Something evil has come to London in Netflix and Tom Bidwell‘s crime drama The Irregulars. Based loosely on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s works, the series follows a band of misfits as they investigate supernatural crimes. In the previous episode, Bea (Thaddea Graham) uncovers Watson’s (Royce Pierreson) role in the first Rip and the gang is torn into multiple different directions. In episode seven, Bea comes up with a plan to catch the Linen Man (Clarke Peters) and Jessie (Darci Shaw) fights her worse fear.
It goes without saying that this recap will contain spoilers for The Irregulars. If you haven’t watched it, I highly suggest checking out the series here!
“Chapter Seven: The Ecstacy of Death” opens as Bea is thinking back on previous events. How she upset Jessie over trying to push her back into her nightmares. We see her struggle with Leopold’s (Harrison Osterfield) lie how she learned that Watson was behind the first Rip Alice’s (Eileen O’Higgins) death all along. In the streets, we see that London is descending into chaos. Bea arrives at 221B to find Watson confused with why she would seek him out. He has already told her the truth.
However, Bea doesn’t think he told her the whole truth. She asks him why he opened the Rip, to begin with. Watson explains how when he found Sherlock (Henry Lloyd-Hughes), he was nothing. Watson was the one who saw greatness in him and kept him on track. When Sherlock succeeded, Watson succeeded too. But the great Sherlock grew the more distant they became. Watson wanted to prove to Sherlock that he, too, was great. He never intended to open a Rip but merely speak with the other side.
Bea then asks why Watson choose to save Sherlock that night and not Alice. Watson mentions how Alice was able to help Sherlock, too, but she was also able to soothe something deep within him. Something he could never do. He tells Bea he didn’t think and just acted, but that wasn’t enough for her. Finally, Watson breaks down and tells Bea that he saved Sherlock because he loved him. Bea tells him that a man like him isn’t capable of love and that he is all alone. But Watson fires back that she is all alone too.
In the next moment, Sherlock comes through the door carrying Jessie’s body. Bea asks Sherlock what happened to Jessie and he replies, ‘The Devil has arrived in London’. After the opening credits, we get a better explanation. Sherlock found her at the docks and one of the workers told him about the Linen Man (Clarke Peters) and how he touched her and she collapsed and then touched another dockside worker who then took his own life. Sherlock believes that this man has trapped Jessie in her nightmares.
Watson tries to ask Sherlock who the Linen Man is, but Sherlock fires back that he was going to ask him. Bea explains that Watson had nothing to do with this. Sherlock then explains that he believes the Linen Man must also be an Ipsissimus who can access one’s greatest fears and use them against them. Watson believes that he has come to London because he has the power to harness the Rip for his own use.
In Jessie’s dream, we see her running from the creatures as the Linen Man taunts her. He tells her that the only reason she befriended her was to find the Rip. But she wasn’t strong enough to do that and he decided he didn’t need her anymore. When he has control, he is going to stop all of the monsters. But his idea of monsters isn’t those the gang has been fighting, but normal men. The Linen Man tells her that he has seen what will happen in the future and we see flashes of the world wars, attacks on people of color in the United States and so much more. He believes that fear is truly what controls humankind.
Back in 221B Bea, Watson and Sherlock are discussing their next course of action. Sherlock has devised a great plan – wait there until something happens. While Bea is mocking Sherlock’s greatness, a policeman arrives and informs them that they are needed at Scotland Yard. While Bea is saying goodbye to Jessie, Sherlock tells Watson that he knew they just needed to wait and something would come. But Watson knows that Sherlock saw the policeman approaching through the window. Sherlock tells him that they need to be brilliant for the sake of Jessie and Bea.
At the palace, Leopold and Louise (Nell Hudson) are discussing how she knew his trips out of the palace would end badly. He just wanted to feel normal and have friends after spending his life stuck within his room. Leopold tells her that he thought he could just be someone else, but Louise reminds him that none of them can be and that he should learn to accept it. Daimler (Edward Hogg) arrives and informs him that his mother wants him to know his cousin Helena (Sophie Robertson) will be visiting the palace.
Daimler tells him that his mother has learned that Helena is on her European tour and is also searching for a suitor. When Leopold questions how his mother learned this knowledge, Daimler just smirks and says he doesn’t know.
At the jail cells, Spike (McKell David) visits Billy (Jojo Macari). He tells him that they learned Leopold is actually the Prince of England and that someone from the palace had come looking for him. Billy tells Spike that he is set to go in front of a judge the next day to set a date for his trial. Spike doesn’t think they can put him away for self-defense, but Billy thinks they don’t have prison in mind for him. Billy reminds Spike that Vic Collins (Alex Ferns) was the master of a workhouse and you don’t hurt men like him and live to talk about it.
