‘The Knick’ Will Return October 16; Teaser Hints at San Francisco Bubonic Plague Subplot

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With its putrefying noses, cocaine-injected phalluses and depiction of brutal racism in turn-of-the-century NYC, The Knick‘s first season was one of the toughest watches on television in 2014. With Steven Soderbergh directing every episode, employing hand-held cinematography, anachronistic scoring, and evoking stunning performances, it was also one of the best. Now, the first teaser for the second season — along with its release date — has been shared.

The second season will premiere on Cinemax on October 16. The trailer below hints at a relocated plot line: Cornelia Robertson (Juliet Rylance), the wealthy daughter of the owner of the Knick (a downtown NY hospital) was pushed into a marriage that’ll bring her to San Francisco.

In the teaser, we see a sign regarding a quarantine ordained by the Mayor of San Francisco, presumably centered around the San Francisco bubonic plague epidemic, during which all non-whites were prohibited from leaving Chinatown via a barbed wire fence; after 3.5 months, officials found no cases of the disease within Chinatown. One can predict that this potential plot would likely, given the first season’s vivid portrayal of a city plagued just as much by prejudice as by any other disease, further explore American systems of racial oppression, with a now-bicoastal view of ghettoization.

Also seen in the trailer are the key cast-members, including Clive Owen’s Dr. Thackerey, who the last season hinted will now be battling with a heroin addiction, and Dr. Algernon Edwards, played by Andre Holland.

Watch the teaser: