The Knick Season Finale: What Did Critics Think?

by | October 18, 2014 | Comments

Before Friday night’s broadcast of The Knick‘s season finale, Cinemax teased that production of season two will commence in early 2015. Bittersweet news for fans of one of the summer’s best-reviewed new shows. So, yes, there will be more episodes of The Knick, but you’ll have to wait at least eight months for them.

For now, let’s talk about The Knick season one finale: “Crutchfield.” Here’s what the critics had to say. Caution: spoilers ahead.

Fresh
Jennifer Silverman, Rolling Stone: It certainly stays true to what Soderbergh and writers Amiel and Begler have tried to do in this premiere run. That is: create a world of flawed people with f—ed up but noble ideas about scientific technology and man’s place in it, spiced up with the gory minutia of turn-of-the-century medicine just for kicks.

Fresh
Alan Sepinwall, HitFix: Story-wise, this first season had its bumps and sluggish periods, but things rounded into satisfying form by the end, particularly in the ways that different stories intersected… My hope is that the season two storylines will feel more compelling on their own, rather than just being a Soderbergh delivery system. But if that’s all the show ever turns out to be, I’m okay with that, too.

Rotten

Keith Uhlich, New York Magazine/Vulture: Consider that the emotional high point of “Crutchfield” comes early when Cornelia Robertson — having paid for a dead-of-night procedure to terminate her and Dr. Algernon Edwards’s unborn child — stumbles into Tom Cleary and Sister Harriet’s underground abortion operation… Nothing else in “Crutchfield” quite lives up to this scene.

Fresh
Mike Hale, New York Times: As always, there were some impressively cinematic moments. The best was one of the episode’s least important scenes, Everett’s assault on Algernon. It was a single 80-second shot… Virtuosic and completely unobtrusive.

Fresh
Matt Fowler, IGN.com: The Knick‘s season finale, which held actual serious consequences for just about every character on the show, was a beautifully unnerving ride. No happy endings here.

Fresh
Emily Nussbaum, The New Yorker: I fell in love with the season’s final shot.

Fresh
Kevin Yeoman, Screen Rant: The finale is the kind of episode a loosely plotted series like this almost needs to have. Instead of searching for an end point on which to conclude the season, writers Jack Amiel and Michael Begler deserve credit for forcing the characters to take the next misery-filled steps of their stories, before calling it a day (or a season).

Rotten
Steve MacFarlane, Slant Magazine: Right up to the finish line, Soderbergh fudges the show’s tone to the point of emotional misdirection, with “Crutchfield” signing off on a note that’s both grimly hilarious and which sucks most of the pathos out of Thackery’s downfall.)

Fresh
Chris E. Hayner, Zap2It.com: The season one finale of The Knick tied things up nicely, while leaving room to explore in Season two. The biggest moment came when Thackery agreed to check into rehab to get control of his cocaine problem. Of course, in this era that sort of thing is treated with heroin care of the Bayer aspirin company. So that’ll be fun.

Fresh
Robert Ham, Paste Magazine: This season finale follows the template of most any other show: pile on the drama and leave plenty of loose ends dangling to have viewers slavering for the second season to start. And, by golly, do Soderbergh, Amiel, and Begler have me hoping they can get to filming the next batch of episodes quick-like. Still, I can’t deny that this last installment of Season One started to feel like much too much.

Fresh
Brandon Nowalk, AV Club:
Even before this final act “Crutchfield” was the most exquisite episode of The Knick, but after it, “Crutchfield” is evangelism material. Every new shot is diamond.

Fresh
Ben Travers, IndieWire: No one will be waiting with bated breath to find out how Thackery recovers from his drug addiction or if Edwards sustained any permanent damage from that brutal fistfight. We will, though, eagerly wait to see what Soderbergh has in his never-ending bag of camera tricks.

What did YOU think about The Knick season finale. Sound off in the comments section below.

Season one of The Knick is Certified Fresh. Read reviews here.

 

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