Boardwalk Empire – The Ivory Tower
Season One: Episode Two
Directed by: Tim Van Patten
Written by: Terence Winter (series creator, from the novel by Nelson Johnson)
The Spin: HBO’s go-to man behind the camera, Tim Van Patten (of The Sopranos and The Pacific fame) directs what will likely be the first of his many episodes. Gone are Scorsese’s non-stop jazz numbers and snazzy editing, and here the series settles into its long Sopranos-esque silences, dialogue heavy scenes, and intimate little details used to develop characters over long, languid arcs designed to last years. It’s a change of pace…we’ll see how it goes.
My Favorite Parts: Rothstein (a decidedly insipid and sinister Michael Stuhlbarg) tells a great “cue ball” story, Al Capone (Stephen Graham) gives “a statement” in a Chicago speak-easy, and the most welcome Gretchen Mol makes her first appearance as Jimmy’s show-gal ma.
Characters/Plots I Can’t Wait To See Develop: Everyone (from Buscemi’s Nucky to Shannon’s Van Alden) seems to have a deep-seeded “thing” for Kelly MacDonald’s sweet-as-Irish-pie Margaret. There’s something unsettling about it all, and it has the potential to become the series most mysterious and dramatic story-arc.
Favorite Line: Jimmy (Michael Pitt) telling the phone operator to “go jump in a lake” after Capone gives him the brush-off.
The Verdict Is Still Out On: Action taking place in NYC and Chicago, and all that crazy stuff going on along the road through Hammonton: the Blueberry Capital of the World.
Commentary by David H. Schleicher
To my readers and Boardwalk strollers: Thoughts, reactions, comments?