Copper: Better Times Are Coming Recap and Review

Last time on ‘Copper’ Annie escaped from Mr. Reilly by stabbing and killing him and then went to Corky for protection and told him what happened while Mrs. Haverford realized the error in sending Annie to Mr. Reilly, but is too late to get her back. When Corky found out where she sent Annie, he threatens Mrs. Haverford for her actions and for lying to him. Meanwhile Morehouse meets with some southerners and finds out their plans to burn the city depending on the election results while Maguire learned about Mary’s possession of Mme Grindle’s ledger.

In ‘Better Times Are Coming’ Mary Lockwood shows up dead in a Central Park leading Corky on an investigation into her death and affair with Jeremiah McLean while Maguire acts increasingly suspicious leading Corky to suspect him. Meanwhile Morehouse continues to try to find out more about the plans to burn the city after the election while Annie tries to take over as Corky’s wife.


When Andrew takes Little Brynes to Central Park to get a sheep, Little Byrnes trips over a dead body, which turns out to be Mary Lockwood, Madame Grindle’s sister and Maguire’s former fiancé. When Maguire learns about her death, he immediately suspects Jeremiah McLean for the murder and tells Corky it had to b him since he was the one Mary had planned to run off to England with a few weeks ago, but when she changed her mind and decided to stay with Maguire, McLean must have killed her. Corky starts into the investigation, but Maguire says he must watch Alderman Reese while Andrew is in charge of the ballot, so Corky takes Little Byrnes with him to McLean’s business to inquire about McLean. His business partner, however, tells him he hasn’t seen McLean in a while and asks about the Coppers sending two detectives to ask the same questions, telling Corky that Maguire had been there before him. Concerned about Maguire’s presence there, Corky goes to look for Maguire and sends patrolmen to watch for McLean’s return.

After checking out the impromptu, shallow grave Mary’s body had been left in, Corky heads to the coroner and finds that Maguire had also been there before him and asked for the bullet. With the autopsy finished, the coroner gives the bullet to Corky to give to Maguire and tells him to reign in his men. Corky’s concern for Maguire grows and when he returns to the station, he finds Maguire and confronts him about running his own investigation. Maguire counters with Corky’s investigation into Ellen’s disappearance and says he just wants justice for Mary. Corky eventually agrees to work with Maguire, but warns him to calm down. The two head to McLean’s house when they hear he has returned, but when they get there, Little Byrnes tells him that McLean left and, following orders, Little Byrnes remained at his post and did not follow McLean. Suddenly McLean shows up and runs, Corky trips and falls behind in the chase, while Maguire takes a shortcut. McLean and Maguire get out of sight and Corky hears a gunshot. When he finally catches up, he finds Maguire standing over McLean’s dead body and yells at him for killing McLean before they had a chance to talk to him. Maguire insists that McLean killed Mary and now the case is closed and they can move on. Back at the station, however, Corky mulls over Maguire’s actions during the investigation and is bothered by the way Maguire handled it. Corky decides to talk to McLean’s wife and finds that Maguire had lied about McLean’s plans to go England with Mary. McLean gets seasick and his only connection to Mary was through her blackmailing him with Mme Grindle’s ledger, which didn’t work since McLean would rather let his wife know about his affair than part with a cent.

Later that night, as Corky is upset with Maguire’s lies about Mme Grindle’s ledger, Mary Lockwood’s affair and McLean’s motives, he talks to Eva about Maguire. Eva realizes Corky’s growing suspicions and seizes the opportunity to throw suspicion at Maguire. She tells Corky that Molly had only agreed to marry Maguire out of fear and that Maguire often hit her. Corky grows upset and more concerned with this news and has Freeman compare the bullet from Mary Lockwood with the one from McLean. When Freeman looks at the bullets, he notices an unusual, teardrop shape to them and says they are most likely from the same gun. With this new information, Corky has Little Byrnes – Phinbar – watch Maguire’s place. Shortly after arriving home the next morning, Phinbar shows up and tells Corky that Maguire had left early that morning to visit an asylum, the Earle house, stayed for 20 minutes and then left. Corky heads to the Earle house, but is refused admittance. When the guard comes to escort Corky out, Corky beats him and threatens to shoot him until the nun tells him who Maguire was there to see and the nun admits that Maguire was there to see his wife. She takes Corky upstairs to see Mrs. Maguire and Corky is stunned to see the woman sitting at the table by the window with a vacant expression on her face is none other than Corky’s missing wife, Ellen. He desperately tries to talk to her, but she stares at him blankly, with no recognition of Corky in her eyes and turns to stare out the window.

