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->''[[{{Tagline}} In 1864, he was New York's Finest.]]''

''Copper'' is a historical [[CopsAndDetectives detective series]] produced by BBC America.

Kevin Corcoran is an [[UsefulNotes/TheIrishDiaspora Irish immigrant]] living in the [[WretchedHive Five Points]] neighborhood of UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity during the 1860s. He returns from fighting in the UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar to find that his daughter is dead and his wife has disappeared. Robert Morehouse, Corcoran's former commanding officer, uses his family's connections to arrange for Corcoran to be appointed a detective in the [[NewYorkCityCops New York Police Department]].

[[ScrewedByTheNetwork The show was cancelled on September 22, 2013.]]


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!! Provides Examples Of:

* AboveTheInfluence: [[spoiler:After Corcoran kills her sister's murderers and sends away her pedophile husband, Annie goes to his home with every intent on "thanking him." He proceeds to tell her to get dressed and go back to Elizabeth's place.]]
* AcceptableTargets: In universe, pretty much anyone and everyone. It's another form of DeliberateValuesDissonance.
* AccidentalMurder: [[spoiler: Maggie's DeathByFallingOver was caused by her mother attempting to quiet her after witnessing her affair.]]
* AllNaturalSnakeOil: A traveling 'doctor' sells a bottle of his 'medicine' to Mathew Freeman's pregnant wife. Fortunately it is only water with a bit of alcohol in it.
* AmbiguouslyGay: Robert Morehouse
* AnArmAndALeg: Robert Morehouse lost his leg in the war.
* AnswerCut: Corcoran asked Robert [[spoiler:where Kennedy was when they nabbed the second shipment of Greek Fire.]] Cut to [[spoiler:Kennedy in a lab in New York filled with Greek Fire they produced there doing a monologue about how the second shipment was a decoy.]]
* AnyoneCanDie: [[spoiler: Molly]], [[spoiler: Winnie Heverford]], [[spoiler:Mary Lockwood]], and [[spoiler: Sgt Byrnes]] as of the end of the first season.
** Halfway through season two, [[spoiler: Helen Corcoran [[DrivenToSuicide hangs herself]]]].
* ArrangedMarriage: Annie's guardian decided to marry her when ''she was ten''. He told her that it was the law in America that girls have to marry that young.
* ArtisticLicenseHistory: Mostly avoided but although there was a Confederate arson plot against New York it did not involve Greek Fire for the simple reason that we ''still'' don't know how it was made.
** BroadStrokes: At least one interview has stated that their unofficial motto is [[http://blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethebox/2013/06/copper-season-2-history-is-our-guide-not-our-master.html "History is our guide, not our master."]] They're following history closely, but don't treat it as the SeriousBusiness a lot of Period Pieces do (One example is Eva wearing a man's hat, apparently something of a ThrowItIn by Franka Potente.)
* {{Badass}}: Corcoran and his partners.
* BadassBeard: Pretty much every male character except Corcoran. It became a competition between the guys when they grew them out between Seasons 1 and 2.
* BerserkButton: Corcoran really hates child killers.
** Or child traffickers. Seriously, don't pick on the kids in Corcoran's district.
* TheBigRottenApple: Unavoidable given the time period.
* BlackAndGreyMorality: Oh frack yes. Crooked cops and prostitutes (some of them anyway) are the ''good'' guys.
* BlatantLies: All the main characters are very good liars.
** The official police reports tend not to match what actually happened or even what the police officers suspect happened. The police brass feel that a simple cover story is better than digging too much into events that might come back to bite them.
-->''"It's not about the truth; it's about resolution."''
** When Corcoran says that [[spoiler:Rev. Garland]] needs an alibi, Morehouse does not even blink before responding that he was with the gentleman at the time of the crime.
