The Knick 1×02 ‘Mr. Paris Shoes’: Faulty electrical wiring seems to be the main symptom

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An electrical malfunction may not be the most gripping subplot to a brand new television series, but it is when it’s the early 1900s and it causes a patient to be set aflame and a nurse to be electrocuted. Again, a gleeful reminder that living in the modern age isn’t a totally bad thing. I prefer not to have to worry about being set on fire during a surgical procedure.

Despite the increasingly tense and bloody surgical sessions that this show keeps churning out, it seems like it will be a bit of a slow burn when it comes to character development and general build-up in terms of the many subplots. This episode, while filled with seemingly important character material for almost every character, appeared to be lacking the same intensity that the pilot episode had. Mostly because it is the second episode and there are many characters to get through.

The title of the episode, “Mr. Paris Shoes,” refers to Dr. Edwards’ mighty fine pair of shoes that he wears and that also get him into a confrontation with a resident of the sketchy apartment building that he lives in. From this altercation, we learn that Edwards can defend himself, showcasing some boxing moves that pretty much save his skin. But it also shows that he is a true gentleman, since after he knocks his attacker out, he leaves him with some medical aid to treat his wounds, which I thought was a certain special touch.

Cinemax

Source: Cinemax

Another important development with Edwards is that he’s still not being respected by the other doctors, especially Thackery. This drives him to treat a woman on his own since it appears that no one else would help her. It’s implied that she’s going to send more people his way for treatment since he’s less discriminatory and doesn’t charge that much if not at all. Obviously, this will become a building thing that will hopefully end in a big blowout between Thackery and Edwards, because I can just see that that has to happen at some point. I’m also waiting for Edwards to prove his worth to Thackery, and I thought that it might happen in this episode. But again, this show is definitely taking its time, and I have a feeling that the pay off is going to be pretty darn great.

Thackery is up to his same old tricks of injecting cocaine into his feet and flash-backing to his time with the chief surgeon who killed himself in the first episode. He is still unwavering in his negative treatment of Dr. Edwards, which makes me really anticipate a showdown between the two of them. The episode ends where the first one began, in the brothel where he seems to spend most of his free time. Clive Owen does embody this character absolutely in a way that makes you eager to see in what direction the show is going to take Thackery in. Obviously he is ambitious and a massive risk taker. These elements allow plenty of options for him, but I have a feeling the show will take Thackery down an even darker road than he’s already heading down.

As a constant television viewer, it’s difficult not to try and piece together what the rest of the season is going to look like. Again, I’m expecting some big blowouts between Thackery, Edwards, and even Dr. Gallinger, Thackery’s original deputy surgeon. But it looks like from the preview for the next episode that there will be some medical mysteries coming up, which will definitely shake up things even more at the hospital.

Cinemax

Source: Cinemax

While I appreciate that the show is focusing on many aspects of the hospital; not just the doctors, but the general staff, the heads of the hospital, the nurses, caretakers, and others associated with The Knickerbocker, it does seem that it’s taking on a lot for only ten episodes. Luckily the show was approved for a second season even before it actually premiered, so obviously it’ll have a chance to flesh things out. But with how the setup is going so far, they’ll have to resolve a lot of situations that have come to light by the end of the season to make it worth while. I have a feeling that the show will pull through, I just hope that the next episode is as intriguing as the preview made it to be.

I will say that I really liked the beginning of this episode. It showed the morning routines of Dr. Edwards (who again lives in a very unpleasant apartment building) and Cornelia Robertson, the Headmistress (I assume that’s her title) of the hospital and the daughter of the hospital’s owners, who lives very well. After you see their separate mornings juxtaposed with one another, they arrive a the hospital along with the other key players (Thackery, Gallinger, Dr. Chickering, and Nurse Elkins), which is all done in one continuous, well choreographed shot (which you will find is one of my favorite things). It establishes the key characters, while also revealing a little bit about each of them. It also showcases Steven Soderbergh’s talent as a director since continuous takes are not an easy thing and he seems to have mastered it.

So while this episode didn’t completely live up to the pilot episode, it presents some interesting situations that will no doubt continue to come up. So far, the best scenes are still the surgeries. They really do feel like circus performances every time one occurs. And the tension and suspense are so present until either the patient is okay or, in the case of this episode, the patient bleeds out or is set on fire. Again, I have the sneaking suspicion that these surgeries are going to get much more disturbing and, inevitably, more entertaining towards the end of the season. Well, our second trip to the Knick. Just a general check up, but I think the diagnosis will be a bit more exciting. Will you stick around?

Sarah Lord

is a college student in New York City. Her extreme knowledge of British comedians and TV shows almost surpasses her general love for film. When she’s not sitting in her apartment/nerd cave reviewing movies and TV shows, she sometimes makes time for long walks in the moonlight. Check her out on YouTube, Twitter and Tumblr as TheSplord.

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