‘Whitechapel’: Series 4 finale review

After interrogation scenes with the gleefully uncooperative journalist, who was caught last time cooking something suspicious, his presence in photos led the team to raid an illicit dining club.

Dedicated to the consumption of rare and endangered species, their activities (while criminal) were ultimately deemed an environmental health issue more than a cannibalistic one. With Riley and Buchan’s angle shut down, the team were back to the drawing board.

Meanwhile, the long-awaited confrontation between Mansell and Kent came when the younger man earning a livid shiner for the admission that he detonated his colleague’s relationship to protect his sister.

Using the borrowed time-lapse camera, Miles finally resolved the mystery of the electrical and water issues at the police station. The old woman (Angela Pleasance) who has been stalking the team, popping up in the background of all this year’s cases, had also been driving giant nails into the pipe work and presumably raiding the desks. While this revelation was neat, and not all that unexpected, we feel it required a leap of faith as surely such major problems with water and electrics would have been realised sooner, even in a dilapidated old nick like Whitechapel’s.

Their nemesis identified, the usually sceptical Miles pieced together her interactions with the team before starting to go beyond the present day. He suggested that Louise Iver was the late spook Wingfield’s demon and the instigator for all the woes of Whitechapel over the centuries! It was highly amusing to see Buchan and Miles cast against type, the resident archivist in the role of rationalist and the hardened DS as a rabid conspiracy theorist.

In desperation, Chandler finally returned to Miles’ suggestion of using a psychic. A hastily arranged meeting in a café offered little help, although she was factually correct on the location of the body, but it was the message that she purported to have from Chandler’s deceased father that really upped the tension.

Moving towards the resolution, a religious connection fell into the team’s lap with the identity of the final victim being a man of the cloth. Events contrived to cast Chandler into the role of the ‘Angel of the Lord’ staying this would-be Abraham’s hand before the sacrifice of his son. For the eagle-eyed, Chandler’s role was neatly foreshadowed early on with blood splatter wings as he crouched in the tomb. While it was all rather preposterous, Whitechapel has always existed in a heightened reality and within the bounds of the shows own logic this was a satisfying end.

Finally, in the moment of the team’s elation, at last resolving a case with criminals to prosecute, an inevitable low blow was delivered when a collision wiped out the entire Abrahamic cult. Contrasted with the crash, which appeared to be instigated by Louise Iver, Chandler finally felt strong enough to face his father’s message but read it moments too late.

Whitechapel rounds out another year of batshit crazy and grotesque yet highly involving tales with a smart resolution and enough of a hook to carry it forward. Louise Iver remains at large, either as an agent provocateur or a mean spirited old lady depending on what you believe, and Chandler continues as the tortured detective who never gets his man.


Aired at 9pm on Wednesday 9 October 2013 on ITV.

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