Episode 4 Recap: A Brush with Death

Who had a bloody good time last Sunday?

Copperheads, here’s your spoiler warning. Didn’t watch last night? Plant yourself in front of a TV now, because you do not want to miss this episode.

The date is October 2, 1864, and we open with Corky and O’Brien gossiping like a pair of schoolgirls. Turns out Maguire wants to marry Molly and become a farmer. The fellas have a good chuckle over their buddy playing house and harvesting crops with the town whore. But hold on, wasn’t Molly screwing Corcoran just last week? We haven’t forgotten, and neither has Andrew, who alludes to Kevin and Molly’s loud sexcapades. It’s time for Kevin to fess up to the fling, but he’s saved by the dramatic entrance of a prosthetic leg. (The leg that’s usually attached to Morehouse.)

So O’Brien has the dirty deets on Corky and Molly’s affair. Fine. Let’s hope poor Maguire never finds out. Anyone else have the sads for the guy? Well, we’ll get to that mess later.

While the detectives gossiped, your two favorite hookers bickered upstairs in Eva’s Paradise, which we have renamed Eva’s Sex Dungeon of Doom. Molly stomped into Eva’s den like an ornery child, demanding Eva return Corky’s locket. Eva’s all, ‘Sure, cool, fine, whatever, take the locket…BUT LISTEN BITCH. YOU EVER TELL CORKY I HAD THIS LOCKET AND YOU. WILL. BE. SORRY.‘ Despite her terrifying behavior, Molly skips back to Corcoran, cursed locket in hand, and uses it as a prop to seduce him. Atta girl, Molly. Nothing turns a guy on like the jewelry of his beloved missing wife.

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Miss Last Night’s ‘Copper?’ Here’s Where to Watch ‘The Empty Locket’

If you missed last night’s Copper, you missed the most shocking episode of the series so far. Bummer. But hey, we wouldn’t leave our Copperheads hanging! Here’s the definitive list of where to catch ‘The Empty Locket.’

Own Copper For Keeps
iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/tv-season/copper-season-1
Amazon.com Instant Video: http://www.amazon.com
X-Box Video Store: http://social.zune.net
*Also available on SonyPS3

Watch an Encore (Or All the Encores) at Your Leisure
Sept. 12 – 10/9c
Sept. 13 – 1am/12c
Sept. 15 – 10/9c
Sept. 16 – 1am/12c
More airings: http://www.bbcamerica.com/copper/schedule

Find BBC America on Your TV Without Flipping Through Every Channel
Station Finder: http://www.bbcamerica.com/channel-finder

Get It On Demand
You can also watch episodes the day after they air with BBC America On Demand, available with:
DISH Network
Time Warner Cable
Verizon FiOS
Antietam Cable
Conway Corporation
Bristol Tennessee Essential Services

See Nothing? Say Something!
If BBC AMERICA On Demand is not available in your area, please contact your television service provider and tell them you’d like to receive it.

The Wickedest Woman In New York

From our partners at Gothamist: The death of Madame Grendel, an abortionist found murdered, is the backdrop for last night’s episode. Her sister surprises Detectives Corcoran and Maguire by noting that while she was found in Five Points, that was only her office‚ she actually lived “uptown” all the way on 14th Street, out of the ghetto. And it turns out that one real abortionist of the time became incredibly wealthy from her services‚ so rich that she could buy a mansion on Fifth Avenue.

In the mid-1800s, a former seamstress named Ann Lohman embarked on a new career. She called herself “Madame Restell,” and, with her husband and brother, she offered birth control devices and information, gave unmarried women a place to deliver their babies, even placed some unwanted babies with families and, yes, ended unwanted pregnancies.

Restell’s husband, Charles Lohman, who was a printer and radical, helped her develop her “Madame Restell” brand and newspaper advertisements for “female monthly pills” and “preventative powders.” For the powders, she charged $5; for abortions, depending on the wealth of the client, she’d charge $20-100. Neither Restell nor Lohman, who compounded the medications, were trained doctors‚ they were amateur obstetricians‚ but that didn’t stop them from selling Madame Restell items in stores and amassing a $1.5 million fortune.

There had been outcry over Restell’s services‚ the National Police Gazette called her, “The Wickedest Woman in New York‚” and, in 1847, Restell was convicted of a misdemeanor for inducing miscarriage (she was found not guilty of manslaughter) and served a year in prison. However, her husband continued the business in her stead (as “Dr. Mauriceau”) and by the time she emerged from behind bars, they kept moving up. In 1862, they managed to buy a prime piece of Fifth Avenue, at 52nd Street, even outbidding the Catholic Archdiocese, where she lived and operated her business.

