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Clive Owen as Dr. John Thackery in Season 2 of The Knick

The Knick Notes | Season 2

The Knick
The Knick
Jul 29, 2016 · 41 min read

Here you will find a collection of back-and-forth communications between Cinemax and Oscar®-winning director Steven Soderbergh that took place during post-production of seasons 1 and 2 of Cinemax’s . These notes provide an unprecedented look at the unique collaborative process that went into the making of as well as insights into Soderbergh’s decision making for the show.

Click here to check out “Useless Stats” from Season 2, or here to go to Season 1.


EPISODE 201 — Cut A

We’ve really enjoyed binging season 2. It is so great to be back with these characters. It is also terrific that we dive right in to some intense and engaging narrative threads. As we have reviewed the first episode in order to distill our editorial thoughts and suggestions, we think that it can be improved by: 1) finding ways to make the pace of the episode a bit more brisk; and 2) reorganizing some of the scenes to allow the key character threads in the episode to sustain their momentum.

Also, while we won’t get into music spotting notes in this pass (except for the groundbreaking scene towards the end of the ep), we should look for additional spots where music might help accelerate the pace of the episode a bit.

201-A1

Can we hold a beat longer on Thackery before cutting to the title card?

SODERBERGH:

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201–11

Can we tighten the Thackery nose surgery scene as much as possible? Specifically, it might be fun to go from the initial close up of Thackery looking down at his patient, directly to his pulling the patient’s nose skin back. (That will let the audience know that they are back in Knick-land.) After the hammer strike, can we try to cut out of each of the beats a bit earlier?

SODERBERGH:

201–12

Can we tighten this scene? Perhaps start on the tooth being held up to Dorothy’s teeth. And can we trim some of the moments on Dorothy.

SODERBERGH:

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201–15

Can we cut the first beat of Algernon squinting? Feels a bit obvious and overdone. Let’s present the impact of the retinal damage a bit more subtly.

SODERBERGH:

201–16

Can we clean up the end of this exchange, specifically by cutting away earlier before Gallinger delivers the “you’re as dumb as you think I think you are” line. That line feels like it may be a bit too clever.

SODERBERGH:

201–18

Can we move the Board scene (201–30) and the Algernon/Henry scene (201–32) up here before Gallinger goes to Cromartie to visit Thackery? Also, can we move the Gallinger visit to Cromartie in between Cornelia delivering supplies to Chinatown and her arrival home? This would have the benefit of bringing the Algernon scenes closer together and give his story a bit of a momentum. Also, it would bring the Thackery/Gallinger Cromartie scene closer to the later scenes in the boat, thereby giving the Thackery storyline more momentum in the latter half of the story. See suggested layout of scenes below under notes on scene 201–30.

201–22, 201–24

Could we cut the Cornelia selling earrings scene? Her leaving the house with them, giving the cash to the cop and telling Phillip and his father that she sold them is probably enough.

SODERBERGH:

201-B26

Can we tighten this scene? The pace of the dialogue between Barrow and Speight feels a bit laconic.

SODERBERGH:

201–29, A30

Can we tighten this scene as well?

Specifically, can we cut away from Hobart before his “timber and salmon” line? It feels a bit forced. And instead play Hobart’s line, “… I thought I’d stop off” over Cornelia.

SODERBERGH:

Also, can we cut Hobart’s line, “It’s the fire that Phillip loves in you,” and simply leave, “They were yours to do with as you wish.”

SODERBERGH:

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201 — 30

As mentioned above, can we move the boardroom scene up before Gallinger goes to Cromartie to see Thackery, and move the Cromartie-Thackery beats after Cornelia brings supplies to Chinatown?

For clarity, the suggested new scene order is as follows:
201 — 17 Bertie’s office

201 — 30: Board Room

201 — 32: Henry’s office

201 — 22 Cornelia pockets earrings

OMIT 201–24 (110–25) as suggested above.

201 — A26 Lucy passes Bertie

201 — B26 Barrow — Speight

201 — 28: Cornelia shows up with carts of supplies; bribes policeman

201 — 18: Gallinger arrives at Cromartie Hospital

201 — 19: Gallinger asks to see Thackery

201–20: Gallinger tries to convince Thackery to return to the Knick

201 — 29, A30: Phillip and Hobart confront Cornelia

201 — 33: Barrow receives call that Thackery has disappeared

SODERBERGH:

201 — 40

The opening exterior shot here feels a bit too long.

SODERBERGH:

201 — 41

The wrestling beats feel a bit stagey, and the Cleary-Pouncy dialogue feels a bit obvious. Perhaps we can present this scene more impressionistically with music (like the rat stomping scene last year) and cut it a bit less literally.

SODERBERGH:

201–42

Can we cut out a bit earlier on Gallinger steering the boat?

SODERBERGH:

Also, tighten this scene and specifically, can we cut some of the fighting between Gallinger and Thackery, and transition more quickly into Gallinger scolding Thackery? And might we cut: “You can’t understand. I’ll never get better.” A bit too much?

SODERBERGH:

201–54, 55

Overall, this scene feels laconic. Can we find a way to tighten it so that it builds some momentum?

Music: While adding atmosphere to the event, the festive-trombone music proves a bit tedious for such a long sequence. The scene should transition into score at some point, and then return to the festival music once the shovels strike near the closing moment.

SODERBERGH:

201–56

We would like to suggest that the episode should end with Thackery on boat having his vision of Sonya with the final shot of the back of the boat and the ocean…

SODERBERGH:

201–57

This dock workers/Speight-corpse scene may function better as the cold opening in Episode 2.

