The Knick 1×08 ‘Working Late a Lot’: And that’s why drugs are bad

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I’d like to imagine the method for coming up with the episode titles for The Knick is someone sitting in a dark room solely tasked with this tedious burden and they must of just thought to them-self “You know, I’m just gonna take a random phrase from each episode and make it the episode title. And if it doesn’t make sense, that’s just too dang bad.” And then they pass out from heat exhaustion.

The eighth episode of The Knick proved to be a bit lackluster than what I was expecting. Supposedly this episode was meant to be purely build up for the final two, since I imagine the last two episodes will be quite crucial and explosive. Important things happened in this episode, sure, but it all felt a bit subdued.

Cinemax

Cinemax

Thackery’s physical state of being becomes visibly poor as his dependency on cocaine increases to dangerous levels. Instead of improving his performance in surgery, it starts to really take a toll on him. We see this when he’s performing a surgery with Gallinger and Edwards and must leave because he can’t focus. Everyone notices his strange behavior, and it’s obvious that it will crop up in the next episode (maybe a friendly intervention, who knows), especially since this one ended with him basically putting himself into a drug-induced coma. And as I somewhat predicted, his relationship with Nurse Elkins, while seemingly genuine, is most likely not going to end up going anywhere, especially since his drug addiction has started to control his behavior which has become more erratic.

In other news, Gallinger listens to Sister Harriet’s advice and adopts a baby girl to hopefully fill the void left by the death of their daughter. His wife is opposed at first, but then seems to accept the new baby. By the end of the episode, however, it is clear that the death of her daughter has impacted her so heavily that she still refuses to believe that her baby is dead and forgets about the new baby and lets her crawl around the house and poop herself. It’s hard to tell exactly where that subplot is going to go, but my gut tells me it’s not going in a nice direction.

Cinemax

Cinemax

There is also the Typhoid Mary case which takes full steam in this episode. It’s a slightly important subplot because she is one of the first people to merely be a carrier of a disease without showcasing the actual symptoms. The character herself is extremely annoying and hopefully will get some form of punishment for being ignorant of her condition since she wins her case. But probably the most important part of that scene is when Dr. Chickering is on the stand (being the representative of The Knick) and snaps at the judge, which is probably the first time we’ve seen Chickering get so upset and defensive. It’ll be interesting to see his reaction when he finds out (he’s got to find out) that Nurse Elkins and Thackery are sleeping together.

One thing that I’ve been meaning to mention in my reviews (and keep forgetting to) is the directing and editing of the show. Steven Soderbergh is a master of the tracking shot, which he has used quite often in the show. It makes the scenes more engaging and also presents a style of directing that filmmakers of the past put into practice (Orson Welles, to name one). Sure, plenty of directors use tracking shots nowadays, but it is rare to see it in a television show and for it to be so noticeable (not in a bad way). His directing brings other elements like the acting and writing all together and gives it a unique feel. In this episode, however, I did noticed that the editing (specifically jump cuts) was more frequent than usual, but that was mainly during the scenes with Thackery on cocaine, specifically during the medical conference when Dr. Zinberg, a prominent Jewish doctor, showcases his new medical device. While it’s a bit jarring, it makes sense because Thackery is not in a normal state, which makes the sudden cuts work but also adds a disorienting feeling to the scene.

While it wasn’t as barn-burning as I hoped it would be, this episode still provides enough set up for the next two episodes, assuming that the next two episodes will be packed with excitement and some resolutions. Obviously having coming off a more thrilling episode, it’s no surprise that elements in this episode were downplayed so as not to go too over the top . And now there are only two episodes left. While I have been making various small predictions for certain subplots, I honestly have no real idea of what’s going to happen at the end of this season. I’m just glad that whatever happens, we’ll be seeing The Knick again for another season.

 

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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