Episode Title: "The Hudson River School"
Writer: Frank Pugliese
Director: Larysa Kondracki
Previously on "Copper":
The topic of Annie comes up while Elizabeth (Anatasia Griffith) and Corky (Tom Weston-Jones) are in bed together. Elizabeth tells him the child is with a good family in California which comes as a relief to Corky, who tells Elizabeth about John Reilly, the man who claimed to be Annie's father. As soon as she hears this, Elizabeth becomes visibly disturbed. She heads upstate to see Annie but Reilly greets her with a rifle and she quickly departs.
In town, fears rise about a rebel attack on New York after a telegraph arrives warning of violence in Vermont. At home, Robert Morehouse (Kyle Schmid) and his father entertain a group of Canadian businessmen. Robert becomes suspicious of one of the men, Mr. Kennedy when he drops his French Canadian accent and uses the word "ya'll."
Francis Maguire (Kevin Ryan) goes to see Mary Lockwood (Joanne Boland) and finds her shaken up, with a bruise on her face. She tells Maguire to leave her alone and sends him away. Outside the mission building, Maguire learns from one of her students that Mary was beaten by a man named McClean.
At the Freeman home, Sara (Tessa Thompson) suffers from morning sickness and Matthew (Ato Essandoh) tells his wife she's pregnant. However, their happiness is interrupted when a young boy stops by with an envelope containing pictures of lynchings. The boy tells Sara a white man gave it to him and said to show it to "all their kind." When she shows the pictures to Matthew, he tells her not to worry as their child will be a light in a dark world.
In upstate New York, Annie (Kiara Glasco) is kept in shackles in a barn. When Reilly comes in with food, she offers herself to him. He frees her and she grabs an iron and beats him with it. She walks back to the city and tells Corky that she killed Reilly after Elizabeth Haverford turned her over to him.
Maguire finds McClean and confronts him about Mary. He tells the detective that Mary's been blackmailing the men listed in Madame Grendel's ledger. Meanwhile, Elizabeth asks Robert to tell Corky the truth about where Annie is but he tells her it's best if she tell Corky, herself.
At Eva's brothel that night, Morehouse gets Mr. Kennedy to admit to being a Southern rebel. Kennedy tells Robert of his plans to burn the city if President Lincoln is re-elected and demonstrates the liquid fire he'll use to do it.
At Reilly's farm, Corky disposes of the dead man's body by dumping it into a pig pen. That night, he pays Elizabeth a visit and threatens to kill her if anything happens to Annie. He then goes to see Eva (Franka Potente)and tells her about Elizabeth. Eva tells him Elizabeth is only concerned with superficial things and asks Corky to take Maguire home, as he's been holed up at the brothel crying over Mary. Corky tells his friend there will be other woman and has Maguire leave.
Upset over Corky, Elizabeth goes to see Robert and he calms her by giving her opium. Robert promises to protect her from Corky and the two start kissing. Outside, Maguire eyes the townhouse from across the street.
This week, "Copper" took a break from the usual detective work to focus on some interesting story developments. Though the episode felt a bit jarring at times, as we jumped around from character to character, "The Hudson River School" put some good stuff in motion.
What exactly is Robert Morehouse up to with those faux-Canadian Confederate spies? While his war buddy, Corky tries to keep the peace in Five Points, Morehouse's moral leanings are still unclear. His involvement with the Southern rebels and their plans to torch the city will be a telling tale for Morehouse, a character I'm eager to learn more about.
The same goes for Elizabeth Haverford. She may love Corky, but does she have the same passion for all that he stands for? As Morehouse explained, the two of them are cut from the same cloth and travel in the same circles. As much as she may want to do good, the comforts of privilege have made Elizabeth only capable of so much and with Annie she's clearly reached her limits.
Corky's partner in anti-crime, Francis Maguire might have reached his wit's end as well. Distraught over losing Molly and Mary, two women who were never really in love with him to begin with, Maguire is truly lost in love. There's been tension between Francis and Corky, who's only trying to talk to sense to his misguided friend, but what exactly is he up to sneaking around outside Morehouse's townhouse? Is Maguire looking to make Corky feel the same hurt he's feeling by going after his friends?
And then there's Annie, now home safe in Five Points. Elizabeth doesn't understand the hold Annie has on Kevin, but it seems fairy obvious he's transferred his feelings about his daughter onto the troubled child. That's not to say he doesn't genuinely care for her, but to threaten Elizabeth in the way that he did, considering their last interaction, seemed a little extreme. Now that she's back, it'll be interesting to see if and how Annie manipulates Kevin, who she also has an unhealthy fixation with. I'm continually surprised at how convincing Kiara Glasco, who plays Annie is in this role. Her performance in this episode was especially impressive.
As for the Freemans, it's hard to believe Sara's fears for her unborn child after receiving an envelope with filled with pictures of lynchings would be eased by her husband's insistence that their child will be a "beacon of light" in a dark world. It's a nice thought, but I have a hard time believing it was enough to calm her, especially after all the couple have been through. Otherwise, "The Hudson River School" was another strong episode, taking a break from the procedural format to seed some exciting storylines.