SODERBERGH:

June 20, 2015–11:11pm EST

SODERBERGH:

201 Cut E — Locking Notes + Music Notes

201–26–201–12

Let’s explore music connecting scene of Algernon with eye doctor to scene of teeth fitting for Mrs. Gallinger.

SODERBERGH:

Musically connecting Algernon’s travails to Gallinger’s could be thematically very interesting and useful as their story arcs converge as they do in the scene where Algernon enters his office to find Gallinger waiting for him (201–16).

SODERBERGH:

201–30

Is it worth exploring playing this boardroom conversation entirely from Algernon’s point of view… i.e. Beginning with the dialogue off-screen and then only seeing the scene from behind Barrow’s back before Algernon is invited into the room? This also might offer an interesting musical opportunity akin to the board room scene in season one where Thackery was preoccupied with getting cocaine deliveries to the Knick… Different music and different tone of course, but psychologically specific.

SODERBERGH:

201–20

Are there any musical opportunities in the scene between Gallinger and Thackery? That music might also help the transition into 201–29.

SODERBERGH:

201–41

Love this sequence now!

SODERBERGH:

201-A 48

Perhaps we could use the theme at the dock with Speight that plays over Cornelia in the Chinese quarantine area?

SODERBERGH:

EPISODE 202

Most of our notes on Ep. 2 relate to clarifying the relationship between several characters’ experiences, their motivations and their actions. Our suggestions are meant to help clarify cause and effect.

SODERBERGH:

201–57

The dock workers discovery of Speight’s corpse scene may function better as the cold opening in Episode 2. It would set the table for Cornelia’s investigation.

SODERBERGH:

202-B6

Let’s consider cutting right after Lucy says, “What?!” Not necessary for her to say “Where?” and walk away.

SODERBERGH:

202-A8

For reasons set forth below, let’s consider moving the Algernon/Bertie scrubbing scene just before 202–14 (Cornelia with Effie Barrow into Cornelia running into Bertie who tells her of Speight’s death).

SODERBERGH:

202–10

Let’s consider cutting this scene of Henry flirting with Lucy. It seems to come too soon, and Henry’s failure to read Lucy’s distress and inquire about it seems particularly odd.

SODERBERGH:

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202–14

If we put 202-A8 (Bertie/Algernon scrubbing) just before this scene, it can have three benefits: 1) Algernon’s distress in the scrubbing scene is better motivated by his humiliation at being made to redo the charts in 202-A11 (which would now precede the scrubbing scene); 2) It makes clearer Bertie’s motivation to march to Thackery and tender his resignation; 3) It offers greater clarity where Bertie is coming from when Cornelia intercepts him. We might also consider looping Bertie’s performance in the hallway scene making him a bit tighter and tenser as he speaks with Cornelia, as a reflection of his intension to go to Thackery to resign.

SODERBERGH:

202-B28

As we noted in Ep 201, can we explore a cinematic motif to the wrestling portion of this scene with music akin to the rat stomping in Season 1?

SODERBERGH:

202–27

Can we tighten this scene with the Hungarian royalty?

202–33 / 202-B35 Transition

At time code: 38:25 there is an errant musical fragment from the carnival to be deleted.

SODERBERGH:

202–47

Let’s consider ending 202 on the failed Algernon surgery? It is a powerful moment, and the following scene in the dance hall with Cate (202-A48) where Thackery gets the idea for using Cocaine and Heroin together will lead nicely into him in the Path Lab cooking and snorting both (203-A2).

This is a premature Ep. 3 note, but we might consider making the combined scenes of 202-A48 and 203-A2 a cold open and go to “The Knick” title card after Thackery snorts the Heroin. We would then come out of the title card and into Thackery working on Mr. Antholis.

SODERBERGH:

202 Cut E — Music and Locking Notes

202-B8

Love this music cue.

SODERBERGH:

202–11 through 202–12, 13

Is there a music cue that can cover this transition from where Barrow and Cleary are talking outside the garage and the prostitutes are walking up through the ladies waiting in the examination room that. Perhaps the music cue that is under 202–16?

SODERBERGH:

202–20

Is there room here for a music Cue/theme for Cornelia’s investigation?

SODERBERGH:

202-B31 into 202–27

The transition from the end of the sex scene with Thack and Kate — into Showalter dinner party has a pre-lap of the dinner party — feels like that is going the wrong way — possibly pick up a street sound that can distort to the dinner party?

SODERBERGH:

202 27 into 202 A28

At the end of the dinner party, the cut to the men’s cigars and drinks feels awkward; needs to breathe.

SODERBERGH:

202 F 35 into G 35

Algernon and Thack discussing the eye — the music might inform the theme we suggest in episode one (201–26–201–12 and 201–16)… it’s very cool though the cue itself might have a bit more cinematic energy.

SODERBERGH:

202–36 into 202–41 into 202–48, 49

Can we explore a musical transition here? I.e. the theme from Cornelia in the Chinese quarantine area?

SODERBERGH:

EPISODE 203 — Cut A

202-A48/203A2

As mentioned in our notes on Ep 2, let’s consider opening ep 3 with the scene in the dance hall with Cate (202-A48) where Thackery gets the idea for using Cocaine and Heroin together leading directly into him in the Path Lab cooking and snorting both (203-A2). Then let’s go to “The Knick” title card after Thackery snorts the Heroin.

SODERBERGH:

203–7

Can we tighten this walk through scene with Zinberg?

SODERBERGH:

203–9

We have a number of re-ordering notes on this episode that we think will help clarify character motivation that is driving the action of the episode.

