Episode Title: "The Empty Locket"
Writer: Kyle Bradstreet
Director: Clark Johnson
Previously on "Copper":
As they walk the street, Andrew tells Kevin (Tom Weston-Jones) about Maguire's plans to marry Molly. Their conversation is interrupted when Morehouse's false leg goes flying through a brothel window. The two find Morehouse (Kyle Schmid) inside, claiming the establishment refused to serve him.
Upstairs, Molly asks Eva (Franka Potente) why she won't give Kevin the locket. She tells Eva she'll never be entirely Kevin's until she does so. Eva gives Molly the locket to give to Kevin on the condition that Molly not tell him Eva had it. Molly goes to see Kevin wearing the locket and tells him about Madame Grendel and Schwarz's pawn shop.
Dr. Freeman (Ato Essandoh) is visited by his Uncle Marcus, a former boxer who plans on moving to Liberia. When he meets Jasper, Marcus is convinced the big man would make a great fighter. He tells his nephew he wants to train Jasper for a fight with Morehouse's Irish boxer so he can fund his journey to Liberia. However, Freeman's wife, Sara (Tessa Thompson) says no.
After asking around about Madame Grendel, Kevin learns that she kept a ledger with the names of all her clients. He questions her sister but she claims not to have it.
As they leave church, Morehouse and his father speak with the Reverend. He warns the elder Morehouse about buying up Five Points in order to raise property prices. If Morehouse doesn't back off the plan, he threatens to expose him. However, Morehouse says he'll find an alternate solution.
Kevin and Maguire (Francis Ryan) search Madame Grendel's apartment and find a charred piece of paper in the fireplace. Kevin takes it to Freeman who is able to lift the ink, revealing a letter from the Reverend. Kevin tells the Captain but he shuts down the investigation, as no one is sad to see an abortion doctor dead.
Kevin asks Morehouse about the Episcopal diocese and Madame Grendel. Morehouse suggests the Reverend is hiding something and that Kevin should investigate. After talking to one of the church's servants, Kevin learns about the corruption going on there. He confronts the Reverend who denies any relationship with Grendel. However, Kevin threatens to expose him anyway.
Morehouse and Marcus make a deal for a fight between Irish Jake and Jasper. Morehouse insinuates there will be an incentive for Marcus and Jasper to throw the fight and the two drink to the arrangement.
Kevin questions two of the Reverend's thugs and gives the story to a newspaper reporter who prints it. Morehouse's father arrives at the precinct where he congratulates Kevin and the Captain on exposing the Reverend. Meanwhile, Grendel's sister uses the ledger to extort money from the men who paid for the abortions.
Maguire proposes marriage to Molly with a bracelet. Later, Kevin wonders if his wife didn't use the locket to pay for an abortion. Maguire and Kevin ask Schwarz about the locket and he tells them that Ellen sold it to Grendel to get money to buy food for her daughter. After Kevin leaves, Maguire pays Schwarz for lying to his partner.
At the brothel, Eva attacks Molly for sleeping with Kevin. She cuts her throat and leaves the knife in the dying woman's hand. Just after Maguire tells Kevin about his plans to marry Molly, Andrew arrives with word of her death and he breaks down in tears.
This fourth episode of "Copper" had a little something for everyone. There was more intrigue surrounding the coveted (and now tossed) locket, some solid 19th century police work on the part of Kevin and Dr. Freeman, a religious scandal, a few historical asides on Liberia and the conflict between the Irish Catholics and their Protestant counterparts and of course, more bloodshed.
In The Empty Locket,' we learned that those closet to Kevin – his partner, Maguire and his lover, Eva, will go to unethical extremes in order to protect or control him, as the case may be. As Kevin learned more about the chain of custody of his wife's necklace, Maguire saw his partner and friend begin to head down a black hole of questions and doubt. Thus, he paid off the pawn shop owner to tell a story about a woman desperate to feed her child, not abort it.
It's not the truth, but it's what Maguire thinks Kevin needs to hear. And maybe it is. The problem is that we don't know much about Kevin Corcoran or his relationship with his late wife, Ellen. We're to assume he loved her deeply, based on his dogged pursuit of answers about his family. Perhaps Kevin's search will end up being more about the investigation than the answers he gets?
If that's the case, then Maguire's bribe will surely come back to bite him in the "arse" before too long. However, right now the detective is dealing with his own tragedy after Eva murdered Molly. We're not made to feel too sad about this since right before her death the gold digging hooker told Eva she had no intentions of marrying Maguire. It allows us to let him off the hook (no pun intended) when his character inevitably moves on to another love interest and it also made Eva slightly less hatable for killing Molly.
Just four episodes in and we've already seen two supporting characters murdered in grisly fashion. "Copper" certainly isn't afraid to spill blood but I'm not going to call it "gratuitous" just yet..
A few additional observations on 'The Empty Locket:'
- Way too big for her britches, little orphan Annie makes for quite an unusual antagonist for Elizabeth Haverford. She's a supremely screwed up little kid, making her both sympathetic and insufferable. Can't wait to see what the writers do with her character.
- Brooklyn?! Are you crazy, Liberia is where it's at according to Marcus. This scene was a little too on the nose which also made it kinda funny.
- Gotta love Morehouse using his peg leg as a weapon inside the whorehouse.
- We saw just how far Kevin will go to get the truth about his family, beating up a man of God inside his own church. Hey, he was Protestant.
"Copper" has definitely got its hooks in, as I find myself looking forward to each episode. It's not quite the show I'd like it to be (and that's not another "Deadwood," despite my earlier comparison) but maybe that's ok. In the case of this BBC America original, it might be better if history doesn't repeat itself.