** [[spoiler:Elizabeth]] lies to Corcoran about [[spoiler:what she did to Annie, claiming she sent her to the west coast to live on a farm, away from the city's temptations. In truth, she sent her to be with her "father" who is really her pedophile husband.]]
** The Jewish pawnbroker tells Corcoran that his wife had to sell the locket because the money Corcoran send them had not arrived yet and she needed money to buy food. [[spoiler: The pawnbroker has no idea what really happened and Francis paid him to tell Corcoran the story.]]
* BluffTheImposter: Robert Morehouse becomes suspicious of a visitor from Canada so he engages him in a conversation about brothels. He mentions a popular Montreal brothel and the visitor says that he visited it a few times. Robert than reveals that no such brothel exists and the 'Canadian' admits [[spoiler: that he is actually a Confederate agent]].
* BuriedAlive: The ultimate fate of [[spoiler:Lansing]].
* CallingTheOldManOut: Robert Morehouse is extremely angry when he finds out the extent of his father's illegal business dealings and that his father [[spoiler: was willing to commit treason and help kill hundreds of people]] so the truth would not come out.
* ChekhovsGun: Andrew's brother-in-law 'found' a Confederate revolver in a Union general's hotel room and he later bets it in a card game. Francis wins the gun and decides to keep it for himself. It's a rather unique gun and Corcoran uses the fact [[spoiler: to connect Francis to Mary Lockwood's murder]].
* ChickMagnet: By the third episode Corcoran already had Eva, Molly, Elizabeth and [[{{Squick}} Annie]] all either in his bed or trying to get there.
* ChristianityIsCatholic: Strongly averted. Corcoran and his Irish friends are all Catholic but the Morehouses are Episcopalian and everyone is keenly aware of the differences.
* ColdBloodedTorture:
** A PinkertonDetective starts his interrogation by breaking [[spoiler: Corcoran's]] leg and plans to break other bones if he does not get what he is looking for.
** When the coppers feel that a standard beating will not get them the information they want, they can use the Suite. It is a cell located under the precinct privy and the prisoner is chained up in a way that he cannot avoid being urinated and defecated on all day.
** A beat cop had two of his toes cut off, both to make him talk and to send a message.
* CombatPragmatist: Corcoran uses brass knuckles and [[GroinAttack kicks to the groin]] to bring down a trio of bouncers. When the coppers ambush some bank robbers, they open fire first without announcing themselves as police officers or asking the criminals to surrender.
* ContrivedCoincidence:
** An Episcopalian bishop threatens to derail Morehouses' plans for Five Points. As it happens Corcoran starts interdependently investigating the same clergyman in connection with an abortionist's murder. When Morehouse Sr. finds out about this coincidence he can't believe his luck and promptly backs up Corcoran against any possible backlash.
** It just happens that Andrew and Phinbar Byrnes are in Central Park looking for sheep when Byrnes literally stumbles over[[spoiler: Mary Lockwood's ]] body.
* CopKiller: On one episode a rookie police officer is stabbed to death and the other cops tear though the Five Points neighborhood looking for the iller. When they have no success, the local ward boss, an ex-copper himself, orders the closing of all the local pubs until the killer is found. In a neighborhood populated by Irish immigrants this is extremely SeriousBusiness. [[spoiler:The killing was actually a gang initiation intended to make sure that the new member would never dare inform on the gang to the police.]]
* TheCoronerDothProtestTooMuch: The police are quite experienced in making sure that the official record of an murder investigation shows that justice was done and that nobody important is implicated. If they can't convict the actual culprit, they will find a FallGuy or record the death as an accident or suicide. Anybody who might protest is either paid off or threatened into keeping silent. Notably both the bad guys and the good guys engage in this.
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: [[spoiler:Norbert Morehouse, Robert's father, is selling arms to the Confederates. His reason? Profit is profit, no matter how it was made.]]
* CouldntFindALighter: In "In the Hands of an Angry God", Molly lights Kevin's cigarette from a candle (although this would not have been uncommon in 1864).
