Boardwalk Empire – Broadway Limited
Season One: Episode Three
Directed by: Tim Van Patten
Written by: Margaret Nagle and Terence Winter (series creator) from the novel by Nelson Johnson
The Spin: Between bits of period-piece exploitation (check out that barbaric cure for an STD and that interrogation/torture scene in a dentist chair) there were some greater glimpses into the domestic lives of the main characters. Only time will tell if the “ensemble” back-and-forth structure of the narrative will continue or if we will soon see Sopranos-esque stand-alone episodes focusing on a single character. There was also plenty of plot development as Jimmy (Michael Pitt) decided to shuffle off to Chicago after being kicked-when-he’s-down by former mentor Nucky (Steve Buscemi), and in the process leaving his lovely fiance (Aleska Palladino) and young son in AC. Meanwhile, a local turf war seems primed to break-out between The Pollock Doyle (Paul Sparks) — with the help of his Italian friends — and Nucky’s Chalky White (Michael K. Williams) gang for control of “mixing” and distributing the hooch.
My Favorite Parts: All that character and plot development was delectable, but nothing was more lovely than seeing more of Paz de la Huerta.
Characters/Plots I Can’t Wait To See Develop: Lucy’s (Paz de la Huerta) relationship with the newly employed Margaret Schroeder (Kelly Macdonald); Jimmy’s schism from Nucky and alignment with Capone and the Chicago gang; the threat to Jimmy’s ma, fiance and son from Lucky Luciano (Vincent Piazza).
Favorite Line: Upon Van Alden’s (Michael Shannon) completion of a brutal interrogation/torture of the only guy to survive the Hammonton Woods Massacre, he begins quoting from the book or Revelation after the fat bastard kicks the bucket, to which his lackey remarks of the recently deceased, “Isn’t he Jewish?”
The Verdict Is Still Out On: I really am enjoying the dark humor of the writers here…but there’s a limit and a time and a place. Let’s hope they don’t overkill it, potentially turning some scenes into period camp.
Commentary by David H. Schleicher
To my readers and Boardwalk strollers: Thoughts, reactions, comments?