Reviews of The Knick’s Finale – Crutchfield

Ping Wu does Barrow a favor.

The only story that came close to putting a smile on my face was Barrow’s tale. Barrow, who rightfully got c***punched at the top of the episode, and then tried to use “Thackery’s debt” to pay for a gangland hit on Collier. Didn’t work though. And now Barrow’s debt’s been picked up by Ping Wu, who found Collier’s ledger. And not only is Ping Wu more of a physical threat than Collier (at least on his own, as he managed to take out five guys, including Collier, in fifteen seconds) but he flat-out said that he would have fed someone like Barrow to his pigs long ago. So that handily provided the crowd-pleasing moment of “Crutchfield.
Enter the Ping Wu plan, which Thackery—cackling in his drug mania—advises against: “You’re talking about bargaining with the devil, Herman.” On Barrow’s pretense that Thackery wants Collier dead, the assassin enters Collier’s den and slaughters the tenderloin district boss and three members of his crew. Barrow is glad to read about the deaths in the paper, but when he gets to his office, Wu is there. Wu looks over Collier’s accounts book and says, “A man who owes me $9,000 as long as you owe Collier would be fed to my pigs…This, my book now”—setting up a “the devil you know” regret-filled season 2 for Barrow.
Not every bad-to-worse story of “Crutchfield” was specifically medicine-related, though I suppose Barrow did need to have his groin treated after being abused for the final time by Bunky Collier. But in going to Ping Wu to escape his debt — which allowed Steven Soderbergh to flex his “Haywire” muscles with a brief but memorable action sequence — our resident weasel has elected for his own cocaine-to-heroin transition.

Then there’s Herman, for whom the phrase, “Nothing breaks a man like a good cock punch,” has never been more prophetic. After one of Bunky’s goons delivers the aforementioned jab to the crotch, the hospital administrator hatches a plan to rid himself of the loan shark by enlisting Ping Wu to kill him, passing it off as fulfillment of a debt to Thackery. Whether the ensuing assassination sequence, also reminiscent ofThe Godfather, plays as accurate or ludicrous will be left for another time (to begin, google Sai Wing Mock), but there’s no denying the entertainment value of a good ole chainmail n’ hatchet action scene. Naturally, Herman being Herman, the whole escapade only makes things worse, since he’s now indebted to a homicidal kung fu master.

Herman. Still $9,000 in debt to Bunky Collier, Herman Barrow was interrupted in the middle of sex, yelled at and, for good measure, punched in the groin. In desperation he went to Ping Wu, the pimp and opium dispenser who owed Thackery his life, and told him that Thackery wanted Bunky dead. In a scene that was just a little over the top, Ping appeared at Bunky’s office, slashed his underlings’ throats and threw an ax that split Bunky’s forehead. He then appeared at Herman’s office where he announced that he had found Bunky’s account book and knew that the debt was Herman’s. So now Herman owes Ping the $9,000.

TV Review: THE KNICK: Season 1, Episode 10: Crutchfield [Cinemax]

Desperate Herman Barrow (Jeremy Bobb) lied and told Ping Wu (Perry Yung) that Thackery wanted Bunky Collier (Danny Hoch) dead…in an effort to enlist him to do the killing. And that he did. In one fell swoop, Ping killed several of Collier’s henchmen, ending promptly with an axe to the pimp’s forehead. [Ping Wu is an excellent character that I hope the creators will bring back next season. I personally want to know more about him, his life and the opium culture at this time in history.]

UK VOD TV review: The Knick Episode 10 (Crutchfield)

Up to his balding dome in debt to Bunky Collier, he turns to Ping Wu (Perry Yung) – the man who owns the opium den Thack regularly visits – to try a more drastic solution. It’s undoubtedly the most insane plot turn the series has tried so far, but it works because of Yung’s deft theatrical touch…


Author: Perry Yung

New York City actor and musician.

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