Billy doesn’t think it honestly matters because he knows that London will cease to exist when the Rip finally tears completely open. But that is exactly why Spike is there. He plans on getting the group back together. Billy thinks that he is acting childish, but Spike has had enough. Billy is the muscle, Jessie’s the soul, Leopold’s the brain and Bea’s the heart. So that makes Spike the skeleton, the most important part that keeps everyone together. Spike doesn’t care if Billy doesn’t believe in him; he is going to fix this.
At Scotland Yard, Bea, Watson and Sherlock arrive to find a man bludgeoned to death. They meet with Gregson (Tim Key), who explains that the Linen Man arrived earlier and caused one man to kill himself and another to revert to a whimpering child. He then went down into the archives and stole files for the cases they have been working on. Sherlock and Watson try and figure out why he needed the case files when Bea finally speaks up. She believes the Linen Man is looking for a monster to dig into their minds and find the location of the Rip.
Bea explains that it would be hard to find a monster in a sea of people, but if he could just find one, it would make things easier. Watson remembers that the Bird Master, Arthur Hilton (Rory McCann) from the first episode is in Bedlam. They decide that heading there is the best shot. On the way out of Scotland Yard, Sherlock praises Bea for her good work.
In Jessie’s nightmares, she continues to be plagued by the Linen Man’s visions of the future. He is forcing them on her to convince her that normal men are the true enemy. That he and Jessie are more evolved and clearly superior. The Linen Man then tells Jessie that he didn’t kill her because he still has plans for her. His son is also an Ipsissimus and he is going to force the two of them to have a family and continue to produce more Ipsissimi who will eventually rule over all men.
Outside the palace gates, Spike is canvassing the area to find a way to get in. He decides his best course of action is to sneak around to the back and over the wall into the garden. He makes it over, but guards are waiting for him on the other side. Inside the palace, Leopold is having tea with Helena. She is trying to find a way to get him to talk, but he doesn’t seem interested. Helena calls him boring but then realizes he is actually already in love.
Helena shares with him that she too is in love with someone else, but it is their duty to do what is right for their country. He doesn’t think you should feel duty for something you don’t care about. Helena changes the subject and brings up having kids and that she needs Leopold to really know what he is doing in the bedroom. He has other plans, though and tells her that he will do everything in his power to make sure that they don’t get married.
“Chapter Seven: The Ecstasy of Death” returns us to Jessie’s nightmares, where she is trying to understand why the Linen Man continues to taunt her. She then realizes that he is doing it because he knows that by keeping her afraid, he can control her. Jessie believes that if she can overcome her fear, she will be able to break out of the Linen Man’s spell. She makes her way to the large cavern in her nightmares and the Linen Man reminds Jessie that her true fear is that everyone will believe she is a freak. As the Linen Man reminds her how much her friends dislike her, her own father abandoned her and how she is a freak because of who she is, we see the plague doctors slowly burying her alive.
At Bedlam, Bea, Watson and Sherlock meet with Arthur, who has a whole wing to himself. Gregson warns the staff to set snipers up on the roof and that when the Linen Man arrives to stay out of his path. Bea meets with Arthur and explains that the Linen Man is coming to use him to find where the Rip is. She asks that he allow the Linen Man to look into his mind and when he is done, knock him out with a needle Sherlock provided. She knows that Arthur is a good man and that these powers twist people.
At the palace, Spike has managed to sweet-talk his way into having tea with Louise. Leopold returns and Spike playfully rips into him about not telling them anything about his real life. After Louise leaves, Spike tells him how London is falling apart because of the rift. Leopold is shocked that after everything Spike and his friends have been through, they would still want to save the city. Spike realizes his choice of words and questions why he doesn’t count himself as one of the group.
Leopold tells him that he was pretending to be someone else the whole time and should leave before he has him removed. But before Spike leaves, he wants to hear Leopold say that he isn’t their friend. He stumbles over, saying that Spike and Jessie aren’t, but he can’t say that he feels nothing for Bea. The problem is that he just lost the only friends he has ever had and feels like he doesn’t belong anywhere. He feels too broken to belong anywhere, but Spike reminds him that is the exact reason he belongs with them.
We return to Bedlam as Bea, Watson, Sherlock and the guards prepare for the Linen Man’s arrival. Watson and Sherlock talk about the good old days and how Sherlock feels like he is getting dull in his old age. Watson tells him that he solved the collector’s case and that Sherlock was right about the Snowdonia Hawkweed. When Sherlock isn’t “over the moon” about finding out he was right, he tells Watson that there is more to life than always being right. He wishes he could tell his younger self this and while he is no longer the hero of this story, he can always help.
Bea, who has been listening in, comes down and joins them. Bea and Sherlock have a small familial moment where he realizes she is cold and passes over his scarf. However, this is short-lived when they hear screams ring out through the wing and a body falls in front of them. They then see the other sniper walk that was stationed above throw himself off a rafter. They move in closer and watch as the Linen Man makes his way towards Arthur’s cell.