Should the Cornelia/Algernon scene (203–9) come the day after Gallinger’s reunion (203–16); Phillip/Cornelia sex scene (203–17); Thackery at the Haymarket and at Abigail’s (203–24–203–28); Lucy asking forgiveness (203B27); the Bertie Genevieve date (203C27) and Henry filming Daisy (203D27)? Phillip’s having scolded Cornelia would more clearly motivate her renewed pursuit of Algernon and the emotions stirred by the Algernon scene would more directly motivate her leaving the note for Algernon (203–39).

Let’s consider moving up Clara’s death and Thackery’s procurement of her corpse (203–36, 37 and 47) to the first “day” of this episode. This will connect more directly to the experimentation he is doing on Mr. Antholis at the beginning of the episode, drive and fill out the day’s activity at the Knick and separate those actions from Thackery’s focus on helping to cure Abigail in “day two” of this episode.

Finally, let’s consider moving up the Lucy asking forgiveness scene to the beginning of that evening, as the other events suggest a later hour, and then conclude the evening — after Henry films Daisy — with Pastor Elkins beating Lucy.

So the order we suggest is as follows…

203–7 INT MT. SINAI HOSPITAL — SURGICAL ROOM — MORNING

Zinberg tells Bertie about adrenaline and wants him to experiment with it. 203-A10 INT GALLINGER’S HOUSE — DAY Dorothy tells Gallinger if Eleanor doesn’t improve, family will send her away.

203–10 INT KNICK — PRIVATE ROOM / HALLWAY — DAY

Henry tries to flirt with Lucy again. She asks him if he believes in God.

203–36 INT CROMARTIE HOSPITAL — HALLWAY — DAY

Clara is dying.

203–37 INT CROMARTIE HOSPITAL — DAY

Cromartie Orderly calls Thackery and tells him that Clara has died.

203–47 INT 5TH AVENUE APARTMENT — MORNING

Thackery asks for dead girl’s body so he can study addiction.

203–12 INT COURT ROOM — DAY

Judge tells the court that he will make an example of Sister Harriet.

203–15 INT GALLINGER’S HOUSE — BEDROOM — EVENING

Eleanor declines going to Gallinger’s reunion, it’s clear she is not improving.

203–16 INT PENN CLUB — GALLINGER’S REUNION — EVENING

Gallinger learns about eugenics.

203 — B27 INT MEETING ROOM — EVENING

Lucy asks for forgiveness and tells the congregation she is a sinner.

203–17 INT SHOWALTER’S HOUSE — BEDROOM — NIGHT Cornelia enters in an alluring night gown.

203-A24 INT SHOWALTER’S HOUSE — BEDROOM — NIGHT

Phillip finds out Cornelia attended Harriet’s trial.

203–24INT HAYMARKET DANCE HALL — NIGHT

Thackery spots Cate dancing, he walks over and gives her some vials.

203–25 EXT HAYMARKET DANCE HALL — BACK ALLEY — NIGHT Thackery & Cate snort cocaine / heroin, then have sex.

203-AB27 EXT HAYMARKET DANCE HALL — BACK ALLEY — NIGHT Thackery stumbles out of the alley, buttoning up his pants

203–27 EXT ABIGAIL’S BROWNSTONE — NIGHT

Thackery surprises Abby at her door.

203–28 INT ABIGAIL’S BROWNSTONE — NIGHT

Thackery tells Abigail that he’s better now. She tells him he can stay with her.

203-C27 E/I EDEN MUSEE — NIGHT

Genevieve says she’s Jewish and wants to do a positive piece on Zinberg.

203-D27 INT HENRY’S HOTEL SUITE — NIGHT

Henry films Daisy stripping.

203–46 INT LUCY’S BOARDING HOUSE — NIGHT

Pastor Elkins is embarrassed about Lucy’s confession; he beats her.

203–9 INT KNICK — ALGERNON’S OFFICE — DAY

Cornelia tells Algernon the coffin is empty. They kiss.

203–31 E/I MT. SINAI HOSPITAL — RESEARCH LAB — DAY

Bertie talks to Leo about Geneveive, he suggests going to a brothel.

203–13 E/I KNICK — HERNY’S OFFICE — DAY

Henry agrees to join the investors on the Park Avenue subway line.

203–32 INT KNICK — SURGICAL THEATER — DAY

Algernon works with Gallinger and he tries to hide his eye condition.

203–33 INT KNICK — SCRUB ROOM — DAY

Thackery asks Algernon for his help, Gallinger confronts Thackery.

203–34 INT KNICK — PATHOLOGY LAB — DAY

Thackery explains his possible cure for syphilis.

203–35 EXT NEW KNICK CONSTRUCTION SITE — DAY

Barrow tells Wingo the board wants changes, he runs into Jimmy.

203–39 INT KNICK — DOCTORS HALLWAY — DAY

Cornelia leaves a note for Algernon.

203–40 INT KNICK — DISPENSARY / BARROW’S OFFICE — DAY

Cleary convinces nurse to give him cocaine for the ambulance. Dr. Mays tells Barrow that the club members have agreed to interview him.

203–41 INT PING WU’s NEW BROTHEL — PARLOR — NIGHT

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Barrow waits impatiently for Junia.

SODERBERGH:

203–31

Let’s look at tightening Bertie/adrenaline scene.

SODERBERGH:

203–45

As we noted in Ep 201 and 202, can we explore (and in this instance, complete) a cinematic motif to the Cleary-Otto overdose scene with music akin to the rat stomping in season 1?

