This review contains spoilers.
2.12 Beautiful Dreamer
The penultimate episode of Copper’s second season plunges headlong into an exceptionally tense hour featuring toe removal, bullets to the balls, and the alarming abuse of a cute little old lady. Beautiful Dreamer is unique in that it has no split plots: the episode contains only one story, and all the major characters play a part.
The result is that Copper’s lack of focus, the show’s primary sin this season, disappears in a puff of smoke. This one-plot model might be worth further use by the Copper writers – though it would require them to permanently band all the characters together, which could be difficult.
All hell breaks loose in the wake of Donovan’s death at Corcoran’s hand. Corky, with trusty companions O’Brien and Francis (Francis is apparently trusty again now), goes on the run as a new group of menacing bigwigs comes to hunt him down, including boss Eustace and Holland the granny-puncher. Holland is a delightfully creepy villain, and it would have been nice to see more of him. Also, it doesn’t sit well with me the way Corky killed him after saying he wouldn’t, even if the guy was a granny-punching ass.
The bros are all chipping in this week. O’Brien goes undercover in the precinct. Captain Sullivan overcomes fear and bribery to plant some false information to help Corky. Morehouse sorts through incriminating evidence against Donovan and also hides Eva, who Corky decides to break out of jail while he’s on his criminal hot streak. Francis bullies people with his sociopathic creeper powers. There’s a random young cop (called Flinn or Glenn or something) who loses two toes to protect Corky, but Freeman sews them back on. The Freemans also protect Mrs. McGrath, Corky’s newest sexy time friend. That woman is nuts for willingly getting involved in this mess. Or maybe she’s just really really horny.
Mrs. McGrath, who has appeared intermittently this season since Corcoran worked a case involving her sons in episodes two and three, takes Corcoran into her home in the middle of the night while he’s on the run. Though I predicted that they’d eventually be romantically involved, the whole thing comes about in a weird way. It’s like “Can I come in your house in the middle of the night?” and then “Guess what, I just killed a guy” and then “Let’s have sex nao kthx.” There’s some disjointed progression and awkwardness there, the source of which I can’t quite pin down. Maybe it’s just a lack of chemistry?
The biggest success of the night is that Corky and co. get a front-page article in the newspaper exposing the corruption of Tammany Hall. This victory is poised to come back to bite them, though.
In the end, Corcoran storms Eustace’s office and demands three things: Eva’s release, Donovan’s death ruled a suicide, and the replacement for Donovan selected by Corky. It isn’t entirely clear how Corcoran gets the better of Eustace. Shouldn’t he have more security than that? How did Corcoran get in a position to make such demands? Eustace turns out to be not such a big threat, and it’s a bit anticlimactic. As for the terms, Corcoran gets Eva released but loses Donovan, whose death is being called an accident. We’ve yet to see what will come of the replacement issue.
While the gang celebrates at Eva’s, Freeman comes in to deliver the news fans have been waiting for all season: Lincoln has been assassinated. I think this would have had more impact as the kicker ending in a low-key episode, but maybe that wasn’t necessary since we all knew it was coming anyway.
The verdict: though it doesn’t entirely make sense at some points, Beautiful Dreamer is a thrill ride, and chances are you won’t notice the holes unless you stop to think about them. The exception is the ending, which comes with jarring ease. But this was fifty-five out of sixty minutes of quality entertainment (excluding commercial time), so I’m not going to complain too much.
In other news, Elizabeth didn’t get shwasted the whole episode, Eva has finally got the Paradise back, and Elizabeth’s butler is actually kind of a badass.
Next week, we get to see our boys in uniform! Get ready for war flashbacks, assassin hunts, and trees—yes, trees in Copper!—in next week’s season 2 finale.
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