'Copper' Episode 'I Defy Thee to Forget' Recap: Corky Digs Himself in the Weeds

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Corky (Tom Weston-Jones) and O'Brien (Dylan Taylor) search for the man who killed one of their own in the "Copper" episode "I Defy Thee to Forget." Francis Maguire (Kevin Ryan) stabbed Phinbar Byrnes (Will Bowes) in the previous episode and didn't seem to care one iota that he just murdered a man he used to work with when he was a copper. Will Corky and O'Brien be able to figure it out?

Corky focuses on the wrong things

Corky is sidetracked by three other things in his life. The first is Robert Morehouse (Kyle Schmid). O'Brien humorously finds Corky in bed with his naked best friend's hand stretched across his torso. And he's late to work on the worst day to be late. Oops!

Next, Corky pulls himself away from searching for the cop killer, when he spots Annie (Kiara Glasco) running from home and decides to have a talk with his wife about it. Ellen (Alex Paxton-Beesley) is furious after having found the newly married Elizabeth Morehouse's (Anastasia Griffith) diamond necklace, which Annie stole at the wedding.

Corky walks in right after the fight -- which contained hitting and kicking on Annie's part and the threat of murder by stabbing on Ellen's part. Corky immediately takes Annie's side, informing Ellen that she just doesn't understand how to deal with the child. When Ellen calls her a tramp, he smacks her across the face.

Corky isn't so nice to Annie either. Her first instinct is to lie about what happened, and Corky has had enough with her. She went too far this time, and he's not sure if he can, or even wants to, fix the problem. After Annie lays on some serious begging, Corky asks a patrolman at the station to keep an eye on her after telling her that they'll be returning the necklace together once he finishes at work.

He then tempts her by leaving the necklace in the room. Sure enough, she skips out with the necklace, and Corky is pulled away from one of the most important jobs he's ever had -- finding a cop killer -- to go talk to Mrs. Morehouse about whether she has seen Annie. That only serves to upset Elizabeth, since it was Corky who held a knife to her throat after her own dealings with Annie. Sure, Elizabeth deserved it at the time, but now he's just digging himself deeper in the weeds.

Gen. Donovan has a little chat with Corky

After ensuring that Corky's obsession with Annie stems from righteousness rather than a sickening taste for young girls, i t's Donovan (Donal Logue) who must set Corky on the right path. He explains that Corky's focus on righting one wrong that may not be fixable may only serve to make matters worse. That has definitely been the case, and so Corky vows to work for the greater good, as Donovan requests, even if it may involve some tough personal decisions.

Meanwhile, O'Brien is off doing good work

As Corky deals with personal issues, O'Brien gets the job done. As he beats up Billy Murphy -- who was assumed to be Phinbar's murderer because he is a known cop-hater -- Billy's daughter cries out for him to stop. The daughter spills the beans about a new gang that prints counterfeit money out of some "dive" and had threatened to kill her and her father if they said anything.

Donovan suggests the coppers close down all the dives in town in order to weed them out. But it is one of the counterfeiter's own jealous men who goes straight to the coppers to tell them that it was Maguire who plunged the knife into Phinbar. Maguire and his new crime boss had humiliated the man earlier because of his light-hearted, joking attitude concerning the cop murder.

O'Brien has a hard time believing his ears until he finds Maguire carrying counterfeiting plates. O'Brien asks him point blank whether he committed the murder but leaves his answer a mystery until Corky gets back in the game, having just made his promise to work for the greater good. It is indeed Maguire who takes his deserved punishment for the murder.

Tying up loose ends

There are many moving parts to the episode, so here are a few of the other notable points:

  • Elizabeth helped Sara (Tessa Thompson) find the Virginia plantation to which her mother was sold and insists on traveling there to find the woman herself, despite Matthew's (Ato Essandoh) stubborn insistence on going there himself. Yeah, a black man in slave territory is a recipe for disaster. Let the eager, rich white woman get her hands dirty.
  • Eva (Franka Potente) is not feeling very pretty lately. Is she pregnant?
  • Donovan has all the dives in town shut down in his search for Phinbar's killer, but he leaves Eva's place open for business. He wants Eva to become a new "business partner," helping him to catch criminals. He also trusts her to tell him about problems with his own men.
  • The man in charge of printing the counterfeit money doesn't care that Maguire is taking the fall for the murder without ratting them out. He just wants his printing plates back and vows to take over the police station in order to get them.
  • The first of Corky's difficult personal decisions involves leaving his wife. After seeing the cop killer, Maguire, at the station, all he can think of is his wife in bed with the evil man. She has also become a distraction to his work and only brings him painful memories of his dead daughter, Maggie.
  • Corky's first stop after leaving his wife is Eva's whorehouse. Eva suggests Lola, a new young hire who is "practically a virgin" and "in need of expert appraisal," to accompany him for the evening. But Lola only gets the slightest eyebrow-raise out of Corky. The poor guy looks as if he's completely dead inside.
More from this contributor:

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