SODERBERGH:

203–49

Again, for clarity, if we move the Lucy/Elkins beating scene earlier, we would conclude the episode with Otto’s death (night) now going into the Pathology lab/Pig thermometer (day) scene… Algernon finding Cornelia’s note and receiving the urgent phone call; and then Algernon entering the Robertson mansion to see that Opal has arrived.

SODERBERGH:

203 Cut D — Locking Notes + Music Notes

203–7 into 203–9

First, it may not be a scene you’d want to score, but can Cliff craft an “adrenaline theme” music cue that can start under Dr. Zinberg’s lines about adrenaline and continue through the Genevieve/Bertie scene and into the Algernon/Cornelia scene. This section might benefit from a cue with some space.

SODERBERGH:

Transition from end of Birdie — going into Algernon talking with Cornelia — The pre-lap of Algernon saying “empty” makes it difficult to understand the line. Can we look at Algernon delivering that line on camera?

SODERBERGH:

203-A 10

At the beginning of the next scene, can we cut in on the white curtains a bit later, closer to when Gallinger enters the house?

SODERBERGH:

Also, is there a creepy “Eleanor is nuts” theme that Cliff has in his musical tool kit that we can introduce in this scene and reprise as her story develops.

SODERBERGH:

203–10

Is there a musical idea/theme can take us into the Lucy/Henry scene… Something that can begin to sonically track (and continue over the course of the season) Lucy’s evolution from sulking-jilted-lover to empowered manipulator?

SODERBERGH:

203 — B 27 into 203 — C 27

This music cue is cool. Can we guide Cliff to give us a cue with a bit more energy, and perhaps it’s a cue that we can use as part of both Lucy’s and Bertie’s evolution, as requested above.

SODERBERGH:

203–46 into 203–31

This cue is also cool and might suggest a great theme for Lucy as suggested above, that work under her and Henry earlier and also morph into an Adrenaline theme for Bertie under the rat scene.

SODERBERGH:

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203–39

The music cue here really helps move Cornelia’s story. Let’s look for other places to use it.

SODERBERGH:

203–50 through 203–52

Again, is there a musical identity for Algernon and his travails?

SODERBERGH:

Got it. I will get you final Ep 4 notes tonight and they will be informed by this. As for our notes on Ep 1–3, I guess we will just leave it at this: our collective sense is that the more ideas and situations that you can connect with music, the better it is for the cinema and the narrative of the show. It certainly felt that way to us last year where (it is my memory at least that) you ended up with more score than you originally thought, and our hope is that you and Cliff can find ways to get more score in this season too.

This is a terrific episode. Our most significant suggestion is that we find additional opportunities in the episode for score.

EPISODE 204

204–1, 2, 3, & 4

Let’s consider moving up 204–3 & 4 (Thackery in the Path Lab and then at Abigail’s apt.) before 204–2 (Opal/Algernon). This would have two benefits.

The “cooking the spirochete” story and Thackery’s passionate pursuit of the technique dives of the episode, and establishing it either as the cold opening or just after the title would put it front and center.

Also, while it may be a bit on the nose to go from Algernon into Cornelia at the Ball Planning meeting, it may help propel the emotional momentum of that storyline.

SODERBERGH:

204–2

See music note at 204–17.

SODERBERGH:

204–9

I don’t think it requires re-voicing, but to my ears Mrs. Gianoullias sounds like a contemporary Greek-American speaking Greek … Just sayin’ … Truth to power and all that ;)

SODERBERGH:

204–10

How much smoke are we adding in visual effects to Dr. Mays burning? (204–1) When Barrow surveys the repair work on the operating theatre, the property damage seems far greater than the temp VFX suggest.

SODERBERGH:

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204–17

Like this temp cue under Algernon/Opal in carriage. Can we use something similar under 204–2?

SODERBERGH:

204–29

The temp music under this scene is terrific. Can we use earlier under 204–3 & 4 as a sort-of “spirochete them”?

SODERBERGH:

Also, LOVE! this progression of scenes:

204–29 INT KNICK — PRIVATE PATIENT ROOM — DAY

Thackery infects Abigail with malaria.

201–1, 4 E/I NEW YORK STREET / TROLLEY CAR — DAY

Lucy boards, rides street car.

204-A30 INT PRISON — VISITING ROOM — DAY

Lucy visits Harriet and questions God’s protection.

204–31

Can we trim the final looks between Bertram and Clara, and end on Bertram Sr. looking at his wife?

SODERBERGH:

204-A35

Can we try to find places for score (and perhaps some trims) in the sequence of scenes beginning with Barrow in the club (29:49) and ending with the Showalter dinner scene (36:47)? The scenes are all well done, but cumulatively we have about 7 minutes of fairly static scenes, and by the time we get to the Showalter dinner, the episode has lost some steam.

SODERBERGH:

204–36

At the end of the scene, let’s try cutting out before we see the kids running toward camera so we go from the empty sky to Abigail’s room.

SODERBERGH:

204–39

Let’s consider dropping the cop’s line, “mostly kid stuff.” Gallinger’s act towards the kid is brutal enough. We don’t need to emphasize that he’s just a kid.

SODERBERGH:

204–45

Can we extend the shot of the ice being poured in Cornelia’s bath? Does the shot pan up to her at the end? In any event, it feels a bit too abrupt. No offense intended to Mary Ann!

SODERBERGH:

The last scene is really lovely.

