Is it possible to move on after a shocking betrayal was revealed? How can you cope with the truth if your loved ones were the ones that betrayed you? That’s part of the premise behind the new season of BBC America’s “Copper,” which followed one man’s quest to stay sane in a city full of violence. The on-screen tension kept viewers interested from start to finish.
“Copper” followed Detective Kevin Corcoran (Tom Weston-Jones) as he struggled with learning that his wife Ellen (Alex Paxton-Beesley) had accidentally killed their daughter one night. Ellen also had an affair with his best friend Francis Maguire (Kevin Ryan) who also killed a few people to hide the truth from Kevin. The Corcorans were trying to make their marriage work, but they had to learn how to trust each other again. Young runaway Annie Reilly (Kiara Glasco) was living with the Corcorans as she tried to put her painful past behind her. Kevin’s former lover Madame Eva Heissen (Franka Potente) was trying to find her brothel and nearly became a casualty of Five Points. Eva’s injury forced her to recover at Matthew (Ato Essandoh) and Sara Freeman’s home (Tessa Thompson). Eva and Sara struck up a rapport that could turn into a strong friendship after Matthew was offered a doctor position back in the city. Corcoran’s other good friend Robert Morehouse (Kyle Schmid) was getting married to the deceptive Elizabeth Haverford (Anastasia Griffith). Morehouse didn’t know that his soon-to-be wife was hiding a major secret that could cost her everything if it was found out. Will the arrival of Brendan Donovan (Donal Logue) help Corcoran do his job better or make things worse?
In terms of questions, “Copper” posed a number of questions that won’t be fully answered just yet. The early episodes were set up to establish a season’s worth of secrets, lies and tension that will lead to some explosive situations towards the end of the season. The show’s greatest success has been giving most of the cast members a decent amount of material to work with. The female and male characters were both equally complicated as they flirted with danger on a weekly basis. Griffith and Potente were playing women of different classes that shared similiar dirty secrets. It would be interesting to see them cross paths to talk about their common interests, or just swap stories about Corcoran. The premiere also set up a potential rivalry between former friends Maguire and Corcoran that will play out over the course of the season. It was a nice plot twist to have Ryan’s once good cop become the complete opposite overnight. The twist seemed like it came out of left field at the end of last season, but it now made sense as Ryan’s Maguire embraced his inner criminal. The show’s biggest revelation was casting Logue as the new Five Points man of mystery, because the role was a departure from his usual comedic roles. He was allowed to manipulate people and even punched an officer to prove a point. Hopefully, the show will use Logue’s presence wisely to drive story and not for stunt casting purposes.
As for breakout performances, Weston-Jones and Potente led the pack for different reasons as their characters grappled with dangerous situations on a daily basis. Weston-Jones portrayed Corcoran as a man plagued by guilt and anger that his familiy was destroyed from under his nose. He demonstrated that Corcoran still love his wife, but he resented her questionable actions while he was fighting in the war. Weston-Jones conveyed Corcoran’s feelings with a shame in his eyes as he was forced to be civil to his wife when he wanted to do so much worse. His most memorable scene came towards the end of the episode when a killer was holding his wife at gunpoint. Weston-Jones kneeled down to be close to her and as a way to comply with the killer’s demands. His face showed more than indifference as he realized that he still loved his wife no matter what she did. Potente, on the other hand, had the challenging task of portraying a woman of questionable morals. Her character murdered one of her employees in an effort to keep a secret, but she was never punished for the crime. Potente gave Eva the right amount of ambiguity to make viewers wonder if she was a heroine or a villain pretending to be good. Only time will tell if Potente’s character will become good or evil. It should be interesting either way.
“Copper” premiered on June 23rd and airs Sundays at 10:00 PM on BBC America.
Verdict: The show’s early episodes have foreshadowed some major drama that will play out over the course of the season. Only time will tell as to who comes out on top or dies trying.
TV Score: 4 out of 5 stars
1 Star (Mediocre)
2 Stars (Averagely Entertaining)
3 Stars (Decent Enough to Pass Muster)
4 Stars (Near Perfect)
5 Stars (Gold Standard)