Tag Archives: Richard Harrow

Boardwalk Empire Visual Effects – A Sight to Behold

With two Emmys under their belt, it is no surprise to discover that the team over at Brainstorm Digital is very good at their jobs. They provide the visual effects for various projects around Hollywood, including the show they won their Emmys for, Boardwalk Empire.

When it comes to things like visual effects, the audience often doesn’t realize how much work goes into it, usually because those people have done their jobs so well that we forget all about them. Thankfully, Brainstorm Digital has released a few videos over the last couple of years highlighting just a fraction of the work they do in their various movies and TV shows. It is fascinating to watch because as much as I know that Jack Huston really isn’t missing half his face, I believe wholeheartedly that Richard Harrow is.

Impressive, right? The attention to detail, especially on the wide city shots, is sort of mind-boggling to a person like myself who considers simple Photoshop actions to be the work of voodoo trickery. Gone are the days where it was incredibly easy to tell that the actors weren’t really driving cars, I’d never have guessed that the shot out the window (with the men standing by the train tracks) was all green screen work. Stunning.

If that wasn’t enough, check out their reel from The History Channel’s The Men Who Built America.

I could watch the clip of the water rushing down the street corner all day long, completely mesmerizing.

When they Emmy nominations are announced this summer, it’s not hard to imagine that the crew over at Brainstorm Digital will be included. If you want to check out more of their work, hop on over to their Vimeo page here.

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.

Boardwalk Empire: 3.09 – “The Milkmaid’s Lot”

After last week’s episode, I felt like I needed to come up with a pair of Sensory Deprivator 5000’s just to let my brain recover. Between the Iron Man meltdown of Van Alden and then Gyp literally blowing shit up, I just couldn’t figure out how on earth they were going to continue. Turns out that Nucky needed the Sensory Deprivator 5000 as well.


Can we take a moment and revel in Eddie’s (Anthony Laciura) fabulousness? He grabs my attention in almost every scene he is in and it’s usually because he’s in the background being amazing. I love him in this one here where he’s following the doctor’s finger right along with Nucky. I felt like this entire episode the viewers were all trying to help Nucky along as he was in and out of lucidity the entire time. But more about Nucky later, first let’s discuss Richard Harrow.

AHAHADGARGAEORFQ#(UREDJIK!!!!!!!

That roughly translates “OH MY GOD RICHARD HARROW AND JULIA AT THE DANCE ARE SO CUTE!!!!!”. Seriously, how adorable was all that? The corsage, the dancing, the kiss? I know there was quite a large populations of fans that did not like Julia but hopefully this won them over. I happen to really like her and think she is great for Richard. Here’s hoping we see more of her in the future.

You know who I don’t want to see more of? Gillian! Last week I thought I might become a fan of hers, thought I might be coming around in my opinion of her. Then this week comes along and she returns right back to the shitter from which she came from. Why on Earth is she mad at Richard for Tommy walking in on the “adult activities”? Hello you are the one who has him living in a whore house! And if you are really hell-bent on placing blame on others, what about the whores who sent him into the room in the first place? I mean really Gillian, pull your head out of your ass because you are really getting on my nerves. Blerg.

It’s a little disturbing to consider how much therapy the children of Boardwalk Empire are going to need. Teddy is a pyro who will probably end up being a serial killer, Emily’s bleeding cake was just freaky, and now we’ve got Tommy needing a little rum mixed into his milk to get some sleep. The mental issues pass on to another generation, maybe the writers are trying to build in their own Saved by the Bell: The New Class.

If you blinked, you might have missed Esther Randolph’s brief appearance and her kick ass hat. Watching Remus run around his massive bird-cage while nearly naked was hysterical. Apparently he is going to try to offer up Jess Smith so I’m sure we’ll have more of that story line next week. This was just a “while we are focusing on Gyp and Nucky, please remember that there is this whole other thing going on over here” kind of situation.

Man alive how focused was this episode of Nucky and Gyp? Don’t get me wrong, I am so not complaining. Actually I loved how much we saw of Nucky and Margaret together as it seems like they haven’t spent ten minutes together the entire season so far.