SODERBERGH:

EPISODE 204 — Music Notes + Locking Notes

204–1 into 204–11

There is a music cue here that appears to be an artifact from a previous edit. In 204–11, is there a musical idea here for Cornelia desire to “do the right thing” (not thinking Public Enemy though) that can be picked up later with Algernon making Carr’s surgery happen at the Knick and Bertie’s exploration of a treatment for his mother’s cancer… And maybe, ironically, with Gallinger’s pursuit of Eugenics.

In any event, 204–11 might be helped with some score?

SODERBERGH:

204–13

Perhaps the “ambition” music cue here? Connecting Barrow’s ambition to Henry’s and Dorothy’s?

SODERBERGH:

204–17

What is this Music cue’s idea? It’s cool. Would love to explore whether it might correspond two other situations?

SODERBERGH:

204–29 into the Lucy voiceover through 204-A30

Love this cue.

SODERBERGH:

204–31 through 204–34

As suggested above, can we use a “do the right thing” music cue (again apologies to Spike and Chuck D) somewhere in this section?

SODERBERGH:

204–51

Is this another opportunity for a music cue… Cornelia trying to seek the truth/justice/do the right thing?

SODERBERGH:

204–53 through 204–59

As suggested above, is there an opportunity to use a “seeking the truth/do the right thing” musical idea with irony for Gallinger’s pursuit of applied eugenics? This would be interesting going into Cornelia entering Speight’s old house. Perhaps the music cue that underscores Cornelia’s search of the house can be brought up into the Gallinger Drexler scene?

SODERBERGH:

EPISODE 205

Our most significant note on Ep. 205 is to propose restructuring the opening to dive right into Thackery. We suggest beginning the cold open with Thackery escorting Abby into the cab, snorting cocaine, prepping to get checked by Lucy and then proudly demonstrating on the patient’s brain. We would then go to the title card and then return to Sisters of Mercy with Harriet being scolded, and then Henry showing the daisy film (we particularly like that transition!). Then we would go to Bertie and Algernon at the black bar and Bertie and Genevieve breaking into the office. Finally we would be in Henry’s office with him getting the phone call.

Here is the proposed continuity…

205–6 EXT KNICK — MORNING

Thackery helps Abigail into cab, says he will be by later to check on her.

205-A7 INT KNICK — THACKERY’S OFFICE — DAY

Thackery snorts cocaine, Lucy comes in and inspects him for track marks.

205–7, 8 INT KNICK — SURGICAL THEATER — DAY

Thackery proudly demonstrates his findings on a conscious addict’s brain.

TITLE CARD

205–9 INT SISTERS OF MERCY BOARDING HOUSE — DAY

Harriet tries to help sick woman, but she says she doesn’t want her help.

205–1 INT HENRY’S HOTEL SUITE — NIGHT

Henry shows off his private movie and it’s a huge hit.

205–2, 3 E/I INT BLACK BAR — NIGHT

Bertie discusses his mother, Algernon mentions a Frenchman using radium.

205–4 INT DR. WADSWORTH’S OFFICE — NIGHT

Bertie & Genevieve break into office looking for articles on throat cancer.

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First, having the brain experiment in the cold open feels like a quintessential Knick “in your face” (pun intended) opener. Also, since the episode is propelled by Thackery’s efforts to balance his relationship with Abby, his manic drive for experimentation (both with addicts and on the subway casualties) and his drug use, the restructured cold open we suggest sets us up for just that… and did we mention that the cut from sister Harriet to the “Daisy film” feels like a winner?

205–2, 3

Can we do anything to tighten?

205–6, 205-A7, 205–7, 8

If we do, in fact, make this the cold open, let’s also tighten the sequence so it builds some momentum to the reveal of Thackery’s bizarre experiment.

205–25, C25

Again, can we look for trims in this section? The cutting pattern feels a bit less urgent than the events that are transpiring.

205–33, 205-A36

Let’s consider bumping up the Croker/Investor subway scene before Bertie/Zinberg. This has the benefit of advancing the story of Henry’s hidden loyalties and separates that Henry scene from Henry/Lucy to help our sense of the time passage.

205–39, 205–30, 205–41, 42

Can we tighten these three scenes from Lucy/Henry’s date through Garrison Carr? Feels like this part of the episode could use a bit of cinematic momentum. The temp music under Carr is appropriately atmospheric … Perhaps we can start a cue under the end of Lucy/Henry, continue it through Barrow and wife and it morphs into the Algernon/Opal/Carr cue? This might be helpful in driving our sense of the evolving consciousness of these characters.

SODERBERGH:

EPISODE 206 — C Cut

Big thought here… Let’s move the Thackery / Musee scenes up to the top before Thackery dreams of Sonya in Abigail’s house. Then, after the opening title, have Thackery experiment on Cleary.

A number of potential benefits…
• Another KNICK “holy shit” opener with both the hypnosis AND the twins… Everyone will be saying to themselves… “Oh shit, he’s going to try to separate them!” And then they are hooked into Ep 6.
• More complex psychologically, tying Thackery’s curiosity about the subconscious to his own dream later that night/morning.
• Ties his seeing the twins to the memory of Sonya in his dream later.
• Coming in on him experimenting after the title implies that the dream has fueled his desire to experiment with treatments that try to control the subconscious.
• Also bookends the episode with Thackery’s trajectory.

Here is the suggested continuity:

206-A24 INT EDEN MUSEE — SMALL HALL — DAY

Thackery is impressed by Hypnotist.

206-B24 INT EDEN MUSEE —

Thackery asks Brockhurst if he can examine the twins at The Knick.

206–1, A2 INT ABIGAIL’S HOUSE — BEDROOM / LIVING ROOM —

Abigail is asleep. Thackery dreams of Sonya.

