Copper: A Day to Give Thanks Recap and Review

“My silence was my lie.” ~ Francis Maguire

Last time on ‘Copper’ Mary Lockwood turned up dead in Central Park leading Corky on an investigation into her death while Maguire acted increasingly suspicious leading Corky to suspect him for the murder. After realizing Mary had her sister’s ledger, Corky has Maguire followed and is surprised to find his wife in an asylum. Meanwhile Morehouse successfully and unbeknownst to the southerner, Mr. Kennedy, thwarts Kennedy’s plan to burn the city after the election.

In ‘A Day to Give Thanks’ Thanksgiving arrives as Corky continues his search for Maguire while Ellen slowly detoxifies from the medications the asylum gave her. When Corky finally finds Maguire he learns the horrible truth behind his daughter’s murder and his wife’s presence in the asylum as well as Maguire’s involvement in both. Meanwhile Kennedy forces Robert Morehouse’s hand to fund his plan to blow up the city.


On Thanksgiving Day, Freeman works on weaning Ellen off of the heavy drugs the asylum had kept her doped up on. As she slowly gets the drugs out of her system, Corky continues his search for Maguire and answers to the death of his daughter and Ellen’s presence in the asylum. Corky sends men out to find Maguire who has gone into hiding since killing Mary Lockwood and Mr. McLean despite Captain Sullivan’s demands that the men should be back out on patrol instead of searching for Maguire.

After talking to several people all over Five Points and ensuring they keep watch for Maguire, he returns home to Ellen and attempts to talk to her some more. As she lies in bed suffering from withdrawal, he talks to her about her locket and she mumbles something in recognition of the locket. He asks her about it and before succumbing to more symptoms of withdrawal, she speaks about using the locket to pay “that” woman: The locket for a life. At this point, Corky realizes that she’s talking about paying Mme Grindle for the abortion and that Herr Schwarz had lied to him about where he had gotten the locket.

Corky returns to Herr Schwarz’s pawn shop and in a fit of rage breaks displays in the store, demanding Herr Schwarz tell him the truth about where he got the locket. Under the threat of death, Herr Schwarz admits that Maguire paid him to lie about the locket and says a prayer to God. At those words, Corky is struck with a memory about Francis and leaves. He finds a priest who had assisted Maguire and his mother when they first arrived in America and asks the priest if he had seen Maguire. When the priest tells him he has heard nothing from Maguire, Corky gets rough with him and he eventually admits that though he has not seen or heard from Maguire, he had found a badge, Maguire’s badge, in the church earlier and suspects that Maguire is going to the church after the priest goes home.

Corky heads to the church that night where he finds Maguire. He talks to Maguire and tells him to confess to sleeping with Ellen and killing Maggie. Guilt-ridden and upset over the events, Maguire admits that he had slept with Ellen, but he didn’t kill Maggie. He tells him that Corky had more or less abandoned Ellen for the war and then for the riots. Five Points is the closest thing to Hell on Earth and Corky left his wife and daughter alone there to fend for themselves. When they hadn’t heard from him in a while and were unsure of his life or death, Maguire stepped in and took care of Ellen and Maggie, eventually sleeping with Ellen. When Ellen became pregnant with Maguire’s child, they both panicked, as Corky is Maguire’s brother in life Maguire couldn’t have a child with Ellen so they went to Mme Grindle. Unable to afford the price, they paid for the abortion with the locket. When Corky asks Maguire about Maggie, however, Maguire clams up and says he would rather face death then tell him what happened. Seeing the loyalty and love in Maguire’s eyes, Corky realizes there is only one person Maguire would seek to protect like that: Ellen.

Corky returns home and kicks Eva and Annie out of the house so he can confront Ellen about Maggie’s death. Once Eva and Annie leave, he demands Ellen to tell him what happened. She freaks out, still under the effects of the drugs, but he eventually gets the story out of her. She admits that after the abortion she constantly heard the baby crying though there was never any crying to be heard. One night as she was with Maguire, Maggie knocked on the door and entered the room. When she saw Ellen with Maguire, Maggie started crying for Corky. Ellen tried to stop her from crying, but she only grew louder so Ellen pushed her away. Maggie fell and hit her head on the door jam, which killed her. Upset with hearing Ellen confess to killing their daughter and his lack of presence there to protect them from such events, Corky rises and sits in the chair and admits he wishes he had never left. Ellen attempts to comfort him but he pushes her away and walks across the room but is suddenly interrupted by a knock on the door.

