Slasher: Ripper “Divine Secrets” and “Vengeance” (S5 E7&8)

Slasher: Ripper, Official Trailer, YouTube, 01:28

It may not be Christmastime but that’s not stopping Shudder from giving us the gift of the final two episodes of Slasher: Ripper at once! This season has been quite the ride. Slasher: Flesh and Blood was a fantastic reboot of the series, and before Ripper was my favorite of the series. Initially, I wasn’t sure if I would like Ripper more. Episode 4 “Left Handed Justice” was the lowest energy episode of the season, so I had concerns about the direction Ripper was going. From Episode 5 “Everybody’s Darling”, Ripper has come to be the greatest season of Slasher no questions asked. These final two episodes are just fantastic. All of our questions are answered, the ending is absolutely fitting, and we get a hefty amount of blood and carnage. Let’s jump right into the two final episodes of Slasher: Ripper.

Episode 7 “Divine Secrets”

We start the episode with Georges (Thom Allison) and Crenshaw (Christopher Jacot) frolicking around in a dream-like filter. The two fall to the ground and start kissing. Georges pulls his head up to get a look at his departed lover. As the two make eye contact, Crenshaw’s head falls limply to the ground. Out of nowhere his head starts to twist 360º. By the time Crenshaw’s head turns back around we notice his face is now Margaret’s (Genevieve DeGraves). Margaret gets up and stares down Georges, telling him that he did this to her. Georges is adamant that he didn’t kill Margaret, she replies simply with, “Who’s rotting in my coffin?” A black gloved hand wraps around the right side of Georges’s neck and yanks him off-screen, Margaret’s eyes go white and blood pours out of her mouth. Georges wakes up from this nightmare, unharmed. For now.

Georges looks off confusedly when confronted about the question of his innocence
Slasher: Ripper, Official Trailer, YouTube 00:09

Superintendent Rijkers (Garbiel Darku) arrives at the operating theater to find Dr. Israel’s (Lisa Berry) body charred to bits. This means one thing: Basil Garvey (Eric McCormack) couldn’t have killed her. Rijkers goes back to the station to let Garvey go, but this is a problem. Weren’t Garvey, Georges, and Dr. Israel arrested for the murder of Margaret Mehar too? Shouldn’t Garvey still be held in jail for that murder? Just because he is clear of Dr. Israel’s murder doesn’t mean he is off the hook for Margaret’s murder.

Back at Georges’, we find him sleeping, only to be awoken by Shanika (Mercedes Morris) who is packing up her stuff. Shanika informs Georges that she is leaving because he took things way too far. Georges retorts by saying Margaret Mehar took things too far. Now home from jail, Garvey is greeted by a pleasant Verdi (Sadie Laflamme-Snow) who seems delighted to see him. Garvey begs for sex, but Verdi holds true to her convictions and says she still doesn’t want to have sex out of wedlock.

Regina (Clare McConnell) is at the hospital, staying by Andrew May Jr’s (Steve Byers) bedside, thankfully he’s expected to make a full recovery. Superintendent Rijkers comes to Regina for help with the note from Dr. Israel’s crime scene. The note reads “Innocent or guilty, that is the question. But how do you answer when they’re known for deception? In your heart of hearts, you know what’s true. You’ve played your part. I’m coming for you.” This might be my favorite note from the Black Widow. Regina seems to think this poem sounds like it’s directed at Rijkers. Rijkers realizes there are only three real questions he needs to answer: 1) out of the three remaining people from the photo, who has the motive? 2) what information has he missed or looked over? and 3) who would have been at the party that wasn’t in the photo? The obvious answer to the last question is Enid (Jo Vannicola). Rijkers decides he needs to stake out Georges’s final show, and asks Regina if she would accompany him. Regina politely declines, saying she wants to but the optics would be bad.

This right here is when the lightbulb went off and I figured out who the killer was. It was right in front of our face the entire time but I couldn’t bring myself to believe it. We all expected Billy Loomis, but no one expected Stu Macher.

Garvey and Verdi run into Venetia (Sabrina Grdevich) and Viviana (Paula Brancati) on the street. There is a conversation between Garvey and Venetia, which we don’t hear much of. What we do hear is Viviana and Verdi going at each other. Viviana vows that Garvey will get tired of her, just like his three previous ex-wives, and then she’ll have nothing. Once Garvey throws her out, Viviana threatens, they will have a doctor surgically replace her hymen over and over so they can keep selling her virginity to the highest bidders. Verdi just laughs at Viviana telling her no man will ever love a woman her age and throws the BEST insult I’ve ever heard at Viviana by calling her a “spinster spittoon.” I have no clue what that means, but I absolutely howled when I heard it.

