The Busy Flea

The Knick

S1 E3 The Busy Flea

The Busy Flea

Thackery receives a visitor – Abigail Alford, an old flame, wears a contraption on her face that covers her nose and shields her eyes. Her face has been ravaged by the effects of syphilis, which she contracted through her now ex-husband. Thackery examines her nose-less face and suggests a grafting procedure to offer some semblance of a covering. She insists that he carry out the surgery himself.

Barrow is in need of money to pay for his wife's spending habits as well as his own debts to Bunky Collier. He steals a body out of the hospital's morgue and sells it on the black market. Once he's settled up with Bunky, Barrow immediately goes to see his favorite prostitute, Junia.

After hours, Algernon begins to put his underground clinic together. He hires the hospital's coal porters as his receptionists and the seamstresses as his surgical nurses. When a laborer comes in with a hernia, Algernon performs an innovative surgical technique and instructs the patient to rest.

Over breakfast with her parents, Cornelia hears about multiple society people who have been stricken with typhoid. Concerned about a possible epidemic, she alerts Thackery. He suggests she work with Inspector Speight to track down the source of the outbreak.

Gallinger and Bertie attempt to practice the galvanic procedure Algernon worked on overseas, but are unable to decipher the French medical journal it's written in. Reluctantly, they agree to have Algernon walk them through the procedure, though they won't let him take part in it.

Ignoring Algernon's orders, the laborer returns to his job and promptly reinjures himself. He returns to the clinic during the day, but Algernon is unable to save him. That night, Algernon goes to a bar and instigates a fight with a fellow patron. He takes out his frustrations on the other man's face.