The doctor is in -- Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) that is. Season 2 of "The Knick" begins airing Friday on Cinemax and fans have been waiting over a year to check back in with the staff of the Knickerbocker. The Season 1 finale of the turn-of-the-century drama left off with almost every major character in some sort of peril. However, fans might need a little refresher before the big premiere.
Here's where the finale left off:
Dr. Edwards & Cornelia
Dr. Edwards (Andre Holland) and Cornelia (Juliet Rylance) deal with their unplanned -- and very much forbidden -- pregnancy in the finale. Cornelia enlists the help of Cleary (Chris Sullivan) and Sister Harriet (Cara Seymour) for the abortion, leading to a heartbreaking exchange between Cornelia and the morally questionable nun.
“We’re friends, Harry—you could have told me,” says Cornelia
“So could you," responds Sister Harriet. "But then neither of us could, could we?”
Cornelia goes through with the abortion, as well as her wedding to Phillip (Tom Lipinski), thanks to some practical posturing from Edwards, who insists they could never be together. However, Edwards is not handling everything well. He ends drunkenly picking a street fight and it is safe to say he does not emerge as the winner. Unfortunately, he may still be the most capable and composed doctor left at the Knickerbocker.
That distinction certainly does not belong to Dr. Gallinger (Eric Roberts). The racist physician visits his now-guilty-of-infanticide wife in the mental institution where he discovers that the doctors have removed all her teeth -- you know, because the bacteria from her teeth is the cause of her insanity. Depressed from the visit, he returns to the Knick and attacks Edwards, who he sees as the cause of all his troubles. However, all he ends up with is a suspension and a lecture from Thackery -- who, in all honestly, is in no position to doling out lectures. But more on Thackery later.
Against Thackery’s recommendation, Barrow (Jeremy Bobb) makes a big mistake in enlisting Wu (Perry Yung), Thackery’s mysterious opium dealer, to kill Bunky Collier (Danny Hoch) after getting too far in debt. After Wu grants Barrow’s request (killing Collier with some unexpected theatrics) he surprises the Knick’s business manager with the news that he will be assuming control of Barrow’s debts to Collier, warning that he is not as kind to those who can’t pay. Barrow may be in over his head.
Dr. Chickering Jr.
Thackery and Chickering attend a seminar where they learn that a competing doctor -- Dr. Levi Zinberg (Michael Nathanson) -- is nearing a breakthrough in identifying the different blood types. Fueled by cocaine, Thackery becomes hell bent on beating Zinberg to the discovery. However, his addiction prevents him from being realistic -- or even safe -- about the research and Chickering grows frustrated and disappointed with his mentor. When Thackery accuses Chickering of being a spy for Zinberg, despite Chickering's previously unwavering loyalty in the face of his father's disapproval, it is the last straw. Chickering jumps ship and accepts an offer to join Zinberg's team, but not before seeing to it in person that Thackery gets into rehab -- not to get ahead of ourselves.
Dr. Thackery & Nurse Elkins
Thackery recruits Nurse Elkins (Eve Hewson) to help with his mission to beat Zinberg. However, as Thackery's addiction becomes more difficult to manage, his behavior becomes more irrational and inappropriate -- conducting unsanitary tests, reaching hasty and erroneous conclusions, and crashing one of Edwards' surgeries to ask for a second opinion. This culminates in the death of a patient when Thackery tests his poorly devised blood type theory on an ill-fated anemic woman. Nurse Elkins is by Thackery's side the whole time, telling Chickering that she "volunteered" for the job. She goes as far as to steal cocaine for him to keep him functioning. She is also there when Chickering takes Thackery to rehab following the anemic woman's death. However, the big twist of the episode comes after Thackery is admitted, when fans learn that Thackery's doctors plan to treat his cocaine addiction with a little drug called heroin.
"The Knick" Season 2 premieres Friday, Oct. 16, at 10 p.m. EDT on Cinemax. Watch the Season 2 trailer below: