This review contains spoilers.
1.7 The Hudson River School
Watch out, New York City—Corky is pissed.
It was never any secret that Corcoran has a dark side, but it was always contained, or aimed toward people who really deserved it. Not that Elizabeth didn’t make a serious mistake in giving Annie away to her sleazebag husband and then lying to Corcoran about it, but was the knife to the throat really appropriate? This is the first time Corky has been truly scary, and I for one am loving it.
The Hudson River School jumped from plot to plot without much favoritism toward any particular one, a move that the episode pulls off surprisingly well. So, let’s break it down by plotline for this week’s review.
Dr. Freeman and Sara finally have some good news: they’re having a baby. It was great to see Sara happy for once, but also sad when a violent reminder of the racial injustice they face made her question the decision to bring a child into this world. Hopefully her illness really is just morning sickness and not something worse, because the last thing that woman needs is more misery in her life.
Francis discovers what we already knew about Mary Lockwood: that she has been bribing her sister’s abortion customers with her ledger. He’s really broken up about this, and tells Corcoran that she’s lost to him, even though he hasn’t tried talking it out with her yet and he did get engaged to a whore so I think they might be able to make this work. More importantly, Francis suspects that there was something strange about Molly’s death, and also shows us that he didn’t get over her as quickly as he seemed to.
Morehouse has a party with a bunch of his rich white guy pals and meets this Canadian guy Kennedy with a fakey accent. Turns out he’s a Confederate spy and he has a plan to burn New York City with Greek fire if Lincoln wins the upcoming election. Morehouse pretends to be on Kennedy’s side but later takes the Greek fire to Freeman so he can do science to it. They better come up with a way to stop this fast, because spoilers: Lincoln is going to win the election.
Finally, there’s the Scary Corky plotline. After their sexy time, Elizabeth learns that the man she gave Annie to was actually her creeper husband, and she feels bad about it, but not as bad as she’s going to feel when Corcoran almost sticks her with his knife. She makes some efforts to get Annie back, but doesn’t seem to be trying all that hard.
Meanwhile, in the most disturbing thing you’ll see this week, Mr. Reilly has Annie chained in a barn looking so pitiful her guiles of a few weeks ago seem like they never happened. (Keep an eye out for Kiara Glasco in the future – that girl’s got acting chops, though you do have to wonder if this show is destroying her childhood.) Annie offers to show Mr. Reilly her new tricks, but instead stabs him with an evil-looking hooked farm tool and runs off to Corcoran. Corcoran feeds Reilly’s naked body to the pigs, which is the second most disturbing thing you’ll see this week.
Then the livid Corcoran goes and threatens Elizabeth. No more sexy time for her. Except with Morehouse, that is, and he’s got opium too. So she made out all right in the end, I guess. Corcoran keeps Annie at his house and coddles her to no end, and she’s milking it for all its worth. She’ll probably get over her ordeal a lot quicker than she lets on, though her spotting Corcoran having sexy time again, with Eva now, is sure to mean trouble.
On the whole, this was a solid episode with the parts involving Annie and Angry Corky really standing out and the rest of it holding the attention well enough. There are only three episodes left this season, and the plot to burn New York City is big enough that it may be the beginning of the build-up to the finale. Whatever happens, they’re going to need Corky, so here’s hoping his woman problems don’t turn him to a murderous madman before then.
Follow our Twitter feed for faster news and bad jokes right here. And be our Facebook chum here.