* CruelMercy:
** Robert Morehouse [[spoiler:requests to Lincoln his father not be hung as a traitor, but rather sent to help Altanta as a small business man looking to restart Atlanta's economy after Sherman's burning of Atlanta.]]
** Corcoran [[spoiler:finds Francis trapped in a fire and saves him. He considers Francis suffering as he recovered in the poor medical care of the doctors to be this.]]
** When Corcoran finds out that a man is kidnapping young men (children by today's standards) and selling them as 'volunteers' to Union army recruiters, he is inclined to just shoot the man. He is persuaded to spare the man's life and instead he [[spoiler: 'volunteers' the man for the army and the meat grinder of the Civil War]].
* DaChief: Captain Sullivan tries to be this. However, it soon becomes apparent that Corcoran and Sgt. Byrnes are really running the precinct and Sullivan is only relevant because Corcoran and Byrnes despise each other. By the end of season 1 Corcoran stops pretending and informs Sullivan of the fact that all the coppers only obey Corcoran now and there is nothing Sullivan can do about it. Afterwards Corcoran does not even bother keeping Sullivan in the loop. [[spoiler:But when he is in the theatre and word of fire reaches him, he does leave to investigate.]]
* DeadpanSnarker: Robert Morehouse, in a big way.
* DeliberateValuesDissonance: The show rarely misses an opportunity to remind the viewer that it takes place in an era where our modern values and morals simply did not apply. In the very first scene of the series premiere, a homeless girl offers to 'pleasure' Corcoran in return for a hard boiled egg. Corcoran then spends a large part of the episode walking around while carrying a dead girl wrapped in a blanket, and no one even blinks an eye. (See AcceptableTargets, above, for more.)
** Even disregarding the more blatant [[DirtyCop corruption of the police force]], they just don't deal with investigations the way a modern audience expects. For example, beating people up seems to be a legitimate means of gathering evidence, and the first thing to do after finding a dead body is to [[PrincessBride look through his pockets for money.]]
** In fact, the reason Corcoran is TheHero is because he doesn't believe in the same values as everyone else: he doesn't like the corruption and bribery that skew justice, while everyone else just sees it as the cost of doing business.
* DickDastardlyStopsToCheat: Haverford got away with [[spoiler: killing and raping Kathy]] and there is nothing a copper like Corcoran can do about it. However, instead of just lying low and finding a new victim he decides that he needs to [[spoiler:get his hands on Annie]]. He is quite unsubtle about it and even hires a Pinkerton and a bunch of street toughs to do his dirty work. If he just let the matter go, Corcoran would not have to [[spoiler: kill him and the Contessa]].
* DirtyCop: The police department is extremely corrupt and for the most part acts as just another street gang. The main characters collect protection money from neighborhood businesses, and when they kill some bank robbers, they don't hesitate to stuff their own pockets with some of the bank's money. If you have money you can buy your way out of even the most heinous crime. Corcoran differs from his fellow coppers because he believes that there are some crimes that need to be fully investigated and prosecuted.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: New York City is about to be the target of a terrorist attack.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: [[spoiler:Elizabeth Haverford was helping Kennedy and the Confederates, provided they attack non-populated areas, like the docks when no one is around. Kennedy breaking this word makes her refuse to offer him help escaping New York.]]
* EveryoneKnowsMorse: Averted. Generally only those who man the telegraph stations know. [[spoiler:Cue OhCrap from Adam, who works for the Morehouses, when Corcoran tells him he knows Morse from his time in the Union Army. And he knows Adam just lied about what the message he just received said.]]
* FakeAmerican: Invoked by Corcoran when he reminds Captain Sullivan that Sullivan was born in Ireland just as Corcoran and the captain can't pretend otherwise just because Sullivan's father dropped the "O'" from O'Sullivan when they arrived in America.
