Tag Archives: Nucky Thompson

Boardwalk Empire: 3.12 – “Margate Sands”

I think it is a testament to how good of a show Boardwalk Empire is, that even their episodes that aren’t so great in comparison to other episodes, still are incredible when compared to other shows. Last week was the best the show had ever been, and after tonight it still holds that title. That is not to say that ‘Margate Sands’ was not good, because it was, but it didn’t even compare to last week.

Margate Sands

Biggest disappointment was right off the bat. The opening scene was great, cinematically speaking. Much like most scenes in Nucky’s office, it had the happy and jolly upbeat music playing right along with gunshots and people being mowed down en masse. I loved that juxtaposition along with its build up to the mayor proclaiming that Nucky doesn’t run the town, he does and of course the reporters laughing. Great scene. Could not have been better. However, that’s all we are going to see of the war that’s been building up for the entire season? You leave last week’s episode with Al Capone making a grand entrance and then he’s relegated to a few shots here and there? You’re killing me smalls.

Boardwalk Empire Margate Sands

I sort of love and hate what they did with Capone and Chalky the entire rest of the episode. I love it because it’s accurate (TV show level of accuracy at least) as we aren’t that far removed from the Chicago race riots of 1919 so it’s not hard to believe that Al Capone and his men are still a wee bit racist. By that I mean, really racist. They spend the entire episode, minus the two minutes they are killing Masseria and Rossetti’s men, fighting with each other. It was ridiculous. I do think that their coming to terms with each other at the end of the episode will lead into something more significant in the next season. If it doesn’t I’m just going to be irritated because there was so much time dedicated to their displeasure with each other. Time that could have been spent on the actual war between Gyp and Nucky.

Boardwalk Empire Margate Sands

There was other examples of factions being displeased with another. Team New York is at an impasse. An impasse that could have been avoided had Lucky and Meyer just listened to Rothstein in the first place. Damn minions, never know when to just shut up and stand in the background looking pretty. Rothstein ruled this episode. He’s like the Grandmaster of gangster chess (it’s a lot like wizard chess but you end up with a knife in your back) and even though he hasn’t had much screen time throughout the season as a whole, it all came to a head in the finale. So he’s taught his underlings not to f*ck with him so what’s next? He now owns essentially all of the Overholt distillery which will mean he’ll finally be able to finally get his delivery! Hopefully this will also lead to many more Rothstein talking to Mickey Doyle reaction shots. The look on his face every time he hears Mickey’s voice is priceless. Depending on when they pick the story back up, I wonder if we’ll see more of Benny/Bugsy Siegel. That would not be unwelcome.

Boardwalk Empire Margate Sands

Okay, I can’t stand Gillian but oh my lord she had a rough week. Tommy probably has no idea why he should really hate his grandmother but still his refusal of her company was a bit heartbreaking. You can just see Gillian’s desperation which of course leads to her ballsy attempt to kill Gyp. Even though it seems like a little bit of “turnabout is fair play”, I found myself actually feeling badly for Gillian with theBoardwalk Empire Margate Sands heroin. I felt bad for Gillian. FOR GILLIAN! Damn you writers. If the “Gyp and Gillian try to kill each other” bit didn’t make me feel compassion for someone I previously hated, Gillian out in the hallway high as a kite sure did. Boardwalk Empire does a pretty good job at showing how shitty your life will become is you are forced into prostitution as a young child. When she was telling Nucky that she went upstairs to the bad man, I couldn’t help but just feel so sorry for her. Lesson learned writers- childhood prostitution is a bad idea.

If you are a Gillian fan however, do not despair for it seems that our resident incestual scumbag is going to live to ride again. Michael Ausiello of TVLine talked to Terrence Winter and asked straight out if Gillian lives. I’m torn on this one. Of course I’d like her to be gone because I can’t stand her, but she’s a good character as far as the show goes. Well here’s to another season of Gillian’s mental illness!

Someone else we get another season of, Richard Harrow!!!

Boardwalk Empire Margate Sands

I’ll admit that I really thought Richard was going to end up dead by the end of the finale. I would have placed money on that, and obviously I would have been poorer today. Not only did he survive, but he did a kick ass job in the “killing everyone you see” category. That scene was more Taxi Driver than Taxi Driver. That was the second time I’ve said that- wondering if Terrence Winter was feeling rather Martin Scorcese-esque this year.

Boardwalk Empire Margate Sands

One thing Boardwalk Empire is really good at is referring back to previous episodes. We’ve got the Taxi Driver style murderous rampage which was cool (bloody but cool) but what I really enjoyed was the “blood on the window” shot that tied together both the season premiere and the season finale.