With the change in address, Restelle started to cater to an upper-class clientele, charging them even more. Other Fifth Avenue residents were aghast that the grand home was the product of profits from Restell’s work, but Restell knew the dirty secrets of the powerful‚ plus she bought political protection.

During the 1870s, with the fall of NYC’s powerful kingmaker Boss Tweed, newspapers, especially the NY Times, rallied against abortionists. Morals crusader Anthony Comstock fought against birth control measures (he thought they encouraged lust) and managed to get Restell to sell him some of her “powders” from her mansion in 1878. He had her arrested for “selling abortifacients.” Rather than go back to the Tombs and prison, Restell, 67, killed herself by slitting her own throat. Her maid found her body in the bathtub.

One-Two Punch: The Detective and the Doctor Smash Ratings Records

From our partners at Anglophenia: Ratings from Labor Day weekend are in, and BBC America’s Doctor Who and new original drama Copper scored huge. The seventh season premiere of Doctor Who, “Asylum of the Daleks,” was the channel’s highest-rated, most-watched telecast in its history, bringing in 1.555 million total viewers “Live + Same Day.” Among non-sports programming, it was No. 1 among cable networks in the crucial 25-54 demo (with 723,000) during its timeslot on Saturday, September 1. Adding in big ratings for Sunday’s third episode of Copper, this past weekend was the highest-rated in the channel’s history.

Meanwhile, the August 19 premiere of Copper — which already reigns as BBC AMERICA’s highest-rated series premiere ever — has now broken another record. With a full week’s worth of DVR viewing accounted for, the premiere is now the channel’s highest-rated telecast within “Live+7″ viewership, scoring 1.805 million total viewers and 859,000 within the demo. (With re-airs factored in, Copper‘s first episode cumulatively delivered 2,754 million total viewers and 1.273 million in the 25-54 demo.) More than a million viewers watch the series each week, making it the channel’s highest-rated drama.

For more, visit Anglophenia: ‘Doctor Who,’ ‘Copper’ Shatter Ratings Records for BBC America

Episode 3 Recap: Lynchings and Love Letters

Welcome to week three, Copperheads!

The date is September 26, 1864. We open on an elegant dinner party at the Haverford household, where there’s a dashing fellow dressed in a tux. Oh, hey, that’s Corky. You can hardly recognize him without fifteen layers of Five Points dirt.

Hey, handsome.

Squeaky-clean Kev is getting a lot of attention from hostess Elizabeth Haverford, who’s pleased as punch that her no-good whore of a husband Winnie kicked the bucket. Now she can let loose – pass rosewater scented love notes and hang naked pictures ‘round the house. The only buzzkill in Lizzie’s life now that Winnie’s dead? Little diamond in the rough, Annie Reilly. Orphan Adopted Annie STRONGLY disapproves of HaverCork – busting in on the pair to break up the meaningful gazing and hand kissing. Poor Annie’s convinced herself that Kevin is her man. She sneaks into Corky’s home in a failed attempt to seduce him, proving you can take the girl outta Five Points, but you can’t take Five Points outta the girl.

This week’s whodunit is a case riddled with racial tension – a black Reverend is accused of lynching a white Irish immigrant. In true 1864 “CSI” style, Doctor Freeman proves that the victim, Diarmuid O’Connor, was stabbed with a long needle, then hung, and then he does some nifty drip n’ sniff blood test to prove the bloody rag discovered in Reverend Garland’s home is stained with ox blood, not blood of the murdered human variety. The Rev is still Corky’s prime suspect, which strikes a nerve with Freeman. The two may have bonded on the battlefield, but Five Points isn’t quite as colorblind.

“You’re Irish to the pit of your heart and you Irish know how to hate,” Freeman barks when Corcoran suggests the killer is colored. When the duo discover that it wasn’t the Rev, but an angry seamstress who killed O’Connor when he refused to pay for his suit, Corky feels momentarily vindicated.

“Wait, you’re saying a Negro did kill O’Connor,” Corky asks Freeman. And in the most powerful line of the episode, a weary Freeman responds:

“Yes. But as usual, you people just grabbed ANY Negro.”