Later that day Georges visits the grave of Margaret Mehar to dig up her bones for a spell, the only problem is… the bones are gone. Garvey takes Verdi backstage at Georges’s show to show her the tricks, and teaches her how the sawing-a-woman trick works. We see there is a trapdoor held in place by a latch that, once unlocked, will allow the assistant to slip below the blade and out of danger. Just then Georges bursts in covered in dirt. Garvey and Georges talk on the side while Verdi looks at the latch to the trapdoor. Georges breaks the news to Garvey about the missing bones, and also about how Shanika left. Verdi smirks and tells Georges how Venetia always wanted to be on stage, thus putting Verdi’s own nefarious plan into play. Georges has his new assistant.

Venetia screams as Georges saws through her torso
Slasher: Ripper, Official Trailer, YouTube, 00:54

The final show of the Great Georges Rondeau is set to start. Georges takes the stage and tells the audience this is going to be a dark show. Because of the pain and suffering the Black Widow has caused, Georges plans to do a ritual that will cleanse the town. The Black Widow appears on stage and Georges walks over. This is when he reveals Venetia as his new assistant. Rijkers then shows up to the theater to make sure things are copacetic. Things are not copacetic as the Black Widow also shows up. Rijkers chases her out of the theater and we get some hardcore parkour.

We get a scene that jumps back and forth for a good three minutes with the Rijkers and the Black Widow chase and Georges and Venetia on stage. Rijkers chases the Black Widow through the streets. Georges puts Venetia in the box. Some more chasing. Some sawing. Some fake blood. Rijkers and the Black Widow fight in a cemetery, and he tells her, “Vengeance isn’t justice.” Venetia screams, but… the screams sound too real. More fighting in the cemetery, but Rijkers gets a hit on the Black Widow’s wrist with his billy club, and the Black Widow makes an audible sound for the first time. As Georges finishes the sawing he says, “the Black Widow is gone,” which parallels with the Black Widow running away from Rijkers.

For the prestige, Georges goes to open the box to show Venetia is fine. That’s when all of Venetia’s guts fall out of the box. The audience screams bloody murder. After the audience leaves, Georges, Viviana, Verdi, Garvey, and Rijkers stand on the stage. Rijkers walks over to Viviana and finds the key to the trapdoor latch on Viviana. He then arrests her.

Georges unwinds in his tent after the “show” only to be taken immediately by the Black Widow. For the first time in this episode, we finally get a flashback. We see Georges violently strangling Margaret. Soon Margaret passes out but comes back to moments later. Once Margaret is awake again, Georges strangles her once more. Back to the present, Georges is tied up on a chair. A rope is wrapped around his neck. In a tame, but effective, scene the Black Widow squeezes the rope around Georges’s neck until his bones snap under the pressure. One more down. Two more to go.

Rijkers goes back to the infirmary to visit Regina to tell her the news of her friend being arrested for the Black Widow murders. I was getting a vibe from Regina and Andrew pretty hard, but now it’s clear Regina and Rijkers have some crazy chemistry. Regina asks Rijkers if he could escort her home, and he obliges. Once they’re at Regina’s she asks Rijkers to come in, since she let her staff off for the night since she wouldn’t be home she would like Rijkers to come in and make sure it’s safe. Again, he obliges.

On the carriage ride home, Garvey tells Verdi he knows what she did. Initially, Verdi says she didn’t do anything to Venetia, but eventually comes clean. Verdi says she’s going to go to the cops. Garvey says don’t, as he seems pretty turned on by the acts of Verdi. What’s worse though, is now he has some pretty heavy dirt on her and she might have sealed her fate with ever wanting to leave Garvey. In jail, Viviana gets her clothes ripped off, forcibly bathed, and all of her hair chopped off.

The Black Widow stands, stalking Rijkers, with a bloody knife as she hides behind him in the shadows.
Slasher: Ripper, Official Trailer, YouTube, 00:10

The stinger for this wild episode takes place at the Simcoe residence. Once inside, Rijkers clears the house of any perpetrators. As he’s ready to leave, he and Regina embrace and kiss. This leads to them taking it to the room and having sex. The two fall asleep in bed together afterward. As Rijkers falls asleep the camera zooms in on something on Regina’s wrist… the bruise from Rijkers’s billy club.

