Corky (Tom Weston-Jones) became one of the most tragic characters to ever exist on TV in the "Copper" episode "The Hope Too Bright to Last." All the poor guy wants is to do a good job and have a nice family. So much for that!
Corky just won't listen to "good" sense
Gen. Donovan (Donal Logue) seems on the outside to be a good, noble man, but he actually just wants what's best for himself. As such, he's not too happy about Corky looking into their latest closed case. Corky is probably correct about something fishy going on, but he is forced to drop it anyway.
Now he's got someone new to save: the woman whose husband tried to send her sons off to war -- killing a couple of them in the process -- and her son. The son buys a gun to kill their pervert landlord, who keeps threatening his mother's safety, but Corky wants to save the poor kid from hanging. Corky talks the kid out of pulling a pistol on the landlord, and decides to train him in boxing. It's fine to defend yourself with a fist in Five Points, just not with a gun.
Corky also sets up an inspection for the landlord with Donovan's help, in order to attack the landlord at his wallet. The plan works, and Donovan is happy to help if it means getting Corky's nose out of a closed case. Plus, Corky gets to flirt with his new female friend, and be a father figure to her son. All in all a good day's work.
Robert Morehouse loses his fortune
Robert (Kyle Schmid) wants to rid himself of all the evils which surround him, and loses his entire fortune in the process. It's an accident, but it seems as if he doesn't want his father's corrupt money. Elizabeth (Anastasia Griffith) calls in Norbert (Geordie Johnson), Robert's father, so he can fix the situation. But Robert would rather be penniless than allow his father to regain their fortune using corrupt means.
Norbert conspires to save the fortune behind Robert's back, leaving Robert furious with both his father and his wife. Poor Robert doesn't know how to ease his pain other than through drinking enough not to care where he is or who he's married to. He's an honorable man surrounded by criminals.
Doctor Freeman treats the sick
Freeman (Ato Essandoh) must deal with a cholera outbreak that only seems to be affecting a few poor people in one building. He soon finds that it is not cholera at all, but bacteria in the water coming from a newly built well. It looks as if he will be studying the new bug further in the next episode.
Donovan gets help from Eva
Donovan wants Eva (Franka Potente) to help him take down an enemy who stands in the way of building aqueducts for the city, but she goes a little too far. Instead of bending the pervert to her will, she sets him up to look like a fool by having one of her girls drug him to have pictures taken of him in bed with a man. He wakes before that can happen and runs off naked. It's hilarious, but only serves to make the man angry, with his suspicions aimed at Donovan.
Then the benevolent and noble Donovan becomes very dodgy indeed. He really wants to take this guy down. In addition, he seems to have a past with Eva. He makes use of her, um … services, but what does that mean? It was assumed that Eva may be pregnant with Corky's child, but now it seems as if it could be Donovan's. What will Donovan's next move be?
Ellen looks for help
Ellen (Alex Paxton-Beesley) doesn't know where to turn for help with her new pregnancy, so she turns to Sara Freeman (Tessa Thompson) and her mother Hattie (Alfre Woodard). Hattie knows a little something about despair, and offers the most sensible advice: Ellen should tell her husband Corky as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, when she searches for Corky, she spots Eva acting affectionately toward him as he drinks with a friend at the whorehouse. Eva rarely acts that way with Corky anymore, so it's possible that she saw Ellen spying and decided to make her jealous.
Either way, Ellen's fragile psyche can't handle the thought of Corky carrying on at the whorehouse while she sits at home pregnant. It's too much for her to handle, despite the fact that Corky has actually been sleeping at the precinct lately.
Sara takes matters into her own hands and tells Corky about the pregnancy, at which time he immediately flies off the handle and accuses Francis (Kevin Ryan) of sleeping with her again and getting her pregnant. He swears up and down that this is not the case until Corky finally believes him.
So Corky finally gets to start over with a new child after Ellen killed the last one. That's great news, right? Right? Not so fast. Ellen had her own knee-jerk reaction after seeing Eva touch her husband's head, and has hung herself. There goes another baby, and his latest hope for happiness and fatherhood.
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