Copper: The Empty Locket Recap and Review

“I don’t intend to go over the wall, Major. Like all Irish, I’ll go through the back door.” ~ Kevin “Corky” Corcoran

‘In the Hands of an Angry God’ dealt with racial tensions when a white Irishman, Dairmuid O’Connor, was lynched in his stables shortly after threatening to burn down Reverend Garland’s orphanage. Corky’s investigation leads to a black seamstress with a mentally retarded brother who had killed O’Connor when he refused to pay for the suit she had made him. Meanwhile Molly finds Corky’s missing wife’s locket, which Eva takes from her and hides from Corky.

‘The Empty Locket’ takes Corky on an investigation to find Madame Grindle’s ledger, which could hold the key to his wife’s disappearance and his daughter’s murder. As the investigation progresses, he uncovers corruption in the Episcopal diocese and exposes a scandal involving the bishop. The case goes cold, however, when Corky learns that the bishop didn’t have the ledger or kill MME Grindle and has no further leads to follow. Meanwhile Maguire asks Molly to marry him and Annie grows increasingly unsettled at Mrs. Haverford’s.


Bothered by Eva’s desire to keep Ellen’s locket a secret, Molly confronts Eva and asks to give the locket to Corcoran. Eva pointedly lets Molly know that she’s aware that Molly had lied to her about knowing who had pawned the locket as a form of warning before giving Molly the locket and making her promise never to tell Corky that she had it. Molly agrees and goes straight to Corky’s home with the locket where she attempts to seduce him in the ruse of showing him the locket hanging around her neck. When he sees it, he asks where she got it and takes it from her. Molly tells him she got it from Herr Schwarz after Mme Grindle had pawned it, and continues with her seduction.

The following day Corky goes to the pawnshop to ask Herr Schwarz about the locket, but Maguire finds him and tells him that Herr Schwarz is off for the Jewish holiday. After Corky tells Maguire about Ellen’s locket, they decide to investigate Mme Grindle’s death in the hope of finding answers. After asking some people about Mme Grindle, a woman steps forward and tells them that Mme Grindle kept a ledger of every woman that needed her service and every man who paid for it. Just then, O’Brien interrupts with news about Mme Grindle’s sister who works at a nearby missionary.

They head to the missionary and ask Grindle’s sister about the locket, but she says nothing about it. When they ask her about the ledger, she tells them that Mme Grindle had an office, where her body was found, and a house, where she lived, but hasn’t had the time to go to her sister’s house yet and hadn’t seen the ledger.

When they search Mme Grindle’s home, they find a burned piece of paper in the fireplace but no ledger. After taking the paper to Freeman, he performs an experiment to recover the ink residue, which reveals a letter from an Episcopal Diocesan Bishop threatening Mme Grindle to keep quiet about his use of her services. When Corky takes the letter to Captain Sullivan, Sullivan tells him that the case is closed and to forget about it and move on. Upset and unable to convince Sullivan to pursue the case any further, Corky leaves and heads to Robert Morehouse, who is a member of the church, and tells him about the letter and missing ledger. He also tells him that he suspects someone at the diocese is trying to hide something and wants to know who has the highest power. Robert’s father walks into the room and tells him the power hierarchy and then inquires as to the reason for Corky’s interest. When Robert tells him it’s about the Grindle murder case, his father seizes the opportunity to get rid of Bishop Onderdonk whom had earlier threatened to expose the Morehouses’ plans to level Five Points, NY to the entire congregation.

Realizing that he wouldn’t get anywhere by asking questions at the diocese, Corky goes to the chancery cook, an Irish woman from Dublin, and appeals to her to tell him what she knows. After some convincing, she tells him that Bishop Onderdonk impregnated his parlor maid, Dearbhla O’Toole, and forced her to get an abortion from which she bled out and died. That night Corky and O’Brien go to the church to question Bishop Onderdonk, but upon his refusal to say anything, Corky begins to beat him. Throughout every kick and hit, the bishop sticks to his story and lies about his indiscretions, insisting he knew nothing about Mme Grindle or her ledger. When Corky begins to go too far, O’Brien stops him, but before they leave Corky warns the bishop that he intends to expose him for who he really is since he didn’t come clean with Corky.

Meanwhile, after their earlier visit to Mme Grindle’s sister, Maguire was tasked to follow her to see what she knows and is possible hiding. After having followed Mme Grindle’s sister for a while, Maguire is caught in the act, so she confronts him about tailing her. He attempts to appeal and relate to her about her sister’s death in the hopes that she’ll tell him if she finds the ledger. She passes his appeals off and heads into a store where, unbeknownst to Maguire, she pulls out Mme Grindle’s ledger and blackmails the shop owner for money.

Upset with the bishop’s refusal to speak and unaware that Mme Grindle’s sister is in possession of the ledger, Corky goes to Eva’s Paradise to find a reporter from the Tribune, Thompson, and tell him about the bishop. After talking to some people, the reporter finds a couple of goons that the bishop had sent to Mme Grindle’s, but after questioning them Corky realizes that they neither killed Mme Grindle nor did they take the ledger. The next day as Corcoran is reprimanded by Captain Sullivan for outing the Episcopal Diocesan Bishop in the Tribune, the Morehouses step in and thank and commend him for his work. Sullivan quickly changes his tune and runs out to talk to the reporters about Bishop Onderdonk’s scandal, effectively letting Corky go for his continued investigation into Mme Grindle’s murder.