** This is a particularly complex issue because the concept of who is "American" is in flux not only because of the presence of a great deal of immigrants but also because it is set against the backdrop of the Civil War. The South didn't believe in the idea of a unified American nation, and many white characters debate blacks' existence as legitimate citizens.
*** It's the reason Corcoran joined the Union Army. The scorn he and his family experienced for being Irish--and therefore not legitimately American in some eyes--made him want to ensure his daughter a more secure place in the world. He wanted to make the country ''his'' country, and in order to do that he had to make its war ''his'' war.
** Several of the actors also don't come from the same places their characters do.
* FakeDefector:
** At first it looks like [[spoiler: Molly]] betrayed Corcoran and [[spoiler: sold Annie to the Contessa]] but it was actually all part of Corcoran's plan.
** [[spoiler:Robert Morehouse plays this by getting close to some Confederate spies.]]
* FalseConfession: A dying man confesses to a murder committed by a wealthy industrialist. In exchange for being the FallGuy, he gets to live out the last days of his life in opulent comfort and his family will receive a large sum of money when he is hanged.
* {{Fanservice}}: Oddly enough for a show with at least two prostitutes as main characters, much more of the male variety. So far, we've seen several men [[ShirtlessScene stripped to the waist]], and Francis Maguire's butt, but very little female nudity. On the other hand, BBC America isn't a pay channel like HBO, so they're a little more restricted in what they can show.
** Season two opens with an opium fueled sex scene between Elizabeth and Morehouse (arguably two of the more attractive members of the cast) with just enough GodivaHair / SceneryCensor to keep it this side of legal. However, this was right after [[spoiler: Eva had her back carved open and graphically stitched closed,]] so no one was really in the mood.
* FauxAffablyEvil:
** Keating speech to the members of The Druids seems to present him as a anarchistic revolutionary who organized the counterfeiting ring as a way to 'stick it to the Man' and address some of the injustice of life in Five Points. Then he has a man start singing just so he can see what happens when he cuts the man's throat mid-song.
** Brendan Donovan is initially presented as a CorruptPolitician ally of Corcoran and maybe even a mentor figure for the detective. Subsequent episodes reveal more and more of how he really conducts his business and we realize that he is a VillainWithGoodPublicity who does not care who gets hurt due to his schemes.
* FedToPigs: [[spoiler: How John Riley's corpse was hidden.]]
* FilleFatale: Annie, but with a major league FreudianExcuse: [[spoiler: first being forced to marry ''at the age of ten'' a man who abused her so badly that life in a brothel seemed preferable, then being similarly abused by Haverford]], plus life on the streets in general.
* FingertipDrugAnalysis: Kevin does this to a fruitcake in "Arsenic and Old Cake": touching the dusting on the cake and then bringing his finger to his mouth as he attempts to determine the source of the poison.
* {{Fingore}}: Corcoran uses his brass knuckles to smash the hand of [[spoiler: Adam, the telegraph operator,]] when he tries to lie about what Morehouse Sr. was up to. Corcoran would have continued to break more of the hand but Robert stopped him.
* FireForgedFriends: Robert Morehouse considers Kevin Corcoran, Matthew Freeman, and himself to be this due to their shared experiences during the war and despite their widely different social status. For this reason, he is willing to lie and help out either man if it's in his power.
* FryingPanOfDoom: Annie uses one to take down [[spoiler: Buzzy when he's holding Ellen hostage and Corcoran at gunpoint.]]
* GenreSavvy: A thief breaks into a house and finds a dead child inside. He realizes that the crime will be blamed on him so he goes straight to the docks and signs up on the next ship to leave town. When he returns more than a year later, he is caught by Corcoran and is smart enough not to try and lie about what happened. Corcoran [[spoiler: believes his story and lets him go]].
* GoodIsNotNice: Corcoran is a very decent person, but he is definitely not 'nice'. This also applies to Robert and even Matthew who will go after those who harm them or their loved ones.
