The body count rises, arrests are made, and we learn the difference (and similarities) between justice and vengeance. All this and more on the final episodes of Slasher: Ripper!
Spoilers Ahead – You’ve Been Warned
As Rijkers discovers Dr. Israel’s dismembered body, he seems more personally horrified than with any other Widow victim. Largely because he and Israel worked so closely together on the case. With only a small handful of “friends” of Margaret left, each of the three of them process their incoming fate differently.
Basil is released from the holding cell since he couldn’t have murdered Israel while in there overnight. He proceeds to rush a marriage with Verdi, while trying to crack down on his hold over the city, fearing the reaper will come.
Georges on the other hand, actually feels remorse for his role. So when the Widow pays him a visit, he poignantly admits that he deserves this fate. Much like Israel, Georges was a great example of a character who had a moral compass, but was still capable of being complicit in something terrible.
Of course, one of the best kills of the season comes not from the Widow, but from Verdi getting revenge on her sisters. After his assistant skips town, Georges needs someone to fill in and be sawed in half. Venetia Boticelli volunteers, but she’s accidentally sawed in half for real, after the trap door was locked, preventing her from moving her body from the blade.
Verdi may not be the Widow (which was my previous theory), but it’s definitely satisfying to watch her get revenge on her incredibly cruel sisters. Venetia dies painfully, while Viviana is arrested for it. The two most despicable women in the city, who for years had abused those “beneath” them, finally get what they deserve.
For the last few weeks, I had been working with the theory that the Widow was actually Margaret’s daughter and that that person was in fact Verdi, and it turns out I was half right. In the penultimate episode, Regina Simcoe reveals herself to Viviana while visiting her in prison.
We learn that Regina was in fact the daughter of Margaret, and she witnessed everything they did to her when she was just a child. And if that wasn’t bad enough, Venetia and Viviana kicked her out on the street after her mother’s death.
So this vengeance has been a long time in the making, even going so far as to marry Alister Simcoe to verify the precise people and their roles in Margaret’s death. We also see firsthand via flashback, that the Boticelli sisters were always this cruel, thus making their fates all the more satisfying. Especially considering they were done in by their younger sister, their latest victim of abuse.
Everything culminates to Basil and Verdi’s wedding as the Widow strikes, but has help from Verdi, Rijkers, and Pastor May (whose father Basil framed and was hung for Margaret’s murder). This season has given us a myriad of gleefully gruesome murders, but there’s something about the simplicity and brutality of Basil’s face being ripped off with bare hands that makes it the perfect crescendo to this cabaret of killing.
Vengeance vs. Justice
All season long, we’ve watched Rijkers struggle with his own sense of ethics and morality. Ultimately, he wants what is right, but he clearly sees the rampant corruption in his own police force. Kashtinsky was in Basil’s pocket, and even after his death and Rijker’s promotion to acting superintendent, his own officers turned on him because they too are on Basil’s payroll.
Much like Gotham City when Batman first emerges, this version of 1904 Toronto is corrupt at every single level of the law and society. Thus Regina came to the conclusion that the only way to bring justice back was to seek vengeance. And it’s a theme and concept that’s very easy for the audience and certain characters to go along with.
The only real issue is that it’s kind of disappointing to see Rijkers go that far. All season long, he’s provided a fascinating foil to the Widow. Both were concerned about corruption, both agreed that the “Friends of Margaret” deserved to pay for what they had done. It’s just the one’s answer was murder, the other’s was arrest and prosecution.
Now his own officers turning on him certainly tainted his view of law and order. But it seemed a bit too extreme to have Rijkers join in with murdering Basil. Even if had gone so far as to stand outside, knowing what was happening, and not intervening. That would have felt more in line with a character who was obsessed with justice.
Rijkers agreed at this moment that vengeance needed to be served so that eventually justice could be reborn, but it’s just too much of a stretch that he would be so willing to get his own hands dirty with the vengeance. And that’s pretty much, my only major criticism of this ending and the overall theme the season was going for.
Well that and the fact that Basil Garvey had zero bodyguards or protection, even after he was the only target left. You’d think a man that was well connected would have some protection against a serial killer, but the church was completely empty.
Overall, Slasher: Ripper featured an ensemble of interesting characters, and kept the suspense going with a creative murder each episode. It drives home its final theme, even if it takes a misstep or two. Granted, it also really shows its lower budget in terms of scale, scope, and background actors/sets. But it’s really not fair to hold that against a movie or show. It promised a fascinating murder mystery, and on that it delivered!
What did you think of the finale of Slasher: Ripper? Was it a satisfying conclusion to this storyline? Let us know in the comments!
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