“I could see into your soul (if you still had one).”- A Recap of Boardwalk Empire’s “The Emerald City”

“Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall, who has the Creepiest Stalker of them all?”

“Oh, Margaret, honey.  That is ALL YOU!”

There’s a bit of bad behavior in EVERY episode of Boardwalk Empire.  But this week’s hour seemed to have more than most . . .  When Al Capone and That Sniper Guy are the most well-behaved characters of the hour, you know you’re in for some SERIOUSLY NAUGHTY STUFF.  Santa would not approve . . .

Well . . . maybe THAT Santa would . . .

So, without further adieu, let’s return to “The Emerald City,” to find out who topped Bad Santa’s Naughty List, and who played “nice” . . .

Richard Harrow:  A Man with a Heart of Gold (and a Face that Scares the Sh*t out of the Kiddies)

Don’t you hate it, when you’re dreaming about that hooker you slept with, and some bratty kid wakes you up, by screaming and crying about how hideous you look?

“Hey kid!  Why are you looking at me like that?  Do I have something in my eye?” 

 Apparently, Nucky has found use for Jimmy’s new friend Richard Harrow.  He has decided to employ the expert sniper as a “bodyguard” for Margaret and her children, following the whole “shooting” incident.  This would be fine, except for the fact that Margaret’s kids can’t stand to look at Poor Richard’s face, without bursting into tears or hurling.  Fortunately, Margaret has an idea!

She invites Richard to hang out with her and the kiddies, while she is reading them The Wizard of Oz.

When they get to the part about the Tin Man, Richard pipes in and says that HE IS THE TINMAN!

Of course, the kids think this is really cool.  Because EVERYONE likes to hang out with a CELEBRITY, right?   Even celebrities who are missing an eyeball, and have really scary chewed-up looking faces . . . 

Now the kids are just in LOVE with their new friend, The Tin Man.  This means that Margaret has to apologize to Richard for being such a heinous b*tch about his appearance, when she first met him.  Richard, being the kickass stand-up guy, he is, says, “No problem!  I freak myself out, when I look in the mirror too!”

Awww, Tin Man!  How I heart you!

Speaking of celebrities I adore . . .

Al Capone – When Naughty Boys Grow into Naughtier Man

Before the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre . . .before he made history as one of the Most Cutthroat Criminals of ALL TIME, Capone was just a kid at heart.  This was a guy who got his jollies out of putting sparklers in his boss’ cigarettes,” beating up reporters, and shooting Jimmy in the ear.  But that all changed when Capone went to a Bar Mitzvah . . .

Stop laughing, I’m serious!

At the Bar Mitzvah that CHANGED EVERYTHING, a Cute Little Old Jewish Dude told Capone that Age 13 is more than old enough to take responsibility for one’s actions.  And, as we all know, Capone is quite a bit older than 13, and yet is still making fart jokes, and putting sparklers in people’s cigarettes.  Cute Little Old Jewish Dude also dissed on Capone’s clothing, telling him that he was a man wearing the hat of a little boy. 

If Cute Little Old Jewish Dude had met Capone a few years later, that remark would have earned him a cap in his ass! 

But Baby Capone took the advice to heart.  Later that evening, he visited Torrio, wearing a BIG BOY’S HAT . . .

With a new sense of purpose, Capone tells Torrio that he is ready to act like a man, and take on more responsibility within the organization.

And, all I can say, is it’s ABOUT DAMN TIME! 

Meanwhile, back in New Jersey, Al Capone’s pal, Jimmy, is trying to get laid . . .

Jimmy Darmody = Bad to the Bone!

“Darmody family — You just beat the crap out of a sort-of innocent (but douchey) family photographer, what are you going to do now?  (Bear in mind that Disney Land hasn’t been built yet . . .)”

When we first check back in with the Darmody family, Angela is hard at work painting one of her signature Ugly Ass Pieces of Artwork.  Jimmy, who hasn’t been laid since that time last week — when he did it with Angela on the kitchen table — starts telling her how gorgeous it is, in hopes of getting back in her pants.  “When you are at war, it is easy to forget that things like art and beauty exist,” Jimmy waxes poetically. 

(In other words, “I fought for my country, dammit.  Doesn’t that merit at least one good f*ck from you?”)

