Boardwalk Empire – Battle of the Century
Season Two: Episode Nine
Directed by: Brad Anderson
Written by: Steve Kornacki
The Spin: The helmer of last season’s finest hour (Belle Femme: Episode 1.9) returns to direct just a week following possibly the series’ finest hour thus far (Two Boats and a Lifeguard: Episode 2.8). Brad Anderson crafts another tight hour full of drama on both sides of the pond. While Nucky’s away in Ireland looking to score some whiskey for guns, Jimmy ascends to the throne awash in paranoia. Jimmy gets Waxey Gordon to agree to take out Manny The Butcher of Philly (William Forsythe) leading to the episode’s greatest moment (hint: it involves a meat cleaver). Meanwhile, things more momentous are transmitted subtly and with great care – witness the take out of a certain elder Irish statesman at the last-minute so Nucky’s deal can be secured. This underhanded deal leaves Nucky with a bad taste in his mouth because Slater might be keeping secrets and all sons might like to kill their fathers. Meanwhile, on the home front…poor little Emily Schroeder is diagnosed with polio (which I reckon Mamma Margaret might see as God’s reckoning) while Chalky White (Michael K. Williams) takes his famously “hands-off” approach to starting a strike by utilizing none other than that chap he had his folks done whup in the prison cell earlier this season as his fire starter. Oh yeah, and that lady ADA Esther Randolph (Julianne Nicholson) is building her case against Nucky, utilizing her smarts along with her womanly wiles. Damn – things is heatin’ up on the boardwalk!
Things Learned This Evening: NEVER EVER ATTACK A BUTCHER IN A BUTCHER SHOP!
Wait Until Next Week: Manny The Butcher of Philly is turning into one of the most entertaining side characters – and he’s royally pissed off right now. How will Nucky comfort Margaret? How will the city react to the strike? How will Jimmy handle his first big crisis?
Commentary by David H. Schleicher
To my readers and Boardwalk strollers: Thoughts, reactions, comments?