Boardwalk Empire Margate Sands

In perhaps the most surprising turn of events in the entire series to date, Julia’s dad was not a complete asshole for once! I was rather stunned when Richard decided to take Tommy to Julia in the first place without getting himself cleaned up first. I was dumbfounded when it was Mr. Swagorski who was the voice Boardwalk Empire Margate Sandsof reason in the situation. Screw people killing and dying, that was the biggest surprise of them all! That scene always had the sweetest moment of the episode. Richard is standing there all bloody, hands off Tommy to Julia, and she grabs his hand. Come on Richard, you may want to protect her and Tommy from the full time gangster life you are returning to, but it appears as if she’s willing to stand by you. I don’t know how many other girls you are going to come across that will. Then again, I have no doubt that Richard and Julia will meet up again because Gillian is going to go on a rampage to find Tommy and get him back. That is not going to be pretty I fear. Oooohh, maybe that’s how she’ll finally die- Richard will shoot her as she tries to take Tommy back. Or maybe now that she’s had a good taste of heroin she’ll become an addict living on the streets of Atlantic City. Or maybe she’ll continue to just be a bitch that annoys me for another season. That’s the most likely scenario.

Boardwalk Empire Margate Sands

If we are talking about people who have futures up in the air, we can’t look past Margaret. Oh Margaret, you need to find a confidant. First we have you trying to confide in your sister-in-law who, wisely, changes the subject, and then you try to talk to the doctor’s wife. That and you’re going back to your maiden name and off getting abortions and sleeping in the same bed as your two children just like you were at the start of the show, shit’s come full circle Peggy and it isn’t pretty.  I will say, I damn near stood up and cheered when Margaret closed the door in Nucky’s face. What the hell did he think was going to happen when he went to “apologize”? That was both infuriating and expected.

Boardwalk Empire Margate Sands

Even with all Nucky has been through this season, he still is the cocky ass who thinks he can “forgive” Margaret and she’ll come crawling back. What an idiot. Of course I do hope they get their shit figured out because I want them to become the King and Queen of the Boardwalk.

Best part of the finale? Nucky and Eli, together again. Actually, Nucky and Eli together as closer to equals than they’ve probably been in a very long time. Even though Eli tried to have him killed, it looks like NuckyBoardwalk Empire Margate Sands has realized that post-prison Eli is the closet he has to a trusted ally now. Sign you are a bad guy? Your most trusted ally once suggested you be killed. That’s rough. But it was nice to see the two brothers come together, talking about their past life as Pineys, fixing old cars (and referring to an old “Willys car” they had when they were younger), sharing cigarettes, and then “convincing” Tonino to take out Gyp Rosetti. The family that kills together, stays together. How sweet.

Which brings us to the most obvious part of the episode, time to pour one out for our ol’ pal Gyp Rosetti. Of course no one had any delusions that he would actually survive this finale (did they?), but it was still sad to see him go. Sad in a “who is going to fill our sadistic sociopath needs now?” kind of way. At first I was a little peeved that he ended up dying in such a quiet way. Standing on the beach, pissing (this entire episode was one pissing match after another), making fun of Nucky, and then literally being stabbed in the back. My initial reaction was that he should have gone down in a blaze of glory but somehow being stabbed by Tonino seems more fitting. After bashing his cousin’s head in with a shovel and proclaiming it as some big favor, I can’t imagine it took much convincing by Nucky to get Tonino to do the deed. Of course them finding him in a closet with dead guys filling the house and them carrying guns themselves didn’t hurt either.

Boardwalk Empire Margate Sands

So Gyp is no more, Eli and Nucky are on the same team, Margaret may or may not return, Arthur Rothstein is a badass, Gillian is riding out a possible heroin overdose, Richard is running off somewhere without Julia and Tommy, and Al Capone and Chalky White are bff’s. A lot of action for one episode and that’s not even including the whole Mellon/Rothstein/Randolph/Means thing that was slipped in there. Whose team is Means on? I have no idea. I think I’m going to stop trying to figure that dude out because as soon as I think I do, he goes and does something that just makes me sit back  with a “wtf” look on my face.

All we know is Nucky is no long half a gangster, and he certainly is no longer the glad-handing, shit grinned politician he was before this season. As for what the future holds, well we have a long time to sit back and wonder. I’m sure whatever (death of Pres. Harding) it is, it will be awesome.

Boardwalk Empire Margate Sands

Like I said up top, this episode was not nearly as good as the few episodes previous, but it was still good in it’s own right. As far as season finale’s go, it was great. It answered a lot of questions, wrapped up a lot of loose ends, but left enough questions that we are looking forward to the next season starting. That is exactly what a season finale is supposed to do so well done Boardwalk Empire.

I’m going to have to go with a four out of five. It was good, but it wasn’t great.

In closing, the song that Gyp was singing right before he shuffled off the mortal coil – “Barney Google”.

Until next year Boardwalk fans! It’s been fun, let’s do it again sometime.

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Boardwalk Empire: 3.11 – “Two Imposters”

So last week’s episode was divine. Van Alden is working for Capone (is Torrio all but gone now?), Eli heads off to meet up with them, Mickey is sent to Mellon’s defunct distillery, Richard Harrow gets the girl, Gyp beat a man to death with a shovel, Owen gets himself killed, and Margaret reacts exactly how you’d expect a woman who just saw the father of her unborn child dead in a box would. It was epic.

This week? I’ve said it before (last week even) but seriously, this was the best episode of television I think I’ve ever seen. At one point I realized that I’d been holding my breath when I got that panicky “you need oxygen now!” feeling. From the first scene to the last, I was just a big ball of tension. Whew.

