When the episode opens, Dr. Algernon (Andre Holland) brings his wife, Opal (Zaraah Abrahams), home. After a little chatter, Opal learns about Algie’s sleeping around and the abortion, but he doesn’t reveal his girlfriend’s identity. Meanwhile, Henry Robertson (Charles Aitken) has finally discovered a use for his camera. He uses it to take pictures of Daisy (Emily Kinney) naked. Abigail (Jennifer Ferrin) receives a visit from Thackery (Clive Owen). He attempts to convince her to undergo his new form of treatment to cure her syphilis. She doesn’t seem too interested in risking her life to escape the drug’s grasp.
Next, Dr. Mays (Ben Livingston) performs a surgery on his own. He makes a fatal mistake and causes a fire, which kills him. Bertie (Michael Angarano) visits the brothel and meets with a prostitute. She walks him through the process and pops his cherry. Back at The Knick, Lucy Elkins (Eve Hewson) inspects Thackery for needle marks. During the inspection, Thackery notices her bruises and learns about her father’s abuse. He threatens her father, who has already left the city. Afterwards, Thackery examines a body, while speaking to Algie. He admits addicts have nothing their bodies, which would lead to addiction. He summarizes that the brain must be the problematic source.
Herman (Jeremy Bobb) meets with Henry Robertson and reveals he has setup a memorial fund in Dr. Mays’ name. He admits the money will be put towards the new hospital, so they can install fireproof surgical rooms. Afterwards, Herman meets with Jimmy (Happy Anderson) at Tammany Hall. He tells the men about his scheme and they wind up with 15% of the construction costs. Next, we learn about Nurse Elkins’ desire to become a doctor, but her lack of confidence, which is ultimately holding her back. Afterwards, Cornelia (Juliet Rylance) visits her family for dinner and discovers the truth about Algie and his wife.
During dinner, Opal goes off on the Robertson family for not inviting Algie’s parents. The pair argue all the way home. Afterwards, Thackery hits the club and comes in contact with an alcoholic, Wendell (Zachary Phillips). He negotiates a deal with Wendell, so he can monitor his addiction. Next, Tom Cleary (Chris Sullivan) groups together a bunch of rich woman and threatens to expose their secrets, if they do not go to their husbands and tell them to help Sister Harriet (Cara Seymour). Once they leave, he enters a side room and tells Cornelia that they’re even now.
Back at the Knick, Thackery learns about an emergency. He discovers that Abigail passed out. He immediately begins raising her temperature with the help of Algie. Nurse Elkins pays a visit to Sister Harriet and complains about her mistreatment by men. Herman meets with the club associates, but is unable to become a member, due to Dr. Mays’ death. Algie takes Opal to Harlem and the pair actually have a good time together. Bertie enjoys dinner with his family and tells them about being allowed to perform surgery with Dr. Levi Zinberg (Michael Nathanson). Despite the good news, Bertie father, Bertram (Reg Rogers), continues ridiculing his son.
After dinner, Bertram tells his son about his mother’s ailment. She has a mass on her esophagus and none of the city’s best surgeons are willing to operate. Bertie speaks to Zinberg about the problem, but he refuses to help. Bertie insists he isn’t willing to give up right away, but Zinberg remains pessimistic. Back at the Showalter house, Cornelia learns that Phillip (Tom Lipinski) is heading to Ohio to sort out one of the family’s businesses. Meanwhile, Eleanor (Maya Kazan) is left alone. She heads out into the city and is confronted by a group of hostile children. She rushes away and ends up falling to the ground.
At the police station, she is greeted by Everett (Eric Johnson). Everett is angered and slaps one of the children around. At the courthouse, Sister Harriet learns from Cleary that the attorney has quit, due to lack of payment. Thankfully, the judge enters and dismisses the case. Harriet is set free and she leaves with Cleary. At the Knick, Thackery examines Abi’s blood and discovers that the spirochete is still alive. He argues with Algie over their next move. Despite her temperature of 106 already, Thackery insists it needs to go higher.
Despite Algie’s concerns, Thackery takes her to the fever chamber and utilizes it to raise her temperature higher. Moments later, he checks her blood once more and tells Algie to administer the Quinine. Afterwards, Abigail is dumped in a bathtub, which is filled with water and ice. Cleary attempts to convince her to stay with him, but she refuses and insists she’ll go to a home for fallen women. That night, Cornelia escapes the Showalter home and heads to the Inspector’s old house. She finds it empty and enters. The entire time, she is followed by a strange man. Harriet enrolls at the shelter and is told she was not wanted. Despite their anger and concerns, the nuns take her in.
Meanwhile, Everett returns to his office and complains about the boys to an old colleague. They discuss eugenics and agree the immigrants should be sterilized. Cornelia finds something the inspector’s home, before she escapes. The man continues following closely behind her. Back at the Knick, Thackery has a vision of himself on the boat with a perfectly healthy Abigail. Moments later, she wakes him up from her hospital bed. They spend the night together, as the episode ends.
The Knick Review
The fourth episode of The Knick was excellent. The episode focused on the things that really mattered. Thackery was allowed to experiment and potentially find a cure for syphilis. Meanwhile, Bertie seems to be understanding that things aren’t necessarily better on the other side. During his time of need, Levi Zinberg was no help and refused to offer any assistance at all. And, Cornelia continues her Sherlocking, but her actions have not gone unnoticed. Who is following her and what has she found?
All in all, this episode was immensely better. An 8 out of 10 is deserved. Be sure to catch up with previous recaps of The Knick right now!