What I don’t like?

This.

There are people who love Margaret and Owen, but I am not one of them. For one, I think Owen is totally playing Margaret. I don’t think he has any intention of leaving the gangster life and moving to somewhere quiet. I can totally see him going to one of the other bosses and double-crossing Nucky. I also just don’t like them. I want Margaret to wake up one morning, completely okay with Nucky’s gangstering and decide to become the Queen of Atlantic City. If she and Nucky were to combine forces? They’d be unstoppable. Screw Arnold Rothstein, Nucky and Margaret forever.

I think this is all going to be a moot point however, because as I said, what? four episodes ago? Owen is a dead man walking. This episode just cinched it for me. You go ahead and try to leave Owen, perhaps you should remember what happened to the last guy who struck out on his own.

Steve Buscemi was amazing in this episode. I’ve never been more convinced that a person was suffering a head injury more than I did last night. The way he kept mistaking people for others, the manic state at Emily’s party, and then the momentary clarity he had while sitting on the can talking to Margaret. I would not even doubt it for a moment if it was announced that Steve Buscemi wasn’t actually acting in this episode, but rather had taken a blow to the head and they just decided to film it.

It was a piece of brilliant writing that brought back Nucky’s “I’m all alone” feeling that has been running throughout this entire season. It’s been one of those story arcs that when you look at it by each episode you might think Nucky has been stagnant but as a whole, Nucky really has grown quite a bit. Not necessarily in a good way, but grown just the same. He’s dealing with Jimmy’s death, he’s realizing that maybe he really didn’t want to be this person but that he’s made his bed and has no choice but to sleep in it. Even though he wishes everything would run on its own, he knows it won’t because when he even ignores it for a day, shit gets bad. So now he’s calling in all the other bosses for a meeting.

I’ll admit, I’m nervous. It’s obvious Nucky isn’t in a right frame of mind now (calling Emily hummingbird and then thinking that it was Margaret’s earring he found) so what on Earth is his reaction going to be when he finally gets better and realizes that he literally is all alone on this Gyp thing? Maybe since Torrio didn’t come he’ll go out to Chicago looking for Torrio’s help in person? I don’t know. It’s a mystery. A secret only the writer’s know so far.

What’s not a secret is Gyp is insane.

That hat. Oh my God that hat. Masseria tells him that he might someday be a general so what does Gyp do? Busts into the library case and steals the hat of “Mad” Anthony Wayne. The irony is completely lost on him. Dude is light years more “mad” than Anthony Wayne ever was. Anthony Wayne got the nickname because of his short temper and hot headedness. I imagine if Gen. Wayne were to ever meet Gyp Rosetti he’d say “wow, that dude needs to take it down a notch” because Gyp is certifiable.

I loved how they gave a shout out to the “bible camp” much like their mention of the Methodists earlier in the season. Even though they are in Tabor Heights, they are hearkening back to the history of Mount Tabor, New Jersey, the place Tabor Heights is obviously based on.

Actually I loved this entire episode. After two episodes back to back filled with many “WTF just happened!!” moments, it was nice to have a quieter one. I appreciate that instead of having it be a quiet episode that doesn’t do much (because there have been plenty of those), this one moved the plot along quite well. No longer is Nucky’s gangster/girlfriend/wife and children lives all separate but now are thrown together in a messy concussed pile so it will be interesting to see how he deals with that. Not to mention what Margaret will end up doing. Then of course there’s the falling out from the bosses meeting. How on Earth is that going to shake out?

There’s just three episodes left and I’m sure they’ll be firing on all cylinders from here on out so we need to just sit back and enjoy the ride. I have a feeling that the remaining episodes are all going to be highly rated, and even though there wasn’t a lot of action/explosions/WTF in this episode, Steve Buscemi alone deserves a four and a half so that’s what we’re going with.

Until next time, I leave you with this. The great Eddie “helping” Emily blow out her candles. I love him.

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!