TITLE CARD

206–25 INT KNICK — PATHOLOGICAL LAB — DAY

Thackery tries to learn hypnosis.

206–2 INT MT. SINAI HOSPITAL — X-RAY ROOM — MORNING

Bertie X-rays Anne’s neck.

206–3 INT MT. SINAI HOSPITAL — X-RAY ROOM — DAY

A nurse dresses the X-ray burn.

Also wonder whether we can move up the Cornelia storyline to keep that narrative alive earlier in the episode, and give the latter scenes a bit more momentum… Perhaps this would be in lieu of the Eden Musee scenes (if we move those up as proposed above).

The proposed order of the Cornelia placement would be:

206–22 INT MT. SINAI HOSPITAL — OPERATING ROOM — LATER — DAWN

Dr. Chickering Sr. is grateful for Bertie trying to save his mother.

206-A28 INT PETRIZZI’S TENEMENT — DAY

Cornelia investigates 2nd class passenger.

206–24 INT SISTERS OF MERCY BOARDING HOUSE — DAY

Harriet tells the girls there are other ways to not get pregnant.

206–28 EXT NYC DOCKS — PASSENGER SHIP — DAY

Cornelia learns how they process the immigrants off the ship.

208–16, 17, 18 E/I CHICKERING’S HOUSE — DINING ROOM / LIVING ROOM — EVENING

Movers empty the bedroom and Genevieve grabs some glasses. Chickering Sr. appreciates Genevieve’s help, she tells Bertie her roommate’s gone.

Notice that Harriet giving the girls tips on how not to get pregnant would be sandwiched between two Cornelia scenes… which might be a nice touch.

The proposed order of the later scenes (if we move up the Cornelia scenes) is as follows.

206–27 INT KNICK — THACKERY’S OFFICE

Bertie wants to come back to The Knick.

206–29, 30 INT KNICK — WOMEN’S WARD / HALLWAY

Lucy is stunned to see Bertie is back. Lucy tells Bertie about the ball.

206–31 INT KNICK — HALLWAY

Nurse Pell tells Thackery that someone is here to see him.

206–32 INT KNICK — THACKERY’S OFFICE

Thackery wants to X-ray the girls. Brockhurst thinks he has other motives.

The reordering would have the added benefit of helping us keep the momentum of hospital scenes that culminate in Brockhurst bringing the twins to see Thackery. (I would be particularly intrigued to see the flow of Thackery hugging Bertie time cut to Lucy discovering Bertie in the women’s ward.)

SODERBERGH:

That’s it for Ep 6… another strong episode. We will loop back and see if we have any final notes on the new cuts of 201–204 so that we can lock those for the mix.

SODERBERGH:

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EPISODE 207 — Cut B

Can we explore beginning the episode with:

207–11 INT KNICK — MEN’S WARD — MORNING
Thackery demonstrates hypnosis on Wendell Ludd for Algernon.

207–12 INT KNICK — FRONT ENTRANCE / LOBBY — DAY
Carr has reporters with him and tries to check in to the hospital.

It’s a strong pair of scenes and it establishes the path of both of our principal characters for this episode; Thackery is emboldened to renew his pursuit of cutting edge surgical techniques… Algernon is forced to make a fateful decision.

These would then be followed by…

209–27 INT GENEVIEVE’S APARTMENT — NIGHT
Bertie & Genevieve consummate their relationship.

207-A11 INT PING WU’s NEW BROTHEL — OFFICE — DAY
Ping Wu has sex with a prostitute, Lucy watches.

207-C11 INT LUCY’S BOARDING HOUSE — DAY
Lucy admires her new ballgown.

These scenes may be better as counterpoints to the Thackery and Algernon scenes.

SODERBERGH:

Also can we explore intercutting the 207-A11 and 207 C11, perhaps beginning with Lucy admiring the gown, cutting to Ping Wu having sex, back to Lucy and Lotte, then revealing the Golden lotus moment and then conclude on the Lucy saying “But he expects it and he’s going to get it.”

SODERBERGH:

Can we move up the Cornelia scenes (Waldorf/Dockside) to before the scene with Robertson and Henry? Our having the information that Cornelia has discovered could add some tension to the latter scene.

SODERBERGH:

Here is the proposed order:

207–18 INT WALDORF ASTORIA — BALL ROOM — DAY
Effie stresses out about the ball set-up and Cornelia skips out early.

207–19 EXT NYC DOCKS — PASSENGER SHIP — DAY
Cornelia watches the passengers disembark as the dock workers stare at her.

207–20 INT DOCKSIDE IMMIGRATION & CUSTOMS OFFICE — DAY
Customs officer offers to get Cornelia the Lead Inspector.

207–21 INT DOCKSIDE IMMIGRATION & CUSTOMS OFFICE — DAY
Cornelia finds out their shipping company is bumping passengers to avoid fines

MX Our Usual Deal v1

207–17 INT METROPOLITAN CLUB — CLUB ROOM — DAY
Henry brings up bad press, Capt explains they need to bend the donors.

207–51 EXT NEW KNICK CONSTRUCTION SITE — DAY
Jimmy beats up Wingo and Barrow tells him to keep his mouth shut.
Is there an opportunity for music here?

SODERBERGH:

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EPISODE 208 — Cut B

Our main suggestion on 208 is to restructure the episode so that it is built around the Gallinger story line from virtually the beginning until the end.

We suggest moving up 208–12 the Eleanor/Gallinger bedroom scene to just after the cold open.

