All the victims of the serial killer are teenage boys from Five Points. Two have been found dead, and five are still missing. Dr. Freeman found traces of a drug (let’s just skip all the technical stuff and call it a mickey) in the vomit underneath one of the bodies. Kevin learns that at least two of the victims were frequent customers of Eva’s bar, and the bartender remembers them being helped out of the bar by two men the night they went missing.
Back at the cop shop, they have a plan to put one of the younger looking coppers undercover as a wayward teenage boy from a broken home in the hopes of attracting the attention of the serial killer. They’ve hired an actor to instruct the copper on how to deliver his lines, and the copper is hilariously awful.
Donovan is visited by a newspaper man who plans to run a story about the serial killer. Donovan is not a fan of this, because it could send the city into a panic and also tip off the killer. Donovan blackmails the man by threatening to tell his wife about his preference for “Negro ladies of the night”. Donovan seems impressively prepared for this meeting. I’m getting the impression nothing that happens in Five Points escapes his attention.
Kevin and his crew set up their sting operation in Eva’s bar, and at first it looks like it will be unsuccessful. Eventually Kevin sees a man approach a teenage boy, buy him a drink, and slip him a mickey while another man causes a distraction in the bar. Kevin and his partner grab the mickey-slipper and take him outside. As they tell him they know who he is and what he’s been doing, the man who caused the distraction in the bar pushes outside and knocks them out of the way. Both men get away, but now they’ve been seen by the coppers, and identified by one of Eva’s ladies.
The Traitor, The Liar, and The Gangster
The rebel Kennedy has arrived at the jail and is trying to convince Robert Morehouse that he is innocent. He claims to have been working under “confidential orders from the highest of ranks” – General Stuart and Ulysses S. Grant. That’s really not how being innocent works. Robert is pretty sure Kennedy is crazy and tells Kennedy he is only there to let him know he can’t wait to testify at his trial.
Elizabeth and Robert are planning their wedding ceremony when Elizabeth is called away to settle a dispute between Sara and the other seamstress, a white woman who does little to hide her disdain over having to work with Sara. Elizabeth supports Sara, and invites her to stay and hear Frederick Douglass speak that evening.
Elizabeth and her heaving bosom become quite distraught listening to Robert talk about what a piece of shit the traitor Kennedy is and how he can’t wait to watch him hang. Robert thinks she’s just tired because she’s not used to all the opium they’ve been doing lately, when really it’s because she’s a liar liar pants on fire.
Elizabeth and her heaving bosom visit Kennedy in jail. Kennedy tells her they handpicked her weeks after she became a widow. He reminds her that she agreed to “lucrative southern contracts” in exchange for her investing nearly all the money she had left in their plot. So, this was all because she didn’t want to lose her money? Maybe she should have just gone back to England and found another rich old man to marry. She asks if he means to tattle on her and he responds with a cryptic, “That depends”.
Maguire has gotten himself a shave and a haircut and found a job working for The Druids – a counterfeiting gang who prefer to call themselves a “financial firm”. Maguire seems quite suited to the violent gangster life. He collects from a tobacco shop owner, ordering the man to pay double what he usually pays. When the shop owner refuses, Maguire shoves a lit cigar up his nose. Damn.
The Not-So-Happy Couples
Dr. Freeman informs his wife he intends to take over his mentor’s practice in Five Points and also continue to run his practice in the country. He tells Sara he’s not asking her to come with him.
Sara is visibly moved watching Douglass give a speech in support of the 13th Amendment. She speaks with him about the trouble she is having reconciling the things that have happened to her in the past with the present. Douglass gives her some excellent advice about evolving that I really hope she takes. Because I’m seriously tired of watching her and Matthew have the same fight over and over.
Kevin arrives home to find his wife in tears, wondering if AnnieRhoda has stolen Maggie’s things. A reasonable assumption, I would say. Turns out Kevin got rid of them because he thought it would help his wife move on. That was kind of a dick move. I mean, she’s grieving the fact that she killed her own child. Give her some damn space.
Dr. Freeman visits Ellen to check on her, and she confides in him that she and Kevin are not having an easy time of it. Dr. Freeman reminds her that they have both suffered greatly while they were apart. He tells her that when Kevin received the news that Maggie had been killed and Ellen had disappeared, he ran away from the camp. He was caught, convicted, and sentenced to execution. Morehouse used his influence to get Kevin pardoned, but under the condition that he return to battle, without ever being able to say goodbye to Maggie or search for Ellen.
Matthew visits Kevin to report that Ellen is recovering physically and mentally, and also to apologize that he accidentally told Ellen about Kevin’s desertion.
Kevin goes back to his house and apologizes to Ellen. Sara comes to Matthew’s Five Points office to bring him dinner and some nookie. Douglass’ words have apparently gotten through to Sara, and she tells Matthew that she will be a strong wife for him and support him in whatever he wants to do. In a quite emotional juxtaposition of scenes, both couples have sexy time. Matthew and Sara’s scene is tender and hot and steamy, and Kevin and Ellen’s is …not. It’s depressing and awkward and they both look miserable. The episode ends with Kevin shooting up in an alley.
Next Week On Copper:
Maguire is told by one of his new associates that they only way they can trust him is if he kills a copper. Something tells me he won’t have a problem with that. Kevin and Ellen are still sniping at each other. Sara, holding an axe, stalks off to see someone and I really hope it’s the asshole(s) that hanged her brothers.
Cathy Elmore is a writer for Sweatpants & Coffee. She also writes for Gridiron Girl when she isn’t chasing after her baby girl.