The Knick 1×10 ‘Crutchfield’: The biggest face palm you will ever give yourself


It’s season finale time, folks. Time to say goodbye to The Knick until we can visit it again in a year’s time. While the finale doesn’t pack the heaviest of punches, it sure delivers several light punches throughout so that by the end of it, it feels like the basic equivalent of a heavy punch. The ending will also make you face palm pretty hard. Well, let’s not waste anymore time.

Now there’s a lot to get through and only so much time so I’m going to be sticking to the moments of the episode that I think are the most important. That means I’ll be leaving out some kind of big things that happened, but that’s the sacrifice we make.

The finale of season one of The Knick starts off with Cornelia being led by Cleary to see Sister Harriet for the abortion (called it). She goes through with it and fortunately there are no complications. Cornelia’s wedding also takes place later on, and it looks like her relationship with Dr. Edwards is completely finished, even though at one point it looks like she is going to call the marriage off.

Dr. Edwards is meant to attend the wedding but instead decides to have a boxing match with a large man and gets beaten to a pulp. Now, I thought by the end of the episode we’d get confirmation if Edwards was alive or dead, since the last time we see him he is laying unconscious on the ground beaten up pretty badly. I would be very surprised if he is dead since Edwards has been such a vital character to the show and gives it something other characters and actors don’t. However, I’ve learned not to trust TV writers when it comes to not killing off characters I like.



Gallinger snaps a bit (understandably so) after visiting his wife in the psychiatric hospital only to discover that as part of her treatment the doctor’s have taken out all of her teeth claiming that the bacteria found in them and in the gums could be affecting her mental state (how messed up is that). After coming back to The Knick, he attacks Dr. Edwards (unfortunately we only see the tail end of the confrontation) and is then suspended from The Knick. Gallinger and Thackery also have a little spat but it isn’t as explosive as I thought it was going to be. It seems that instead of focusing all of its energy on certain subplots, The Knick gives specific attention to each one, spreading out the drama and suspense instead of packing it all into one or two story lines. While it does make many of my predictions wrong, it undoubtedly makes the show more interesting and allows for the development of many story lines.

A new story line that was revealed a few episodes back comes to a head in the finale. Dr. Zinberg, a rival doctor from another hospital, is making his mark in blood transfusion and discovers that there is more than one blood type. Dr. Thackery sees Zinberg purely as competition even though Zinberg wants to collaborate with Dr. Thackery. With cocaine supplies back to normal (supposedly so even though it’s not actually mentioned), Thackery increases his doses so he can work and beat Zinberg. He thinks he’s made a breakthrough in transfusion and blood cell studies and tests his theory on a young girl and attempts to give her a blood transfusion. Tragically, the transfusion doesn’t work and the girl dies. After this, Thackery goes into shock and takes more cocaine and is eventually taken to a hospital with the help of Dr. Chickering, Chickering’s father, and Nurse Elkins.

One of the major developments in this episode is that the heads of the Knickerbocker hospital decide to close down their current location and move uptown, which is something that has been discussed in previous episodes. I’m going to predict now that season two will start with Thackery’s return to the new location of The Knick and will show how everyone else’s parts have changed with the move. I also predict that Chickering will become a much more vital character, especially since we see him lose his admiration for Thackery.



And now to the ending. As mentioned, Thackery is taken to a hospital outside of the city with the help of Chickering’s father. Thackery is told that they will start treatment and detox right away and that it will take a few months for him to recover and that they will treat him with something that will make his detox less painful, so presumably an early form of painkillers. Well, it is revealed (with clever camerawork) that they are going to ‘treat’ Thackery with heroin (cue face palm). We must remember that this is 1900 and that presumably the way to treat harmful drug addictions was with harmful drugs. I feel that this will play heavily into Thackery’s return to the Knick in season two (I will be miffed if that’s not how they start it) since we know that he does have a very addictive personality.

I must wrap this up so I don’t keep blathering on (because I could). The Knick has proved to be a show to watch, and while I thought certain moments of the season finale would be bigger, it didn’t take away from the overall impact. It was definitely a good idea for Steven Soderbergh to move to the small screen. His directing has been consistently brilliant throughout the series. Clive Owen and Andre Holland are the stand outs of the show, but the rest of the actors manage to hold their own despite the large cast. The writing has also been consistently good. My one complaint is that certain plots can get lost from time to time since the show is basically a series of several subplots. But that’s why I’m very thankful that season two will be happening. I for one have very much enjoyed my stay at The Knick. How about you?

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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  • Sara Jane Witkin Berman

    Loved this show. Clive Owen is thrilling.
    I would like to ask if the Dr. cotton who pulled Eleanor Gallagher’s teeth is the same Dr. Cotton on Boardwalk Empire? He is treating Gillian in the New Jersey Hospital where she has been sent

    • Sarah L

      I looked it up on IMDb and it doesn’t look like they’re the same person, at least they’re not played by the same actor. I don’t watch Boardwalk Empire (one of the many shows that I need to start watching) but that would be a really cool connection. And I’m glad you love the show! I keep seeing mixed reviews for it and I thought it was great so it’s nice seeing that other people really enjoyed it as well.

      • Sara Jane Witkin Berman

        Thanks. They are not played by the same actor, but the character is the same. I googled Dr. cotton, and he was indeed the head of a Mental Hospital in New Jersey. He did believe that all mental illness is caused by infections in the body.