Boardwalk Empire: 3.03 – “Bone for Tuna”

Where were we? Last week was all slow-moving build up. Nucky is hiding in New York with Billie Kent,  just wanting everything to run on its own. Margaret is stomping around the hospital and, unfortunately, not smacking the crap out of lippy servants. Eli’s out of jail, Gyp is hanging out in Tabor Heights waiting around for Methodist bible camp, and sticking it to Nucky in the meantime. Chalky tried to convince Maybelle that his life is not that interesting and she should just marry the boring doctor. Oh and Mickey is amazingly still alive. After that slow as molasses episode, I had high hopes for this week. I was not disappointed.

Apparently if you kill the man you spent decades treating as your son, it turns out that it can f–k with your head. Here we finally see Nucky start to come unhinged over killing Jimmy. He’s dreaming of kids shot in the face, and then seeing the same kid as a choir boy. Of course this is also tied to his own childhood and it involves a lot of bacon. There was a lot of “alone Nucky” in this episode and it was just sad. If ever there was a man who needed to just get his shit together, get back together with his wife, spend time with his kids, and have a large bottle of zoloft nearby, it is Nucky Thompson. Dude.

VanAlden returned this episode and so help me god if the writers try to make me feel anything for him like they did Eli last week, I’m gonna be pissed. I don’t want to feel sorry for him. I don’t want to sympathize with him. I don’t want to see him all lovey dovey with his new wife. Are you hearing me writers? I DO NOT WANT TO LIKE HIM!

 Alas, I sort of did. I really do feel badly for him when he’s getting picked on by his coworkers. But then I just remember him “baptizing” Sebso and my distaste for him returns. Ahhh, all is right with the world. Seriously though, the fountain pen and then the constant picking at him, it makes me want to never want to buy an iron from these jackasses. Sigrid however? I daresay I never saw a scene like that in Door to Door (if you haven’t seen this movie, you should), so I was completely unaware that door to door sales can be such a turn on. Lesson learned.

If I were to take my dislike for VanAlden and add the heated hatred of a thousand forest fires burning at once, that would come close to my feelings for Gillian Darmody. She’s got her claws in everyone. It’s possible I missed it earlier, but did we know that Lucky Luciano was an investor in the whorehouse? That was news to me. Unwelcome news of course, and while we’re discussing those two- I really wish little bubbles would pop up telling us who all knows Jimmy is dead and who really believes he went back to the Army. It would be like a flow chart in the style of Pop Up Video, very helpful. I mean Gillian has to know right? She and Nucky aren’t talking, clearly illustrated by the looks exchanged when Nucky drops Gyp off at the house of ill repute. So is she just pretending he’s still alive so people like Lucky take her more seriously? Is she just trying to convince herself he is still alive because she’s an out of touch creepy hobag? It’s a mystery. [Editor’s Note – She knows he is dead, but must play along because he gives her clout. My though anyhow…]

Another mystery? Gyp Rosetti. Good lord this guy is off his rocker. And at the same time, he’s a good businessman. When he was talking to Gillian he seemed quite normal and sane. He was even capable of laughing at himself when he starts to take offense to Nucky saying something about being in “your neck of the woods”. BUT THEN HE DOES THIS!!!

Oh my god. Seriously. That was all I could say. You would think that watching a show where people’s heads are blown off on the regular, something violent wouldn’t be all that surprising. You’d be wrong. Gyp dropped that lighter and all I could see was this.

If we learned nothing else this episode, do not wish Gyp Rosetti good luck. Or buona fortuna. Or “bone for tuna”- you know that kid’s Irish so the spelling is off. Seriously, Nucky nailed it on the head with his “you’d find offense in a bouquet of roses”. What the hell is wrong with the guy? And why do I enjoy his psychosis so much?

[Little tidbit- the movie Gyp’s driver was talking about (when you could see Gyp come undone over Nucky wishing him bone for tuna) was Nosferatu. I am not a horror/scary/monster movie fan by any means so I had no idea, but thankfully the internet came to my rescue on that one. Stay tuned the GrizzlyBomb because coming up this month we are highlighting our favorite Halloween characters and I’m pretty sure Nosferatu made the list.]