* GossipyHens: A pair of them enjoyed tea with Elizabeth before they delved into MaliciousSlander about the black reverend suspected of murder and how Elizabeth's mere acquaintance with him, as Elizabeth is supporting his orphanage, is dirtying her. Elizabeth smiles, hopes they enjoyed themselves and when they were done with tea never come calling again.
* HappilyMarried: Matthew and Sarah have a very sweet, supportive relationship. Time will tell if it stays this way.
* HiddenWeapons: Corcoran keeps his brass knuckles in his hat.
* HighClassCallGirl: The Contessa runs an entire house of these.
* HistoricalDomainCharacter: John Wilkes Booth and his brothers come to Manhattan in series one to perform ''Theatre/JuliusCaesar''; they're also old acquaintances of Elizabeth.
** Civil rights leader Frederick Douglass visits Manhattan in season 2 as a guest of the Morehouses. Matthew and Sarah are invited to hear him speak and are moved by the experience.
* HollywoodHealing: Averted. In the episodes following Corcoran's leg being broken, he walks with a cane and and limps.
* HookerWithAHeartOfGold: Molly, who works at Eva's brothel, is very motherly towards Annie and legitimately cares about Kevin's well-being.
* IAmAHumanitarian: Pigs will eat anything.
* ImprovisedWeapon: During a bar brawl Robert Morehouse takes his wooden leg off and beats his attackers with it.
* InfantImmortality: Averted. Corcoran's daughter was only six when she died. In the first episode, Corcoran investigates a child's murder and rape.
* TheInfiltration: [[spoiler:Robert uses his dandy-persona to help him get close to a group of Confederate terrorists operating in the city.]]
* ISurrenderSuckers: A bank robber tries to pull this on the coppers, and they riddle him with bullets in return.
* InstrumentalThemeTune: A particularly cool Celtic rock one.
* ItTastesLikeFeet: According to Annie, London's finest Earl Grey "tastes like an iron fence."
* JackBauerInterrogationTechnique: Ubiquitous, thanks in no small part to the abundance of {{Dirty Cop}}s.
* JustFollowingOrders: Adam, the Morehouse telegraph operator, claims anything he does is because he is following the orders of Morehouse Sr.
* KillItWithFire: A group of Confederate agents plan use a form of Greek Fire to burn down New York City.
* LittleMissBadass: Annie
* LuxuryPrisonSuite: In "Surviving Death", Bill is placed in one after he takes the fall for Kate's murder. He gets to live in luxury for a month and his wife gets $5,000.
* MadeOfIron: [[spoiler: Corcoran travels across town, climbs up the outside of a two-story building, puts a beatdown on Haverford and jumps into a cart from a two story window -- ''with a broken leg''! Admittedly he was on morphine and the cart had bags of something or other to cushion his fall, but ''still''.]]
* MissKitty: Eva in ''Series/{{Copper}}''. The Contessa is her HighClassCallGirl equivalent uptown.
* MutualKill: The official version of events is that [[spoiler: Winfred Haverford and the Contessa]] killed each other.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: Elizabeth could be the page image for this trope after [[spoiler:she allows Annie's husband (posing as her father) to take her away kicking and screaming.]] Even the butler gets in on the action.
* NeverSuicide: The police find a man hanging in a stable and none of them even suggests suicide. They have seen enough lynchings to know right away that the victim did not hang himself. Subverted later on when [[spoiler: they officially declare the death to be a suicide since they do not want to pursue the actual killer]].
* NewMeat: Corcoran and Andrew mentor a rookie copper who just joined the police force and happened to be the nephew of Sgt. Byrnes, who really doesn't like Corcoran. Andrew uses the guy to do grunt work like catching a sheep for dinner. It takes the poor guy many weeks before he has the courage to ask that they call him by his real name of Phinbar rather than just 'Little Byrnes'.
* TheNicknamer: Robert Morehouse likes to give people nicknames. He calls Corcoran "Corky" as a sign of endearment and calls Winfred Haverford "Winnie" as a sign of his contempt for the man.
