Boardwalk Empire – Belle Femme
Season One: Episode Nine
Directed by: Brad Anderson
Written by: Steve Kornacki and Terence Winter (series creator) from the novel by Nelson Johnson
The Spin: Transsiberian and The Machinist helmer Brad Anderson directs this taut episode with great restraint and the best pacing since Scorsese’s pilot. Fresh from Chicago, Jimmy tries to reestablish his family life much to his little lady’s dismay. When he tries to pull a number on Lucky Luciano with Momma’s help, that crafty Van Alden spoils the party by bringing him in on murder charges for the Hamilton Massacre. But what Van Alden doesn’t realize is that his number two is in cahoots with Nucky, and he does his own number on their star witness against Jimmy. Meanwhile, as Nucky sets his sights on fixing the local elections, Margaret does her own bit of politicking. All of this leads up to a shocking denouement on the boardwalk, brilliantly pulled-off by Anderson’s slow-build. This pretty lady of an episode was an absolute knock-out.
My favorite parts: Everything. This thing oozed class. The sex was restrained and the violence appropriate and plot driven. The jazz numbers were the best since the pilot. If they know what’s good for them, they’ll be bringing back Brad Anderson for more.
Wait Until Next Week: Witness or not, Jimmy still needs to find a way outta this fine pickle. What hell will a threatened Nucky wrought?
Commentary by David H. Schleicher
To my readers and Boardwalk strollers: Thoughts, reactions, comments?