Speaking of people I enjoy- Lucky Luciano and Meyer Lansky made an appearance!

They are still doing their heroine thing and Lucky is not happy with their dealings with Masseria. Of course the adorable Meyer Lansky was the voice of reason telling him that they just needed to bid their time with him. In perfect gangster fashion though, he goes from ‘let’s be calm, cool, and collected’ to shooting at Masseria’s men in the street with none other than heroin delivery boy extraordinaire/Benny ‘Bugsy’ Seigel. Shit is getting real there in New York.

The honor of “second best part of episode” belongs to Richard Harrow and Mickey Doyle. Especially this particular moment:

Mickey takes credit for Manny’s death to make himself look like a bad ass and gets ratted out by a delivery boy during a drop to the whorehouse where Richard is tending bar. Richard gets Mickey at gunpoint and then trots his happy ass over to Nucky telling him to deal with Mickey- it was perfect. Everything about it. Especially when Richard greets Mickey with a gun right as he drops trou. I mean seriously, perfection. However, it does make us ask once again, how the hell is Mickey Doyle still sucking air? HOW? He’s a lucky bastard.

And when Richard tells Nucky that he killed Manny for Angela Darmody?

It was too much. I think I died a little with that one. I’m really glad that he came out and said it was just for Angela though. I mean I always assumed, but it’s nice to hear. The part about Jimmy being a soldier, fighting and losing, was also very well written. Nucky you are safe once again- from Richard at least.

You know who you aren’t safe from? This woman:

Last week I was a little meh with Margaret, but this week is a totally different story. Margaret wins the “best storyline of the episode by far, so much so that no one else even had a chance”. And to think, I was sort of annoyed with the prenatal care hill that she was so intent to die on. I thought it was going to be slow and boring.

I. Was. Wrong.

Before that though, Margaret needs to be recognized for coming up with the best alternative for “f–k you and the horse you rode in on” I have ever witnessed. Nucky tells her that he can’t sleep, after being gone for god only knows how long, and she just gives a slight shrug, saying “some warm milk perhaps”. In other words Nucky, she isn’t listening to your shit anymore. Perhaps if you hadn’t been a complete ass who got pissed over money (okay, it was a lot of money) and then ran off to New York with that Broadway chippy you would still have a wife who gave two shits about you and your obvious mental issues. Instead you have a wife who will stand at the back of a church, remind you of your wedding day, give a slight nod to the aforementioned showgirl with her statement about “the show must go on” and pretty much say your marriage is in shambles but you must still put on appearances so walk your ass down this aisle and be happy about it.

I’m sure if Nucky weren’t so caught up in his hallucinations over the “shot in the face” choir boy, he would have been as equally as impressed by Margaret’s next move as I was. There they were, enjoying the nice reception for Nucky’s St. Gregory Award. Margaret is called over for her previously requested moment with the bishop and she takes the opportunity to introduce him to the doctor who had earlier commented that landscaping was more important than prenatal care.

All of a sudden- BOOM- Margaret thanks the doctor for opening a women’s clinic and isn’t that just the greatest thing bishop? Isn’t he amazing? Isn’t this going to be the best thing ever, your excellency? Margaret Thompson, you are f–king awesome. From shy and timid pregnant housewife to cornering an asshole doctor into doing the one thing he would never do- impressive.

Even though there wasn’t any Chicago (outside of VanAlden) or Chalky, and Nucky was a bit annoying with the constantly calling Billie Kent and then going back up there in a very stalkerish manner, this was by far my favorite episode out of the three so far. Gyp was entertaining and disturbing, Gillian was creepy but still moved the story along, and Richard and Margaret were amazing.

I’m going to have to go ahead and give it a five out of five.

I just hope that don’t make me regret renewing my love for Margaret’s storyline. I will be quite disappointed. I’ll be back next week and we’ll see!

Boardwalk Empire: 3.02 – “Spaghetti and Coffee”

This should be universally understood, but it needs to be said again: This is a review of this week’s (Season 3 Episode 2) episode of Boardwalk Empire. If you have not seen this episode and wish to not learn of what happens in this episode, do not read this.

