Boardwalk Empire: Devil You Know

Boardwalk Empire - Chalky and Daughter

Boardwalk Empire: Complete Episode Guide

Boardwalk Empire – Devil You Know

Season Five: Episode Six

Directed by:  Jeremy Podeswa

Written by:  Howard Korder

The Spin:  SUPER DUPER SPOILERS AHEAD – A skipping record plays over the closing credits of Korder’s masterfully penned slow-build to the two-fold finale, and Daughter Maitland’s (Margot Bingham) rendition of “Dream a Little Dream” haunts the hour as our dear Chalky (Michael K. Williams) makes a deal with the devil Narcisse (Jeffrey Wright) in order to give Daughter and her/his daughter a chance (even if only in a dream).  It’s been a roller coaster season of highs and lows and mostly frustration, but Korder, who has always been the most reliable of the Boardwalk scribes, operates on this one with the expert precision of a Shakespearian surgeon.  Did anyone ever really doubt this was a tragedy?

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Boardwalk Empire: William Wilson

Boardwalk Empire - Season 4 Teaser Poster Nucky

Boardwalk Empire: Complete Episode Guide

Boardwalk Empire – William Wilson

Season Four: Episode Seven

Directed by: Jeremy Podeswa

Written by: David Matthews and Terence Winter

The Spin:  Is it just me or are there some stories just being drug out for too long this season?

Case 1 – Eli’s son Willie (the first doppelgänger/Poe connection of the night) continues to be riddled with guilt (we get it) and starts a bit of a family row at pop’s house.

Case 2 – Don’t get me wrong, I love Gretchen Mol’s Gillian, but her detox scenes in this episode seemed trite as did her blossoming love affair with Office Space guy (Ron Livingston) while under his watchful care.

However, there was still plenty of intrigue.  Margaret (the regular-again-it-seems Kelly Macdonald), it turns out, is working for a shady stock broker and helping him swindle customers into shaky deals.  Into the office, under his own disguise, walks…you guessed it, Arnold Rothstein (Michael Stuhlbarg). Continue reading

Boardwalk Empire: A Man, A Plan…

Boardwalk Empire: Complete Episode Guide 

Boardwalk Empire – A Man, A Plan…

Season Three: Episode Ten

Directed by:  Jeremy Podeswa

Written by:  David Flebotte

The Spin:  A man a plan a canal panamA…frontwards or backwards…the fate of those on the boardwalk is the same.  Not a single plan went down as planned…from Means’ double-dipping hit-turned-suicide (with Stephen Root giving a delicious performance), to Nucky’s attempt on Masseria (Ivo Nandi) involving Owen (Charlie Cox), to Owen’s own plot to flee to St. Louis with Margaret (Kelly Macdonald).  NOTHING went right.  No matter who the man or what the plan, in this world, people’s fates are sealed by the beds they’ve made and now have to lie in with the evil beside them.  In the shadows,  Gyp (Bobby Cannavale) was Gyp (and continues to find creative ways to kill those who offend him), the Muller formerly known as Van Alden (Michael Shannon) saw his decent into private Norwegian bootlegging lead to a brush-up with Al Capone (Stephen Graham), and Chalky (Michael K. Williams) gets rebuffed for trying to open a new club.  Women’s rights and minority rights mean nothing when bottles of (symbolic) poison wash up on the pristine shores turning everyone into smiling or hysteric drunks.  Continue reading

Boardwalk Empire: Bone for Tuna

You gotta lotta nerve wishing me good luck!

Boardwalk Empire: Complete Episode Guide 

Boardwalk Empire – Bone for Tuna

Season Three: Episode Three

Directed by:  Jeremy Podeswa

Written by:  Chris Haddock

The Spin:  Here I was thinking tonight’s episode was another food-themed affair after last week’s “Spaghetti and Coffee” – but the title is instead a riff on the Italian for “Good luck” – a play on words that Gyp Rosetti (Bobby Canavale) takes as a personal insult after Nucky tries to repair their relationship to avoid bloodshed.  This was a finely nuanced affair that gazed deeply into the dominant arcs for our main characters.  Nucky is heartbroken and guilt-ridden over killing Jimmy while Margaret appeases her own guilt for being a “gangster’s wife” by conning the hospital’s head-honcho into opening a women’s clinic by getting the Bishop to give his blessing to the idea.  Meanwhile, Gyp sees an opportunity in Gillian (Gretchen Mol – receiving one golden moment tonight to paint a look of regret as wide as the Atlantic Ocean on her beautiful face when remarking that one has nothing if they don’t have their own flesh and blood) to find out secrets about Nucky.  Out near Cicero, The Muller formally known as Van Alden (Michael Shannon) finds himself in an ironic pickle when he gets bullied by coworkers into going to a speakeasy only to see the place get busted.  Lastly, that world-class moron Mickey Doyle (Paul Sparks) tries to be a bad-ass by telling people he killed Manny leading Harrow (Jack Huston) to a revelatory confrontation with Nucky. Continue reading

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: The Age of Reason

And I confess...I can't get enough of this damn show!

Boardwalk Empire: Complete Episode Guide 

Boardwalk Empire – The Age of Reason

Season Two: Episode Six

Directed by:  Jeremy Podeswa

Written by:  Bathsheba Doran

The Spin:  In the ironically titled “The Age of Reason”, Bathsheba (of the Bible?) Doran strings together an hour of faith tested.  It’s been interesting to watch the divergences of Van Alden (Michael Shannon) and Margaret (Kelly Macdonald), two characters who last season seemed destined for an intertwined fate, or at least that’s what Van Alden desired.  Here they are both tested by their faith as Van Alden fears the agent badly burned in a liquor bust might reveal on his death-bed Van Alden’s sins, while Margaret must contest with a demanding priest seeking her to unburden her sins before young Teddy is to make his first confession.  What a shock it is for Van Alden to discover that his whore (ah…Paz de la Huerta once again acts her socks off as Lucy) is more resilient than even the audience thought, and his wife is more knowing that he cares to know.  Meanwhile, Margaret is as shrewd as ever, testing her boundaries with Nucky while proving to herself she can be true to the Lord and keep a secret at the same time.  Oh yeah, and then there’s the trifecta of underlings (Jimmy, the Philly Butcher, and Luciano) coming to near blows before realizing maybe together they can usurp the Holy Trinity (Nucky, the infamous Waxey Gordon, and Rothstein). Continue reading

Boardwalk Empire: Anastasia

Boardwalk Empire: Complete Episode Guide 

Boardwalk EmpireAnastasia

Season One: Episode Four

Directed by:  Jeremy Podeswa

Written by:  Lawrence Konner, Margaret Nagle and Terence Winter (series creator) from the novel by Nelson Johnson

The Spin:  How empowering it is to see a show where many of the writers also serve as executive producers!  While director Podeswa takes a cue from Scorsese and fills this amazingly layered and poetic episode with wall to wall period music, the writers (most notably, I am to assume, Nagle – who also penned Episode Three) settle into their groove.  Woven into this compelling hour are national politics, women’s rights vs. violence against women, race relations, romances, jealousies, turf wars and a wonderful “time capsule” of a frame story involving Princess Anastasia.  There is so much to admire in this episode, but it clearly belongs to the women from writer/producer Nagle, to stars Kelly MacDonald and Gretchen Mol to Emily Meade as the kind-hearted hooker Pearl.  Last week the focus was on dark humor, which rightfully leads to a quietly aching sadness in tonight’s affairs – as if reality is now staring the audience and the characters in the face.  If the writers keep this up…we’re looking at a show to rival Mad Men. Continue reading