5 pounds, 15 thousand dollars

Even though there were obviously more tense moments this week, knowing what I do of history, the bit with Lucky and “Sam Moceri” had me on the edge of my seat. Just a few days ago I had looked up when Lucky got arrested for the drug deal, and when he first met with the Buffalo mute I immediately thought this might be it. Of course I was right, but that didn’t make it any less surprising for some reason. I can not wait to see Rothstein’s reaction. No, wait- I can not wait to see Meyer’s reaction. It will probably be a lot about “you should have listened to me you dipshit”.

One of my absolute favorite parts of this show, is the background noise and music. The ominous drum beat when someone is about to end up dead, the conversations of nearby people, and most especially the sounds of the boardwalk while in Nucky’s office. There’s just something incongruous about it all. Coming from a humor writing background, I’ve mainly used incongruity as a comedy tool, but here it seems to be more of the writer’s acknowledging that it is such a ridiculous situation.

Case in point: Gyp sitting at Nucky’s desk, reading the copy of Ragged Dick given to Nucky by his mother on his birthday, all while children are laughing and playing down below and carnival music fills the air. Of course Nucky would keep that book on hand. I’m sure part of it is because it was from his mom, but he’d be lying if he said he didn’t relate at all to the story of the sort of “rags to riches” story. As for Gyp? He’s probably heard of the story (the book was published in 1868 and was wildly popular) and could also see a bit of himself in the main character. Dear Boardwalk Empire writers- I love you.

Another bit of incongruity that ended up being more humorous than perhaps it was initially intended?

A grown man being spanked like a child by a broom in the drawing (?) room of a not-a-whorehouse by the madam of said not-a-whorehouse while he was going at it with a not-a-whore. I bust out laughing at this part thanks to it’s complete ridiculousness. Gillian is either the smartest woman alive, or she’s the most delusional sociopath that ever walked the Earth. If she survives the finale (which she will), then maybe she’ll realize next season that she is running a WHOREHOUSE, not some high class entertainment venue. Of course I wanted to beat her ass with that same broom when she was such a bitch to Richard. I was sitting at my desk, mouth agape, when she pointed out that Julia “doesn’t look blind”. WTF bitch.  However, unlike the rest of the internet, I think she has a plan.

Surely she knows about Richard’s small arsenal. Of course she knows about Richard’s willingness to kill. I think Gillian was trying to goad Richard just enough to piss him off and send him running to the box under his bed. She wants him to come back to the not-a-whorehouse and shoot his way to Tommy, getting him out of Dodge. Takes out two birds with one stone; gets rid of Gyp and “saves” Tommy. Then again, maybe she saw Richard trying to steal Tommy away from her and he’s the only link she has left to Jimmy. Maybe she’s just a horrid bitch. Yea, that’s the more likely situation. What I really want to know though is what Richard meant by the “not afraid of camels” caption on his happy family scrapbook picture. There are some who posted that it is a throwback to season one with the episode about Gillian and the tarot reading but I don’t know, that’s a bit of a stretch for me.

What’s not a stretch is saying that Michael Kenneth Williams had perhaps his best episode to date. This week almost made up for an entire season with limited Chalky White. Not only that, but it seemed like every bit of dialogue out of his beautiful mouth was meant especially for my language loving self. When you are busting out words like ‘mite‘ and ‘gabble‘, oh be still my beating heart. However the best one was ‘nonce‘.

Chalky sitting there like a king with his court, busting out great words left and right, ’twas perfection. Not to mention, his total dedication and loyalty to Nucky. The same Nucky who was sort of a complete ass to him with the whole club thing. Then there was the “Nucky is concussed” bit. Yikes, I daresay if someone called me uppity, concussion or not, I would not be so willing to lie to the psychopath Gyp Rossetti for them. Again, if Chalky survives the finale, there better be a club run by him on the Boardwalk.

This entire part of the episode was epic. While the banter between Gyp and Chalky was fantastic (I seriously would never have guessed that the idea of “paging” someone was so old) it was the parts with Nucky that were the best. Last time Nucky was hiding, he was with the kid and Owen. He killed the kid and sent Owen to his death so now he’s alone. Even the lighting was similar. It was just so well done that I felt the need to clap.

Steve Buscemi brought his A game in this entire episode. Nucky ran the gamut of emotions this week. From the despondency of realizing that Margaret and Owen had a thing going and Margaret leaving and taking the kids (where did she go?!?! But I did love the overturned toys and general feeling that they left in a hurry.), to the panic of realizing that Gyp was at the Ritz and then the adrenalin fueled drive through Atlantic City as Eddie sat bleeding and muttering in German only to finally realize that this person that has stood by his side for how many years is basically a stranger because he was too wrapped up in himself to notice him. Seriously, it was amazing to watch. I was damn near in tears as Eddie was able to be lucid enough to tell Nucky about a poem.