Episode 8 “Vengeance”

Verdi wakes up to a kiss from Garvey, where he implies they fooled around a bit that previous night without taking things all the way. Out of the blue Garvey proposes to Verdi, and she says yes. Wanting to get laid as fast as possible, Garvey tells Verdi the wedding will be the very next day. Also waking up from a night of frivolities, Rijkers asks Regina if she thinks he arrested the right person for the Black Widow murders. Regina is deadset on Viviana being the murderer. Being the great detective he is, Rijkers says it just doesn’t make sense for Viviana to be doing these murders as she has nothing but contempt for servants, so why would she want revenge for Margaret’s death?

Garvey and Verdi sit down for breakfast when Gladys (Sharron Matthews) brings in a package. Gladys is also the maid who served the human meat pies in Episode 4 “Left Handed Justice.” Garvey goes to open the package, which definitely ruined whatever appetite they had left. Inside the box is Georges’s head, with a note sticking out of his mouth like a reverse Fruit By The Foot. Rijkers shows up at Garvey’s house just in time to see Garvey slap Gladys, which pisses off both Rijkers and Verdi.

Andrew sits and talks with Regina and Rijkers
Slasher: Ripper, Official Trailer, YouTube, 01:04

Rijkers reads the letter, which is the weirdest letter to date, “private message, a prophetic hex the magician was tragic, his mind was vexed. I took what I needed, your heart is next.” After reading that, Rijkers asks Garvey why he would be on the Black Widow’s list, hoping to get Garvey to reveal something. Garvey tells Rijkers he’s taking over the case, which at the time didn’t make sense to me. Rijkers asks Garvey why the Black Widow is only targeting the people from the photo, and Garvey calls him an idiot and says there were more than just the people in the photograph there. For instance, Venetia was there, but not in the photo. Garvey also says that Enid took tons of photos, so the negatives would be at the Echo Tribune office.

Regina visits Viviana at the jail, which makes Viviana happy. Unfortunately for Viviana, Regina tells her she will not be helping, and that she deserves this. The biggest bombshell here is… REGINA IS MARGARET’S DAUGHTER. Regina also goes on to reveal the possessions were faked, and her making her eyes go milky was basically just a circus trick. Before leaving the jail, Regina tells Viviana one last thing… that no one will believe her.

Rijkers finds the negatives from the party photos and starts developing them. He develops all of the photos and notices there is a clock in them that changes time. So Rijkers puts the photos in chronological order. Rijkers finds the evidence he needs when he notices a child in the final photo. After this bombshell revelation, Rijkers goes to the church to see Andrew to ask him who the child in the photo is. Andrew seems off when Rijkers asks and refuses to answer his question. Andrew gets the final word of this confrontation after Rijkers tells him he’s now his prime suspect, by saying, “I always protect the innocent.” The lightbulb clicks, and Rijkers knows who the kid in the photo is. Rijkers rushes over to Regina’s to ask if that’s her in the photo. That’s when he notices the bruise on Regina’s arm from the billy club.

FLASHBACK. Young Regina (Shayelin Martin) runs around the halls of the Bottecelli mansion and comes across Georges hypnotizing her mother, this is from Episode 4 “Left Handed Justice.” Viviana and Venetia chastize Margaret and Regina after the party, saying that Regina ruined it. In a presumable time jump, young Regina hears, then, Officer Rijkers telling Viviana and Venetia about Margaret’s death. They tell Rijkers that Margaret had no family. Once he leaves they promptly throw young Regina out on the street, and out of their lives.

Back to the present, Regina tells Rijkers that she basically got with Alistair so she could get dirt on the slaying of her mother. Rijkers tells Regina to leave town. He then goes to the jail to talk with Viviana. Here’s his offer: you flip on Garvey, and all charges on you will be dropped. Viviana says she would never do that, that Garvey is too powerful and she would be ruined for life. Just when we thought this show was wrapping up we find out Rijkers is now being arrested by Officer Mullman (Paul Braunstein). Officer Mullman was also the one who caused the carriage crash in Episode 5 “Everybody’s Darling.” Rijkers is being arrested and charged with the Black Widow murders, it’s pretty clear Garvey paid for his arrest.

