“The Knick” Season 1 Episode 3 “The Busy Flea” aired on Friday, Aug. 22, 2014, at 10:00 p.m. on Cinemax. An old flame of Dr. Thackery came to the hospital to seek his expertise. Barrow found a way to pay off his debt with the loan shark, but his lies and cover-ups continued. Dr. Edwards’ underground clinic was growing, but there were some risks. Read on to learn what happened in this episode.
A lady with prosthetic nose arrived at the Knick looking for Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen), who almost turned her away. He realized, however, that she was his old girlfriend, Abby (Jennifer Ferrin). She lost her nose as a result of syphilis, which she contacted from her husband, who was having an affair with a girl from his office.
As Thackery was examining her nose, or what’s left of it, it’s hinted that the reason why they broke up was because Abby didn’t need the chaotic life of Thackery’s work as a surgeon as much as he did. Thackery said that she’s a good candidate for restoration and discussed the procedure with her. It sounded awful, but doing the reconstruction will help her so that she won’t have to wear the silly contraption anymore. Thackery recommended a plastic surgeon, but Abby told him that she would be comfortable if he would do the work on her.
Abby: “I know it’s a lot to ask. But try to remember me before.”
Thackery: “Oh, I remember you perfectly.”
Thackery practiced on a pig days before the procedure, which seemed to be the norm at the Knick of late, as Dr. Gallinger (Eric Johnson) and Dr. Chickering (Michael Angarano) were also practicing on a bunch of other pigs for an aneurism procedure for one of Gallinger’s patients. They didn’t have any human cadaver, as Barrow (Jeremy Bob) was having problems securing these.
Barrow, meanwhile, had to explain to everyone that he had an emergency tooth extraction, which was why his cheeks were swollen. The truth was, the man he owed money forcefully took his tooth out in “Mr. Paris Shoes.” His wife came by the hospital asking for money when she didn’t catch him at home that morning. His wife also asked if Barrow saw her pearl earrings by any chance. He suggested that perhaps the maid took it, in which case, she will be fired.
The truth was he gave his wife’s earrings to this prostitute he’s been sleeping with, who gladly did the busy flea routine for him when she saw his gift. The routine involved pretending that she was being attacked by fleas so she had to strip her clothes down one by one.
"The Busy Flea" was a real service provided by prostitutes. #TheKnick
— The Knick (@AtTheKnick) August 23, 2014
Barrow also found out that Cornell University was paying $75 for cadavers, a price so much more profitable than the $20 at the Knick. So he stole one from the hospital morgue, sold it to the school and used this money to pay off the loan shark. Oh, the lies and deceit Barrow has been spinning!
Back to the surgeons, Gallinger was having difficulty understanding this French medical journal that detailed the procedure for aneurism. Even while working on the pigs, he and Chickering couldn’t figure it out. Gallinger even enlisted the help of his wife, who knew a little French, but nothing that involved medical terms. She suggested to ask Edwards’ help. Chickering also asked the same, noting that it was Dr. Edwards’ name that was on the French medical journal. He wrote the literature they were reading.
The two surgeons sought the advice of Thackery, who said that they may need Edwards after all. But Thackery clarified that he will only be guiding Gallinger through the procedure. He will not lay a hand on his patient.
So where was Dr. Edwards all this time? He was down at the hospital basement working in his underground clinic while training other black people in his staff. His surgical nurse was actually the hospital laundress. People that came by the basement would use the safe words, “I’m here for a washing job,” to indicate that they were there to seek treatment from him.
In fact, Edwards successfully finished a hernia operation, of his own design, and later instructed the patient to take it easy for several weeks.
Algernon's 3 Layer Hernia Repair technique is based on a real medical breakthrough credited to Italian doctor Edoardo Bassini. #TheKnick
— The Knick (@AtTheKnick) August 23, 2014
But his patient went to work the next day and suffered a complication. He was back at the operating table in no time, yet it was too late. The man died, and Edwards took his frustrations out by drinking at a local pub, where he also ended up in a bar fight. Did he knock one man dead? When will the hospital find out his underground operation?
Meanwhile, Cornelia Robertson’s (Juliet Rylance) father asked if Edwards and Thackery were getting along. The Robertson family had so much trust and support for Edwards while recognizing that Thackery remains a brilliant asset to their hospital. There was also talks about Cornelia’s upcoming wedding to Philip, a businessman who’s on a trip with Henry, his friend who enjoyed the opera. They also discussed about their family friend’s daughter who was getting treatment for typhoid fever.
Cornelia thought that there was something peculiar about the spread of this disease, so he brought this up with Thackery, who suggested that she ask the health inspector to check on the houses of the patients. Whatever this was, it was already spreading fast. However, Thackery, perhaps moved by Nurse Lucy’s words after Abby’s operation, went ahead and operated on Robertson’s family friend’s daughter, who’s had complications from the fever. He didn’t want to operate on her earlier, but now she has hope.
This episode also featured minor scenes with Sister Harriett (Cara Seymour) and Clearing (Chris Sullivan), who hinted to her that he knew she’s an abortionist.
And that’s what happened in this week’s “The Knick” Season 1 Episode 3 “The Busy Flea,” which aired on Friday, Aug. 22, 2014, at 10:00 p.m. on Cinemax. Check out the clip below.
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Photo Source: Wikipedia Commons/David De La Luz