We also suggest moving up 208–20–23 the police visit to the Gallinger home, Eleanor’s confession to Gallinger and her serving tea to the officer to just before Barrow’s visit to Ping Wu.

And finally, we suggest advancing 208–30–32 Gallinger’s commitment of Eleanor to before the scene where Lucy is speaking with the other nurse about jobs at the new Knick and receives the call about her father.

SODERBERGH:

A couple of straggling thoughts…

208–26–27

Since the scene of Effie receiving the anonymous phone call and the scene of Lucy and Henry working each other have a similar energy of intrigue and scheming, we wondered whether there was a music cue that might join them and give that sequence some energy before stopping as Cornelia speaks to Henry at lunch.

SODERBERGH:

208–39

Is there music that can back this scene of Algernon breaking into Gallinger’s office?

SODERBERGH:

For clarity, here is the continuity revised per our suggestions with the moved scenes highlighted in yellow:

MX MX104_Number11__Full
From Season 1

208–1 INT KNICK — MEN’S WARD — NIGHT
A figure rises from a bed and sneaks toward the door.

208–3 INT KNICK — MORGUE — NIGHT
Wendell sucks the embalming fluid out of a corpse.

208–4 INT KNICK — MORGUE — NIGHT
Thackery discovers Wendell’s dead body.

208–12 INT GALLINGER HOUSE — BEDROOM — NIGHT
Eleanor feels better and is ready to rebuild the family.

208–5 EXT KNICK — NIGHT
In the shadows of the streetlight, a man pulls out a rusty old west revolver.

208–6 INT KNICK — PATHOLOGY LAB / LOBBY — DAY
Bertie revives the rabbit with a jolt of adrenaline. Brockhurst confronts Thackery, Cleary knocks him out.

208–20, 21 E/I GALLINGER’S HOUSE — NIGHT
Police show up to talk about Cotton’s death.

208–22 INT GALLINGER HOUSE — KITCHEN — NIGHT
Eleanor tells Gallinger she poisoned Dr. Cotton.

MX MX107_Walker__Full
From Season 1

208–23 INT GALLINGER’S HOUSE — NIGHT
Eleanor serves tea to the police.

208–7 INT PING WU’s NEW BROTHEL — OFFICE — NIGHT
Barrow brings in the money to buy Junia.

208–11 INT KNICK — INEBRIATE WARD — NIGHT
Alcoholic asks how Thackery stayed sober. He asks to talk to Abigail.

208–13, 14 E/I KNICK — BOARD ROOM — DAY
The Board hires a new architect. Capt. Robertson tells Barrow the Club has decided to grant him membership.

208–15 E/I KNICK — WOMEN’S WARD — DAY
Thackery sees patient with swollen nose that he operated on at Cromartie. Mrs. Moody wants a white doctor and Gallinger comes to the rescue. Thackery winces in pain but won’t let the doctors examine him.

208–19 EXT BARROW’S HOUSE — DAY
Barrow sells his house on a handshake.

208–25 INT KNICK — PATHOLOGY LAB — DAY
Thackery shows Abigail nose bridge, asks if she is willing to talk to his patient.

208–26 INT BARROW’S HOUSE — SEWING ROOM — DAY
Effie receives an anonymous phone call about Barrow’s new apartment.

208–27 EXT KNICK — DAY
Henry takes Cornelia to lunch. She’s being followed.

208–28 INT SHERRY’S — DAY
Cornelia tells Henry that she’s uncovered their father’s illegal bribes.

208–30 INT PATHOLOGICAL INSTITUTE — EVENING
Gallinger arrives at the sanitarium with Eleanor and Dorothy.

208–31 INT PATHOLOGICAL INSTITUTE / OFFICE — EVENING
Gallinger tells Dr. Warner he wants to admit Eleanor.

MX 30 — Millennia
TEMP CUE

208–32 INT PATHOLOGICAL INSTITUTE — EVENING
Gallinger leads a sobbing Dorothy away as they leave Eleanor behind.

208–29 INT KNICK — DISPENSARY / FRONT DESK — EVENING
Lucy receives an anonymous phone call, she is told to come right away.

208–34 EXT TENEMENT — NIGHT
Lucy and Pouncey arrive at a tenement in an ambulance.

208–35, 36 INT BROTHEL — HALLWAY / DUNGEON — NIGHT
Lucy finds her Dad, naked and drooling on the floor after having been whipped.

MX MX101_TheWise_Full
From Season 1

208–37 INT KNICK — MEN’S WARD — NIGHT
Thackery tells Lucy her father has had a stroke.

208–38 INT GALLINGER’S HOUSE — NIGHT
Dorothy flirts with Gallinger.

MX MX110_MyBook__Full
From Season 1

209-A28

NOW IN 208
INT EDEN MUSEE — NIGHT
Harriet says she’s not a Sister anymore.

209–28

NOW IN 208

INT EDEN MUSEE — CHAMBER OF HORRORS — NIGHT
Cleary tries to kiss Harriet, she feels betrayed.

208–39 INT KNICK — GALLINGER’S OFFICE — NIGHT
Algernon finds Gallinger’s files on the “Idiot House Vasectomy Project.”

208–42 INT KNICK — PATHOLOGY LAB — DAY
Algernon wants to bring Gallinger up on charges, Thackery collapses.

208–40, 41 E/I BARROW’S HOUSE — DINING ROOM — NIGHT
Barrow’s house all festively lit. Barrow tells Effie he is leaving her.

