“Well you’re a copper, shield her from the danger.” ~ Sister Agnes Clare
Last week Kevin “Corky” Corcoran worked with his friends and colleagues to investigate the murder of young Kate Reilly, whose sister had been held against her will in the Contessa Pompadou’s cathouse. During his investigation, Corky uncovered corruption amongst the aristocrats and officials of Five Points, NY as well as Kate’s killer.
‘Husbands and Fathers’ picks up where ‘Surviving Death’ left off as Winfred Haverford, Kate Reilly’s killer, searches for her twin sister while Corky continues to hide her in his attempt to keep her safe. Throughout, Corky continues to do so while being harassed by Haverford’s hired men and searching for clues to the disappearance of his wife and murder of his daughter.
After inquiring about his missing wife’s locket, Corcoran is summoned to his friend’s residence by Winfred Haverford as he attempts to find out what Corky did with Kate Reilly’s sister, Annie. Corky sticks to his story, telling Haverford that Annie is with some nuns, but Haverford refuses to let it go.
Worried for Annie’s safety, Corky and his friend and colleague, Francis Maguire, go to Eva’s Paradise to ensure Annie remains safe. He leaves Maguire with Annie and goes to try to convince the nuns to take her in, but they refuse. Later, Molly stops him and tells him about the return of a sailor, Tungus McClarty. Corky leaves Annie in Maguire’s protection and stakes out McClarty’s residence.
When McClarty returns, Corky “questions” him about his wife’s disappearance. McClarty admits that he saw Ellen, Corky’s wife, leave with another man before entering the house and finding Maggie, their daughter, dead. Upon finding the dead girl, he got on the first ship out of town and didn’t report it for fear of being accused of the murder. Corky believes him, so he lets him go.
Later that night, Corky receives a visit from Pinkerton detectives hired by Haverford as they attempt to find out where he put the girl. When he refuses to tell them, they break his leg and threaten to break his arms, but Corky manages to stab one in the leg and grab his gun. He threatens to shoot them if they don’t leave and falls asleep on the floor once they’ve gone.
Maguire and Andrew find him on the floor the next morning and retrieve Matthew Freeman to set his leg. When Maguire arrives at Freeman’s no one answers, so he breaks in to look for medicine and is nearly shot by Freeman’s wife, Sara, who has become deathly afraid of all white men since the Irish mob lynched her brothers.
Freeman arrives to set Corky’s leg, gives him something for the pain and leaves Andrew and Maguire with him. While stuck at home with a broken leg, a man shows up inquiring about Annie claiming to be Annie’s father. After questioning him, they determine Mr. Reilly is a liar and ask Annie about him. Annie tells them that he was not her father, but that Annie and Kate were left with him when they were nine and he forced Annie into marrying him when she turned ten, the legal age of consent. Andrew and Maguire immediately send Mr. Reilly away from Five Points and threaten him should he return.
After this, Molly points out the only way to protect Annie is to kill Haverford, so Corky asks Molly to take her to Contessa Pompadou’s. Once there, Annie opens a window to the street while the Contessa greets Haverford and once Haverford is alone in the room with Annie, Corky jumps out from behind a curtain and attempts to slit his throat but fails due to his broken leg. He tells Annie to grab the knife he dropped and finish the job while he continues to restrain Haverford. Annie hesitantly picks up the knife, but then sinks it into his chest with zeal as she finally gets revenge for her sister’s death. Annie then brings the Contessa to the room where Corky jumps from behind the door fatally stabbing her in the chest.
The next day Sergeant Byrnes and a doctor arrive at Corky’s to determine if his leg really was broken preventing him from going to Contessa Pompadou’s the prior night and killing Haverford and the Contessa. Though his alibi is solid, the sergeant doesn’t truly believe him, but leaves anyway unable to prove Corky had any part in their deaths.
Later, when Morehouse visits Corky at home he tells Corky that Winfred Haverford is being slated a hero for dying in his attempt to rescue Annie from Contessa Pompadou’s and that Mrs. Haverford intends to adopt Annie and bring her into society. Then, in private, Morehouse warns Corky that his father thinks Corky may be too smart for his own good and that Corky, Freeman and himself must be careful for the bright promises of the future when the war ends will also bring dangers far worse than what they experienced in Gettysburg.
‘Husbands and Fathers’ did not disappoint while shedding some light on some issues and raising more questions about others. As it turns out, Sara Freeman’s worries about Kevin Corcoran may be nothing more than a disturbed woman’s paranoia. Can’t say I blame her for hating white, Irish men, after all they lynched her brother, but she really seems to have a lot of trust issues to work through.
There was also a glimpse of Corcoran’s past as well as Robert Morehouse’s father’s plans for Five Points. Some of his past had already been mentioned in ‘Surviving Death’, so it was interesting to find some more hints to that past as a boxer and in the war as well as the disappearance of his wife and death of his daughter. What exactly happened there? When Freeman gave Corcoran the opium/brandy mixture, he saw a vision of his dead daughter. Let’s hope this doesn’t lead to some opium addiction for continued glimpses of a loved one lost.
Then there’s Morehouse. There friendship has been noted, but it’s hard not to wonder how sincere he is or what he’s up to. On the one hand, he tells Corky that he, Freeman and himself are friends and must “tread carefully” yet on the other hand he gets Mrs. Haverford to buy some land out from Mr. Haverford under the pretence of thwarting his father from buying Five Points and displacing the immigrants to Hoboken, yet he takes the deed directly to his father as a present? What is he up to? Is he really just seeking his father’s approval all along, at any cost? Or does he have some other plan up his sleeve that really will thwart his father as he claims? Then there’s his visit to Contessa Pompadou’s last week. The “special girl” he requested was never actually seen and Annie has never said the man who had his way with her was Haverford. Haverford definitely killed Kate, but it was only implied that he was the “one particular man who preferred little girls.” Is Robert Morehouse also one of those men, and in fact, the man that prefers little girls? Can he really be trusted?
Whatever it turns out to be, ‘Husbands and Fathers’ was a great episode with a satisfying end to an evil man…. and it’s kind of apropos that Annie was the one to end him.