To recap from last week: Nucky and Margaret are on the outs thanks to Margaret signing over the land deeds. Because Nucky can no longer just sit back and enjoy the riches he didn’t make off the highway project, he now has taken on the role of full-blown gangster. Richard Harrow killed Munya. We’ve got a new gangster in town, the Sicilian, Gyp Rosetti. Please don’t insult his intelligence, or lack thereof, because he will beat you. Chicago has troubles, we only see a snippet of them. Lady has a miscarriage in the lobby of the hospital that Margaret is now on the board of due to her generous donation that led to the building of a pediatric wing. Oh and Nucky is shacking up with the showgirl, Billie Kent.

Let’s move on!

I sometimes wonder what a psychiatrist would say if they were to analyze the fact that I can watch television people be shot all day long but sweet jesus don’t you dare let that goldfish die in the sink! That analysis will have to wait for another time because luckily, the goldfish was spared. It is yet to be seen if the same can be said for the rest of the Boardwalk Empire world.

Eli is out of jail! Yay! Mickey picks him up and then Eli asks the question that every single person that has ever watched the show has wondered – “How the hell are you still alive?” Mickey says something about bringing people together, I thinks it’s more that he is just a lucky bastard.  I sort of hate this episode because it made  me want to like Eli, or at the very least, feel sorry for him. He gets out of jail, obviously nothing has stayed the same, and he doesn’t know where he fits in anymore. He goes home to find that even his own son has taken his place as man of the house. I really don’t want to like Eli but damn, if that scene with him building the plane he bought for his son didn’t pull at the ol’ heartstrings.

The writers and Bobby Cannavale have done a wonderful job and creating tension every time Gyp Rosetti is on the screen. After his incredible overreaction to the 3-in-One guy, I fully expected him to beat the ever-loving crap out of the pump jockey. To the point that every time Gyp came on-screen, I was looking for a dead young man in a gas station uniform on the ground somewhere, all over a map scale. It appears as if in the span of one episode he seems to have grown up a bit. Instead of  hauling off and killing the kid, he instead buys the gas station. Oh and he pays off the cops. All so he can stick it to Nucky and Rothstein. Look out Nucky, the hot head is playing for keeps.

Owen is just a go-between for Margaret and Nucky now…Awkward. What I really want to see in a coming episode however, is someone haul off and just smack the shit out of Phillip. Dude has a smart mouth and I would have sworn that the “help” should be seen and not heard in this time period. STFU Phillip.

I loved the scene between Margaret and the lady who had the miscarriage there in the hospital lobby. You can just see that Margaret is trying to relate to this woman, they both have similar stories, but too much time and experiences have passed in Margaret’s life that the woman just isn’t buying it.

I’m continuing my love/hate relationship with Margaret though. I love when she gets all “who are you to talk to me like that?” but she doesn’t do it enough. She goes off on Dr. Mason but only after he provokes her. Had she gone in there, guns blazing, right off the bat, he’d never even had a chance to be an ass. Come on Margaret, sprout a set and don’t take no shit from nobody! I did have to laugh though when at the end of the episode after the maid tells her that Nucky won’t be coming home for some award thing with the diocese, she tells her to go ahead and get the suit ready anyway because “I’m afraid he’s mistaken.”  Granted we aren’t all married to gangsters, but that statement has been muttered by wives the world over since the beginning of time.

Nucky is up in New York, doing nothing but Billie Kent, who he thinks looks like the White Rock Girl. He does take a break from those activities to go and pay Daugherty. He arrives to find an empty room with just a bowl (the goldfish bowl from the first scene) and a note telling him to leave money. Of course he isn’t going to fall for this! So we get to meet none other than Gaston Bullock Means.

Mr. Means is played by the always enjoyable, Stephen Root and is another historical figure. Dude was quite the dirtbag, but he is so well spoken in the show and I’m always a fan of someone who superfluously uses adverbs. However, I am not a fan of people who talk about themselves in the third person so when Remus showed up, I was incredibly happy that he didn’t speak.