Everyone Knows Where Corky’s Locket Is (Except for Corky)

Poor Corky. We say it every week, but the guy can’t catch a break (unless you count the fractured leg.) Practically everyone one in Five Points is buzzing about the locket – Madame Grindle pawned it to Schwarz, who sold it to Molly, who unwillingly gave it to Eva – and the Detective is completely oblivious. Do you think somebody will eventually turn the locket over?

Finders Keepers!

Why is Eva hiding the locket? We asked someone who knows Eva best – Franka Potente. She explained: “Corcoran probably comes over every night, at a certain hour, Corcoran and Eva fuck, they have a glass of wine, maybe they fuck again, he falls asleep, or he leaves – it’s the only peaceful routine in her life. This stupid locket would totally jeopardize all that!” Oh. Well when you put it that way…

So, Did You, Uh, You Know, Kiss Her Hand?

Eva’s trying to play it easy breezy, but you can tell she’s not a fan of Corky playing kiss the hand with Elizabeth Haverford. Is Eva jealous that Corky’s into an uptown girl? Resentful of rich Manhattan debutantes always getting what they want?

How Sara Got Her Groove Back

Matthew Freeman wants a baby, but for now, the abandoned brother of a murderer will have to do. Bessie skipped town to avoid murder charges, leaving her brother Jasper helpless and hungry. The Doc scooped him up and brought him home, hoping the task of caretaker would give Sara something to do besides sulk. Here’s hoping!

Meet 1864’s Top Candidate for Teeth Whitening

What did you think of this week’s episode of Copper? Add your two cents below…

Elizabeth Haverford’s Provocative Painting

From our partners at Gothamist: Given that mourning periods usually lasted at least a year for spouses, Elizabeth Haverford is playing the merry widow in last night’s episode‚ so shortly after Winfred’s demise.

Elizabeth eschews black clothing and, more notably, audaciously flirts with Detective Kevin Corcoran. At the beginning of the episode, she shows him a peek of a painting that “Winnie” refused to allow her to hang, because it resembled her too much. And, later in the episode, we see the whole painting: It’s a painting of a nude woman, very reminiscent of Édouard Manet’s shocking 1863 painting, Olympia.

While Manet’s painting was inspired by the 16th century Renaissance painting by Titian, Venus of Urbino, as well as Goya’s Maja desnuda (1795-1800), Olympia caused an uproar when it was publicly exhibited at a salon in 1865.

Nudes had been painted in traditionally classical styles, so Manet’s modern, often called childish, approach made Olympia seem bold. Also, her gaze looked right at viewers, whereas Titian’s Venus and Goya’s Maja have coy looks. Critics called it “immoral” and “vulgar.” As the Musee D’Orsay, where the painting hangs, says, “The picture portrays the cold and prosaic reality of a truly contemporary subject. Venus has become a prostitute, challenging the viewer with her calculating look. This profanation of the idealized nude, the very foundation of academic tradition, provoked a violent reaction.”

Organizers were forced to hang the portrait higher, lest riots break out. However, Manet was surprised by the outrage, complaining”The insults rain down on me like hail.” Some, though, like Emile Zola, believed it to be a “masterpiece.”

Today, many call Olympia the first modern painting. Mary Elizabeth Williams wrote in Salon, “Manet was perhaps the world’s first shock artist. Every modern provocateur who slices up a cow or assembles a Lego death camp owes him a debt of hype-making gratitude, but his influence exceeds his infamy.”

Perhaps Winnie was right not to hang the painting up in his Fifth Avenue townhouse, it probably would have given his peers coronaries.

Yes, The Colored Orphan Asylum Was Looted And Burned Down By A Mob

From our Partners at Gothamist: Last night’s episode highlighted the tensions between Irish immigrants and African-Americans in New York City‚ and the real-life incident of angry immigrants burning down the Colored Orphan Asylum.

While New York was part of the North and against slavery, many New Yorkers weren’t that progressive towards blacks. In 1860, Mayor Fernando Wood even suggested seceding from the Union, proclaiming his support for the Confederacy, over concerns for the cotton trade (an important part of NYC revenue). But the real flashpoint was when Congress passed a law to draft men to fight in the the Civil War.

Wealthy New Yorkers could pay $300 to hire a substitute to fight for them, but the Irish working class, many of whom were already threatened by blacks vying for similar jobs, were furious over the draft. On July 13, 1863, four days of violent rioting began, starting with an attack at a draft location at Third Avenue and 47th Street. That afternoon, thousands of angry men and women looted the Colored Orphan Asylum (Fifth Avenue between 43rd and 44th Streets) and burned it to the ground.

