Boardwalk Empire – Ourselves Alone
Season Two: Episode Two
Directed by: David Petrarca
Written by: Howard Korder
The Spin: Things aren’t so comfortable anymore for Nucky as the newly renovated Commodore rallies the troops to bring him down. It seems he can’t trust anyone…though he still has some shrewd players in his corner, most importantly Margaret, whose stealth operation to capture his ledger and petty cash before the investigators get to it anchors the episode. Meanwhile, in the Subplot Land – Jimmy travels to NYC to try to make a deal with Rothstein, who gives him the cold shoulder. What’s an angst riddled young gangster to do in the city but get down and dirty with Luciano’s rivals? Back in AC, Chalky White is stuck in the slammer with a loquacious chap from Baltimore. We learn that while Chalky might be illiterate, he continues to write the book on bad-assery. Lastly, an Irish lad named Slater makes an impression on the ladies at the Thompson house and might prove to be a key player going forward. Korder keeps things moving tightly along with his workmanlike writing and David Copperfield allusions, while Petrarca lingers on images of offices torn asunder, blood pooling quietly in city parks and the warm glow of the past burning in fireplaces.
My favorite parts: All that banter in the slammer…and Chalky, cool as a cucumber, maintaining his upper hand on the inside even while the deck in the outside world is stacked against him. Margaret, at the dinner table sans Nucky, holding her own against a most disagreeable guest from her homeland.
The Best Line of the Evening: Margaret, very matter-of-factly, telling a tired and beaten-down Nucky, “You are smarter than your enemies.”
Wait Until Next Week: What trouble is this Slater fella gonna get into? Will Eli come back home?
Commentary by David H. Schleicher
To my readers and Boardwalk strollers: Thoughts, reactions, comments?