[pullquote_left]If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same[/pullquote_left]Of course anyone who has taken AP English (in the 90’s at least), or just keeps up with poetry in general knows the poem as If by Rudyard Kipling. It is an extremely well known and often quoted poem so it’s not that surprising that Eddie would quote it. However, what is amazing is that is a poem that is usually told as a father to son perspective. So here is Eddie, dying (if he dies I will be so pissed, screw Owen and Jimmy, it’s Eddie that needs to live) and he’s mustering up strength and mental acuity to try and give Nucky a life lesson! The same Nucky who doesn’t even know if he has a family or not! My poor heart just can’t handle this.

Thankfully there were a few little things to draw my attention long enough that I didn’t dwell on the possibility of Eddie dying, which would send me into a fit of hysterics. One being the billboard of “Krueger’s Special” behind Chalky and Dunn as they shot the guys trying to search their truck for Nucky. Much like Bevo for Anheuser Busch, Krueger’s Special was a non-alcoholic beverage brewed mainly so breweries could stay open and try to make a profit during Prohibition. If it tasted anything like O’Douls, there’s no question as to why Prohibition was eventually repealed. That crap tastes like piss in a can.

This is my favorite one though, perhaps of the entire season. If you look closely at those bottles, that is none other than Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray soda. That shit is so good. I have not come across a bottle of that in over a decade, but there was a place that sold it down the street from an old house of mine and it is one of the best drinks there is. Especially with a deli sandwich. Yum.

As awesome and fabulous and wonderful everything in this entire episode was, nothing tops the last scene. Eli returns and he has struck a deal. Much like when the “crowds” parted to reveal Chalky sitting in his throne, this time they made way for Mr. Al Capone himself to make another Atlantic City appearance. And boy did he ever.

Holy shit folks. It’s about to get real. So we’ve got Capone and Chalky with Nucky vs. Gyp and Masseria (if he comes to fight). Question remains what side Rothstein will end up on. All we know, whoever ends up on whatever side, people are going to die. A lot of people are going to die. I can’t wait.

I’m starting to sound like a broken record, but shit this episode was perfect. For real. I think to give it anything but a 5 would be a crime.

The season finale is next week and it promises to be as amazingly epic as we could ever hope for. Until then Boardwalk fans!

Boardwalk Empire: 3.10 – “A Man, A Plan…”

Last week had Nucky trying to rally the other bootleg bosses to his cause, but they all said thanks but no thanks and this week we get to see the beginning of the fallout from that. Thankfully there was no Gillian involved in this one.

I just don’t know where to begin. This was such a roller coaster of an episode that it’s difficult to even find the words to put together in a coherent fashion. Well I’m one of the “pick the good news first” type of gals so let’s start with Richard Harrow. Oh Richard, you’ve found yourself a girl and things just couldn’t be peachier!

Seriously this was just about the sweetest thing ever. When he was standing there looking at them playing in the sand my heart melted just a little bit. Yeah he’s a killer, but killers deserve happiness too right? At least on TV they do. I am so glad that Julia decided to side with Richard as opposed to stay with her dad. The man is an ass. He’s got some depression issues and still mourning his son, but that doesn’t give him carte blanche to treat his daughter like shit. Kudos to Richard for standing up to him. You can only imagine how many times he’s been called a freak that he just let roll off his back, but Daddy was the last straw and I can’t really blame him.

Julia baring her soul with a story that might seem like no big deal to tell in today’s world, but was probably quite scandalous back then. I think her telling Richard that she for sure was choosing him in her life. It comes as no surprise that his response is “I wish I could kiss you.” Oh Richard, you always know the right thing to say to a gal.

I am curious as to what the King Neptune thing was they were doing when the whiskey started rolling in. Was it the same festival that The Commodore first saw Gillian? Inquiring minds want to know.

I also want to know if Eli knew Nelson Van Alden at all. Can you imagine the look on his face when he shows up in Chicago (I have a feeling that Nucky had a sixth sense that shit was going to get bad with Masseria which is why he sent Eli to Chicago) and finds Nelson there helping Capone. When they first had Van Alden move to Chicago I will admit that I could not think of a reason as to why on Earth they would do that. Now of course it’s obvious, he is (hopefully) going to be quite a player in the O’Bannion and Capone/Torrio war that is going to be coming to a head here soon.

I can not believe that restaurant guy reported Van Alden to Capone. After he brought him lefse even. How rude. When they first came in I totally thought he’d called the prohie’s in. I’m sure that Van Alden would maybe prefer the prohie’s after it’s all said and done. I probably shouldn’t have, but I laughed when he started talking about Job. That is such a Van Alden move. Of course I also laughed at the above picture because his face looks exactly like Mr. Demartino from Daria. A quick perusal of the internet shows me that I’m not the only one. I love the internet.

I’m sort of surprised that Nucky didn’t take Chalky up on his offer for the new club. I mean, I’m not, because that doesn’t seem like something Nucky would get in on and I don’t think he’s ready to have that site be rebuilt, but I thought if he was going to accept anyone’s idea for Babbette’s, it would be Chalky’s. We’ll have to see.