Apparently, it does!

Did I mention, that before these two DID IT, they “played with paint,” in a way that TOTALLY reminded me of that Pottery Scene from Ghost, only not nearly as sexy?

“Oh Mr. Swayze!  Your POTTERY is so big, strong and hard.  I love to knead it with my fingers . . .”

Still smelling of sex, the Darmody family heads out for a short walk on the Boardwalk.  Little Tommy runs ahead to the Photographer’s shop.  There, he sees a picture of the Photographer and his wife in the window, and wisely tells Jimmy, “That’s Mommy’s Kissing Friend!”


Yes, boys and girls!  Angela Darmody is clearly a model of good parenting.  Not only does she paint pornographic pictures, and ask her son to evaluate them, she also apparently MAKES OUT WITH PEOPLE THAT AREN’T HER HUSBAND, RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM. 

As if Tommy D, wasn’t screwed up enough by his mother, his father has to go to THIS . . .

AND THIS . . .

 . . . to that Dweeby Photographer with the Pedophile Mustache who’s NOT ACTUALLY SCREWING HIS WIFE.  Of course, about 30 men and women, gather to watch “the show,” but NOT ONE comes to the poor guy’s rescue! 

(Poor Kitty Genovese from the Future nods sympathetically.)

Obviously, Jimmy assumed that it was the Photographer to whom his son was referring, and NOT the Photographer’s Wife.  (Otherwise, he probably would have started drooling, and asked to watch.  We all know how much guys love their lesbians!) 

Later, the Dull as Dishwater Angela (SERIOUSLY?  What the heck do all these people see in this BORING woman?) and the Photographer’s wife meet to commiserate, make out some more, and plan their Great Escape to Paris . . .

Yeah, it’s nice to dream and all.  But I’m pretty sure one of you is getting whacked, by the end of the season.  And I don’t mean in the “good and fun” way either . . .

Speaking of getting whacked . . .

Van Alden Grosses Me Out for the SECOND time this season . . .

Of course, Awful Lucy had to be involved .  . . Can they PLEASE just kill this character off already?  I’ll pay them!

When we first see Van Alden this week, he is getting his ass handed to him by his boss, over at the FBI .  . .

 . . . for letting his crooked runt of a minion conveniently kill the ONLY eyewitness to Darmody’s involvement in the Liquor Heist killings.  Nelson’s boss basically tells Nelson that he sucks at life, and I agree. 

To make himself feel better, Creepy Van Alden decides to visit Margaret at her new home, and show off his spot-on impersonation of Anthony Bates from Psycho

They do kind of look alike .  . .

Nelson hopes that doing this, will cause Margaret to fall madly in love with him.  And they can live Crazily Ever After . . .  (Thus, proving that Nelson isn’t just TOTALLY loony tunes, he’s also a moron .  . .)

At first, when Van Alden shows Margaret that Ellis Island picture of her that he’s been literally “whacking off too” all Season, she thinks that she’s about to get deported . . .

But that’s not it at all.  Instead, Van Alden has come to “save her soul from eternal hellfire and damnation.”  (Talk about an ambitious visit!)

“I can see into you’re soul, every night when I look at this picture,” Van Alden exclaims SUPER CREEPILY, grabbing Margaret’s hands, as if he’s about to propose.

“HELP!  Where’s my Scary Sniper Friend, when I need him?”

Nelson begins his pitch, You’re life doesn’t have to be like this rich, decadent, care free, work free, exciting, fun.  I can offer you SO MUCH MORE craziness, back slashings, poverty, self-righteous rantings and ravings, loveless letters about the plumbing, crippling boredom.”

“Hi, Margaret.  My name is Mrs. Van Alden.  I’d like to let you know, that I will gladly give you Nelson, if you really want him.”

Fortunately, Margaret has grown a backbone, since her days of getting regular Nookie with Nucky.  So, she kicks Crazy Town Van Alden’s ass out of the house!

So, Mr. Teetotaler Van Alden — intent on having Nucky’s Sloppy Seconds, if it kills him — heads to a bar, and, after having a few shots (but not nearly enough to make Lucy attractive), approaches Lady Dumb Slut, and takes her back to his ill-furnished apartment.  There, we are treated to a full frontal of Lucy, and four minutes of the LEAST HOT PORNO SCENE you could ever imagine!  (Seriously, I’ve seen puppets have more enjoyable sex than this . . .)