Later, Maguire goes to Corcoran’s house and Corky tells him he’s worried about what he might find in the ledger. He doesn’t want to think that Ellen would have an abortion, but as a copper he has to consider it. Maguire consoles him and offers another possibility and suggests they go back to the beginning and talk to Herr Schwarz about the locket. Herr Schwarz tells them that Mme Grindle told him she bought the locket off of Ellen because Ellen needed the money to buy food for her daughter since the Union Army post was late with her husband’s paycheck. Corcoran is satisfied with this answer and heads out, while Maguire stays behind and thanks and pays Herr Schwarz for telling Corky a lie to keep his peace of mind.

Later that night, after Maguire tells Corcoran that Molly accepted his marriage proposal but seemed unhappy about it, they discuss Mme Grindle’s murder some more and Corcoran admits that he’s not giving up. He then throws the locket in the river and tells Maguire he thinks the case will come back around, but until then he’ll always know where the locket is this way.

Meanwhile, Freeman’s uncle visits talking about moving to Liberia, but needing the money to make the trip, he insists Freeman train Jasper to box so he can fight the Irishman Morehouse has slated for a boxing match. Freeman eventually and reluctantly sets up a meeting for his uncle with Robert Morehouse and after hearing his proposal, Morehouse agrees to the match under the condition that Jasper throws the fight so Morehouse’s fighter can win and be a shoo-in for Alderman.

While at Mrs. Haverford’s Annie eavesdrops on Mrs. Haverford’s private meeting with a creepy, scary, mysterious man. She tells Corky about Mrs. Haverford’s late night visitor and attempts to persuade him to think that Mrs. Haverford isn’t the best place for her so she can go back to Eva’s Paradise. When Corky asks Mrs. Haverford about the man, she tells him that it was Antoin de Bovier, a designer for her husband’s mausoleum. Convinced by her story, Corky leaves Annie in her care and continues with his investigation into the missing locket.

Later, Annie visits Eva and attempts to figure out how she can woo Corky. She talks to Eva about what Corky likes in a girl and while speculating about his tastes, she tells Eva that Molly was with Corky while Eva was in New Orleans, which clearly upsets Eva. After Annie leaves, Eva talks with Molly about Maguire’s proposal and shortly after Molly admits she has no intentions of marrying Maguire, Eva offers to brush her hair and tells Molly she knows that Molly pleasured “her” Corky while she was away. Just then, she pulls Molly’s head back by her hair and slits her throat with a straight razor exclaiming that she told Molly the locket was cursed. After cleaning herself up a bit, she puts the razor in Molly’s hand and calls for George telling him Molly slit her own throat.


A lot happens in ‘The Empty Locket’ and admittedly the last part was a complete shock. I thought Molly was going to be on the show for a long time. I had no idea and no inkling of speculation that this was going to happen. I knew Eva was possessive of Corky based on the last episode. I even suspected that Eva is perhaps somehow connected to Mme Grindle’s death and Ellen’s disappearance, but I absolutely was not expecting her to kill Molly…or at least not to do it so quickly after finding out about Molly’s escapades with Corky. I have clearly underestimated Eva and the lengths she’ll go to keep Corky to herself. To be perfectly honest, I liked Molly, even if she was using Maguire and sleeping around with his best friend. It’s sad to see her go.

And poor Maguire. He seemed to genuinely care for a woman who was constantly going after his best friend and is now as a result of that, dead. How will Maguire handle it? And will someone tell him about Corky and Molly’s time together? How will he handle that? I like Maguire and Corky’s friendship. It’s not like Corky was the only other guy she was sleeping with…she was a whore after all, so I wouldn’t want this to drive a wedge between the two of them.

I’m also curious about who Mrs. Haverford was meeting. She claims it was merely a man designing Winfred’s mausoleum, but it seemed more than that to me. It seemed darker and more nefarious. I could be reading into it based on Annie’s reaction, and let’s face it, Annie isn’t the most reliable source to Mrs. Haverford’s dealings. Hell, for all I know Annie deliberately told Eva about Molly knowing that it would lead to Molly’s death. She seems like she could possibly be vindictive and conniving enough for that…maybe. All I know is Mrs. Haverford’s meeting definitely didn’t seem as innocent as she had claimed.

And speaking of claiming one thing while doing another, Robert Morehouse is another contradiction. At times he seems so in sync with his father, I really can’t figure out if he’s working to undermine him or working with him. Is there something more to that? You know the saying; “Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.” Maybe this is just his way of keeping better tabs on his father so he really can undermine him. Maybe his dealings with the boxing match and alderman even go back to his work against his father. It’s possible, right? There are so many times Robert Morehouse seems like a decent man worth liking, but then he turns the table and does something with his father that makes him seem like nothing more than his father’s offspring. I like him, so I’m hoping it’s the former of the two, but there hasn’t been a clear indication to his intentions. At least there hasn’t been any more mention of his time at the Contessa’s so I’m thinking that speculation was wrong, but I honestly don’t know. I’m interested to find out what his plans really are…no matter which side he falls on, good or bad, I’d just like to know.

‘Copper’ airs on Sunday nights at 10/9C on BBC America.

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