* NitroExpress: Robert Morehouse helps Kennedy transport a wagon full of Greek Fire that will explode if one of the barrels has a leak and any of the liquid is exposed to air. [[spoiler: Of course, his actual plan is to sabotage the wagon before it reaches New York so the Greek Fire is destroyed in the explosion.]]
* NoNonsenseNemesis: If you make an enemy out of Corcoran, he will not play games. If legal means are not enough, he will [[spoiler:simply kill you]].
* NonIdleRich: Robert Morehouse and his father have plans with their money and generally are seen using it for their own advantages and plots.
* ObfuscatingDisability: Corcoran uses his badly broken leg as a great alibi. No matter what his superiors might suspect, people are not going to believe that someone in his condition could [[spoiler: travel across town, climb up to a second story window, kill two people and then get back to Five Points without anyone noticing him]].
* ObfuscatingStupidity: Robert Morehouse might come off as a dandy and a drunkard, but he has a sharp mind and big plans for the future. By contrast, Corcoran is often described as too smart for his own good.
* OfficerOHara: The main character and his fellow rank-and-file coppers are all Irish immigrants. TruthInTelevision for the time period.
* PapaWolf:
** Corcoran will go to extraordinary lengths to protect Annie.
** Matthew Freeman [[spoiler:beats down a snake-oil sales men when he sells his wife a poisonous tonic which could have killed her and their unborn child. Then tells him to never come back again.]]
* PinkertonDetective: Haverford hires one to [[ColdBloodedTorture convince]] Corcoran to give up Annie's location.
* PlaceWorseThanDeath: For his role [[spoiler:in helping the Confederate spies, Norbert Morehouse was not hung but sent to Atlanta, after Sherman's burning of it, to work as a small business entrepreneur for the rest of his life. It was his son's idea to get him to avoid being hung.]]
* PowerFist: Brass knuckles are Corcoran's weapon of choice, along with his revolver.
* PrettyLittleHeadshots: Averted due to the caliber and type of bullets used. When a bank robber gets shot in the head, a large chunk of his face gets blown off.
* ProperlyParanoid: As election day approaches rumors start to circulate that New York is going to be the target of an attack by Confederate agents. The more panicky and paranoid citizens, including Andrew's wife, want the coppers to investigate and apprehend the spies. The rumors are correct and there really is a plot to set large portions of New York on fire if Lincoln is reelected.
* RabidCop: If you trigger Corcoran's BerserkButton, he will not hesitate to unleash a NoHoldsBarredBeatdown on a chained prisoner.
* RealityEnsues: One episode involves Corcoran and O'Brien trying to match a handwriting sample, so they try to obtain signatures from all the people they interviewed. Surprise! This is 1864, and they're interviewing dirt-poor Irish immigrants; virtually everyone they interview is illiterate.
* ReplacementGoldfish: Kevin seems to see Annie as this for his dead daughter. [[FilleFatale She's more intent on being one for his wife.]]
* RevolversAreJustBetter: Justified since the ball and cap revolver was state-of-the art for the time.
* RobbingTheDead: Routine for the police.
* SecretKeeper:
** Corcoran and Matthew Freeman were rewarded by the Morehouse family for keeping silent about the fact that it was the black Matthew who cut off Robert Morehouse's leg.
** Adam, the telegraph operator, is present during most of the business meetings Morehouse Sr. has in his office. The Morehouse family must trust him explicitly when it comes to their financial activities. Significantly, Robert asks him to leave the room when Corcoran comes to discuss [[spoiler: the Greek Fire]].
* SergeantRock: Corcoran was a sergeant in the Union Army. Morehouse credits him with making their unit an effective fighting force.
* ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney:
** If you are rich, you can pay of the police to look the other way; if the crime is serious enough, you can find someone dying of disease to [[FallGuy confess]] to the crime in exchange for a large sum of money.