MX MX107_Walker__Full
From Season 1

208–44 INT PING WU’s NEW BROTHEL — PARLOR — DAY
Barrow picks up Junia, they are so excited to start their new life together.

208–45 INT KNICK — INEBRIATE WARD — DAY
Abigail speaks with Thackery’s patient.

MX MX102_ReadHim__Full
From Season 1

208-A47 INT KNICK — PRIVATE PATIENT ROOM — DAY
Abigail takes some laudanum prior to her surgery.

208–47 INT KNICK — SCRUB ROOM — NIGHT
Thackery scrubs in.

208–48 INT KNICK — SURGICAL THEATER — DAY
Thackery operates on Abby, but he loses her on the table.

MX MX107_WillItHurt__Full
From Season 1

208–49 INT GALLINGER’S HOUSE — NIGHT
Gallinger tells Dorothy there is no rush for her to leave.

MX MX110_AmongUs__Full
From Season 1

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209 Notes — Cut D

A terrific penultimate episode for The Knick Season 2.

209–4 INT NICARAGUAN VILLAGE — CLINIC — DAY
Thackery meets Madriz, finds out its a smallpox outbreak not yellow fever.

209-A5, B5 EXT NICARAGUAN VILLAGE — CLINIC — DAY

Thackery finds Capt. Robertson shackled to a log by soldiers. Robertson asks Thackery to save him
Robertson speech about his shortcut and the canal needs ADR work… Feels like exposition.

209–20 INT CLEARY’S APARTMENT — EVENING
Cleary is trying on a condom that they made.
Great scene.

209–21 INT KNICK — MEN’S WARD — NIGHT
Lucy confesses her sins to her father and euthanizes him.

MX MX106_Calling__Full
From Season 1
A truly amazing performance in this scene! Yay Eve!

209–32 INT CLEARY’S APARTMENT — DAY
Cleary tells Harriet he is sorry for trying to tempt her.
This scene doesn’t track now that the kiss in the Eden Musee is in 208. They were just enjoying each other’s company in 209–20. And that is a great scene. Can we put this scene in 208 or omit entirely?

209-A36 INT GALLINGER’S HOUSE — EVENING
Gallinger tells Dorothy he’s been acquitted, they have sex.
I assume that, since Gallinger blindsides Algernon and never gets hit, we will remove Gallinger’s shiner, and Dorothy’s line asking about it?

We have one last set of suggestions on Ep 209. We’d like to suggest moving scenes 209–29 and 30 up to be the first scene after the cold open and title card. This idea has several things going for it. 1) it structures the episode around the confrontation with the climactic Captain; 2) it has the added benefit of establishing the source of Barrow’s desperation from the outset, with the ensuing thrill of his new club membership only fueling that desperation. 3) It puts the building (and ultimate destruction) of the new Knick at the center of our episodic story. The intent of the suggestion is to give the episode a bit more of a narrative drive and clarity. We also suggest moving up the scene between Cornelia and Phillip (209–35), which — given the suggested move of 209–30 — would spread Cornelia’s storyline more evenly throughout the episode.

SODERBERGH:

Here are the suggested relevant continuity changes:

Cold open ending with…

209–9, A15 EXT VILLAGE — WESTERN NICARAGUA — DAY
Thackey inoculates the villagers with smallpox.

THE KNICK title card

209–29 EXT NEW KNICK CONSTRUCTION SITE — DAY
Barrow urges the new architect to slow down construction.

209–30 INT KNICK — HENRY’S OFFICE — DAY
Henry looks over evidence Cornelia has, they decide to speak to the Capt.

209–15 E/I KNICK — DAY
Detective confronts Gallinger, says they’ve solved the Dr. Cotton murder.

MX MX107_Walker__Full
From Season 1
209–16 INT KNICK — WOMEN’S WARD — DAY
Twins take their first steps on their own.

210 Notes Cut D

210 is fantastic. Just an incredible hour of television. We only have one note.

SODERBERGH:

During the latter part of the Thackery surgery scene, the cutaways to various members of the gallery and to Bertie and Gallinger stretch credulity — it feels a bit absurd that none of them would jump in as Thackery bleeds out.

While Clive’s performance in this scene is staggeringly good, perhaps we can cut back on it just a bit to help make the group paralysis a bit more believable. And/or perhaps — in order to make the passage of time less naturalistic and more surreal/inside Thackery’s head — in lieu of the eight cutaways (Zinberg, Genevieve, Barrow, the two nurses, Gallinger, Bertie, and Algernon), we could use cutaways to Sonya on the operating table from season one and the various shots sizes of the apparition of Sonya in the operating theater gallery from earlier in this season. Of course this would culminate — as you have it — with the surreal shots of Thackery’s POV of the chandelier and the shots of Abigail and Sonya from Thackery’s hallucinations. Then, after Thackery collapses, we can return to the reality of getting him clamped.

SODERBERGH:

It’s fitting that our final note stems from the climactic “nick” of Thackery’s abdominal artery. And that’s it! It’s been such a bloody great time! Thank you.

SODERBERGH:

Click here to check out “Useless Stats” from Season 2, or here to go to Season 1.

The Knick Notes

Read production notes from Seasons 1 & 2 of The Knick.

The Knick

Written by

The Knick

A modern period drama directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Clive Owen on @Cinemax. Now available on MAX GO. #TheKnick

The Knick Notes

Read production notes from Seasons 1 & 2 of The Knick.

The Knick

Written by

The Knick

A modern period drama directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Clive Owen on @Cinemax. Now available on MAX GO. #TheKnick

The Knick Notes

Read production notes from Seasons 1 & 2 of The Knick.

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