Film and TV

Copper: "A Day to Give Thanks" for Confusion and Bad Wives

Last week on Copper, we found out that Corcoran's wife Ellen has been alive this whole time that he has been living like a bachelor, dating a madame, housing a former child prostitute, bedding a wealthy widow and beating dudes up in the Five Points with anything he could find.

It was easily one of the most bewildering moments of the show's inaugural season, setting the series off on a new tangent that it sorely needed.

Episode nine, "A Day to Give Thanks," opens with Corcoran and Dr. Freeman still attempting to get Ellen to talk after being doped up for months in a mental hospital. Maguire has all but vanished, and upon his return Corcoran will more than likely smash him into tiny pieces.

Eva's being in the picture is confusing Corcoran, too, who more or less moved on with Ellen "dead" and all. Eva tries to give ol' Corc a handie and he stops her, so you know he really loves his half-zombie wife.

For some reason, Morehouse and the rebel spies are still in cahoots, even though the Greek fire went up in that cool explosion a few weeks back around election time. Morehouse is stringing them along for what we don't know yet. But surprise! Now Daddy Morehouse is also helping them out, after being blackmailed.

A Thanksgiving Morehouse meeting with Daddy Morehouse includes John Wilkes Booth, yes, that John Wilkes Booth. Booth and his brothers are friends of Mrs. Haverford and Daddy. In about six months, he will put a bullet in Abe Lincoln's head.

It's also literally the second Thanksgiving ever. Ever. Lincoln made it a national deal just two years previous.

It's also Turkey Day at the Freemans' house, with Mrs. Freeman preggers and cooking a full spread. As always, the Freeman household is the most normal part of Copper. Meanwhile, at the Corcoran house, Annie wants a turkey and some Thanksgiving cheer, but Corcoran can't do anything but drink and smoke. Sounds epic.

Ellen is slowly climbing out of medicated mania, and begins talking, and talking. She thinks that Annie is her dead daughter Maggie. Eva gets to tell her that and then feeds her some broth, because things need to be awwwwwwkward during the holidays.

Corcoran is off putting guns to the guts of priests and looking for Maguire, who has been sleeping in a local cathedral. His badge has been found in one of the pews.

Corc and Maguire have an icy -- somewhat jovial -- encounter in a church that turns ugly quick when Maguire isn't forthcoming with a confession.

Turns out Maguire was sleeping with Ellen, who needed male companionship while Corcoran was at war. Maguire stepped in to play husband, and in the process got Ellen pregnant.

Corcoran lets Maguire live with the guilt of what transpired and how he wronged his friend, cheating everyone out of a grand, bloody, gruesome execution in a church. Awfully cruel of Corcoran, who sentences Maguire to a life of shame. He shouldn't be long for their world.

But what happened to Maggie?

Corcoran finds out from Ellen that she went to the famous abortion doctor in town, and during the procedure -- which she paid for with the infamous locket -- she realized that it wasn't as tidy as advertised, and quite violent. She heard the baby cry, and it haunted her to the point of madness.

Maggie walked in on Ellen and Maguire in bed, and Ellen heard her crying and reached for her, with Maggie accidentally falling and dying in the tumble.

The past season has been built on the premise that some unseen force had killed Corcoran's family, which propelled his anger. Now that his wife is back, he rightfully rejects her.

That being said, episode ten, the season finale, feels like an afterthought. I almost wish the season ended with this one and we got an extra earlier episode full of fightin', screwin' and period flavor.

Let's do this, season two.

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Craig Hlavaty
Contact: Craig Hlavaty