Meanwhile, Morehouse continues to romance Mrs. Haverford and confront Corky about his actions towards her while attempting to get more information about the southerner’s plans to blow up the city pending the re-election of President Lincoln. After running into Mrs. Haverford on the street and inviting her to dinner that night, the southerner shows up at Morehouse’s door to tell him he needs $10,000 for their plans. Morehouse attempts to gain more information about the plans, but is unable to get anything from him, so he tells the southerner to come back at 10:00 that night for the money. Later that day, Corky shows up to ask Morehouse about the Greek fire Freeman had informed him about. Morehouse takes this opportunity to confront Corky about slashing Mrs. Haverford’s paintings and reprimands him for his actions and bringing Five Points to a part of the city where it doesn’t belong. He points out the Mrs. Haverford didn’t know Mr. Reilly wasn’t Annie’s father and that when she realized the truth, she did her best to get Annie back on her own. He tells Corky that Elizabeth cares for Annie and that Corky can’t threaten an innocent woman as he did. Corky realizes Morehouse is right, and then asks Morehouse about the Greek fire once more. Morehouse tells him that the Greek fire is being brought in that night along with weapons and that if Lincoln loses the election they won’t move forward. When Corky asks for more details and names, Morehouse informs him that he only knows two names and is not privy to the details since he is just the money and acting now would leave the rest out there to try again. At this point, Corky asks Morehouse to tell him if he finds out anything more, but Morehouse simply replies with “I’ll give it my consideration,” and tells Corky to send a formal apology to Mrs. Haverford to which Corky replies in turn, “I’ll give it my consideration,” smiles and leaves.

That night Norbert and Elizabeth discuss politics while waiting for the election results. The results come in with Lincoln’s re-election and Mrs. Haverford decides to leave. As Mrs. Haverford heads to the door, she tells Morehouse that she doesn’t believe the Irish will ever believe the black to be their equal. When Robert points out Corky’s belief that blacks are his equals, she becomes upset and says she would rather not talk about Corky. Robert defends him as a good man acting out of passion and impulse and tells her that he talked to Corky and Corky is of no danger to Elizabeth. Suddenly there’s a knock on the door by the southern gentleman. Morehouse tells him he won’t give him the money until he knows more about the plans, so the southerner offers to show him. Morehouse gets the money and goes with the southerner to where the southerner’s men are loading the Greek fire into a carriage. Morehouse messes with the horse’s shoe when no one is looking and then gives them the money and leaves with the southerner to haul the Greek fire into the city. The horse starts walking funny, however, so after leaving the rest behind, the southerner and Morehouse stop to check the horse. While the southerner checks the horse, Morehouse stabs a barrel, poking a hole in it so the Greek fire will drain out. He pretends to notice the leak and the two men run from the carriage before the Greek fire burns and blows up the carriage.


On a couple good notes: I found the little exchanges between Morehouse and Corky giving it their consideration to be amusing. It was also amusing to see the balloting Andrew was monitoring: disguises and name changes for a free drink and another vote in favor of McConnelly and Tammany. Interesting. I was also glad to see Morehouse thwart the southerner’s plans. (My apologies for not using a name there…I can’t remember it and I’m just too damn lazy to look it up.) Clearly this was an “I like Morehouse” episode. He successfully stopped them from blowing up the city. He confronted Corky about his threats to Mrs. Haverford, but wasn’t a complete dick about it and he defended Corky against Mrs. Haverford once he knew both sides. I like Mrs. Haverford and Morehouse together too, probably just because both of them are on the edge of me liking them. One moment I do, the next I don’t (though admittedly, I like Morehouse better). Yeah, they’re the same class too, but I couldn’t care less about class. I just don’t like Haverford with Corky, because more often than not, I just don’t like her. I know I may be the minority on that one, but she just doesn’t appeal to me most of the time.

The bad notes: If I have learned anything about ‘Copper’ it’s that this show knows how to surprise me. I admit, I am often terrible at predicting the outcome of shows. This one is by far the hardest for me to predict. I didn’t expect Molly to die nor did I expect Sergeant Byrnes to kick it and I certainly didn’t expect Ellen to show up in a mental institution as Mrs. Maguire. I thought she’d run off or was perhaps dead. Crazy didn’t even enter into my list of considerations. It will definitely be interesting to find out more about that and what Maguire will have to say for it.

For a best friend, Maguire certainly knows how to lie and keep secrets. Some of it may be in Corky’s best interest, but I wonder if it all really is what is best for Corky. Ellen’s crazy, that has to be hard to deal with, but wouldn’t it be better knowing where she was, than constantly searching for her? Then there are all the lies Maguire was telling in ‘Better Times Are Coming.’ Lies about McLean, about the ledger, shooting McLean…shooting Mary. I wonder if he really did shoot Mary. He was upset, but was he upset enough to kill her in cold blood like that? It’s curious and Eva was awfully quick to point the finger at him about Molly. Maybe she had something to do with it? Though that seems a bit of a stretch, but I do not like that bitch. Molly wasn’t afraid of Maguire or at least didn’t seem so to me. Eva seizing the opportunity to say Molly was afraid of him…. I don’t know seems like she’s setting him up for Molly’s murder or something. I don’t know. At least she doesn’t believe Annie’s lies about Corky sleeping with her. Seriously messed up kid there, she doesn’t just need to go to school, she needs therapy.

With Ellen’s reappearance at the end of this episode, it should be interesting to see what happens next time!

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

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