Last week's episode we met the whole gang, Corcoran, his partner Maguire, Civil War battlefield doc Matthew Freeman, and the ladies at the brothel who aid the detectives. The child-whore storyline continues as Corcoran struggles to hide Annie from the clutches of Winford Haverford, a wealthy pedophile, whose wife will do anything to thwart him.
Corcoran remains haunted by his daughter's murder and his missing wife -- he still has an armoir full of their belongings at hand -- and that colors his fight to protect Annie so that she doesn't find herself dead like her sister. When Corcoran doesn't give up Annie's whereabouts, Haverford sends goons after him to get the information out of him, only to shatter his leg in half.
Meanwhile Mrs. Haverford and rich-kid war vet and Corcoran pal Robert Morehouse collude to buy a black orphanage in Five Points -- which will figure into episode three. The rich are afraid of the Irish and black element coming into the city, at one point preferring they all relocate to Hoboken across the river to stay out of the more affluent Manhattan.
Annie finds herself back in the throes of the Contessa's brothel -- which caters to the base whims of Manhattan's rich and swarthy. We have already learned that she has been sexually abused for some time now, as she and her late sister became child prostitutes out of grim necessity, and even has a "husband" who tries to masquerade as her father.
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We mourn for Annie, slammed back into child sex slavery as Haverford pulls up in his carriage and makes his way to Annie's quarters. What will Haverford do? Rape and kill her for causing him so much trouble.
Corcoran appears from an open window -- leg brace and all -- help attack Haverford just as the pedophile and Annie embrace. Annie plunges a knife into the man's chest and torso. The Contessa arrives in the room and meets the same fate at the hands of Corcoran.
When Corcoran at once seemed a mournful figure, he is now almost superheroic, helping end a reign of terror and victimization. You at once cheer for him, but also fear for his future. The episode ends with Corcoran on his couch, full of alcohol and painkillers hallucinating that his late daughter Maggie is resting with him.
This episode proved me wrong about Copper, which had me bellowing "meh" most of last week. Let's hope that Corcoran and the rest find their footing. God knows the pedigree is here.