Boardwalk Empire: The Emerald City

Boardwalk Empire: Complete Episode Guide 

Boardwalk EmpireThe Emerald City

Season One: Episode Ten

Directed by:  Simon Cellan Jones

Written by:  Lawrence Konner and Terence Winter (series creator) from the novel by Nelson Johnson

The Spin:  After the dames get the right to vote, Nucky sees a golden opportunity with Margaret to rally the gals behind his new puppet for mayor.  Poor Jimmy mistakes his little boy’s outburst on the boardwalk about “mommy’s kissing friend” and beats the bejesus out of that sap of a photographer, resulting in his paramour plotting with the photographer’s wife to finally skedaddle over the pond to Paris takin’ the kid and all.  Meanwhile, snubbed after a visit with Margaret, Agent Van Alden falls off the wagon and runs into Lucy, resulting in the series’ most uncomfortable sex scene yet (a little more conversation would’ve been better).  Now get this - that giggly Doyle crosses the aisle resulting in a vengeful Chalky White botching a Nucky-planned rouse against Rothstein’s gang, resulting in two dead.  Back in Chicago, Capone has an unlikely revelation in a synagogue and decides it’s finally time to grow up – watch out world!  In your face (or shall we say half-faced) literary motifs (courtesy of The Wizard of Oz), the aforementioned sex scene, and a whole-lotta goin’ on resulting in all too obvious look in the mirror for Margaret made this a mixed bag of an episode.  Continue reading

Boardwalk Empire: Nights in Ballygran

Boardwalk Empire: Complete Episode Guide 

Boardwalk EmpireNights in Ballygran

Season One: Episode Five

Directed by:  Alan Taylor

Written by:  Lawrence Konner and Terence Winter (series creator) from the novel by Nelson Johnson

The Spin:  Hell hath no fury like a woman…marginally annoyed by mixed messages?  Margaret (Kelly Macdonald), miffed by Nucky’s (Steve Buscemi) cruel indifference to her St. Patty’s Day soda-bread, reaches out to that creep Agent Van Alden (Michael Shannon) to show she’s not messing around.  It’s a special kind of lady who can pit two of the weirdest looking actors working today against each other in a play for her love disguised as a bootlegging smack down.  Meanwhile, Jimmy (Michael Pitt) gets all mopey and nostalgic caring for his amor in a Chicago cat house.  This Konner-penned, Alan Taylor-directed hour is the classic “a lot happened but it didn’t feel like a lot happened” episode.  The “Nights in Ballygran” montage at the close was a nice touch leading to a “finally!” moment that came much sooner than I had predicted. Continue reading

Boardwalk Empire: Anastasia

Boardwalk Empire: Complete Episode Guide 

Boardwalk EmpireAnastasia

Season One: Episode Four

Directed by:  Jeremy Podeswa

Written by:  Lawrence Konner, Margaret Nagle and Terence Winter (series creator) from the novel by Nelson Johnson

The Spin:  How empowering it is to see a show where many of the writers also serve as executive producers!  While director Podeswa takes a cue from Scorsese and fills this amazingly layered and poetic episode with wall to wall period music, the writers (most notably, I am to assume, Nagle – who also penned Episode Three) settle into their groove.  Woven into this compelling hour are national politics, women’s rights vs. violence against women, race relations, romances, jealousies, turf wars and a wonderful “time capsule” of a frame story involving Princess Anastasia.  There is so much to admire in this episode, but it clearly belongs to the women from writer/producer Nagle, to stars Kelly MacDonald and Gretchen Mol to Emily Meade as the kind-hearted hooker Pearl.  Last week the focus was on dark humor, which rightfully leads to a quietly aching sadness in tonight’s affairs – as if reality is now staring the audience and the characters in the face.  If the writers keep this up…we’re looking at a show to rival Mad Men. Continue reading