Previously on Mr Selfridge: Harry reformed, just before his wife got a terminal diagnosis. Mardle hooked up with a cute Belgian, and Agnes got back together with Henriiiiizzzzzzzzzzz…
The family Selfridge buries Rose. Harry sadly bids her farewell and wonders how he’ll live without her.
Nine months later, he flies back from a trip to Ireland that involved buying another store. Newspapermen on the ground immediately descend, shouting questions about the acquisition and about alleged plans Harry has to buy some land to build an aerodrome. He says that’s just a rumour, though he thinks aviation is the future. He hops into a car driven by his now-all-grown-up son, Gordon, and the reporters ask Gordon how he feels about the business expansion. Gordon softballs that he’s proud of his dad and everything he does.
Continue reading “Mr Selfridge: Memories”
Previously on Upstairs, Downstairs: Emily the kitchenmaid was waaaay too into overblown romance stories.
It’s April 1907.
Emily stares, openmouthed, up at the street through the kitchen window. Mrs Bridges tells her to pay attention to her work and scolds her for doing a crappy job with the dishes. Emily sulks and recommences washing them. Poorly. She doesn’t even rinse, so no wonder Bridges was pissed off. Edward comes into the scullery just as a carriage pulls up carrying some nouveau riche named Mrs Van Groeben. Edward makes fun of her, as Rose joins them. Rose scolds him mildly but joins the other two in staring at the woman as she gets down from her carriage. Rose remarks on the handsome footman and wishes they could get a cute one like that. Emily admires Mrs VG’s dress, guessing the woman has a different dress for every day of the year.
Continue reading “Upstairs, Downstairs: Romeo and Juliet is NOT a How-to!”
Previously on The Knick: Thack was regularly stealing away to Chinatown to spend his off hours in an opium-induced haze; Edwards was facing endless racism at work, so it’s just as well he’s apparently kind of a badass; Cleary discovered Harriet’s side business giving abortions to desperate poor women; and Barrow started stealing and selling bodies from the hospital.
Cleary’s evening playing darts at his local is interrupted by some kid, who calls Cleary out to the street. Cleary gives the kid some instructions (we can’t hear what they’re talking about) and then makes his way to the basement of some building nearby, having acquired a sack along the way. The basement is filled with men cheering and placing bets while one guy walks around a ring in the centre. I figured this was some sort of underground cock fighting or boxing thing, but no, this is a bloodsport with a particular New York twist: The guy’s going up against Cleary’s sack full of NYC rats. He starts stomping and kicking them to death, gorily, but then slips in the blood and the rats start chomping on him.
Continue reading “The Knick: Where’s the Dignity?”
Previously on The Knick: Edwards dealt with being marginalized at the hospital by opening a secret clinic for black patients in the basement. Baxter’s in deep with some very bad people and paid for it with a tooth, Sister Harriet’s performing abortions for poor women, and wealthy uptowners are coming down with typhoid.
A woman arrives at the hospital and asks the nurse at the front desk where she can find Thack. We don’t see her face, but when the nurse does, what she sees makes her pause briefly, so we know it must be bad.
Lucy is the lucky one who gets to interrupt Thack in whatever research he’s working on to tell him he has a patient calling herself his friend.
Continue reading “The Knick: Seeing the Light”
Previously on The Knick: Repeated surgical failures finally got to Dr Christiansen, who committed suicide, leaving his second-in-command, Thack, in charge. He’s forced to hire a new second, a black man, which does not make him happy in the least.
We start by cutting between scenes of Cornelia’s luxurious life in a mansion and Edwards’s crappy life in a gross boardinghouse that clearly caters to black men. Cornelia is wakened by a maid, Edwards is wakened by a roach scuttling across his pillow. Edwards is bugged in line for the bathroom by some other guy with a huge attitude who wants to know where he got those fancy shoes from. Cornelia has breakfast with her parents and admits she feels a bit awkward at the Knick. Her dad reassures her that nobody, not even her brother, thinks as similarly to him as she does and he knows she can handle it. After breakfast, she’s carefully dressed by two maids who take care to make sure she looks perfect. Edwards, also looking perfect (though he clearly had to do it himself) heads into work.
Continue reading “The Knick: Bring Up the Bodies”
Our main man, Dr Thackeray, comes around in a red-lit basement as a woman tells him it’s half past seven. He staggers out to a hansom cab and gives directions to the Knickerbocker Hospital (the ‘Knick’ of the title—and what is it with olde tyme New York and the word Knickerbocker? It loves it some knickerbocker). The cabbie points out that he’s taking the long route, but Thack doesn’t care, because he wants the extra time to shoot up in his foot to the sound of some thumping house music. Once he’s done, he laces up his shoes and is ready to face his day.
