"Little" Annie Reilly (1844-unknown), also known under the aliases Kate Cooley, Connelly and Manning, was a 19th-century American thief and con artist widely regarded as “the cleverest woman in her line in America”. A well-known member of New York’s underworld, she was part of an elite “inner circle” of female career criminals under Marm Mandelbaum during the 1860s and 1870s. These included some of the most notorious thieves, blackmailers and confidence women in the country such as Lena Kleinschmidt, Sophie Lyons, Kid Glove Rosey, Queen Liz, Big Mary and Old Mother Hubbard,
Thank you for never giving up on me.
Now that Copper is officially over, I want to talk for a bit about Annie- what she represented as a character, and what she meant to me as a viewer. Before I start, I should clarify that I’m not a sexual abuse survivor; my experience is with emotional abuse. However, I felt like a lot of elements of Annie’s storyline spoke to the experiences of abuse survivors in general.
In TV and movies, there’s a generally accepted way of telling the stories of abuse survivors: something bad happens, Our Hero rescues them, and they become a footnote in someone else’s story. Sometimes it’s the nexus that other characters’ storylines revolve around (Laura Palmer, Twin Peaks) sometimes it’s used as their own backstory, as part of a tragic past (Carin Fisher, Patch Adams) and sometimes, in a hyper-stylized fashion, they become capital-B Badasses in their own right and take out their abusers (Kill Bill.) These stories have their place; but I don’t think I’ve ever seen the actual experience of life after abuse portrayed as well as it was with Annie.
Annie is a complex character. She’s a child who was thrust out of childhood far too early, and as a result is unable to play out the roles people assign, but is also desperate to be loved and cared for. She acts out because of her trauma, but clings to the relationships she has even as she self-destructs. She’s aware of her own sexuality, but without the tools to deal with it. She is, essentially, a very rawly real person, even when that rawness makes things difficult for her or for the other characters. The story doesn’t abandon her after she’s rescued from immediate danger and assumes that she’ll be fine therafter; instead, it takes a hard look at the way she’s treated by the adults in her life, both well-intentioned and otherwise. It shows that she’s her own person, a complex and flawed human being whose worth and journey extends beyond what was done to her. Watching her go down this road isn’t easy to watch; it’s often incredibly painful to see her hurt herself, and see others unwittingly hurt her. The message sent to her over and over- that she’s too broken to be worth anyone’s time- is a message that’s horribly familiar to many people who struggle with trauma and emotional problems after their abuse ends. And that’s also what makes her relationship with Kevin so meaningful, because even when it’s hard, he doesn’t give up and toss her away. The world could use more Kevins. And TV could use more Annies. In an entertainment landscape of abuse victims who are saints, whores, or dead, Annie Reilly was allowed to be human.
((The pictures are not mine, I found them via bing. If any of these looks like your work, please let me know and I will credit appropriately))
For those who are freaked out/uncomfortable with the possibility of Annie and Corky together in the future, just bare in mind these other memorable characters (a few of which you might have even rooted for in their lives intersecting in such a way, romantically speaking) all began as Annie and Kevin are now.
Detective Hartigan: You don’t save a little girl’s life and then turn around and throw her to the dogs. Not by my books.
Skinny little Nancy Callahan. She grew up. She filled out.
Nancy Callahan: Let me stay close. Nothing can happen to me when I’m with you. Please? Let me stay close.
It’s always been you, Hartigan. All these years.
Memoirs of a Geisha:
The Chairman: I owe Nobu my life. So, when I saw he had a chance at happiness with you, I stood aside and… But I cannot any longer. I hope it is not too late.
Sayuri/Chiyo: Can’t you see? Every step I have taken, since I was that child on the bridge has been to bring myself closer to you.
A copper tub. Hot water sluicing over my skin. Gentle hands. The smell of sandalwood.
Hold me….hold me, Kevin…I just need somewhere…I don’t know! I’m feverish, I’m freezing….Oh please…Tell me everything’s going to be alright, Kevin…even if it won’t…even if it won’t…
Can we please talk about the way Corcoran and Annie are posed in this? I love how you can see all the Hell Annie has gone through on her face like it still haunts her and her holding on to Corcoran relying on him to protect her and Corcoran’s expression that just screams that she is under his protection and anyone who tries to hurt her answers to him. That is one of the reasons I love Corcoran so much. He didn’t have to take care of Annie, but he takes his duty of protecting the people of New York so seriously and as soon as he found out more and more about her he made it his priority to keep her safe from all the hell and terror of the world. She is his little girl and his natural Daddy mode kicks in.
Annie (Copper 1x05 gif 2)
My love-lies-bleeding. ~Thomas Campbell
The Empty Locket
Elizabeth Haverford + Annie Reilly
((This is how I WISH the scene had gone))
Elizabeth Haverford: I don’t know if I’ve ever heard….that exact version of lyrics to Mary Had A Little Lamb.
Annie Reilly:….There are other versions?