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'Ridley Road' Recap: Episode 4

Daniel Hautzinger
Jack and Vivien in Ridley Road. Photo: Red Production Company and Masterpiece
Suspicions about Jack and Vivien have piled up in the NSM, putting them both in danger. Photo: Red Production Company and Masterpiece

Ridley Road airs Sundays at 8:00 pm on WTTW and is available to streamWTTW Passport members can stream the entire show now. Recap the previous episode.

Vivien once again wakes up in Colin Jordan’s bedroom, but this time he did touch her: she has lost her virginity to him. Unfortunately, Jordan’s suitcase full of incriminating paperwork—the reason Vivien stayed overnight—has disappeared.

At a meeting of the NSM, Elise begs Jordan to send her boyfriend Lee to the hospital after his severe beating. She reveals that another member, Jeff, told her that “Peter”—Jack—wanted to leave Lee behind to die from his injuries. Jack manages to come up with excuses, and Jeff is reluctant to make waves. Jordan assigns Vivien to nurse Lee at the estate—to Elise’s horror, since she doesn’t trust Vivien.

Jordan orders Jeff and Jack to take Elise to the train station. Jack makes an excuse to quickly go visit Vivien and warn her that Jordan knows she’s Jewish: Jack saw the newspaper announcing Vivien’s engagement in Jordan’s desk. Vivien is angry at Jack for beating Lee and for trying to protect her, when she has done more valuable work than him: if she can recover the suitcase, she can take down the NSM.

Vivien sets off to find the suitcase, to Jack’s terror. She frantically enlists Jordan’s son, Paul, in a “game” to search. Jack himself tries to escape: Jeff has begun searching for him in his absence and set other NSM members to look, too.

Sol has already been captured. He finds his office full of gas canisters and tries to dispose of them before the police arrive but is too slow. They arrest him on suspicion of burning down the NSM headquarters and confiscate the 62 Group’s money as well. His arrest makes the front page of the paper.

In jail, he recognizes Stevie, who has been docked for “assaulting” George Lincoln Rockwell outside Sol’s synagogue. Sol calls down the hall to Stevie and asks him to go to Ridley Road and explain to Sol’s fellow activists that the NSM set Sol up. He also reveals that Vivien is working against the NSM from within.

When Stevie is released soon afterwards, he goes to Sol’s shop and tells Nancy what has happened to Sol. She thanks him for helping them in their fight.

Nancy has received another surprise visitor: Liza, Vivien’s mother. Nancy has already visited the salon to try to make contact with Vivien, and has to admit to Liza that she doesn’t know where her daughter is. She also reveals the existence of the 62 Group and Vivien and David’s work for it—David forges documents for them. Liza hurls a teacup against the wall of Nancy’s parlor.

Vivien runs into Jordan while searching for the suitcase, and he asks her to follow him. He brings her to the basement, closes the doors, and begins asking questions about Elise’s suspicions and then about her Jewish tailor father. “I know what you are,” he says.

He calls her a whore and slaps her to the ground. He knew Vivien was Jewish even before the march on the synagogue. Vivien lets him get close, then picks up a nearby canister of gas and sprays it in his eyes before dashing off.

She runs through the house and hears Paul singing. She follows his voice into the servants’ quarters and finds him with the suitcase. He hands it over—and then locks her in the room from the outside. He doesn’t want her to leave him.

Through the locked window, she sees Jack apprehended at gunpoint by some NSM members. She notices a panel in the ceiling and rips it off to climb into the eaves, suitcase in hand. Bloodying her knees as she inches through the crawl space, she eventually gets onto the roof, across it, and back down to the ground safely. She meets a farmer on the road who takes her to the train station.

Jack is restrained in the back of a car. He begs Jeff to let him escape, sympathizing with the difficulties of Jeff’s life that led him to the NSM. Jordan is just using you, he tells Jeff. Jeff opens the back door and throws Jack out of the car.

When Vivien’s train stops, someone suddenly sits down next to her: Jordan. Luckily, she has hidden the suitcase under the opposite seat. She tries to ask the mostly empty car for help, announcing that she is in danger and that Jordan is not her husband, but the other passengers studiously ignore her.

As Jordan forces her off the train, a man tells him he forgot his luggage and hands over the suitcase. With no one else around, Jordan slams Vivien against a door by the throat. I’m protecting my son, he tells her; she is the one on the wrong side of history.

When a police car drives past on the street as Jordan escorts her to a waiting car, Vivien tries to call for help but he again pushes her away and the car drives past without noticing. She takes advantage of the distraction to grab the suitcase and knock Jordan over. She runs to a pub and asks for help but is once again ignored.

Jordan’s thugs catch Vivien and begin beating her in an alley. Finally, the people in the pub come out and fight them off, letting Vivien escape to the safety of Sol’s shop.

Barbara and Liza dye her hair back to brunette and do her make-up, preparing her to present the suitcase to the police alongside her mother—David has a record, and so can’t go.

While they are getting ready at Vivien’s room in Nettie’s flat, the leader of Nettie’s local action meetings stops by. Nettie, having seen him gleefully chanting “Get the Yids that Hitler missed” outside the NSM headquarters, pointedly tells him that she is sitting shiva. Don’t come back, she tells him. She lost three boys fighting against people like him in the war, and won’t let history repeat itself.

Vivien shows the police the invoices for weapons, photos, and other incriminating evidence in Jordan’s suitcase, and the detective promises to prosecute them.

David forges a passport for Vivien, giving her her cousin Roza’s identity. He, Roza, Liza, and Sol all see Vivien off at the airport, tearfully saying goodbye—it may be a while before they hear from her, as she must leave the country for her own safety. She boards the plane to Tel Aviv, sits down, and her neighbor puts a hand on her knee. It’s Jack.