I don’t know why I continue to be surprised by Gyp and his gross overreactions. The moment Franco opened his mouth about the rogue waves, his time was limited. Sinbad (this Sinbad, not this Sinbad) was new so he didn’t know any better about keeping your trap shut. However, even he couldn’t have seen how his life would end. It was bad enough that Gyp buried him in the sand, intending for him to drown in the incoming tide, but to then go ahead and bash his head in with a shovel as a “favor” to Tonino? Seriously, why am I surprised by this? It seems like Gyp is in a one-upping contest with himself. This will not end well for anyone involved.  [pullquote_right]Such is the nature of hysterics. -Gaston Means[/pullquote_right]

In case you were wondering, Jess Smith of history also killed himself. Granted it probably wasn’t due to Gaston Means standing in his room ready to kill him, but it is widely believed that he committed suicide because he couldn’t deal with all he knew about Daughtery’s dirty dealings. Forget all that because I need to just marvel at Gaston Means. He’s never killed a man himself but he believes that he can do it so strongly that he gets Daugherty and Nucky to each pay him $40K to kill Jess. That’s a lot of money for one person. That Means is a shrewd businessman.

While Means is a good businessman, Rothstein is the best. Even though Lucky thinks Rothstein won’t get into the heroin business because he’s bored, I think it’s because he knows that he is in a good place right now and that perhaps with all the unrest between New Jersey and Tabor Heights, maybe he should lay low? He even tells them, in metaphor form, that he needs to play the situation in a way to put his enemies in a place they can’t escape. So of course that means that Lucky and Meyer head over to the South Village to partner up with Masseria. Seriously guys, this is michegas, not anything Rothstein was planning on not doing.

So with all that out of the way, Owen.

My mom always has said that if the phone rings after 10 pm, it is bad news. I think we can all now agree if something is delivered at 4 am, it would be better to just go ahead and refuse delivery.


Even though I knew Owen’s days were numbered, I was 100% positive it was going to be at Nucky’s hand. Surely he knew what was going on between Owen and Margaret right? RIGHT? Given his reaction to Margaret’s reaction, I’m not so sure he did. Speaking of Margaret, this was so not her episode. Her vagina class is canceled (although she had to feel some sort of victory when the nun agreed that the class was helpful), she’s going to St. Louis but Owen isn’t following until at least a month if not six weeks, then Owen is dead, and she’s pregnant with his baby. I have this strange feeling that Margaret is going to be spending a lot of time in dark rooms for the rest of the season. I think the internet would like the dark room as well because you would not believe the number of people rocking in the corner thanks to this episode. Who am I kidding? If you are a person seeking out and reading Boardwalk Empire reviews/recaps then you probably are in the corner as well.

I don’t watch previews because I like to be surprised (especially with shows like this one) but I almost want to seek out next week’s preview because I want to know the fall out of Owen’s death. Is Margaret going to tell Nucky she’s pregnant? How can she though because surely he will know right away whose baby it is, but I think he’s always wanted to have another child so maybe he’ll just forgive and forget and raise the baby as is own. We’ll just have to see. Only two more episodes left this year!

This episode had it all; Chalky, Nucky not moping around with a floosie, the New York crowd, Capone, Van Alden (who would have thought he’d become a favorite?), and most importantly, no Gillian. It was a wonderfully written episode that drew you in and unlike other episodes that have felt disjointed when so many groups are involved, it flowed quite well. As awful as Owen being dead is, it was perfectly done and as much as I loved the Easter dinner episode, this one was even better. I might have to step out on the limb and give it a five out of five.

It takes a lot to make an episode where a major character dies a favorite, but I think this one did just that. Now if Mickey had been the one who died instead, this episode would be an 17 out of 5. How is he still alive?!?!?!

Until next time Boardwalk fans, here’s some kleenex to dry your tears and get some Gatorade to replenish your lost fluids. We will get through this together.

 

 

Boardwalk Empire: 3.08 – “The Pony”

While the rest of the world was watching The Walking Dead (I think I’m the only person I know who doesn’t watch that show), I was watching Boardwalk Empire.

Holy shit.

Seriously, that’s the only words I can come up with.

Never mind, I’ve found some more.

Okay last week was amazing. Damn near perfect actually with the way it was written and bouncing back and forth from everyone’s Easter dinner and Gillian killing the poor kid from Indiana, and Gyp beating down a priest, and Nucky and Margaret exchanging loving looks before Margaret refuses his juggling lessons so he goes and makes up with Eli… perfect. I loved every part of it and was pretty damn certain that it was going to be the best episode of the season. I was wrong. I was foolish to rush to judgment, even if it was a good judgment. I have seen the error of my ways and it was “The Pony” that shined a light on my hastiness.

Where to even begin? Might as well start from the top.

Newsflash: people are getting fed up with Gillian’s shit. The dude with the muttonchops whose name I can never remember pretty much tells her to stop the horse and pony show with this whole “Jimmy is dead” schtick but it’s Richard who really puts her in her place with his very somber and to the point, “Jimmy deserved better than this”. You tell her Richard! But don’t do anything that pisses her off too badly or she’ll kick you out and then Tommy will have no one to protect him from her psychosis.