* ScrewTheRulesIHaveConnections: This is how New York in the 1860s operates. If you know the right people and can [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney grease the right palms]] you can get anything done.
** Corcoran got his job as a police detective because the Morehouse family owed him for saving Robert during the war.
** Matthew Freeman gets his house and medical practice for [[spoiler: being the one to actually save Robert]] and not making a fuss about not getting credit for it.
** Eve Heissen is able to travel from New York to New Orleans in the middle of the Civil War because she has the right connections to get travel documents signed by Abraham Lincoln and another set signed by Jefferson Davis.
** Corcoran is able to disobey his superiors and pursue his own investigations because he is a friend of the Morehouses.
** Averted with [[spoiler:Norbert Morehouse, Robert's father, who committed treason against the United States by helping with the plot to burn New York City. He suffers for his treason by being sent to Atlanta to work as a small business man.]]
** Buris "Buzzie" Burke used to be under the protection of the political establishment and thus could run his criminal enterprises without interference from the police. When Corcoran became a police officer, Burke was the first criminal he arrested. The desk sergeant at the police station promptly released Burke and explained the system to Corcoran. However, by the time the second season starts Burke has become too AxCrazy and unreliable and has lost the protection of his patrons. Corcoran is now free to hunt him down and arrest or kill as he desires.
* SilkHidingSteel: Elizabeth Haverford proves to be both smarter and tougher than her husband. [[spoiler:To the point when she learns her husband is a child raping murderer, she asks Corcoran to ensure justice is done for that girl, knowing it would likely mean his death. She was also supplying funds to the people planning on burning New York.]]
* SlippingAMickey: The Union army is contracting civilians to act as recruiters. A particularly unscrupulous group of them like to approach young men in taverns, drug their drinks, kidnap them and then hold them prisoner until they can be delivered as 'volunteers' to the army.
* SmokingHotSex: In "In the Hands of an Angry God", Kevin has a cigarette after having sex with Molly, with Molly [[CouldntFindALighter lighting the cigarette from a candle]].
* SmugSnake: "Winnie" Haverford
* SnakeOilSalesman: In "A Vast and Feindish Plot", Sarah buys two bottles of an elixir from a snake oil salesman that almost posion her. Matthew beats the salesman up and drives him out of town.
* SpeakIllOfTheDead: After [[spoiler: Sgt. Byrnes's]] death, the detectives use the story of his death as a warning for new coppers. The stupid way he died makes for a perfect object lesson as to what happens when a copper does his job sloppily.
* StopOrIWillShoot: Corcoran prefers to shoot the bank robbers first and ''then'' identify himself as a police officer.
* StupidEvil: Haverford who, through bribery of the corrupt police force plus manipulation of his social status had gotten away with [[spoiler: murdering Kate, Annie's twin sister. But he couldn't let go of going after Annie as well which let Corcoran and Annie lure him to his death]]
* TapOnTheHead: Lampshaded by Andrew when he warns a rookie copper not to use his truncheon to hit people on the head. The asylum is full of people who suffered brain damage due to a skull fracture.
* TemptingFate: Robert Morehouse sponsors a boxing match between 'Irish' Jake [=McGinnis=] and Jasper Longfield. Corcoran is appalled by the idea. If 'Irish' Jake loses to a black man, at best only Jasper will be lynched and at worst there will be another riot that causes hundreds of deaths. In Robert's defense he was assured that Jasper would take a dive and he had a contingency plan in place just in case. [[spoiler: Said contingency plan is having the ref knock Jasper out with a vicious elbow that breaks his jaw, when it looks like 'Irish' Jake might not be able to recover from a terrible beating. No one in attendance even blinks at the extremely obvious cheating: they all had money riding on Jake.]]
* TamperingWithFoodAndDrink: Two people are killed when they eat a fruitcake that has been laced with rat poison.
