“Copper,” BBC America’s Civil War-era detective drama, concluded its marvelous first season Sunday (Oct. 21) with a poignant and robust finale. “A Vast and Fiendish Plot” provided just enough answers to satisfy viewers — while raising plenty of new questions to tantalize us until it returns for Season 2.
Here are five “fiendish” revelations from the “Copper” finale:
1. Elizabeth Haverford is a traitor. All this time the beautiful widow (Anastasia Griffith) has been supporting the Confederate cause. She’s not completely evil, however: She did refuse to help the conspiracy’s leader, Captain Kennedy, because he targeted innocent people instead of just burning the unoccupied structures. Or maybe she just doesn’t want to jeopardize her luxurious lifestyle — Mrs. Haverford, after all, equates poverty with “tragedy.” And now we are really concerned about her relationship with John Wilkes Booth — will she be part of the plot to assassinate Lincoln?
2. Robert Morehouse (Kyle Schmid) is a hero. OK, we suspected this all along, but he proved to be Season 1’s true paladin, saving New York City from destruction and exposing the Confederacy’s “vast and fiendish plot” to burn the city to the ground. Bonus irony points for exiling his loathsome father to the ruins of Atlanta.
3. Sara Freeman survived. All season we fretted during this Tessa Thompson‘s every scene, certain that Doctor Matthew Freeman’s (Ato Essandoh) troubled wife would be lynched like her brothers, killed by marauding gangs or the Freemans’ houseguests — or, in the finale, by a quack doctor’s snake oil. Fortunately, it was relatively harmless, so Mrs. Freeman will live to worry us another season. (Just think how many women died in childbirth in that era!)
4. Francis Maguire is a murderer. Terribly wounded by a Confederate terrorist, Detective Maguire (Kevin Ryan) confessed to his partner, Kevin Corcoran (Tom Weston-Jones) that he
killed both the abortionist and his finac�e, Mary — motivated by his desire to protect his best friend from learning those terrible secrets about his wife and child. “No matter what I do, I end up killing the things I love,” Maguire says sadly. Corcoran seems to forgive him, and we do too. We hope his surgery is successful, because we can’t imagine “Copper” without the tragically flawed detective.
5. Corcoran cracks. All season long, everyone has betrayed Corky, and when he finally learns the truth (most of it anyway — Eva’s not about to confess she killed Molly), it breaks him. With his wife’s return, he splits with Eva, his only real source of solace. So his despair drives him to follow Ellen’s example and find oblivion in drugs — and a hallucination of his daughter, Maggie, walking out the door.
“Copper” will return to BBC America sometime in 2013.