This review contains spoilers.
1.9 A Day To Give Thanks
It was a long week, but episode 9 of Copper finally arrived to follow up on Corcoran’s shocking discovery of his missing wife, and we can all give thanks that A Day to Give Thanks lived up to the anticipation. The emotion-packed episode was a feat of acting and storytelling, and perhaps the most impressive offering of the series thus far.
This episode touched on an interesting point in history: one of the first Thanksgiving holidays. Thanksgiving as an annual national holiday was instituted by Abe Lincoln in 1863 – something I did not know until I Wikipedia-ed it after watching this episode. It’s great to be able to learn something while I’m busy bawling my eyes out over our cruel, cruel world.
Although Corky invites Eva over for the holiday (and also refuses a handjob, which she is not at all happy about), there are no turkey food comas to be had in the Corcoran household. Ellen is in drug withdrawal, and Francis has disappeared. Corky leaves Annie and Eva with Ellen and goes off to find Francis. Luckily, neither of these competitors for Corcoran’s affections decides to off his wife while he’s gone.
This episode was full of interesting character relations. Annie and Eva are civil both to each other and to Ellen, even though the tension is almost tangible. I gained some respect for them at their consideration for Corcoran through all this. He, meanwhile, is boiling with rage and impatience, and remains essentially oblivious to them. All three actors do a fantastic job channelling their characters’ feelings through this chaotic time.
Alex Paxton-Beesley makes a welcome addition to the cast as Ellen Corcoran. She delivers the crushing truth of her affair with Francis, her abortion, and her accidental killing of Maggie with gut-wrenching anguish. Her story of hearing her aborted child’s cries is haunting, and the scene of Maggie calling out for her absent father when she finds her mother in bed with Francis is heartrending.
Ellen’s confession sends Corcoran falling to his hands and knees, and that brief moment communicates a world of loss, despair, and betrayal. In true Copper style, Corcoran’s beloved wife is not innocent, and his pain is not cut-and-dry: there are two people he loves, and it was one who killed the other. Add to that Ellen’s infidelity with his good friend Francis and her participation in what he sees as the sinful act of abortion, and it’s no wonder the hard-boiled Corcoran finally breaks down.
Copper has a gift for illustrating many sides to a story with barefaced honesty and no judgment passed. While sympathizing with Corky’s anguish and anger at Ellen and Francis, we are sympathetic with the two of them as well. There is almost a sense that misery is imposed on the world by some higher power, and it’s useless to do anything but lament the inevitable. Mistakes were made, but I was not inclined to spend much time blaming anybody for them.
Running parallel to this hurricane of emotion, Morehouse’s plotline about the Confederate agents in New York fades well into the background. This seems to function only as a set-up for next week’s finale, in which Kennedy’s plan to burn down New York City will commence.
Speaking of the finale, there’s no news yet of whether Copper will be renewed for a second season. If this week is any indication of the caliber of Copper’s potential future, an end to the show would be one tragedy too many.
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