Boardwalk Empire: Under God’s Power She Flourishes

Gretchen Mol refuses to let that Emmy go quietly into the night.

Boardwalk Empire: Complete Episode Guide 

Boardwalk Empire – Under God’s Power She Flourishes

Season Two: Episode Eleven

Directed by:  Allen Coulter

Written by:  Howard Korder

The Spin:  Well, my friends, Angela (Aleksa Palladino) may have lived one episode longer through a flashback, but it was Gillian (Gretchen Mol) whose insidious ways haunted the hour.  Here we learn the back story of how/why Jimmy (Michael Pitt) left Princeton and joined the Army.  Korder and Coulter cinematically weaved the long flashback into the current proceedings where an air of melancholy hung over various characters in dire straits who made desperate plays to turn the tides.  What’s that, Mickey Doyle (Paul Sparks)?  The Italians told you to go screw yourself?  So why not try to screw them by brokering a deal with Van Alden (Michael Shannon)?  Well, guess what, you moop, Van Alden is too busy getting ratted on concerning his 86-ing of his Number 2 — ahhh…remember that baptism by drowning last season?  Esther Randolph (Julianne Nicholson) must’ve thought it was Christmas as just as she was tying the rope tighter around Nucky’s neck, in comes the surprise that Van Alden murdered a fella, too.  But that screwy Van Alden pulls a fast (and dumb) one before he can be brought in by shooting Esther’s Number 2 in the foot…and here we had just gotten some juicy back story to his childhood, too, that explained an awful lot.  And then there’s Margaret…coming to blows with Nucky after she receives a subpoena…but she stops short of telling him her most damning sin.  Still it was refreshing to see Nucky in the classiest of ways threaten his paramour.  “If you don’t know me by my Word, then you don’t know me at all,” he says to her.  Sounds an awful lot like her God. Continue reading

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Boardwalk Empire: Georgia Peaches

Goodnight, sweet Angela.

Boardwalk Empire: Complete Episode Guide 

Boardwalk Empire – Georgia Peaches

Season Two: Episode Ten

Directed by:  Jeremy Podeswa

Written by:  David Flebotte

The Spin:  It seemed like a ho-hum episode from Podeswa and Flebotte.  Everyone was doing their schtick.  Jimmy was proving to be completely ineffective, getting a lashing from his stroke-ridden pops while failing to broker a deal with Chalky to end the strike.  The impatient hotheads from New York were getting on his case and trying to open up the heroin market in light of Nucky’s Irish whiskey run flooding AC.  That saucy ADA (Julianne Nicholson) arrested that dope Eli (Shea Whigham) in hopes of getting him to squeal on Nucky concerning the disposal of a certain Hans Schroeder.  Naturally Margaret saw poor Emily’s polio as an indictment from God regarding her sinful ways, while her son – desperate for attention – decided to accuse Nucky of burning down the homestead (ah – remember that from last season?) while Nucky took him to New York to meet with Rothstein’s lawyer concerning his troublesome case.  But don’t worry, Nuck – the kid won’t tell no one.  And lastly that silly Mickey Doyle (Paul Sparks) gets caught in the middle trying to make amends with a none-too-pleased Manny (William Forsythe).  Which in all its slow-paced, period music accompanied glory led us to…. Continue reading

Boardwalk Empire: Two Boats and a Lifeguard

Say, you wouldn't throw a guy like me over a balcony at the supper club, now would ya?

Boardwalk Empire: Complete Episode Guide 

Boardwalk Empire – Two Boats and a Lifeguard

Season Two: Episode Eight

Directed by:  Tim Van Patten

Written by:  Terence Winter

The Spin:   The latest Winter/Van Patten hour opens in purely Sopranos-esque style with Nucky’s dream.  Oh, the symbolism!  Oh, what does it all mean?  Where’s Dr. Melfi when you need her?  What transpires next is possibly the series’ finest hour.  Behold! – Nucky’s old pap bites the dust.  At last! – The Schroeder kids start callin’ ol’ Nuck “Dad.”  Look Yonder! – It’s Torrio and Rothstein (Michael Stuhlbarg) meeting up with Nucky to discuss the little problem with their underlings.  Apparently Rothstein is the 1920’s gangster version of our own modern-day Warren Buffett advising the others to wait…wait…wait…and then place the perfect bet.   And then! – After his own brush with death last week, Nucky sees all the signs and tells his enemies he’s resigning and stepping down to retire with his new “wife and kids.”  Oh, brutha, but even Nucky’s own dumb-as-dirt brother (Shea Whigham) knows that Nucky is smarter than Jimmy – he’s smarter than them all.  And we know that Nucky is bamboozling his enemies into thinking they’ve won – as you see, he’s plotting with Chalky White (Michael K. Williams) to shut down the city with a strike and arranging for Slater (Charles Cox) to take him over to Belfast and arrange a meeting…for perhaps a little arms dealing?  While pouty-lipped Jimmy is too dumb to realize his wife (Aleksa Palladino) is about to hook-up with novelist Louise, he takes out his blind frustrations by throwing the even stupider Mickey Doyle (whose laughing now, buddy?) from the balcony of Babette’s during their evening of celebration.  Continue reading

Boardwalk Empire: What Does the Bee Do?

Gretchen Mol could give any man a stroke.

Boardwalk Empire: Complete Episode Guide

Boardwalk Empire – What Does the Bee Do?

Season Two: Episode Four

Directed by:  Ed Bianchi

Written by:  Steve Kornacki

The Spin:  Kornacki crafts a compelling hour built upon the themes of disillusionment and being put back in one’s place.  The show opens with the Commodore (Dabney Coleman) suffering a stroke at the height of lechery, leaving Gillian (Gretchen Mol), Jimmy (Michael Pitt) and Nucky’s idiot brother wondering what the heck to do now.  Meanwhile, Margaret gets disillusioned by Nucky’s cheerfully amoral politicking (“It’s about happiness” he tells her after deliberately publicizing a scandal with whores and votes so that he might get charged by the feds and then let off the hook by his old pal, the Attorney General) as well as by the attitudes of her servants.  Heck, ain’t nuthin’ a little cash stashin’ can’t fix, eh, old gal?  Meanwhile, it was a real treat to see Luciano put in his place by Rothstein (Michael Stuhlbarg), the professional businessman to Nucky’s professional showman.  And then we had ol’ Chalky White (Michael K. Williams) getting pressure from the widows of those who were killed by the KKK only to have Nucky tell him to be a “good boy” and wait for justice to be dispensed (again, we see Nucky promise to solve everything – with money).  Oh, that don’t sit well with Chalky, and he takes it out on his civilized family at the dinner table.  Lastly, Harrow (Jack Huston) provides Angela (Aleksa Palladino) with some much-needed artistic inspiration, leaving poor Jimmy to wonder if he’ll ever really understand any of the people he loves.  Things come full circle in the final scene where Gillian, disillusioned by having to play nursemaid to the Commodore, reveals in a fit of angry tears and powerful slaps, that she’s been giving a grand performance all along. Continue reading