The Knick
Thackery (Clive Owen, pictured) appeared to die at the end of "The Knick" Season 2 finale. Cinemax

The doctor is ... out. "The Knick" has never been a stranger to death and tragedy, but few fans saw the season's big cliffhanger coming. (Warning: major spoilers ahead!) At the end of "This Is All We Are," Thackery (Clive Owen) paid dearly for his stubborn refusal to let any other doctor at the Knickerbocker operate on him. After unwisely attempting to operate on his own decimated-by-drugs intestines, while also on cocaine, Thackery made one mistake too many and bled out on the operating table. So, that it is it for "The Knick," right? Not so fast.

While Clive Owen's Thack may have been the star of the show, the real engine behind "The Knick" is executive producer and series director Steven Soderbergh ("Ocean's Eleven"), who reportedly has plans to move on with the series without its main character.

“Cinemax has been in conversations with Steven Soderbergh on how we might continue with 'The Knick,'” Cinemax told Variety. “When first conceived, the series was always meant to be presented in a two-year story arc, and Steven has been meeting with the writers to discuss how to proceed.”

Cinemax has not officially given Season 3 the green light, but the premium cable network has reportedly ordered the script for a potential premiere episode.

How would "The Knick" survive without Thackery? Apparently, continuing was always Soderbergh's plan — he says he planned to kill the character of Thackery at the end of Season 2 before Clive Owen was even offered the part — even if that means handing the project off to another filmmaker.

“I told [Cinemax] that I’m going to do the first two years and then we are going to break out the story for seasons 3 and 4 and try and find a filmmaker or filmmakers to do this the way that I did," Soderbergh told Indiewire. "This is how we want to do this so that every two years, whoever comes on, has the freedom to create their universe.”

Soderbergh is apparently also speaking very literally about a potential new director's creative "freedom."

“They don't have to shoot it the way I shoot it. They don't have to score it the way I score it. They don't have to cast who I've cast,” Soderbergh says. “They have maximum freedom to come in and just go, ‘I want to wipe the slate clean.’”

As for Thackery himself, there does not seem to be much hope for some miraculous return of the character if the show were to be renewed. When asked if he was dead for good, Clive Owen told Variety, "It certainly looks that way."