Once the jailers leave for the night, Rijkers picks the lock to his cell, determined to put an end to all of this nonsense. Verdi makes it clear to Garvey how much she hates how much Garvey assaults Gladys, but Garvey says it’s fine. Garvey then tells Verdi he’s going to run some errands for the wedding, and takes Gladys along with him. We find out that since escaping the jail, Rijkers has been wandering the streets. As Rijkers is walking, he sees Garvey in his carriage absolutely beating Gladys, this time with a closed fist. Garvey hits Gladys hard enough that she falls out of the carriage and he drives away. Rijkers comes to her aid, and she profusely thanks him.

Rijkers heads back to Regina’s to see if she left town as he recommended, and to his surprise, she is not there. What is there is a note with an R on it. The note reads, “Only justice renders vengeance unnecessary. You’re the man I’ve met capable of achieving that here, but my days of waiting are done.”

Rijkers develops the photos from the night of the party
Slasher: Ripper, Official Trailer, YouTube, 00:57

Garvey walks towards the altar at the church and sees what he thinks is Verdi sitting in a pew in her wedding dress. As he walks towards her, he soon comes to find out it’s Margaret’s corpse in Verdi’s dress. The final flashback of the episode shows us Margaret’s death. Margaret begs Garvey for forgiveness, but with a grin on his face, he cups his hand around her mouth and suffocates her.

Garvey stands confused at the altar, which is when the Black Widow shows up. A fight breaks out and the Black Widow starts to best Garvey until he gets the upper hand. The fight soon gets back in the Black Widow’s favor. This is when Verdi shows up… and Gladys… and Andrew… and Rijkers! Garvey is beyond confused. The Black Widow finally removes her veil to reveal… Regina! Regina takes her thumbs and digs them into Garvey’s eye sockets. Each other person in the room grabs various parts of flesh on Garvey’s face, and they rip it to shreds. It’s gnarly.

The five bloodied people walk out of the church. Rijkers and Regina are holding hands. Regina walks towards the camera and stares it down, blood splattered on her grinning face.

Final Thoughts

Wow. I loved that. I really wasn’t expecting the direction this show was going to take. The pious Verdi taking revenge on her evil sisters, Rijkers realizing sometimes the law can’t get things taken care of, Regina getting revenge for her mother. LOVE IT. This season definitely had its ups and downs, but upon reflection, I think it had more positive aspects than negative. You can make an argument that the writing was written a bit too period, and sometimes the dialogue felt a bit stilted. But each actor really embodied their characters and created fully realized and well-rounded characters. Even the few plot holes I found didn’t really bother me, because I became so invested in the story I was willing to accept anything they threw at us.

Slasher may have taken the AHS approach by telling a new story every season but unlike AHS, Slasher kept the true feeling of its concept, rather than devolving into flashy over-the-top spectacles with no substance. I really hope Shudder greenlights a sixth season, and when they do don’t forget to come back here and check out my coverage of it! I’ve covered a lot of shows here, and I’ve felt a sort of sadness when each one ends (yes, even for Velma). Watching the credits roll for the final episode of Slasher: Ripper brought me a sadness I wasn’t ready for. I’ve come to love all of these characters and it’s hard to let them go. I guess I can go make some slashfic about Rijkers and Regina’s life on the lamb, or something.


Leave a Reply
  1. I’m glad Justice was given to each character who deserves it. Especially Gladys. I was rooting for the killer from the beginning. And in this rare instance, the killer is the hero.

  2. I agree Ripper is my favorite season as well. One thing I wish I could get confirmed is that Gladys was in on it from almost if not the actual beginning, right? I think that’s why Verdi stayed and acted like she liked Garvey. Gladys may have told Verdi the deal and to just keep playing along because she would be free soon.

    • I was wondering that too. If she wasn’t in from the beginning I think she became a part of it when she provided the human meat pies for the luncheon. I want to go back and rewatch to see if Gladys was in any of the flashbacks where Margaret was being assaulted at the party, even though the party took place at the Botticelli’s. Gladys either joined them because she had a connection to Margaret or she just finally had enough of Garvey’s crap and saw a way to take care of the problem. Nevertheless I wish we had more of Gladys through the season!

  3. Just finished the last two-episodes myself. Spot on with your review, and I am saddened also that the season has ended. Let’s hope they make a season-6. I have grown to love this series. It is probably my favorite that is on the air right now. It’s great seeing many of the same actors in different roles. They “slay” it every time.

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Written by Brendan Jesus

I am an award-winning horror screenwriter, rotting away in New Jersey.

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