Meanwhile Mr. Kennedy attempts to get money out of Robert Morehouse while refusing to tell him his plans. Morehouse tells him that they should wait and let people come around to the idea before taking action. Unwilling to wait, however, Mr. Kennedy gathers intelligence on Norbert Morehouse and requests an impromptu meeting. When Norbert arrives, he informs Mr. Kennedy that he knows exactly who he is and already has a deal worked out with a confederate senator whom he has been assisting during the war. Mr. Kennedy then informs Norbert that the senator is no longer working with the confederacy and Mr. Kennedy has come into possession of the paper trail that proves Norbert assisted the confederacy which would deem him a traitor, damage his reputation and put him in jail. He then tells Norbert to fund his efforts or he will expose Norbert’s assistance to the confederacy. Norbert agrees and returns home.

Later Robert inquires about Norbert’s impromptu meeting that took him away from their guests, the Booth brothers, which was very out of character. Norbert tells him it was a business venture to which Robert notes it was a venture of Mr. Kennedy’s and asks more about it. Shaken by the meeting and being blackmailed, Norbert lies to him and tells him it is none of his concern. Worried, Robert heads to Mr. Kennedy’s and tells him that he should have left his father out of it. When Mr. Kennedy begins to lie to him once more, Robert calls him on it to which Mr. Kennedy admits he used the intelligence he had gotten to blackmail Norbert to fund his efforts. Robert admits that he enjoyed his father being frazzled and makes a deal with Mr. Kennedy to let him fund the plan as long as Norbert is left out of it to which Mr. Kennedy agrees. Robert once more asks about the plan and Mr. Kennedy tells him it will happen at Devil’s Creek the following day at sunrise. With this new information, Robert leaves and goes home where he admits to Mrs. Haverford that Corky is the only person he can trust and is clearly concerned about what will befall the city the following morning.


What can I say? Great episode. Questions answered. And, yes, I got it wrong again. At this point, I’m ready to throw in my towel and get a drink….if I wanted to risk being caught towel-less by a strag. Barring that, ‘A Day to Give Thanks’ definitely moved the story along a lot quicker than I had initially expected. I had assumed that Ellen’s disappearance and Maggie’s death was going to be a possible series long mystery, but it’s actually wrapped up fairly quickly….and Maguire was behind it all. I don’t know why it hadn’t occurred to me that Maguire had slept with Ellen and the abortion was due to that. It should have, right? I also didn’t think Ellen would be the killer. I’m curious if Maguire put her in the asylum to hide her or because she went crazy after killing her daughter and just couldn’t face the reality of it? What’s going to happen to Maguire now? He’s alive, but he killed Mary Lockwood and McLean and Corky certainly has issues with him, so it’s not like he can just go back to being a copper anymore. I like him, despite his mistakes and flaws and would like to see him continue on the show. I’m just curious about what capacity that will take…if any.

Another thing I’m curious about: who was knocking on Corky’s door? I’m guessing it was Morehouse or Mrs. Haverford. Considering Morehouse asked Elizabeth if she had forgiven Corky, I think he sent her to tell Corky about Mr. Kennedy’s plans at Devil’s Creek. I’m curious about how that will play out as well as the Morehouse’s connection to the Booth brothers. Should be interesting to see where the Booth connection leads and whether Mr. Kennedy will stick to his word and leave Norbert out of it. Norbert is clearly nothing more than a businessman, money is money, and so it wouldn’t surprise me if he keeps helping Kennedy whether because of the blackmail or the possible profit. I’m also curious to see how long it will take before someone figures out the truth about Molly’s death. Maybe I’m just looking forward to Eva leaving or at least having a less significant role in Corky’s life. She killed Molly and is well, to put it truthfully, a whore. I don’t like her, but I guess that doesn’t mean much, does it? I don’t seem to like any of the women on this show…except Molly but that’s a moot point. Either way, Molly’s murder needs to be discovered so Eva can go away and stop being so possessive of Corky. And on that note, Annie acted like a decent child for once! It was a refreshing change. Her usual behavior with Corky could get a bit weird at times. I hope to see more of “kid Annie” in the future, but that’s not likely, is it? Either way, I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next in the season finale…. and what else I’ve been wrong about.

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

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