'Copper' Episode 'Aileen Aroon' Recap: How to Catch an 1860s Serial Killer

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'Copper' Episode 'Aileen Aroon' Recap: How to Catch an 1860s Serial Killer
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Copper, Season 2, Episode 2, Dr. Matthew Freeman (Ato Essandoh) and Detective Kevin Corcoran (Tom We …

Five Points appears to have a serial killer targeting teenage boys on the "Copper" episode "Aileen Aroon." Detective "Corky" Corcoran (Tom Weston-Jones) enlists the help of his good friend Dr. Matthew Freeman (Ato Essandoh) to learn that the two dead kids they've stacked up so far have been drugged. There are five more missing, and it's up to the coppers to find them.

"Copper" finds some comedic relief

"Copper" has never had much in the way of comedic relief, but this episode is a happy exception. Corky found that the killer has most likely been preying on boys in Eva's new bar, which she's taken over from Buzzie Burke -- who had carved his initials into her back -- after he was killed in prison.

In order to catch the killer, Corky and his men attempt to dress up one of their patrolmen as the type of kid the killer seems to be interested in. An actor attempts to train the officer in the art of acting for the purpose of going undercover, but he fails miserably -- and hilariously. After his "deplorable" performance (as the exasperated actor puts it), Corky uses him anyway because, well, he's the only copper who looks the part.

The plan works -- sort of

The plan actually works, even though it's an indirect path: The undercover Irish boy decoy sets his lure to capture a potential suspect, but the suspect immediately moves on to another boy who looks more promising. Corky and O'Brien (Dylan Taylor), Corky's detective partner, spot the man dropping drugs into the kid's drink during a distracting random bar fight, and the coppers run up to pull him outside right away.

They pull the drugs out if his pocket and prepare to arrest him when the bar fight spills onto the street, and Corky gets knocked to the ground. Although their suspect gets away, Corky seems to be confident that they can catch him now that they know who he is and are able to obtain his name.

Gen. Donovan shows how it's done

When a news reporter threatens to run the story of the missing and murdered boys, Donovan (Donal Logue) blackmails him. The reporter has his own juicy secrets to hide, so Donovan gives him a choice: good or bad news. In other words, the news can be good if the reporter sits on the story a bit longer, once the coppers catch the killer without the interference of a news report that will send him running for the hills -- although Corky may have already failed on that front. The news will definitely be bad, however, if it's all about the reporter's personal life.

Maguire turns to crime

Now that Maguire (Kevin Ryan), Corky's ex-friend and ex-copper, has been released from prison after evidence of his murders has gone mysteriously missing, he decides to turn to a life of crime. His first step is to sign on with a group of criminals called The Druids. The first order of business in his new job is to coerce a shop owner into paying double his normal amount for a stack of counterfeit bills. When the man argues, Maguire sticks a lit cigarette up the man's nose. Yikes!

Frederick Douglass helps Mrs. Freeman

Sara Freeman (Tessa Thompson) has had a hard time shaking the lynching of her two brothers in the city and prefers living out on the outskirts. When Matthew's mentor decides to move out of Five Points for health issues, however, Matthew agrees to take over the practice to fulfill his vow to heal people. Sara is terrified at the prospect and the challenges Matthew will face as a black doctor with a lot of business in the city.

Historical figure Frederick Douglass (Eamonn Walker) comes to Sara's rescue, inspiring her to become a strong woman. A conversation with Douglass leads Sara to announce to her husband that she is no longer afraid of the city and will be supporting him in his new practice.

The relationships compared

The episode finishes with flashes between two husband and wife relationships: the Freemans, who have just solidified their love and respect for each other; and the Corcorans, who may never get past the tragedy of losing their daughter. The Freemans, therefore, have some wild lovemaking to do, while Ellen Corcoran (Alex Paxton-Beesley) initiates an awkward encounter with her husband that results in him turning to a needle full of morphine in his arm.

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