* ThrowingTheFight: Jasper Longfield is supposed to throw his boxing match against 'Irish' Jake [=McGinnis=] but Jasper is in no mood to lose and does not fully comprehend the dire consequences of him winning the fight. Fortunately, Robert Morehouse has a backup plan ready if it looks like Jasper is about to win. [[spoiler: The ref knocks Jasper out and simply declares Jake the winner.]]
* TooDumbToLive: If [[spoiler: Sgt. Byrnes]] paid more attention to actual police work he probably would have realized that a murder victim was likely poisoned and eating the dead man's food is a very bad idea.
* TroublingUnchildlikeBehavior: Annie had horrible things happen to her and she rarely behaves like a ten-year-old should. By the third episode, it's pretty obvious she's is desperate need of some serious therapy. [[ThereAreNoTherapists Unfortunately, this is 1864.]]
* VillainWithGoodPublicity: "Winnie" Haverford is publicly known to be a philanthropist and is even honored for saving an orphanage. In his free time he likes to [[spoiler: rape little girls]]. This was later used under the [[spoiler:MutualKill by saying he died protecting Annie from the Contessa.]]
* VoteEarlyVoteOften: At election time Andrew is in charge of giving out alcohol, wigs and fake names to all the 'frequent voters' to help 'Irish' Jake [=McGinnis=] win.
* WallBangHer: Kevin and Elizabeth when their {{UST}} finally explodes in "Arsenic and Old Cake".
* WellDoneSonGuy: Robert Morehouse seems to really want to earn his father's respect but [[ObfuscatingStupidity his goals appear to be more ambitious.]]
* WhamEpisode: [[spoiler:Corcoran's wife has had some kind of mental breakdown and is in an asylum ... and it appears Maguire is the one responsible.]]
* WhyDontYouJustShootHim: Corcoran lampshades this when he points out to the PinkertonDetective that they both know that a Pinkerton will not shoot a copper because of the enormous trouble that would cause. The Pinkerton agrees and instead [[spoiler: starts breaking Corcoran's bones]].
* WouldHitAGirl: While Corcoran will go to any lengths to protect a child, he has no problem with killing a woman if she deserves it.
* WouldHurtAChild: In the first episode a young girl is murdered and ''then'' raped.
* WorldOfCardboardSpeech: Freeman gets a ''fantastic'' one when he confronts the man who to beat the hell out of him for breaking his shop window[[note]]The man in question was an Anglo-Saxon who'd been belittling and insulting Sarah and her mother[[/note]].
-->''"You're right. I am an animal. As are you. We all are. Like most animals, we are filled with base desires: hunger, lust, aggression, violence, dominance. I've wrestled with the primal nature inside of me, not wanting to validate others' fears! [...] You are [afraid of me]. And you should be. Because I've suffered the ire of men like you every DAY OF MY LIFE! And I've accepted insult and injury, all with the hope that one day I would be seen as equal. But I've realized that I'm ''not'' your equal. I'm smarter than you, and I'm stronger than you, and I'm through concerning myself with the growls of simple-minded mangy little dogs. ''*holds up a can of ointment*'' Golden Seal Salve. Put it on your wound to prevent infection. Or don't, and let it rot. I honestly couldn't give a shit."''
* YourCheatingHeart:
** Winfred Haverford cheats on his wife by going to a brothel and [[spoiler: raping little girls.]]
** [[spoiler:Ellen Corcoran was sleeping with Francis Maguire while Corcoran was away.]]
** Corcoran is technically still married but with his wife disappeared and presumed dead he has hooked up with Eve Heissen. He has no problem stepping out on Eve with [[spoiler: Molly and later Elisabeth Harrford]]
** An abortionist's ledger is filled with the names of married men who paid for their mistresses' abortions
** A married dentist regularly accepted sexual favours from poor women as payment for dental work. In turn his wife [[spoiler: had a long running affair with the butcher who lived on the floor below them]].

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