Already fuming over the hospital's faulty new electrical system, Thackery tasks Herman Barrow, the Knick's crooked superintendent, to deliver more cadavers so that he and his team can test out novel surgical procedures. With more patients dying, Edwards offers to share a procedure he learned in France, but is rebuffed by Thackery and Gallinger. Robertson addresses a typhoid-fever outbreak; Elkins is taken into Thackery's confidence; Sister Harriet breaks a taboo. Edwards finds an alternative way to perform his duties.
The setting: downtown New York in 1900, a tumultuous time of massive change and great progress. The series centers around the groundbreaking surgeons, nurses and staff at Knickerbocker Hospital, who are pushing the bounds of medicine in a time of astonishingly high mortality rates and zero antibiotics.