When it’s all over, Lucy is still giving off moans of  fake pleasure . . . probably because the sex was so dull, and she was so wasted, that she didn’t even realize the romp had ended . . .

Speaking of “Faking it” . . .

Margaret Builds a Better Future for Womankind Herself

When Margaret learns that women have finally won the right to vote, she is understandably thrilled.  She’s even excited enough to have a few drinks with Nucky, in celebration.  Margaret becomes less excited however, when Nucky asks her to speak at the League of Women Voters event, on behalf of Mayor Elect Mr. Bayer, despite the fact that he has no political experience whatsoever, and was basically nominated, jut so he could do Nucky’s bidding.

Personal reservations aside, Margaret actually gives a fairly rousing speech for the construction worker.  (Heck, that “building a future” metaphor was so impressive, I would probably vote for the guy!  And I KNOW what a lame-o he is!) 

Later, however, when Bayer gets up to give HIS speech, and Nucky’s too busy plotting his own politics to even pay attention to it, Margaret begins to wonder whether she did the right thing . . .

(Psst, Margaret.  You DIDN’T do the right thing!  But you and your kids are filthy rich now, and you never have to work again.  So WHO CARES?)

Speaking of doing the WRONG THING . . .

Note to Self:  Choking Someone is a VERY Inefficient Way of Killing Them.  (Guns are BETTER)

Hoping that by playing both sides, he can keep himself from getting killed, Sleazeball Mickey Doyle approaches Nucky to rat out the D’ellessio’s for (1) robbing his “tax collector,” (2) killing one of Chalky White’s associates, and (3) trying to kill Nucky on the Boardwalk.  He also exposes Rothstein’s alliance with the D’Alessio’s, and their plans to edge out Nucky for control of the Atlantic City liquor business. 

Nucky shows his gratitude to Mickey for offering up this information, by doing this . . .

However, upon coming to the conclusion that Mickey is worth more to him alive than dead (for now), Nucky ultimately lets him go, with a pat on the back, and a drink filled with Jimmy’s saliva (and we all KNOW where all that mouth has been!). 

Later, Nucky approaches Bootlegger Chalky White with a plan to screw over the D’allesio’s (and, by extension, Arnold Rothstein), and exact revenge.  As part of the set up, Nucky instructs Chalky to pretend his relations wth Nucky have soured, and that he would like to make a deal with Rothstein, instead.

Chalky agrees to go along with the plan.  However, when he actually meets with the D’Alessio’s and Lansky, he quickly figures out that THEY were behind the murder of his associate.  Let’s just say, he’s not happy about it . . .

Once Lansky and the two dumb D’Alessio’s, who’s first names I don’t know (Does it really matter?  They are all going to end up dead, anyway!) are incapacitated, Nucky and Jimmy are called to the scene . . .

The tall skinny funny looking D’Alessio is dumb enough to ask Jimmy if he’s going to shoot him, for mouthing off.  “Well, I wasn’t going to, but you kind of talked me into it,” Jimmy replies.

Dumb D’Alessio #1 is dead now.  And Dumb D’Alessio #2 is blubbering like a baby. 

“I think I just pissed my pants.”

Considering he’s unarmed, and just watched his Funny Looking Brother get his head blown off, you’d think the dude would have learned to be quiet.  But NO! The Dude really wants his SAG card starts threatening Chalky, telling him that his other, equally dumb, brothers are going to “string [Chalky] up, just like they did to his business associate.”

Chalky doesn’t like that very much, so he starts choking the guy.   And it takes a LOOOOOOOOOONG time.  So, long that Jimmy leaves to take a leak, and a bored Nucky starts cleaning the other D’Alessio off the floor.  Even Meyer Lansky is trying to look at his watch.  Unfortunately, his hands are tied behind his back.  So, he closes his eyes, and takes a nap . . .

FINALLY Dumb D’Alessio #2 is dead.   So, Nucky wanders over to a dozing Meyer Lansky to untie him.  “Tell Mr. Rothstein what you witnessed here,” Nucky informs his new personal messenger service.

