“The Knick” Season 1 Episode 4 “Where’s the Dignity?” aired on Friday, Sept. 5, 2014, at 10:00 p.m. on Cinemax. Tension grew between Dr. Gallinger and Dr. Edwards, while Dr. Chickering’s father watched what his son does at the Knick. Cleary and Sister Harriet made a pact, and Barrow continued to sell bodies from the morgue. Cornelia’s fiancé arrived in town and Dr. Thackery and Abbie discussed the past, while Lucy found out more about Thackery’s secrets. Read on for the recap.
The episode opened with Cleary (Chris Sullivan) organizing an underground betting game involving a sack of rats. The game was called rat-baiting, and the men who participated in it were supposed to kill the vermin with their feet. This happened inside a make-shift small-sized arena.
The aneurysm surgery that Dr. Gallinger (Eric Johnson) and Dr. Chickering (Michael Angarano) were preparing for in the last episode “The Busy Flee” (air date: Aug. 22, 2014) took place. Dr. Edwards (André Holland) also scrubbed in, but Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) advised that this was a waste of time since he was only going to talk Gallinger through the procedure.
So Edwards did as he was told. He just stood at the operating theater and instructed Gallinger, up to a point. Then he stopped giving out instructions and allowed the patient to bleed out. It was a bit of a cunning move, so this angered Gallinger and Thackery. But as the patient was losing pulse, Gallinger had no choice but to give Edwards the scalpel and let him take over.
Thackery to Edwards: “If he dies because of your horseshit, I’m going stab you in the throat with my father’s Union Army sword!”
Edwards performed the operation flawlessly and expertly and then let the other surgeons finished once Mr. Gaucho, the patient, was in the clear. But Gallinger, still pissed at Edwards, hit him in the face. Thackery asked him to scrub out, as well as Edwards. But it was clear from the reaction of the audience watching them do the procedure that they had no respect for the black man.
Later at the ward, Gallinger and Edwards were again at odds with each other, when they attended to a patient who has evidently had an accident from rat-baiting. But Edwards wouldn’t back down. Gallinger went home and told his wife what has been happening at the hospital and how everyone treated Edwards like an outcast. Gallinger believed he’s in the right track. Thus, he knew he has Thackery’s support.
Meanwhile, Barrow (Jeremy Bob) has been giving relatives of the hospital’s deceased patients the cremated remains of their loved-ones, saying that this was a cheaper option, and they will only have to pay $5 for the release. The fact was, Barrow has been making money by selling the bodies to universities. At the end of the episode, it’s hinted that Cleary, the ambulance driver, knew what he was up to.
Speaking of Cleary, he leveled it off with Sister Harriet (Cara Seymour) when she confronted him about his snide comments the last few days. The sister threatened that she would tell Barrow if he didn’t stop lurking around to check on her, and she will have his employment terminated.
Cleary: “I know about you. The mothers, the babies, the abortions. You defy God and kill his creations and you stand there looking down on dirty old Cleary.”
Sister Harriet softened up, and Cleary proposed business with her in exchange for not telling anyone she was doing abortions, which was punishable by law. When she refused, Cleary said she had no choice.
In another story, Nurse Lucy (Eve Hewson) informed Thackery that his patient and former girlfriend was looking for him. Abigail was recovering from the facial reconstruction procedure Thackery did for her in the last episode and wondered why he had not come by to check her up. Was he avoiding her?
Thackery had a flashback with Abigail. It was during the hospital’s Christmas party, which showed that while she was having fun, she felt like she didn’t belong in this part of Thackery’s world. Anyway, he finally came by to check up on her at the recovery, and they talked about her condition.
— The Knick (@AtTheKnick) September 6, 2014
She also discussed some things about their past relationship.
Abigail: “I chose to see you, but that wasn’t fair.”
Thackery: “There’s nothing about what happened to you that’s fair.”
Abigail: “I suppose I came because I wanted to remember what it was like before. I should have chosen you.”
Thackery: “You made the right choice in leaving me.”
Abigail: “We were something, weren’t we?”
Thackery: “You were spectacular.”
Cornelia was visiting a friend’s house again with the health inspector who wanted more details about the typhoid that killed the husband and confined the daughter at the Knick. The health inspector was so disrespectful, insulting to the homeowner. He won’t even shake the hands of Cornelia’s friend, saying that no one knows how dirty this has been. But he won’t say no to the food and coffee being served by their host. Cornelia was appalled at his behavior.
Edwards was fetched by his father at the hospital at the request of the Robertsons, specifically Cornelia’s father. Edwards’ parents are helpers at the Robertsons; he and Cornelia grew up in the house together, which is why Mr. Robertson was not only fond of Edwards, he also wanted him to meet Philip, Cornelia’s future husband.
Philip announced that when they get married, Cornelia will have to move with him to San Francisco. This surprised the future bride, as this was the first time she has heard of her fiancé’s plans. Edwards later asked Cornelia how she was doing, following the announcement. He knew that this was not what she wanted, and he knew her so well.
Meanwhile, an ambulance picked up a woman who was bleeding from the waist down. She attempted to have an abortion, and so Sister Harriet was also called into surgery. But it was too late — the woman died. However, Thackery wanted to test something out. He opened her chest and massaged her heart. Time and again, she would have a pulse, but she was really too weak to live. The heart massage method was another groundbreaking idea Dr. Thackery performed.
The "heart massage" Thackery tries out would eventually be used to help resuscitate patients whose hearts had stopped. #TheKnick
— The Knick (@AtTheKnick) September 6, 2014
Chickering’s father, who’s also a doctor, was at the hospital, observing his son for the day. By the end of the episode, he wasn’t too happy with the work environment and called Thackery a showman, with his own son lapping up to him like a dog. He felt insulted that his son was being addressed as Birdy by everyone, when he’s supposed to be addressed as Dr. Chickering.
At the end of a work day, Cleary and Sister Harriet buried the body of the woman who had an abortion, while Lucy followed Thackery to Chinatown. There, she saw how he was getting his opium fix. Will Lucy tell him or anyone what she saw?
And that’s what happened on “The Knick” Season 1 Episode 4 “Where’s the Dignity?” aired on Friday, Sept. 5, 2014, at 10:00 p.m. on Cinemax. Come back next week as we bring you more recaps, spoilers and updates about the series here on Movie News Guide (MNG).
Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons/Mario Antonio Pena Zapatería