Inside he peeks into Arthur’s head and uncovers the location of the Rip. He realizes that Arthur is hiding something and the scene flashes to Bea and Sherlock overhearing a struggle in the cell. They make their way in thinking that everything is done only to find Arthur’s mind warped. He charges Gregson and while Watson and Sherlock try to stop him, Bea heads into the cell. She believes that Arthur has killed the Linen Man, but as she gets closer, he reaches out and grabs her before making his escape.
The guys are able to subdue Arthur and Sherlock sends Watson to stand where he planned. He then rushed in to find Bea and realizes she has been touched and we can hear Alice calling out to her and singing. He tells Gregson to keep an eye on her and rushes after the Linen Man. Watson is able to corral him into a set direction and just when the Linen Man thinks he is safe, Sherlock locks him in a cell. Sherlock tells him to let Jessie go and tell him where the Rip is, or he will kill him.
Bea, Watson and Gregson arrive to find Sherlock cornering the Linen Man. The Linen Man thinks that they will be good friends and when Sherlock declines him, the Linen Man whispers something to him. Bea and the group can’t hear it, but whatever it was convinces Sherlock to drop the gun and follow him out of the hospital. Bea and Watson try to stop him, but they are locked behind another door and can only call out to him.
Back at 221B the next morning, Bea and Watson are trying to figure out why Sherlock would have gone with the Linen Man. Hearing Alice’s voice again, Bea excuses herself. We then see a flashback where a younger Bea (***) is watching as her mother asks Sister Anna (Lisa Dwyer Hogg) to watch over her for a while and leaves Bea with a bracelet. She tells Bea that she will always be with her as long as she is wearing the bracelet. Alice then reminds Bea that she needs to be a good big sister and watch over Jessie before leaving them behind.
As the flashback fades away, Spike arrives at the 221B with Billy by his side. She doesn’t understand how he was set free and Billy tells her that Leopold was able to help. Spike goes to see Jessie and is worried that this is all his fault. They each begin telling Jessie to come back, that they love her and need her to come back. In Jessie’s nightmares, she can hear them calling out to her. With their strength, she is able to pull herself out of the grave and uncover her own inner strength. She fights back against the Linen Man, who is continuing to try and put her down.
With their strength and hers, she uncovers where the Rip is. The nightmare turns into more of a memory where Jessie sees a group of miners uncovering a plague pit. As she ventures closer, she sees a large circle built into the wall and the sign to the side of it reads ‘Inner Circle Line’. She awakens to Bea and her friends waiting for her. After a few sighs of relief and tears, Jessie tells them that Rip is located at Aldgate.
At Aldgate, we see the Linen Man and Sherlock arrive and bolt and barricade the door shut before descending into the tunnels. “Chapter Seven: The Ecstasy of Death” comes to a close as the Linen Man and Sherlock lay their eyes on the Rip for the very first time.
We are nearly done with the first season of The Irregulars and I am a bit torn. On one end, I think they are tying things up nicely and the pacing of the show is great. On the other end, I wish we had more time to dive into the show’s smaller bits. Of the seven episodes I have seen so far, I would have to say that this one is probably my least favorite, but it still really good. We finally get the chance to see Spike feel like a real part of the team after being regulated to ultra-side character status for six episodes. He is single handily responsible for bringing the team back together and deserves all of the credit. I hope that if we get a second season, he is pushed more to the forefront.
It was also interesting to see how Bea can still work alongside Watson and how she takes some time to really understand what drove him. I also really enjoyed the small bits between her and Sherlock as well. Bea, who has spent her whole life looking after herself and Jessie, finally has those moments of someone taking care of her, even if it is just passing on a scarf if she’s cold or a general checking if she is okay. What worries me is Sherlock being okay with just following the Linen Man. Now the scene doesn’t tell us anything about what might have happened in those few moments, which is frustrating. He kind of seems like he is under a spell, but at the same time, we haven’t seen him enough that I don’t feel confident to say that he isn’t. I hope that this situation is explained in the final episode and not left as a cliffhanger.
Now let’s tackle the elephant in the room – the power of friendship. This isn’t my favorite troupe, and I tend to see it quite a bit in young adult media. However, in this case, it makes a lot of sense. Jessie suffered mental abuse at the hands of the Linen Man for the entire episode, where he used the words of her friends, family and even himself against her. In the end, it isn’t their strength that helps her overcome the Linen Man. Their strength helps her find her own and she uses that to break free. I think she just needed to remember that the people around her care about her and that sometimes as Bea said in the previous episode, they need to be tough. This doesn’t mean that they don’t care. Like with Spike, I hope we get the chance to see Jessie really stand on her own in future seasons.
We have one final episode of The Irregulars before the season comes to a close. Heading into it, I have one big question on my mind – who opened the Rip?
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