The Knick: They Capture the Heat
September 13, 2014 11:18 AM - Season 1, Episode 5 - Subscribe

The Knick has budget problems. Barrow fixes his personal money problems. Thackery does more coke and another patient dies on him. Edwards uses the silver thread in his watch on a patient. Like old-time royalty, a rich person in 1920s NYC had a servant to wipe their ass. (Maybe this still happens, though. Inquiring minds would like to know!)

I quite like The Knick. Almost this entire episode was a comedy. ‎

The opening is a broad comedic scene with a terrible barber/doctor getting ready to saw off the leg of a patient who has a gunshot wound. This is after the back-and-forth about the doc not washing his hands and not knowing the problem was the gunshot vs the bruise on the victim's head. 

Then Dr. Edwards uses medical jargon to explain to a patient about his hernia. It is largely unintelligible to a lay audience. Edwards asks the classic question, "Do you understand what I'm saying?"

Edwards and Thackery save a gangster's leg and Barrow ignores Edwards in a truly sublime scene (Barrow's act, though, is reprehensible). This seems standard but there's a payoff coming. ‎

‎The Edison X-ray Photographic Tool. Yay, radiation!! Still absolutely played for laughs as the presentation features a scantily-clad assistant and a presenter with a vaudeville flair. 

There's a bit of a break as ‎a cop proposes starting his own prostitution ring with the help of Barrow and his gangland friends. This is juxtaposed with the nun and the ambulance driver participating in their first joint abortion procedure (which doesn't go as planned). So much money to be made off of women's labor. 

However, that Barrow is in his underwear during this conversation and that the mention of the cop's boss is merely about making sure that guy gets his cut, is genuinely amusing. 

Barrow and Mr. Robertson later have dinner to discuss the x-ray machine and poor social climbing Barrow is a little surprised that Robertson no longer eats at Delmonico's. During dinner, a Vanderbilt greets Morrison, disses‎ Delmonico's and absolutely ignores the shit out of Barrow.  That is some fucking hilarious shit. 

The humor continues when Edwards almost gets caught in his makeshift surgery by a couple looking for some nookie. It's not quite as funny when Edwards is called to attend his mother, finds Thackery already there and Edwards' diagnosis is incorrect (so far, future eps might tell a different story). 

Not played for laughs at all is the death of another pregnant woman in the same type of procedure that began the series. However, the filming and staging and the editing were absolutely wonderful. The surgeons start out with hope as they're washing up and then it's just the detritus of their failure around them. ‎

If they'd ended the episode there, it would have been an A. Unfortunately, ‎Nurse Bono and Thackery needed to have a pointless scene together. 
posted by Ik ben afgesneden (6 comments total)
 
I thought Nurse Bono was more effective in the early episodes, when she was kind of a stand-in for the audience, watching much of the action from a safe remove. I'm not sure what her deal is, but I assume there's going to be some kind of twist in her relationship with Thackery later in the season -- maybe they'll just have an affair, but I hope it'll be something a little trickier.

The scene where Edwards shows up to find Thackery's treatment involves what looks at first glance like an obscene pantomime is just aces. Amusing on multiple levels. But the scene of the baby getting the ice-water treatment to soothe the meningitis symptoms is a total horror show. That will stick with me for a long, long time.

Man, the hours just fly by. I'm gonna be sad when this season is over.
posted by Mothlight at 8:46 AM on September 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


I LOVE this show.....the last thing I needed was another series but I'm hooked!! I would love to see some behind the scenes stuff......how they research, etc. Fascinating!!
posted by pearlybob at 10:55 AM on September 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


Yes, the newborn with meningitis was soul-ripping. I almost had to shut the tv off.
posted by Falconetti at 5:51 PM on September 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


Wow. It is enlightening hearing about the reactions to the baby. I had a stronger reaction to woman who had her arm attached to her nose. The baby thing was entirely forgettable for me.
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 6:13 PM on September 14, 2014


The syphilis surgery aftermath just feels kind of phony baloney, you know? Blah blah, prosthetics, blah blah. (And earlier it was, blah blah, CG hole where her nose should be, blah blah.) But the camera focusing on that pan full of ice, and then tracking back slowly ... oh my god, your skin just starts to crawl. What, on this show of all shows, could require that kind of directorial "ahem?" And the tubes running down and wrapping around the slightly misshapen head, suggestive (in my mind, at least) of a primitive steampunk Giger kind of image ... I dunno, the tableaux may as well have been out of Hieronymous Bosch. I'm sure that if I go back to it and watch it dispassionately it might not be so affecting, but in the moment, whoa.
posted by Mothlight at 6:55 PM on September 16, 2014


Not played for laughs at all is the death of another pregnant woman in the same type of procedure that began the series. However, the filming and staging and the editing were absolutely wonderful. The surgeons start out with hope as they're washing up and then it's just the detritus of their failure around them. ‎

This was probably the best surgery sequence I've ever seen on any show.
posted by dogwalker at 8:02 PM on August 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


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