The Knick: The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray Review)

The Knick CINEMAX PRESENTS Season 2 of the Emmy-winning drama, directed by Oscar-winner Steven Soderbergh and starring Oscar-nominee Clive Owen as John Thackery, a brilliant but drug-addled surgeon who pushes the boundaries of medicine, morality and race in 1900s New York. Thackery’s absence (hospitalized for cocaine addiction), a lack of affluent patients and financial missteps have led to a decision by the hospital’s board to shutter the downtown location and move uptown. Algernon Edwards (André Holland) jockeys to become Thackery’s successor as Chief of Surgery, while fellow doctors, nurses, nuns and others grapple with personal and professional challenge

The Knick

The Series  

Hot of the heels of the successful first season run of The Knick on Cinemax – Steven Soderbergh and company are back for season two. The Knick: The Complete Second Season follows Dr. John Thackery (Clive Owen), now, seemingly a shell of his former self. Thackery is now a full-blown cocaine addict who supports his habit by performing “bootleg” surgeries on those that cannot afford traditional monetary payment. The Knickerbocker Hospital has also seen its share of the affluent clientele diminish. They have gone from Downtown to Uptown, which isn’t necessarily a good thing.

Holding down the fort is Dr. Algernon Edwards (Andre Holland) – as Thackery’s “temporary” Head of Surgery for the Knickerbocker. This, of course, doesn’t sit well with Thackery’s understudy, Dr. Everett Gallinger (Eric Johnson). Johnson is upset that Edwards is in charge, because racism was the signs of the time at the Knick. Dr. Edwards is black and everyone else at the hospital is not. This creates tension and animosity between the surgeons all while Thackery is in his cocaine induced bliss.

The first season of The Knick was compelling television under the watchful eye of Steven Soderbergh and season two is no different. The scenes of surgery and medical technique are as graphic as they ever were, so if you’re squeamish when it comes to medical procedures, then the show may not be your cup of tea. If you fancy a wonderfully written series, top-notch direction and action, and a fantastic music score then The Knick may be the solution.

Keep in mind that even though Clive Owen’s character of Dr. Thackery is away from the surgeon’s theater for the first part of this season due to his addictions and expulsion of the Knick, he is very much involved in the main storyline. We also get somewhat of an “origin” story of his character in terms of what he did before he became a “traditional” surgeon. The supporting cast also does good work and gets their fair share of screen time. Even though the show is about surgeons working at a hospital – there are many other threads that involve corruption, politics, immigration, disease, race relations, business, etc. These and more topics are touched upon and expanded on. The Knick is truly a layered television show.

I don’t want to spoil the ending of the show but here’s hoping that the series comes back for a third season. From what I’ve been reading – if the show comes back into a third season it will most likely spin-off and focus on other characters featured in the first two seasons of the series. I would not mind that at all as long as Steven Soderbergh remained at the helm or had direct influence on the show. He’s a workhorse and helmed all 20 episodes of seasons one and two, so it’s safe to say that he’s an overall important component to the program overall. In any event – The Knick: The Complete Second Season is highly recommended.


Ten Knots

You’re No Rose

The Best With The Best To Get The Best

Wonderful Surprises


There Are Rules

Williams And Walker

Not Well At All

Do You Remember Moon Flower

This Is All We Are



The Knick


Encoding: AVC/MPEG-4

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Clarity/Detail: The Knick was shot digitally and everything looks terrific. Contrast boosting is nowhere to be found and details are exquisite.

Depth: The first season of the show was a brighter affair and now that we have a second season things have darkened up a bit – literally. Exteriors are drab and cold while certain interiors are nice and golden – low-lit, as well.

Black Levels: Black levels are deep and inky.

Color Reproduction: The color palette is quite muted and takes place outside a lot more than it did in the first season.

Flesh Tones: Illness, drug, and alcohol abuse run rampant on the show, therefore, it all depends. Healthy folks look healthy and sick and addicted folks look bad. The Blu-ray captures their tones in amazing detail. Clive Owen looks quite sick and pasty most of the time due to his cocaine and heroin abuse.

Noise/Artifacts: The N/A abbreviation is most appropriate for this Blu-ray set.


The Knick


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD MA 5.1, French DTS 5.1, Spanish 5.1, German DTS 5.1, DTS Latin Spanish 2.0, DTS Portuguese 2.0, DTS Czech 2.0

Subtitles: English SDH, French, German, Spanish, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Norwegian, Swedish

Dynamics: The Knick on Blu-ray sounds just like it looks: Terrific! This is a reference audio track and one cannot ask for anything more. The Knick is a dialogue driven show, for the most part, but there are many dramatic elements involved and the DTS lossless soundtrack takes advantage of it all.

Low Frequency Extension: The LFE channel is active and really kicks in during scenes of violence and during some of the synth score parts in Cliff Martinez’s excellent score.

Surround Sound Presentation: The surround sound channels are active and are properly balanced – they never bleed into the front stage.

Dialogue Reproduction: Dialogue levels are great and everyone can be heard and understood without any problems and without hitting the English subtitles.


The Knick


The Knick season two Blu-ray package has several special features focusing on the show’s production. Some very nice audio commentaries round out the visuals. The featurettes are presented in high definition and the Blu-ray set is housed in a deluxe case and comes with a suede-like slipcover. A Digital UV Copy is also included.

Inside the Body Shop (HD) – Get an in-depth look at the show’s medical procedures

Under Construction (HD) – Production designer Howard Cummings takes you on an exclusive walking tour

Inside the Costume Shop (HD) – Costume designer Ellen Mirojnick reveals her special wardrobe secrets

Invitation to the Ball (HD) – See how the extravagant charity ball in Episode 7 was created

Behind-the-Scenes Featurettes (HD)


Episode Post-Ops

Audio Commentaries by the Cast and Crew 

Digital HD Copy 


The Knick


The Knick season two steamrolled its way on Blu-ray and it was epic. The Blu-ray set comes with demo video and audio specifications and decent special features. It’s all up in the as to whether we’ll see a third season but hopefully both seasons of the show sell well enough to get started on that third one. There’s so much more to tell even after what happened in that last episode. The Knick: The Complete Second Season is highly recommended!



The Knick: The Complete Second Season

is available on Blu-ray and DVD!


The Knick


Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

  1. No Comments