The scenes with Chalky and his family are always a hit. Well with me at least. This episode was no different. Maybelle’s beau (why did we stop using that word I wonder?) is back and asking Chalky for her hand in marriage. Problem is, Maybelle doesn’t think he is interesting enough to marry. Perhaps my favorite line of the entire episode is when Chalky asked her what she would do if she was married to a man like him, she says “I’ll write a poem about it.” Oh you foolish little girl.

I wonder what her poem would look like after this:

Apparently asking someone to stop running into your table is a knifeable offense. Of course the dude got that crap beat out of him and Chalky standing there asking if Maybelle was still interested was the highlight of the episode.

The greatest irony of the episode came towards the end when Nucky was baring his soul (well sort of) to Billie. He tells her that he wants nothing more than for “everything to run all by itself”. In reality, because he’s been lounging around getting jealous each time Billie’s phone rings, his people have been done over quite well by Gyp and the now wealthier Tabor Heights sheriff. So much so that they’ve tucked their tails between their legs and turned the convoy back around to Atlantic City.

All in all, this was a very laborious episode. I understand the need for building up storylines but man this was just full of it. I did like the Chalky storyline and the various historical nods, especially the one about Methodists in Tabor Heights. I’d imagine this had to do with Mount Tabor that was a Methodist camp there in New Jersey. Also lacking in this episode? Chicago! We did catch a glimpse of Rothstein as he and Nucky discussed who killed Munya but that was it.

So yea, it’s was a disappointing episode but hopefully the slowness of this will quickly build into some better episodes down the road. Not to do with just this episode, but if you have access to HBO GO and are an “extras” junkie like I am, I highly recommend watching the show on there. They’ve got a new “interactive features” that is quite informative and entertaining.

I have to give this episode, only a 3, because of the slowness.

I will leave you with this- in case you were wondering, meatballs are indeed, balls of meat.

Boardwalk Empire: 3.01 – “Raise the Toddy”

This should be universally understood, but it needs to be said again: #1- This is a review of this week’s (Season 3 Episode 1) episode of Boardwalk Empire. If you have not seen this episode and wish to not learn of what happens in this episode, do not read this.

Should be universally understood, but needs to be said again #2- RICHARD HARROW, LET ME LOVE YOU!!!!! Whew, it feels good to let that out.

Where did we leave off? Well screw the whole “who shot JR” catchphrase because holy shit we know who shot Jimmy Darmody and now we get to see the aftermath. Not only that but we had a “pen is mightier than the sword” moment as we watched Margaret sign over the Land Deed to that annoying priest’s church.

We pick up at the end of 1922 – all our gangster friends are preparing to ring in 1923 in style. Oh and we’ve got a new gangster friend – Gyp Rosetti. He’s a little bit of a hot head and whatever you do, do not step on his toes. Especially if they are covered in 3-in-One.

One of my favorite things about this show is how they work in references to real people and events of the time. Right off the bat, as Gyp’s guys are working on a flat tire he mentions Walt Wallet of Gasoline Alley.

Enough of Gyp, what about Nucky?. How has he dealt with killing Jimmy? Is he as broken up about it as Jimmy said he would be? Did he blow a gasket about the Land Deed? Did he have Margaret offed for it? Where are the kids? I have so many questions!

As he is talking to someone, he seems in pretty good spirits. Eating breakfast, enjoying coffee, mentioning his children (so perhaps things are still good in the Thompson household), and then ordering Munya to shoot a thief in the head after toying with his emotions for a while. Oh Nucky, you seemed to have stepped in the “full gangster” shoes quite well.

As for Margaret, she’s busy putting the final touches on a New Year’s Eve party and telling lippy chauvinist servants named Phillip to shove it. Oh but wait – we find out where the land money went to! The “Enoch and Margaret Thompson Annex”, a pediatric wing to the hospital. Not only that, but she is also on the board of directors. A young doctor points that out when telling her that the woman Margaret witnessed actively miscarry her child in the hospital lobby could have been spared had their been proper prenatal care and education. I think we all know where this is going – welcome to a storyline for Mrs. Thompson.