Relieved to still be alive, historically, the guy lived to be 80, so we know his character isn’t dying anytime soon Meyer dashes off to deliver “Nucky’s message” to his boss . . .

“You’re telling me, he could have shot him, but he CHOKED HIM INSTEAD?  That must have taken FOREVER!  I bet you haven’t eaten in hours.  Come over to my place for some milk and cookies!”

At the end of the episode, Nucky comes back to Margaret’s bed smelling like Dead A’lessio’s.  He tells his lover how proud he is of her for being a Big Fat Liar, during that speech she gave earlier.  However,  a guilty-feeling Margaret just dejectedly crinkles her nose. 

“I’m totally judging you, right now.”

Note to Nucky:  If you plan on getting laid, after a night of doing EVIL, you might want to consider showering first . . .




Filed under Boardwalk Empire, Uncategorized

10 responses to ““I could see into your soul (if you still had one).”- A Recap of Boardwalk Empire’s “The Emerald City”

  1. You know, because everything always comes back to The Vampire Diaries for me, goddamn the lighting on this show is similar… that is, there is hardly any lighting at all! Everything is just underlit and the characters could have eight bags under each eye and you wouldn’t notice.

    I’d love to follow these recaps but am a little unfamiliar with the premise of the show. Is there a 60 seconds or less way of describing it?

    • Come to think of it, the lighting on Boardwalk Empire IS very similar to TVD! Gangsters and crooked politicians, like vampires, grave the cover of darkness, I guess . . . It’s interesting, because you would think that a show that takes place on the Boardwalk of Atlantic City would be . . . sunnier. 🙂

      There are actually only two episodes left to the first season of this show. (Silly HBO and their super short seasons!) However, I suspect HBO will air a marathon of Season 1 sometime in the near future. The show got off to a bit of a show start, in my opinion. But it REALLY started to pick up around episode 4 or 5. Given that, I predict BIG things for it in Season 2.

      Are you a fan of gangster movies and television shows? If so, Boardwalk Empire is right up your alley. It takes place in Atlantic City, New Jersey in 1920. The Prohibition Amendment outlawing alcohol has just been passed. Women are just about to get the right to vote (They actually got it in this past episode). And gangsters and politicians are turning to illegal whiskey trade, as a way to gain power and make a quick buck.

      The main storyline revolves around four characters: Nucky Thompson (played by Steve Buscemi) the County Treasurer in A.C., a corrupt and very powerful politician, with a soft spot for smart ladies; Margaret Schroeder his ambitious, intelligent, and god-fearing but slightly naive love interest; Jimmy Darmody a recent Princeton Grad and War Vet turned hardcore gangster (played by the sexy Michael Pitt), and Creepy Detective Van Alden who’s obsessed with Margaret, and bringing Nucky’s empire down.

      The supporting cast features real life historical figures, like a fun and charismatic Al Capone, an oily (but also sexy) Lucky Luciano, the quick-witted, fast talking Meyer Lansky, and a very effete Arnold Rothstein.

      Boardwalk Empire airs Sunday nights 9pm EST on HBO.

      How’s that for a pitch? 🙂

  2. Alyssa

    Listen, this show is the bomb-diggity. You need to watch it PRONTO. The characters are just phenomenal.

    Jimmy Darmody is so HOT and friggin BAD. ASS.
    Sniper Guy makes me wanna hug him every time he comes onscreen.

    Um, Van Alden is legit the creepiest TV character I’ve ever seen, especially when he gets that crazed overzealous look in his eyes! Nightmare material, for sure.
    Margaret Schroeder… what does this woman do all day, besides being judge-y with Nucky and scandalized by my poor Sniper Guy!? If she had more of a backbone, and did more than shop at that horrid French boutique and wait for Nucky to come home, I’d be more forgiving. Maybe… (She was kind of a hypocrite with the whole i-drink-champagne-but-alcohol-is-EVIL thing.) I just wish she’d put that intelligence and those excellent oratory skills to better use than convince Nucky to save a dress shop so she can look pretty (Gag).

    Speaking of Schroeder: That pamphlet she was given before she decided to be Nucky’s mistress, Family Limitation, is a pretty interesting read. Especially the section discussing the dangers of ending sex before the woman has “satisfied her desire”: highly nervous tension, injury, as well as “perfect horror and revulsion for the sexual act”–LOL preach, Sanger, preach!

