Boardwalk Empire – Paris Green
Season One: Episode Eleven
Directed by: Allen Coulter
Written by: Howard Korder and Terence Winter (series creator) from the novel by Nelson Johnson
The Spin: Director Coulter wisely keeps with the “less is more” mentality he presented back in Episode Seven in this subdued but powerful episode where Korder weaves a stinging leitmotif around poisoning in both the literal and metaphorical sense. The message boards have been a few steps ahead on this one, and it’s finally been confirmed…The Commodore (Dabney Coleman) is: 1. Jimmy’s pop. 2. Being poisoned. 3. Just might return for next season! In the mix of these developments, Gretchen Mol as Gillian continues to put the most interesting spin on the “hooker with a heart of gold” stock character I’ve seen in years. Kudos to the writers for keeping hers one of the most interesting characters on the show. Meanwhile, Jimmy’s paramour (the eternally weepy Aleska Palladino) gets emotionally sucker-punched by the old switcheroo (her lady lover ran off to Paris with the photographer instead!) and by Jimmy’s stoic reaction to her now anti-climactic “Dear John” letter. Poor old Nucky couldn’t seem to get a break as both Margaret and his brother came to verbal blows with him over this, that and the other thing, resulting in him announcing his brother’s resignation as sheriff and his Irish lass stealing away… And last but certainly not least, a strong case for Equal Opportunity Employment is made as Van Alden goes all “Church of the Third Revelation” on his two-timing-number-two’s Jewish ass. Whew…talk about a great set-up for next week’s season finale!
My favorite parts: Oops…Van Alden somehow continues to get stranger and accidentally drowns a guy in a botched baptism, Gillian sharing some family history with Jimmy, the Commodore makes some bold “dying declarations”, and Nucky wanders the boardwalk searching for some good fortune.
Wait Until Next Week: Where did Margaret go? If The Commodore pulls through…then surely someone else has to die in the finale, right?
Commentary by David H. Schleicher
To my readers and Boardwalk strollers: Thoughts, reactions, comments?