James Darmody is dead.

Everything about Nucky “discovering” that Jimmy had died was awesome. It’s hard for me to imagine a world in which you’d find something like that out days later in the newspaper as opposed to plastered all over reddit or twitter the moment it happens.  Thank the heavenly angels above for technology. Of course we wouldn’t know any differently so it wouldn’t matter and now I’m just stuck in a loop so moving on.

What exactly was Nucky thinking Gillian’s reaction would be like? No really. Did he honestly think she’d be wearing black and sitting in a corner of her “health resort” entertaining condolences? Once again I have to wonder, does no one in this show watch this show? Come on Nucky! You are better than this. You had to have known from the first moment when Eddie (poor Eddie, someone needs to rescue that poor man) told you Jimmy was dead that there Gillian would be unstable. Foolish.

Thinking back on it, I’m pretty sure we saw Nucky with every single person besides his wife. Instead she’s off with Owen looking at ponies for Emily. The girl who can’t walk. How is she going to ride a pony without use of her legs? Has Nucky ever ridden a horse? You control it with your legs! I mean you have reigns and all but legs play an important role. Of course Margaret’s misgivings over the horse probably have more to do with her doomed marriage than proper riding technique. Every single time we see Owen now, I just picture a countdown hanging over his head. It is only a matter of time before he is killed off. Oh and every time he and Margaret get it on in very open places (hello people- get a room or something!) that countdown speeds ahead a bit. I did like the shout-out to Fry’s Chocolate Cream. As the first mass-produced chocolate bar, we owe a debt of gratitude to Mr. Fry (even though it was bought out by Cadbury in 1919 and then of course Kraft bought Cadbury in 2010) and his sons. While we’re on Margaret, let’s acknowledge the “ugh” moment of this episode. Ugh, the birth control thing. Much like being unable to fathom a world without instant news, it’s hard to imagine one in which you had to corner a doctor friend outside the hospital to ask for a diaphragm. Different world.

We returned to Chicago! Torrio has returned and it appears as if he’s ready to hang up his holster. I loved watching Al Capone come to the realization (slowly) throughout the episode that he was being handed the reigns. However, for once, it was not Al Capone and Torrio who were the highlights of a Chicago storyline. Oh my sweet mother mary that was Van Alden, with Sigrid coming in a close second.

No, it’s an iron. – George Mueller

Had I been drinking something at the time, I’m sure I would have choked on it when we saw O’Banion standing in Van Alden/Mueller’s kitchen. Should we stop calling him Van Alden? Is he full-time Mueller now? Maybe we should just call him “husband” like Sigrid does. On second thought, Van Alden is fine.

So, Van Alden is an alcohol producer now. Oh how the mighty have fallen. Not only that but he’s now O’Banion’s “muscle”! See kids, this is what happens when your wife bashes a federal agent’s skull in and then you finish him off. This dude is an after school special just waiting to happen. Just for shits and giggles the special can include a segment on bullying.

“Don’t bully or Van Alden will iron your face off”- has a nice ring to it. I’m sure with a little finessing, Van Alden can replace the boogie man as the go-to “get your shit together or you will be sorry” story that parents tell their children. Anyone who has paid the least bit of attention to the show had to see this coming a mile off. Dude is a bit unhinged in the first place but those guys were massive douche canoes. Even I was getting to the point of wanting to throw a typewriter whenever they came on the screen.

I know I can’t be the only one who yelled “HULK SMASH” when watching this scene. Now I really want them to do a Halloween episode and watch Van Alden dress up as The Hulk to go trick or treating. However, seeing as The Hulk didn’t exist until 1962, I don’t think this is going to be happening. It would be awesome though.

Speaking of awesome- that meat-packing set was amazing. Especially with the guy who was beat up by the guy that Capone then killed (his name is completely escaping me at the moment) repeating “it’s where meat comes from” about a hundred times. The “cattle jobber” sign was also a nice touch.

One bone to pick with Johnny Torrio though- I’m not 100% but I’m pretty sure that shekels were not in use in Pompeii at the time Vesuvius erupted. It probably would have been some form of Roman currency. Not only that, but the residents of Pompeii were not killed by lava but rather heat. Their bodies and everything around them were then preserved by volcanic ash, not lava. The closest you’d get to lava covering a city would probably be Herculaneum.

More afraid of losing money than his life.
– Johnny Torrio

As awesome as all of that Chicago business was, my favorite was Sigrid. Girlfriend decided to take advantage of the still in their kitchen to make her a batch of the Norwegian spirit, aquavit. I’m looking forward to big things from her. Of course we probably won’t see them again for another month but whatever.

You know it’s a good episode when Van Alden ironing a man’s face is one of the lesser parts of the show. Nucky and his showgirl were all over this episode. I’m going to come out and say it. I do not like Billie Kent. I did not like her with Nucky at all and I especially did not like Nucky with her. He needs to get over this “help the flavor of the month damsel in distress” bullshit he’s got going on because I’m tired of watching it.