Today, he’s joining his close friend and colleague, Dr. J Christiansen, in a fairly experimental surgery. A nurse holds up a basin and Christiansen dips his beard in what I’m assuming is some sort of antiseptic solution. Thack does not have to dip his moustache, which is probably why he keeps it so closely trimmed. The patient—a heavily pregnant woman—is rolled in. She asks Christiansen to save her baby and he smiles benevolently before she’s put under. He then turns to the crowd of observers up in the peanut gallery and explains that the woman has presented with placenta previa and is now going to have a c-section. Christiansen announces that he and Thack have practiced a lot and are sure they’ve got this down. They get started, making the first incision as Thack and Christiansen narrate. The woman starts bleeding heavily and suction begins, the blood flowing into a large jar nearby. Things quickly start going pear-shaped. The nurse announces the pulse is weakening as Thack realizes the baby’s trapped in the cord. A second jar begins to fill with blood. Thack manages to remove the baby and hands it to a nurse to be intubated while he and Christiansen try desperately to control the bleeding. A third jar swiftly begins to fill. The bleeding finally stops, probably because the woman’s basically out of blood. The mother is dead, and the baby too. Well, that’s a shitty day at the office. Christiansen looks up at the full gallery and quietly says that it seems that they’re still lacking, and he hopes this has been at least a little instructive.
Continue reading “The Knick: Welcome to Our Circus”
Previously on Upstairs Downstairs: Lady Marjorie and Richard Bellamy had really bad luck when it came to hiring staff. Or they’re just lousy at it. Lady Marjorie came from a wealthy background, while Richard most certainly did not.
It’s summer 1906. Richard returns home and Lady Marj immediately asks him about how he plans to vote for an upcoming education bill. She quickly gets annoyed with him for failing to reject the bill outright (he plans to abstain, because he doesn’t actually think the party’s line on this particular bill is right). Not that it’ll matter, because the bill will be thrown out anyway, thanks in part to Lady Marjorie’s father.
Continue reading “Upstairs Downstairs: Lady Marjorie’s Lover”
Previously on Upstairs Downstairs: The Bellamys had trouble holding onto an under-housemaid, so Rose did the work of at least three people. The creepy footman also had an affair with a visiting German, who turned out to be a spy, and disappeared with him.
Roberts, Hudson, and Bridges are all in the kitchen, where Roberts mentions that Marjorie is away at the family pile, Southwold, and Rose is ladies’ maid-ing her, which makes no sense. Why wouldn’t Marjorie take Roberts with her? I know Rose probably went to visit her family, but why not just take both? As it is, Roberts is just sitting around in London, doing nothing but complaining, which is definitely not something she needs more practice at. Hudson summons the new housemaid, Mary, who seems like a seriously cowed young woman, and gives her some orders before sending her on her way. Bridges comments that she hasn’t smiled once in the three months she’s been there, and Roberts adds that the girl looks pale and unhealthy. Bridges hopes that Edward, the new footman, hasn’t been bothering her.
Continue reading “Upstairs Downstairs: The More Things Change”
Previously on Upstairs, Downstairs: Elizabeth Bellamy returned home after being educated abroad and quickly proved to be an obnoxious, selfish little pill. Luckily, Rose was around to put her in her place because God knows nobody else will.
It’s December 1905.
Richard sends his womenfolk upstairs and tells Hudson to bring a bottle of champagne up to the drawing room in a bit. Hudson excitedly scurries off to do so. Why, whatever could be going on in the Bellamy household? Richard goes into the dining room, where a kilt-wearing lad named Angus (could he possibly be Scottish? They’re really obfuscating that one, aren’t they?) Jumps to his feet. Up in the drawing room, Elizabeth’s pacing around restlessly. Seems young Angus is there to ask for her fair hand in marriage.
Continue reading “Upstairs, Downstairs: Spy Games”
Previously on Upstairs Downstairs: The servants threw a party while the master and mistress were away, and got busted by James Bellamy, who then went on to make the moves on Sarah, who responded by quitting. For real, now.
It’s May 1905.
Hudson complains that everything happens all at once. He’s stressed out because Elizabeth Bellamy, the daughter of the house, is coming back from her time abroad being finished off. Meanwhile, he has to go tend to his mother, who’s doing poorly, though he doesn’t seem all that concerned about it. He goes, after firing off some last-minute instructions to Rose and Alfred, re: that afternoon’s tea. Alfred seems to think he can chill out with Hudson away, but Bridges makes it clear that’s not happening. They chat a little bit about Elizabeth, who apparently was a picky eater.
Continue reading “Upstairs Downstairs: Childish Things”