Cinemax’s The Knick Working Late a Lot TV Show Review. The Knick: Season 1, Episode 8: Working Late a Lot opened on Steven Soderbergh’s candlelit close-ups of Dr. John Thackery (Clive Owen) and Nurse Elkins (Eve Hewson) intertwined in another passionate, yet more ferocious embrace. Last week Lucy had the pleasure of her first time…and most distressing, her first time with cocaine. This opening scene with them in the pitch dark, her practically begging him for more sex, more drugs, more of whatever she experienced initially..is as equally thrilling as it is haunting.
Lying about after, Thackery gently murmured to Lucy that God didn’t exist. Though she took pause…she seemed enthralled.
It is hard to know exactly how much time has gone by from last week’s episode to this chapter, but it is now winter. If two to three months have passed, then the perspective of this episode regarding all characters would need to be taken into consideration. A hello to Thackery from Dr. Algernon Edwards (Andre Holland) would now be more routine, their relationship finding a camaraderie. And we could assume that the intimacy between Lucy and Thackery has been going on for awhile now…
Thackery was suffering from major cocaine withdrawal. The conflict in the Philippines meant there was no cocaine to be had…anywhere. Thack was coming unglued, body and mind sweating out its desperate need for the narcotic. Lucy was able to wheedle a vial for him to help get him through the presentation of the hernia paper. [Steven Soderbergh’s hand-held camera work is exceptional here. The fast sprint up the aisle as the drug kicked in and Thack delivered the paper with animation, gusto. Then when he sat down to listen to Dr. Levi Zinberg (Michael Nathanson)’s presentation, the cuts back and forth between Thack’s face and Zinberg made us know just how aggressive the monkey on his back was in this moment.]
Thack more than gave himself away when he derailed an important meeting with the hospital’s advisory board over the cocaine question. [Clive Owen’s execution of Thackery’s desperation and nervous aggression was truly perfect…and if there is to be an episode submitted for any future awards, it should be this one.]
Later after giving a lecture at the Metropolitan Surgical Society, Thackery sat for a presentation on a new “Illuminating Intrascope” from Dr. Zinberg. Sitting in a seat near the stage, he eyed Zinberg. Through cuts and close-ups, he seemed to be on the verge of a nervous breakdown. [It is one of the most troubling sequences of the series…Thackery is in serious trouble. This left us as an audience uneasy, wondering what would happen to this story without our anti-hero doctor.]
There are other storylines of note…Dr. Everett Gallinger (Eric Johnson) tried to use baby Grace to restore some sanity into his household, as well as his wife. The oblivious judge ultimately let Typhoid Mary (Melissa McMeekin) go free. Cornelia Robertson (Juliet Rylance) and Algernon’s foolhardy affair.
Steven Soderbergh truly shined this week. The direction, the camera work, the lighting…in impeccable harmony with the tale being told.
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