However when he gave her that annuity I damn near literally laughed out loud because all I could think of was this:

Of course we know she won’t need that annuity much longer but first let’s discuss Esther Randolph. She is quickly becoming my favorite woman on the show. Especially if she keeps using phrases like “in for a penny” and “mighty white of me” and telling Nucky that she “runs naked through the pages of the United States Criminal Code”. :swoon: My only fear is that they are going to try to make Esther Randolph a love interest for Nucky. A couple of episodes ago I might have been more on board with that idea, but now I’m just really really hoping they don’t go down that road. That would be most distressing.

When Lucky showed up at the “health resort” (seriously Gillian, that is perhaps the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard uttered, which is saying a lot) and mentioned that he was having dinner with AR and Nucky, I thought nothing of it.

When Gyp showed up there (rudely insulting Richard Harrow- I’m thinking we need to send Van Alden to teach him a lesson) and Gillian told him about Lucky, AR, and Nucky having dinner at Babette’s I thought “hmmmm, you know Gillian, you probably just created a scene without even knowing it”.

When Billie was standing outside Babette’s and they did that meaningful slow lingering close up on their faces I thought, “I think something bad is about to happen.”

When this happened,

I might have exclaimed “OH MY GOD!!!!” so loudly that two dogs came running from across the house to my rescue as they thought something or someone was violently assaulting me.

Can you blame me? Because OH MY GOD!!!!! I’m usually a somewhat perceptive person but this show has caught me off guard so many times this season that I’m beginning to question myself. This was such a typical Gyp Rosetti move though. Need to get two guys? Bomb an entire city block. It’s been over 24 hours (my internet has been on the fritz which is why this is so delayed) and I’m still a little stunned. We know Nucky, AR, and Lucky are okay, and Billie is dead (I didn’t like her but damn this was a bit of a drastic way to get rid of her) so the biggest question is, what about Babette?

Honestly, this is one of the best hours of television I’ve watched in a long time. It built on itself (well it’s been building for weeks now) perfectly to the obvious climax of the season. If you’d told me after the Gyp Rosetti/Taxi Driver episode that his retaliation would be this severe, I wouldn’t have believed you. I knew it would be big, but I didn’t know it was going to be literally big. I can not wait to see what happens from here on out.

There’s no avoiding it- this was another 4.5’er. It is so close to a 5 that had it involved Chalky White in some way (is he even on the show any more?) it probably would have been there. But alas, he wasn’t so 4.5 it is.

“Until next time” is my usual ending, but this week…

“Our intercourse is concluded.” –  Andrew Mellon

Boardwalk Empire: 3.07 – “Sunday Best”

Remember how much I disliked last week’s episode? How only the presence of Richard Harrow saved it from ranking as my least favorite episode of the season? That there was way too much bat shit crazy Gillian and how much I hate her?

I take it all back. Even though last week was as interesting as a watching grass grow, it led into this week’s episode that was absolutely amazing. Even if nothing of note had happened, the set up of the episode with everyone and their respective Easter dinners was fabulously done.

First off, I’d like to formally apologize to Gillian. Please do not misread this- I still think you are crazy as a shithouse rat, but I’ll concede that apparently you had a plan when you went out and found the Jimmy look-alike. Was it a plan I would have come up with? Of course not, because I am a normal and sane human being, but hey I guess you got to work with what you’ve got. So now you’ve got a body to pass off as Jimmy’s and you can go ahead and claim all his/the Commodore’s money and be on your merry way. I can only hope that you won’t take Tommy down with you but as the saying goes, if wishes were horses, then beggars would ride.

Apparently when one brother tries to kill the other and then that brother sends the first brother to jail for a year and a half, things like family holiday dinners don’t happen. Color me shocked. So that’s how we end up with Eli’s family meeting Margaret and her children for the first time. Nothing says awkward like espousing the virtues of spring and new life and new beginnings and later learning that your brother in law’s marriage is in the shitter. I literally laughed out loud when after Margaret pours her heart out to June,[pullquote_right]”I feel like the life is being pressed out of me.” -Margaret Thompson[/pullquote_right] the response was “oh you brought a pineapple upside down.” I mean seriously, what do you say to a woman you’ve never met before when she goes on to tell you how awful her marriage is to the brother of your husband who controls for all intents and purposes, your livelihood?

The writers are back on the “make people care about Eli” train because sweet lord how adorable was he this entire episode? A little whiny when he was talking to Nucky about his job but when he was hiding the eggs and then the scenes with his wife? Incredibly sweet. Makes me want to like him. Again. Damn them. Not to mention all those kids! It was a banner day for sweetness from all the Thompson children. Except Teddy- he’s still a creep who thinks girls can’t be politicians. Yea well neither can pyromaniac sociopaths, so there! I did like how they kept going back to “Brian… Patrick”, one can only imagine with nine nieces and nephews they can start to all run together.

Seriously though? Why can’t Nucky and Margaret get their shit together? Don’t they realize that they still love each other? I mean hello- look at Nucky’s face. That is a man who still loves his wife. Sadly it seems as if that ship has finally sailed. If your wife doesn’t want to learn how to juggle from you, then might as well contact the lawyers.

