If you’re a fan of director Steven Soderbergh’s beautifully rendered, Emmy-nominated period drama The Knick (and if you’re not, trust me, you should be), you know that no one was faring well when we left them at the end of Season 1.
A cocaine-addled and guilt-ridden Dr. John Thackery (Golden Globe nominee Clive Owen) checked himself into a sort of turn-of-the-century rehab where the treatment du jour is the Bayer Company’s newest wonder drug — heroin.
Embittered by his daughter’s death, the mortifying fallout of his wife’s ensuing madness and Dr. Edwards’ (André Holland) encroachment on his career path, Gallinger (Eric Johnson) attacked his superior in the operating theater both men hoped to run.
And tormented by Cornelia’s (Juliet Rylance) abortion and subsequent society marriage, Edwards picked his own unwinnable fight and was last seen bloodied and still in the street.
The Knick returns for its long-awaited second season this month with a new hospital building in the offing, and Thackery haunted by the anemia patient he killed with his own tainted blood and wild-eyed from the extra helpings of heroin he scores with secret surgeries.
Unwilling to let Edwards — now dealing with the devastating fallout from his street fight — take control of the O.R., Gallinger resorts to drastic measures to get Thackery clean and back to the Knick.
Meanwhile, Lucy (Eve Hewson) tries to make peace with Bertie (Michael Angarano), Cleary (Chris Sullivan) vows to avenge a jailed Sister Harriet (Cara Seymour), and Barrow (Jeremy Bobb) discovers a new way to reduce his debt to Ping Wu (Perry Yung), making comical, cringe-worthy use of the well-bred but hapless new doctor he hired while he’s at it.
Owen, who also executive produces, promises a new season that delves deeper into the New York milieu of the time. As a man literally and figuratively held captive by his circumstance, he is exceptional in the season premiere.
The Knick Season 2 airs Fridays at 10/9CT on Cinemax beginning Oct. 16