The Knick 1×04 ‘Where’s the Dignity?’: Apparently it’s no where to be found

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After a week hiatus, The Knick is back. And thankfully so. New developments have cropped up and that slow burn of a build up is starting to really come along. We get more screen time with supporting characters, and tensions are so high that people even get punched in the face. I know. It’s getting crazy.

This episode begins with rats being stomped on brutally by one man who seems to be facing many rats on his own as a form of entertainment for the many drunk men yelling at him. Apparently that was something that actually happened back in the day, usually with dogs pit against the rats. Even though I’m opposed to animal cruelty (even if they are rats), I’m glad it was a human we saw against the rats and not a dog.

Cinemax

Cinemax

But getting into important matters, we see Dr. Edwards take a huge risk while Gallinger is performing a surgery that Edwards was published in a medical journal for being an expert on. Thackery doesn’t let Edwards perform the surgery but has him consult while Gallinger operates. Edwards is very sneaky though, and during a crucial part of the surgery he refuses to give further instruction unless they let him perform the rest of the operation. Gallinger finally gives in and lets Edwards finish the surgery. Thankfully it’s successful, but it does lead to Gallinger punching Edwards in the face with his bloody hand. This is really the first time we see Thackery acknowledge Edwards as an actual doctor. I think we can assume that Thackery is going to give Edwards more chances to perform surgeries and will create even more tension between Gallinger, Edwards and Thackery. It’s like a really intense hate triangle.

And it turns out that I was wrong about Ms. No Nose being a one-shot side plot. She makes another appearance after her successful operation. While it was apparently successful, it’s not a very pleasant thing to look at. She’s forced to keep her arm in the stance of an elephant’s trunk while a patch of skin from her arm forms around the area where her nose used to be. Thackery checks up on her to see how she’s doing and flashes back to a time when they were dating and things seemed to be a lot better. Or at least Thackery was a lot happier.

Thackery appears to be attracting the attention of all the ladies (well, two). Nurse Elkins is very curious about where he goes after work in this episode. She follows him and discovers (as we already know) that he goes to a brothel. It can be assumed that she harbors a bit of a crush on Thackery and is a bit disappointed on finding out where he spends his evenings. I suspect we’ll see the two of them form a more substantial relationship, and I have a sneaky suspicion they’re going to get it on. The fact that we haven’t seen a legitimate sex scene in this show yet is astounding to me, so I have a feeling it will happen soon.

Cinemax

Cinemax

Another supporting character that was focused on in this episode is Dr. Chickering, played by Michael Angarano. He is the other doctor on Thackery’s staff that we’ve seen only a little of, but now we see more of his family life, specifically the relationship he has with his father who spends a day shadowing Chickering at the hospital. Chickering seems to be the doctor in training, but he clearly has proven to be a useful part of the team. His father doesn’t like him working a the hospital, however, and tells him that the other doctors don’t respect him. Gotta love parents.

And lastly, Sister Harriet and Mr. Cleary, the chief ambulance runner, bond a bit after they brought in a woman who tried to perform an abortion on herself and the doctors couldn’t save her. In the previous episode, Cleary discovers that Sister Harriet is helping women get abortions and condemns her for it and blackmails her into giving him part of her earnings. But once he sees what can happen when abortions aren’t done properly, he decides to help her and make a sort of business out of it. I like the two of them as a team, and I very much look forward to the development of their budding friendship (of sorts).

Cinemax

Cinemax

It can be tricky trying to focus on so many characters in a show, but The Knick does it masterfully. Each episode reveals more and more about certain characters and makes each of them feel vital to the story. I feel like we’re deeper into the season but it’s still only episode four. They’ve managed to cover a good amount in terms of character development and building storylines in a relatively short period of time which is very impressive. Again, I’m very much looking forward to the last three episodes because I have a feeling that those are going to pack a heavy punch. With a slow burn like this, the pay off has to be substantial, and I doubt that the writers will disappoint.

I do have to say, though, that whenever an episode ends I feel very let down. I have yet to tell if that’s a good or a bad thing. I feel like the episodes could end on a more gripping note, but at the same time I know that it’s also a tactic to keep people watching. Again, I feel that we’ll be plenty satisfied once we start getting into the final episodes of the season. Just a hunch. What about you? How do you think The Knick is holding up?

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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