Speaking of women having sex and getting pregnant (this wins for the award for worst segue ever), Gillian seems to have decided that she’s going to run a brothel.  Not only that, but she’s hired Richard Harrow (who, just as a reminder, I love) as Tommy’s caretaker. Seriously, if there continue to be scenes built around Richard and Gillian, my husband is going to be convinced that I’m bipolar as I was screaming at the TV last night alternating between “I hate you Gillian! I love you Richard! How dare you call yourself his mother Gillian! Richard I just want to hug you!” Just look at this picture and tell me it doesn’t make you want to punch that incestual creep of a woman in the face. And then take moonlit walks on the beach with that fabulous man.

The Van Alden’s have moved to Illinois and Agent Van Alden is now a door to door salesman. Oh wait – we also got caught up on what Johnny Torrio and Al Capone are doing nowadays. I’ll admit that the Chicago storyline has never done much to keep my attention, probably because like in this episode, it always seems like a “Oh yea we’ve got these characters over in Chicago and everyone knows Al Capone so we should probably throw them in this episode as well” kind of situation. Stephen Graham does such an incredible job as Al Capone that I feel badly about not really caring about them. Perhaps this is the season that Chicago will get the airtime it deserves.

That being said, Chicago can be summed up in these few words: turf war, deaf kid, Capone is pissed, Van Alden saves the Irish guy’s bacon and has a new baby with the nanny turned wife.

It’s party time! The Thompson’s have all their friends over for an Egyptian themed NYE bash and outside of Gyp Rosetti, everyone is having a great time. He wants rum and what the hell? Nucky has decided to sell only to Rothstein. Gyp is going to be a great character to watch if for no other reason than he has the best insults. He called Nucky a “breadstick with a bowtie”. I mean come on, that’s poetry right there.

It seems as if everything is right as rain with Nucky and Margaret, even when Margaret inadvertently insults the doctor. Of course he thinks she is barking up the wrong tree about the prenatal care and how dare she even suggest that it was the hospital’s fault and yea, this is her new hill to die on it appears. When the last guest leaves and the door closes, I fully expected a little rebuke perhaps, but a hug and kiss and let’s go to bed dear. Why did I expect this? Because I bought the setup hook, line, and sinker. I was drawn in to this “everything is okay between Nucky and Margaret, look they are having a party and everyone is laughing and singing and Nucky is dancing and Margaret is smiling” facade without even questioning it. That door closed and Nucky’s transformation took my breath away. We learned that things are not okay in the Thompson house. Things are far from okay. Nucky isn’t even living there! He’s back at his suite and surprise, surprise he’s shacking up with another brunette showgirl. Because that worked out so well for him last time.

My disappointment over the Nucky/Margaret situation (in my mind they walk off into the sunset hand in hand and live happily ever after), was quickly lifted as we saw Richard again. Well first we saw Manny and his wife having a nice moment, she bought him a new hat, how sweet. Then the door opens, there’s Richard. BOOM- Head Shot!

Richard FINALLY! takes revenge for Angela’s murder. Watching his face as he told Tommy of his mother (his real mother not that hobag that is trying to convince the poor boy otherwise) was just heartbreaking.

The episode closes out with the obvious “Margaret wants freedom” scene. She decides to go out and see the female pilot, Carrie Duncan pass by and her face is filled with that “I wish I could just fly away by myself” look.

Outside of that storyline, I thought the episode was fabulous. Especially the introduction of Gyp and how well they fooled the audience (me at least) on the whole Nucky and Margaret thing. It did present more questions though- will Van Alden join the dark side so he can buy his nanny/wife a house? Is Richard going to hook back up with a crew or just meander aimlessly taking care of Tommy and resisting the urge to smack Gillian on a regular basis? How is this whole “Nucky only sells to Rothstein” thing going to work out? What new insults is Gyp coming to come up with? How much are Teddy and Emily going to love their new dog? So much to look forward to!

4/5 Bears for this one.