    • Alyssa, your comment totally cracked me up! Thanks so much for stopping by! I so rarely get commenters on my Boardwalk recaps, so your take on the show really made my evening!

      I actually kind of like Margaret. (She’s smart and sassy — not like that Evil Dumb Wench, Lucy, or the Dull as Dirt, Angela.) But I’ll admit that your characterization of her judginess, and self-absorbedness is pretty spot-on. I always laugh when Margaret appears SHOCKED that Nucky does things like MANIPULATE POLITICAL ELECTIONS and SELL LIQUOR and TALK DURING SOME GUY’S SPEECH! I mean, she’s been in the country since she was 16, and she’s gotta be pushing 30 at least. So, it’s not like she’s “fresh off the boat,” or anything. (Although that accent of hers might suggest otherwise . . .) And your remark about “that hideous dress shop” = PURE WIN!

      I too LOVE Bad Ass Jimmy and Sweet-heart Sniper Richard. They are both so complex and compelling to watch. I’m also a HUGE fan of Al Capone and the adorable Johnny Torrio! But yeah, Van Alden is SUPER CREEPY. Kudos to Michael Shannon for making the character ABSURDLY FRIGHTENING.

      Again, thanks for your awesome comment. Just two more episodes . . .

      • Alyssa

        Haha, I actually hadn’t planned on going off on Margaret like that. I didn’t think she was that bad, honest! Maybe she touched a nerve when she made poor Richard feel bad about his face! He’s like Edward Scissorhands with those puppy eyes…er eye…

        Anyway, keep up the awesome recaps (BTW I found your blog when I Googled ‘nelson van alden creepy ass’ for kicks LOL)

      • No need to apologize for snarking on Margaret, Alyssa. 🙂 You’ll notice, on this blog I make fun of more or less EVERY character on EVERY show I recap (even the characters I ADORE the most). We tease out of love, right? 🙂

        A few times, people have been offended by things I’ve said about characters in my recaps, and left comments for me like, “If you don’t like the show, don’t WATCH!”

        And I just think to myself, “Seriously? They think I don’t LIKE the show, when I just spent 4 hours writing a recap of it FOR FREE?” 🙂

        Needless to say, I think Margaret (and Kelly MacDonald) would forgive us both . . . 😉

        Oh, and “Nelson Van Alden Creepy Ass” is officially the BEST SEARCH ENGINE PHRASE EVER! Thanks again for making me giggle! 🙂

      • Alyssa, Annie and KJewls, you have officially made me a Boardwalk Empire convert – there will be a flurry of comments from me as I check out all the other recaps!

      • Awwww! Thanks Cherie, you rock! 🙂 I actually only started recapping Boardwalk Empire a few episodes back. (I wanted to wait until Mad Men finished its Season first. Since both shows aired Sunday nights.)

        HOWEVER . . . although I usually don’t pimp out other site’s recaps (I’m TOTALLY the jealous type *blushes*), VH1’s Best Week Ever has some pretty hilarious ones for the earlier episodes. But shhhh, don’t tell anyone ;).

  3. Amazon Annie

    Great blog KJewls! You’re the only one who can make me laugh out loud about a show which features an hour of murder, physical abuse, cheating, lying, beaver shots, bad porn, corruption, and even spitting in a persons drink. (I always worry when I ask for more water in the restaurant that the annoyed server will leave a “clam” in my glass or plate). But I must admit, there were some mildly boring episodes of Boardwalk but this one was not one of them! All that evil and not one Vampire, Werewolf, Witch, Warlock, or ghoul… but who needs them when you have politicians! Thanks for the fun!

    • Awww, thanks Amazon Annie! Where could we possibly go to get our “beaver shots” and “bad porn” fix, if not for Boardwalk Empire? (Well, actually, I could think of a number of places . . . none of which would be nearly as fun FOR ME, though.)

      I too often fear “clams” in my food, which is why I’m always SUPER nice to my waiters and waitresses! Those dumb ass Doyles and D’Alessios should really take that lesson to heart — especially, when it comes to Jimmy. That is one dude, you do not MESS with!

      This show just keeps getting better, in my opinion (though admittedly, I can do with a little less BEAVER). I can’t wait to see what they come up with next!

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