By the afternoon, blacks started to become targets‚ the Colored Orphan Asylum (Fifth Avenue between 43rd and 44th Streets) was looted and burned down. The NY Times reported, ” Hundreds, and perhaps thousands of the rioters, the majority of whom were women and children, entered the premises, and in the most excited and violent manner they ransacked and plundered the building from cellar to garret.” Amazingly, two hundred thirty-three orphans, essentially unharmed, were moved to the 35th Precinct Police Station‚ rioters beat blacks of all ages, humiliating and killing them, in what would be NYC’s deadliest riots in history.

The Colored Orphan Asylum, which had been founded in 1836, attempted to rebuild its institution on the same site, but neighbors asked them to leave (the property was worth so much!), so the asylum was at 51st Street and Fifth Avenue for four years. The Colored Orphan Asylum was eventually moved to 143rd Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam, and, at the beginning of the 20th century, built new facilities in the Riverdale of the Bronx.

The Colored Orphan Asylum still exists today‚ it’s now known as the Harlem Dowling-West Side Center for Children and Family Services.

Writer’s Room: A Page from the Script

Writer Kevin Deiboldt shares historical script notes from an upcoming episode of ‘Copper.’

A period show is, by definition, filled with history. Copper is no exception. The entire creative team – from the actors to the designers to the writers – spent months (in some cases, years) studying research to ensure that the world of Copper was imbued with authenticity. With the aura of 1864 New York.

For a writer, that research can be intoxicating – scores of factoids and tidbits gleaned from sources (personally, I spent entire days sifting through the archives of the New York Times, which go all the way back to 1851) at your fingertips. The urge to plug as many as you can into a script is strong: “Knowledge! I must share all this fascinating knowledge I’ve discovered!” Ultimately, though, there isn’t much room for them. We’re a drama, not a documentary… and while history adds color to the world of Copper, it’s the characters who breathe life into it.

That said, you still want the reader to get a sense of what it was like to be living in 1864 – of what was happening in the world. One of the tricks we used on Copper was to put a historical page in the beginning of each script; a timeline, where we listed some important (or interesting) events that all took place around the date our episode was set. (My favorite historical note from the script of Episode One? September 17: Mary Todd Lincoln comes to New York for a shopping spree, spends $27,000 on clothes, hides the bills from her husband.)

With Episode Three airing in just a few days, I figure I’d share the history page from that script, “In The Hands Of An Angry God.”

Copper – Episode 3: “In the Hands of an Angry God

September 23
Archduke Maximilian is made Emperor of Mexico by Napoleon III of France in defiance of the Monroe Doctrine; Lincoln offers a mild protest, fearing that the French might support the Confederacy.

September 24
General Philip Sheridan burns fields and barns in the Shenandoah Valley to eliminate the Confederate grain supply.

September 25
“In God We Trust” appears on newly minted U.S. coinage for the first time.

September 26
The Central Park Zoo opens; one of the camels on display is used to pull the park lawn mower.

Have questions or comments for Kevin? Leave them below! And for more of Kevin’s ‘Copper’ musings, check out his personal blog, Ithaca Mafia.

Three Cheers for ‘Copper’

The Copper press blitz continues, and we’re happy to report that Tom Weston-Jones is getting chart-topping cheers from TV Guide:

“Cheers to Tom Weston-Jones for his star-making turn in BBC America’s Copper. As an 1864 crime-buster, the MI-5 vet has a rough-hewn, Josh Holloway-esque charisma that won’t be lost on viewers.”

The good detective also stopped by Wired, to explain how the series…smells?

“[Copper] is incredibly vibrant and visceral,” TWJ explains. “I think you can smell the show when you watch it.” Very true. “Copper” does have a distinctly, uh, ripe, smell. Watch the full interview HERE.

TWJ isn’t the only Copper castmate feelin’ the love – Dylan Taylor chatted with The Morton Report recently about his role as the tough, but loveable Detective Andrew O’Brien.

Read Taylor’s full interview with The Morton Report HERE.

And that, Copperheads, is just a slice of all the Copper news that’s fit to print! Only one question: Is it Sunday yet?

A Big, Bawdy, Bar Brawl

With two episodes down and eight more to go, we’re feelin’ the love from Copper critics! Below is a spread of our favorite Copper commentary, but we want to hear from the fans too. Have a one-line review? Head to the comments area and let us know why you’re a confirmed Copper addict.