waist, and their bodies meet at the hips first. There’s that tantalising pause as he speaks, where their eyes and their hips are locked together, before their lips touch. Her left hand comes up to his face, the kiss deepens and there’s a dual inhalation of breath before they part. He lets her go, and she stands, stunned, lips parted, as he leaves her, possibly for the last time. It’s the sheer eroticism, the crackle of chemistry between two superb actors that gets me in this scene; he’s Clark Gable-esque as he grabs her, but her hand to his face evens the score, makes her more of an equal partner in the exchange, as she has been in his life. The breathing, the pause before the kiss, the positioning of their bodies before their lips meet…everything about this kiss is perfect. You can almost taste the arousal.
Unsurprisingly, it reminded me of another onscreen kiss, probably my favourite one of all time, between Richard Armitage and Lucy Griffiths in the BBC’s Robin Hood…
I’ve written at length, too, about why this kiss is so good, and it’s partly because I don’t think Richard Armitage was expecting Lucy Griffiths to grab him as forcefully as she does – you can hear his intake of breath as their lips meet, and then he makes like a Mills and Boon hero and grabs her back with equal passion. This is what I imagine happened between Myanna and Adam in this scene – she wasn’t expecting him to be quite so forceful, and she responds with equal fervour! Perhaps I’m being too analytical about this, but there’s something about good onscreen chemistry that gets me every time….*sigh*.
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