Copper Season 2 Review “The Fine Ould Irish Gintleman”

Copper Season 2 Episode 10 The Fine Ould Irish Gintleman (1)

There is no longer any ambiguity: Donovan is a bad man. This week on Copper, Corcoran began to build his case against his powerful boss. Corcoran’s quest to uncover the facts behind the murder of Alderman Bartlett and his son is largely motivated by his unshakable sense of morality. This poses a problem, though, in that he hasn’t thought through the possible consequences for his actions. If Donovan is behind murders, what if anything will Corcoran be able to do about it? After all, Donovan has the power of Tammany Hall behind him.

Corcoran’s rashness in trying to gather evidence against Donovan resulted in the unfortunate death of the young woman who had come forward with an eyewitness account of Alderman Bartlett’s killer. Corcoran and Morehouse fed Donovan false information that the Governor’s office was investigating Bartlett’s death, which sent Donovan into panic mode. With his own hands, Donovan strangled the life from the poor young woman. Like Corcoran, though, Donovan may not anticipate the results of his precipitous conduct. Maguire resented being asked to kill the woman and came clean to Corcoran and O’Brien about Donovan’s general misdeeds. On the one hand, it is not a good thing to have Corcoran as an enemy because he will doggedly pursue you. On the other hand, it is definitely not a good thing to have Maguire as an enemy because he will seek retribution without any concern for the law. Donovan has some serious trouble coming his way.

The rule of law and the role of retribution featured prominently in the exchange between Corcoran and Donovan. Donovan initially thought that he could take the role of stern school master and bend Corcoran to his will through chastisement. He’s starting to understand that’s not going to work. Corcoran meets with Donovan and appears to give him a contrite speech about falling in line and doing his duty. The great part of the exchange is that Corcoran’s words are either innocuous or threatening. It’s hard to tell which, and even Donovan seems uncertain. There is something about Donal Logue’s portrayal of Donovan and physical presence that makes him seem more dangerous and menacing than a man like Morehouse, Sr. Even Corcoran can seem cowed in his presence. But, in the scenes between Donovan and Corcoran in this episode, there was a subtle shift. Corcoran became the more powerful of the two, and it will be interesting to see how the conflict plays out. I would like to have Donovan around in season 3 as a permanent foe who’s always just outside of Corcoran’s grasp.

The womenfolk had their own drama this episode. Eva remains in prison and is faced with the likelihood of losing her business. Sara’s mother finally learns the truth about her sons’ deaths and decides it is time to move on from Five Points. Elizabeth sinks deeper into her opium addiction. She leaves behind the laudanum and takes her first step into an underworld opium den. Things aren’t looking so great for her. If her addiction isn’t addressed soon, she may end up another of the show’s female casualties. It was time for Sara’s mother to go, so it made sense to have her story end. It was a sad exchange between her and her daughter. However, Sara has come a long way this season and it’s better to see her as a strong woman than a half-crazy whiner.

The high point of the episode for me was when Maguire, Corcoran and O’Brien raced through the streets to try to reach the woman before Donovan did. It was a great juxtaposition between their frantic pace, and the slow conversation between Donovan and his victim. Donovan was like some kind of predator toying with his food as he needled her about her relationship with the Alderman and shared his own impending fatherhood. It wasn’t just that he was doing what needed to be done when he choked her, it was a dance that ultimately affirmed that he was the one in control. There will definitely be hell to pay next week from the Coppers when they learn of her death. The storyline between Donovan and the Coppers is much more entertaining than some of the heavier fare that we got earlier in the season.

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  • Lynn

    Great review and love your insight into Donovan and Kevin, I love this show, one of the best on TV.