Copper “Arsenic and Old Cake” Review

This week’s episode of Copper, “Arsenic and Old Cake” really proved that everyone in 1864 New York was probably a scumbag. Corcoran might be driven by his personal sense of justice, but in the past, we’ve seen that he’s not entirely upright either. I suppose Matthew and his wife, Sarah, might be the only good people left in the state.

I had a sneaking suspicion about Elizabeth being a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and seeing the way she behaved this week confirmed my suspicions. It wasn’t so much that she brought in Annie’s “father” to collect her, it was that she lied about it to Corcoran. Elizabeth might have been able to argue that she had no idea that she was sending Annie back to an abusive home, but when she lied to Corcoran about where Annie was, it was clear that she knew exactly what she had done.

If Elizabeth had really been concerned about the girl’s well being and still believed that she couldn’t handle Annie, there were plenty of other options available to her. As a wealthy widow, she absolutely had the means to send Annie off to live at a girl’s boarding school, or a convent where Annie would probably receive about the same minimal amount of love that Elizabeth was willing to offer, only with a fiercer determination to set the girl straight.

It was a vindictive move to call Annie’s father/husband in, and Elizabeth’s lie proved that she knew precisely who that man was. Elizabeth fabricated a lie for Corcoran, saying that Annie was with a “good family in California” so that he wouldn’t try to find her after she had gone. She cried about it and twisted it to her advantage. After discovering this side of her, I’m not happy to see her relationship with Corcoran advancing.

Meanwhile, a 45 round fist fight was taking place between Jasper and Irish Jake. As much as Matthew had tried to talk Jasper out of fighting, and as much as Marcus had tried to convince Jasper he needed to throw the fight, Jasper believed that no one could kill him.

Moorehouse was like a kid in a candy store at the fight but when he realized the fight wasn’t going to go exactly as he had originally planned, he enacted a backup plan which relied on a shady referee knocking Jasper out. It might have been underhanded, but it was the only way for Moorehouse to protect his investments and prevent a riot. As some kind of consolation, Moorehouse booked passage to Halifax for Jasper so he could get out of town before the Irish mob came hunting for him, as well as Marcus’ cut from the winnings.

Moorehouse was still being manipulative and self centered, but somehow this act made me think a little better of him. He’s got a moral compass somewhere in him, I suppose it just doesn’t get very much use.

Probably my favorite storyline of the night was the investigation into the dead dentist, Mr. Devry. I really liked seeing Corcoran and the other detectives interact with a wide range of characters in the town, and once the investigation got rolling, it was an enjoyable, and somewhat comical break from the more dreary and depressing investigations they usually do.

Through a circle of deception and cake swapping, the sleazy Dentist Devry had murdered himself, taking the despicable Sargent Burns with him after Burns couldn’t resist pilfering at the crime scene. It was a clever little story and once the truth was uncovered, it was pretty hilarious.

Next week’s episode of Copper has New York buzzing about its “destruction” and it looks like the Moorehouse’s plans for Five Points have been leaked. Among all that hubub, I’m hoping Corcoran has time to get wise to Elizabeth’s shady side and save Annie before she has to endure much more suffering.