While the first season of BBC Americas Civil War-period police drama Copper started with some child abuse, the second starts with a wedding and a murder.
The second season, beginning Sunday night, opens Feb. 5, 1865, when the war is drawing to a close though, of course, no one knows that.
It is evident that the writers are more comfortable with the time period this season as opposed to the last. They entwine the history of New York City and the lower-Manhattan Five Points slum with the changes brought by immigration, particularly of the Irish. The city itself plays a character in this series, with its brothels, docks and elaborate mansions on the upper end of the island being crucial settings for the plot.
And because of the nature of cable channels, the dialog is salty and profane, and scenes are graphic and showcase occasional female nudity.
However, in order to fully enjoy the shows tangle of plot lines, its helpful to have seen the first season. BBC Americas website also has posted an episode guide ((www.bbcamerica.com).
Last season, Detective Kevin Corcoran (Tom Weston-Jones) of the Sixth Ward found his missing wife, Ellen (Alex Paxton-Beesley), and discovered the truth that shed had an affair with his best friend, Francis Maguire (Kevin Ryan), who narrowly escapes from Corcorans vengeance with his life.
This season, the wealthy Maj. Robert Morehouse (Kyle Schmid) marries the equally-rich widow Elizabeth Haverford (Anastasia Griffith), who turns out to have secrets about last seasons near-burning of New York City and her opium consumption.
Their friend, African-American physician Matthew Freeman (Ato Essandoh), and his wife, Sara (Tessa Thompson), have moved back to the tumultuous Five Points despite the fact that Saras brothers had been murdered there during the draft riots. In season one, Sara was haunted by the murders; in the second season, she takes action to conquer her fear.
New characters will include general-turned-Tammany Hall politician Brendan Donovan (Donal Logue) and former slave Hattie Lemaster (award-winning actress Alfre Woodard).
In season two, episode one, reality immediately strikes. With the end of the war being nowhere in sight, the Union Army needs soldiers to help fight against the Confederacy. In New York, recruiters are going the extra step by kidnapping boys to provide fresh troops for the front. Or as a grizzled sergeant major (Jim Byrnes of Wiseguy) callously tells former soldier Corcoran, Perfumed generals dont win wars, Corporal. Cannon fodder does.
Its up to Corcoran to save the missing teens and find out the truth. In doing so, he misses his friend Morehouses wedding. Later, Corcoran finds him drunk at the local brothel. Why is Morehouse not home with his new wife? Well, its complicated.
Find out on the new season of Copper.