Boardwalk Empire: Complete Episode Guide
Boardwalk Empire – Gimcrack and Bunkum
Season Two: Episode Five
Directed by: Tim Van Patten
Written by: Howard Korder
The Spin: Although the Philly plotline was passed over entirely in this episode, Korder never the less made this an hour about brotherly love. With the AC bigwigs demanding a return on their investment and getting antsy about The Commodore’s new lack of engagement, Jimmy (Pitt) and Eli (Shea Whigham) find themselves up shit’s creek…but would one of them find a paddle? Look at the idiot Eli go running back to brother Nucky only to get rightfully slapped in the face and spat upon (though if it weren’t for Margaret’s shotgun antics, ol’ Nuck might’ve found himself choked to death). And whoops, funny how a wrench can then slip out of a drunken Eli’s hand and bash fat George’s face in. Meanwhile, sad-sack Harrow (Jack Huston) traipses deep into the woods to blow his depressed brains out only to have a bit of felicity (in the form of a dog and two amiable hunters) thwart his plans. Back to Jimmy’s house he goes, where he gets a pledge from his “brother” that he would fight for him to the last bullet. Ahhh…nothing like scalping a fat old bastard to bring two war buddies closer together. Seems Jimmy found his paddle…and its name is Richard Harrow…and together they’re going to take care of that debt by “taking care of” everyone they owe.
Things Learned This Evening: Scalping never goes out of style. Good fathers never let their little boys see them smash in a guy’s head like a watermelon.
Calling Mr. Emmy: Jack Huston’ one-eyed, half-faced, sad-sack theatrics have become the butter in between Jimmy and Angela’s toasty bread.
Wait Until Next Week: How far up the creek will Jimmy go? When is someone going to knock off that moron Eli? Bring back the Butcher of Philly, I sez to them, I sez!
Commentary by David H. Schleicher
To my readers and Boardwalk strollers: Thoughts, reactions, comments?
Seems things of or in the natural world give some shape or form to some morality lacking in the gangster world. the dog saving suicidal Harrow’s life. The kindly hunters who could have morphed into something out of “Deliverance.” Conversely, the kind of “nature” designed by man by way of the wheat field is a bit more ominous. A field lit by the lamps of a car was the backdrop for dumb Eli burying the bludgeoned mayor–both small players in lack of ethics and morality traced throughout the series.
I also found the tension around Native Americans interesting. The head AC bigwig spoke disparagingly of Native Americans but adored the “collectibles.” And the ultimate, irony was Jimmy and Harrow scalping bigwig. In a sense, Jimmy and Harrow are much like the reviled Native Americans living on the edge of things, trying to scratch and eke out an an existence out of power (Jimmy) and emotions (Harrow). It’s a crazy eco-system of survival of the fittest which translates into the most violent with some street smarts added for good measure.
As always, more than what is on the surface in each episode.
Dianne – brilliant assessment! –DHS