TVOM: “This is all we are,” in the context of this episode of The Knick, is a phrase with layers.
It’s a statement of fact, because the guts and blood and tissue are literally all that we are. But it’s also a suicide note, a condemnation on the profession that Thackery has chosen. This is all we are, he says, as the blood pours. They are all Thackery; they are all blood and guts; they are all just playing with tissue and bone. They’re mechanics, nothing more, and just as uncaring and egotistical about their work.