Even though we’ve seen Gyp Rosetti a lot this season (and I do mean a lot) we hadn’t really learned a lot beyond he has a short temper and is a freak in the bedroom. Oh and he doesn’t think the phrase “it isn’t personal” should be used. This week we got a bit more of an idea of what his life is like. I don’t know where he got his driver/bodyguard/lackey, but he needs to keep him around because it seems like he is the only person that is able to say anything to him without causing Mt. Rosetti to erupt. Either that or Gyp doesn’t actually listen to a word he says as he meticulously de-lints his suit. I love love love his family. What’s not to love? Loud, boisterous, and opinionated women around a table? It’s like holiday dinners at my parent’s house (there are three sisters and one brother- and we are all very loud people).

As fun as the dinner scene was, the church scene was amazing. Only Gyp Rosetti would get in a fight in an empty church with a painting of Jesus. Seriously. And over what? Because he feels like he’s been slighted in life? Dude, you are a gangster who likes setting people on fire, or beating them to death for innocuous comments. It’s not like you are some upstanding citizen who tends to the poor and feeds the hungry out of his own kitchen during his off time from working with blind orphans. I mean come on. And then you beat down a priest and stole the collection money. Perhaps taking a step back and looking at yourself before your next throw down with the big guy upstairs, huh?

That scene did totally remind me of this one though, one of the best shows ever.

At least President Bartlett was angry over something happening to someone he loves, not necessarily only himself. Gyp might want to take a page from that book.

The scene with Masseria was perhaps the most telling though. Given Gyp’s larger than life persona, you’d think he was this big mover and shaker in the bootlegging business. Apparently not. It seems that he matters so little that Masseria is ready to just cut him loose (I think we all know what that means) instead of putting up with his shit anymore. It wasn’t until Gyp started railing against Nucky and Rothstein and pretty much everyone else on the eastern seaboard that Masseria begins to consider him useful again. Is this finally putting more structure behind what will surely be the big face off between Gyp and Nucky sometime later in the season? I think so.

It probably comes as no surprise that my favorite parts of the episode were those involving Richard Harrow. I can’t remember the last time I wanted a character to find happiness more than I do him. He’s just such a tragic person that you can’t help but hope for the best for him. I damn near shrieked in delight when he showed up at Julia’s house for Easter dinner. Holiday dinner with the family? That’s a big deal right? So what if the neighbors were invited as well, Julia wasn’t setting a plate in private for them. On one hand it makes me sad that she did that but if that’s what Richard prefers, I guess it’s more sweet than sad. She recognizes that he is uncomfortable and instead of forcing it (like Angela sort of did when she told him that he shouldn’t be ashamed to eat in front of them) she just makes sure he has a plate.

My heart was in my throat when Tommy opened that door to Julia’s brother’s room. I could just picture her dad going apeshit, and lo and behold… he did. Granted, Tommy should not have been in the room in the first place, but who yells like that at a little kid? Man knows how to clear a house, that’s for sure.

It’s been hours since I watched the show and I still can’t get over how adorable Julia and Richard’s first “date” was. Equally as awkward but come on, they are so cute together! Once they got past the whole “don’t threaten to kill my father again” part, things seemed to go a bit more smoothly. Then of course, they got roped in by one of those obnoxious “let me take your picture and then sell it to you for an obscene amount of money” booths. It is so nice to see those haven’t changed much since the 1920’s. With so many American innovations gone by the wayside, it’s comforting to know that some things still remain the same.

In any case, Richard has another happy family picture to add to his book. Every time that damn book makes an appearance I want to cry. Now that he’s put that picture in there, I’m certain they are going to kill off either Richard or Julia. It just isn’t Boardwalk Empire if the viewers hearts aren’t being ripped out and stomped on in a regular fashion.

As much as I loved every part of Richard Harrow’s storyline this week, it was the final scene between (shocker!!!!) Gillian and Richard that was the best in my opinion. Gillian finally admits that Jimmy is dead and when she was crying she seemed almost human. It was heartbreaking. Of course she doesn’t give Richard a heads up about the dead body in the bathtub but hey, this is Gillian we are talking about. That last shot of her sitting by herself just looking defeated was gut wrenching though.

This episode, for me, was damn near perfection. Even though it had almost none of the side stories (we did see Masseria but that was in direct correlation to Nucky) and I usually enjoy those, this was the type of episode I wish they’d make more often. In my dream world, the New York and Chicago groups would have their own show that would occasionally meld into Boardwalk Empire when the need arose, and vice versa. Then there could be these episodes that focused on these main characters more often instead of a snippet here and there that feels distracting from the main story. Case in point- does anyone remember what Chalky White is doing now? Hell does anyone remember what Chalky White even looks like? It seems like it’s been forever since we saw him for more than 30 seconds here and there. He’s like an SNL cast member who is in every sketch one week and then you don’t see them again except in the credits and goodbyes for over a month. I think it’s time Chalky got his own show. Starting a petition to HBO now…

In the meantime, I’m going to have to go big or go home and give this episode a 4.5 bears. It was as close to perfection as I’ve seen in a while.

Until next time!