The Knick 1×09 ‘The Golden Lotus’: Drugs are still bad


One episode left. Tensions are high. Drug addictions are even higher (pun intended). We viewers who have stuck around are waiting with baited breath for the season finale. But for now, we must merely speculate on what could possibly happen and draw what we can from the events of the most recent episode. Let’s carry on then, shall we?

Dr. Thackery’s drug problem carries on from last week’s episode right into the beginning of this episode, in which he is seen attempting to steal cocaine from a pharmaceutical store but is caught by the police. What follows (in terms of this subplot) is Nurse Elkins dedicating the rest of her time in this episode to try and get cocaine (and opium) for Thackery. She’s not successful (at least in the cocaine department) until the end of the episode, where she is rewarded for her efforts. Well, if you consider a reward being Clive Owen making out with you and injecting cocaine into your…downstairs area (I know we’re all adults here but someone has to draw the line somewhere).



Thankfully, other things do happen in this episode. For instance, we discover that Cornelia is pregnant with Dr. Edwards’ child (cue soap opera music). Edwards wants her to keep the baby, but Cornelia doesn’t see how that is possible because she’s still engaged to basically non-existent Phillip and when the baby’s born, it’s going to be pretty obvious who the father is. Cornelia is determined to have the baby aborted and Edwards attempts to go through with the procedure but realizes that he can’t kill his own child (understandable). That’s all we see of that subplot, so next week’s finale will reveal if someone else will perform the procedure (Sister Harriet, perhaps?) or if she’ll keep the baby (which probably won’t happen).

We also see a bit more of Dr. Gallinger in this episode, but pretty much nothing good happens to him. His wife manages to kill the new baby girl they adopted, and at the end of the episode she is seen being put in a straightjacket (which probably should have happened sooner). There’s also a brief scene between Gallinger and Edwards where they have a brief raised-voice match, which is interrupted by Gallinger’s wife coming into the hospital with their dead adopted baby. I predict that we’ll see more of a face-off between Gallinger and Edwards in the finale, especially since with the events of this episode, Gallinger will be much more unhinged and prone to snapping.

While the subplot with Barrow and Bunky Collier (the big mob guy) comes up a little bit, it’s really not present enough to be that interesting. The only possibly important tidbit is that Collier said he’d provide Thackery with some cocaine since supplies are extremely low due to cargo ships being delayed and destroyed in the war in the Philippines. But instead of cocaine, Collier gives him salt water, basically a ‘screw you’ to Barrow and The Knick. There is a chance that Barrow will finally stand up for himself in the next episode since there have been hints of that subplot building up a bit, and there would be no point in building it up if nothing is going to come from it.



Since there have been so many subplots in the show so far, it’s no surprise that some of them have become a little bit lost along the way. There hasn’t been much development with my favorite duo (Sister Harriet and Cleary) which is disappointing. But again, the two of them could come back into play in the next episode to help out Cornelia (I will be shocked if that doesn’t happen). Also, I’m actually quite disappointed in the lack of (gritty) surgeries in the last few episodes. Yes, they need to focus on important subplots, but the show started off so strong with it’s brutal and gritty surgeries, and that was definitely one of its stronger points. It’s a shame that the whole idea of The Knick being a circus has dwindled away a bit.

It’s hard to tell exactly, or even generally, what’s going to happen in the season finale of The Knick. That’s definitely a good thing, because then what would be the point? But even so, I’m not sure if my expectations are too high or if the show is not delivering enough. Since this episode is mostly build up (it was interesting build up, to be fair), it isn’t as intense as it could have been. Maybe they’re saving it all for the finale, maybe I’m just expecting too much, maybe it’s all a dream. The point is, the finale for season 1 of The Knick is going to determine if this really is a great show (it’s definitely good, no denying that). So indeed, my friends, there is quite a lot riding on next week’s episode.

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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