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The Knick - Ten Knots - Review: "The Most Unique Show On Television"

In the header for my review of Manhattan's premiere, I commented that that show was the best show that you're probably not watching, but there's also another incredibly strong candidate for that title in the form of Cinemax's The Knick, aka the best medical drama currently on television, as it continues to take modern medicine back to its early, gritty roots in what, since Hannibal ended, is probably the goriest and bloodiest show on TV, not afraid to show plenty of guts. The show itself left off on an interesting note when Season 1 ended and as a result it's great to have it back for another outing, especially as it's pretty clear that the show has not lost any of its form, and given what's we've seen from the show so far, I have to, rather than label it is as the best show you're not watching, list it as the most unique show on TV. Because that's what it is at the moment, or at least in my opinion.

It's pretty clear that Steven Soderbergh is one of the best directors when it comes to visuals and cinematography and the show itself looks absolutely stunning. With the fact that he's not only directing but also editing every episode taken into account, the show continues to feel like it's all one simultaneous movie, and would be perfect for binge-watching, which is what I did to catch up on the first season. However, now that I'm caught up, I have to wait a week for the next episode, which presents a problem when the show's just that good. I can't help but want to find out what happens next, and "Ten Knots" left me eagerly anticipating a return to the Knickerbocker Hospital.

We dealt with a lot of characters in this premiere as Soderbergh sifted back and forward between the multiple threads. The main character focus is obviously on Clive Owen's superb, drug-addicted character Dr. Thackary, who was in a far worse condition after being in what was essentially rehab, but also time is spent with the first black surgeon at the hospital in a well-regarded position, Andre Holland's Dr. Edwards, who has actually now has his closest chance of taking over from Thackery on a full time basis yet. Chris Sullivan's Clearly also had his own interesting substory, as we got to spectate on a wrestling match as he tried to bust launch an attempt to free Harriet from penitentiary.

The costume drama really immerses you in the setting and it brings New York in the early 20th century to life in fascinating detail, with an incredibly atmospheric feel. The soundtrack is electric and exciting, and keeps the episode feeling tense, gripping and intriguing, with Cliff Martinez' score almost making the show feel modern and high tech - something that you'd expect more from a science fiction movie, which is as one would expect, a massive contrast from the gritty environment that the show provides.

"Ten Knots" doesn't answer all the questions it gives us, for example, the episode both started and ended with Dr. Thackary having a vision of a woman as he spent his time trying to recover from drugs. He's getting a tough treatment in being hauled out onto a boat into the middle of the ocean, which also allowed him to interact more with Gallinger, as the show took the time to flesh out his character in more detail that allowed for an interesting break away from the main action back at the Knick and an interesting look to see how well Thackary was coping, as he decided that a cure for his addiction would be the logical way to progress, and will probably give us an early idea as to where season two is headed.

What did you think of the premiere? Are you happy to have the show back? What did you feel worked about this episode? Let me know in the comments below.

Overall Episode Verdict: A
+Soderbergh's direction + editing.
+Cliff Martinez's soundtrack.
+The atmosphere.
+The acting.

The Knick continues at 10pm Next Friday on Cinemax.

About the Author - Milo MJ
Milo is an Arsenal FC supporter and loves TV shows like Battlestar Galactica, Justified, The 100, The Americans and Person of Interest. He reviews Black Sails, Childhoods End, Da Vinci's Demons, Hell on Wheels, The Knick, Manhattan, Murder in the First, Narcos and Veep for Spoiler TV as well as books, films and games for his own blog The Fictional Hangout and contributes to comic reviews on a weekly basis for All-Comic.
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