The Dead Body of the Week
The city is preparing to celebrate the 2nd inauguration of President Lincoln, while Donovan meets with Kevin and Maguire about a new case. An “uptown” man, Alderman Steven Bartlett who tended to the needs of the poor and the immigrants, has been found dead in the Center Street tenements. Donovan wants to make sure the alderman’s good name isn’t ruined and tells them to be prudent and discreet. Uh, those aren’t exactly Maguire’s strong points. Kevin looks exceptionally put out at having to work with Maguire. Maguire looks like he really missed hanging out with Kevin.
Kevin and Maguire go to the crime scene and the alderman is laying facedown over a table, no pants on, with a purring cat on his back. What? I guess Maguire doesn’t like cats, because he looks, well… afraid. Kevin delivers one of the funniest lines of the episode, “Francis, you need me to stand down the kitty-cat?” and I’m reminded how much I miss seeing these two working on the same side. Maguire was my favorite character last season, and I still want to believe that deep down he’s a good guy. Maybe he really loved Ellen and was keeping her doped up and confined to protect her from the memories of killing her daughter? Anyway, the victim was strangled with piano wire. A neighbor tells them Bartlett was there to see a woman named Teresa, who lived in the apartment. The neighbor says she heard someone else arrive, and then a struggle.
Kevin asks Morehouse about Bartlett, because all the rich uptown guys know each other. Bartlett’s first wife died of cholera, his second wife is young and pretty, currently in Paris, and rumored to be sleeping with Bartlett’s son from his first marriage. The son, Ben, is staying at the family’s country estate. Ben “fancies himself” a pianist. When he refuses to go with Kevin and Maguire for questioning, Maguire roughs him up a little. I think that’s the opposite of being prudent and discreet. Ben evades their questions but seems genuinely surprised to hear of his father’s death.
Kevin and Maguire search Teresa’s apartment again. They find piano wire and a letter from her parents with $5 in it. Maguire tries to steal it, but Kevin won’t let him.
Kevin and Maguire go back to the country estate to interview Ben again, and find him dead over his piano, stabbed in the chest. There is what appears to be a suicide note in the form of a poem. Kevin and Maguire aren’t exactly scholars and need Donovan to translate for them. Donovan, Sullivan, and Maguire consider the case solved: Ben killed his father out of jealousy, and then committed suicide out of guilt. Kevin isn’t so sure it’s as simple as all that, but he’s told to drop it.
Sara is reunited with her mom, Hattie Lemaster, played by the fantastic Alfre Woodard. I’m not going to lie, I teared up a little. The plantation didn’t free Hattie, Elizabeth had to purchase her. Now I’m actually crying and also disliking Elizabeth a little bit less. Hattie asks after her sons, and Sara tells her they died saving others during a ferry boat collision. I respect that she’s trying to save her mother pain and anger, but I wonder if this lie is going to come back to bite her later.
Elizabeth and Robert reunite at the courthouse during Kennedy’s trial. She apologizes, and I believe she’s sincere and that she really does love Robert. He tells her he has refused to testify against Kennedy. The case seems to be falling apart due to a lack of witnesses, when the elder Mr. Morehouse shows up. He takes the stand and implicates himself and Kennedy. Kennedy is sentenced to hang. Something tells me the Morehouse family reunion will not go as well as Sara and Hattie’s reunion.
Eva, quite obviously pregnant now, runs into Ellen on the street. Ellen asks if she should have known Eva is pregnant. Seriously, Ellen just say what you mean to say: “Did my husband knock you up?” Eva tries to get Kevin alone to talk to him, presumably to tell him that she’s pregnant and it’s his, but he blows her off. Oddly enough, he’s focusing on the case instead of his personal problems. Also, he’s apparently blind, because she’s showing like woah now.
Later, during an appointment with Dr. Freeman, Ellen finds out she is pregnant, too. Huh. I didn’t see that one coming. I assume it’s Kevin’s from that one time they had the awkward sex.
Ellen visits Maguire and he is clearly still very much in love with her. They kiss passionately, but Ellen stops it and frankly, I’m not sure why. Kevin can’t forgive her, doesn’t want to be with her, and I really don’t think finding out she’s pregnant will change his mind. Also, Maguire is a hottie, even with that unfortunate facial hair. I find myself wanting her to sleep with Maguire right now so she can pretend the baby is his, and Kevin can be with Eva. Maguire asks her if she thinks about their child, who would be six months old now. Wait, what? He tells her if she had chosen him, he never would have left her. Oh, Ellen. You are such a dumbass.
Next week on Copper
A cholera outbreak, Donovan has competition for the contract to build a new aqueduct for the city, and Morehouse has lost a bunch of money on a train track to “nowhere”. Didn’t we already see that on Downton Abbey?
Cathy Elmore is a writer for Sweatpants & Coffee. She also writes for Gridiron Girl when she isn’t chasing after her baby girl.