“Becoming the Dark One has made me so much better at miming. Check it out. I’m in a box!”
Here’s a philosophical question to ponder: if someone is an Asshole, but they don’t know they are an Asshole, does that free them from the usual trappings of Asshole-ism? This week’s first of a two-part special (though the second episode frustratingly had absolutely nothing to do with the first), poses this very question, when we learn that Emma, in a quest to save her lover Captain Hook’s life, made him into her Dark One Twin Brother (um, incest much?). The “Dark Swan” accomplished this, while, simultaneously, fully succumbing to the trademark bad hair and weird eyebrows that she’d been assiduously avoiding throughout an entire season of flashbacks.
Emma (based on her tragic makeover, mostly) knew full well that she had become a Super Asshole and behaved as such. But Hook (who used to be kind of an asshole back in the day), had no clue he’d been converted into a Super Asshole (i.e. no tragic makeover for him), and, as a result, acted like a pretty nice guy, up until the moment he learned of his Assholeism.
Extend that logic, and it is entirely possible that the only reason Emma’s been acting so sh*tty all season, is that she’s really pissed off about her white old lady bun and having to sport those wacky evil eyebrows.
Confused? Intrigued? Feeling like an evil asshole, due to some poor fashion choices you might have made recently?
However you happen to be feeling, let’s review shall we?
(I say we change things up, and start our recap in present day, this time around. This way, we can experience our Big Assholey Reveal at the same time Hook experiences it, by looking inside that fateful dreamcatcher at the same time he does.)
You Can’t Handle the Truth!
When the episode begins, our boys are back in town! Charming, Hook and Robin Hood, a.k.a. The Frat Boys of Storybrooke, are banding together to sniff out that little weasel Arthur, who is hanging out in his stupid tent with his Stepford Doofus wife. First, they confront him about the whole “trying to burn the mushroom that makes you talk to wizards” thing. Then, they ask him about Nimue. When Arthur is able to offer no helpful information about either, the Fratboys of Storybrooke chase Arthur down, in hopes of beating the ever loving crap out of him, something most fans of the show have wanted to do since this douchebag first appeared on screen.
Hook gets into a particularly sexy and homoerotic tussle with King Arthur. But when he starts to lose the battle, Dark One Emma swoops in to rescue her boyfriend’s tight leather pants-wearing ass. “That was really nice of you, Emma,” Hook offers appreciatively. “I’m thinking maybe you aren’t as big of as Asshole as you want us all to think you are.”
“Nope. I’m still a huge Asshole. I just didn’t want to see your sexy body bruised by stupid Arthur and his stupider sword play games, because he is clearly the worst, ” Emma responds dismissively.
“Tell me now, Emma! Tell me why you became a huge Asshole!” Hook demands.
Then comes the weird moment in the episode, where Emma Swan literally morphs into Jack Nicholson’s character from A Few Good Men. In fact, I’m pretty sure she actually says the words, “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH,” making the exact same angrily constipated facial expressions Jack did when he uttered that same iconic line. (Which, I guess, makes Captain Hook our Tom Cruise?)
So, there you have it, folks. Jack Nicholson ordered the Code Red on William Santiago, and Emma Swan turned into a Super Asshole just for her boyfriend. And as much as I adore Captain Swan, and all their eternal broody sexiness, I’m pretty sure I just set the feminist movement back about 50 years by typing that last sentence.
Captain Hook: Detective of Love!
“I see London. I see France. Dark Ones don’t wear any underpants . . . because they are too binding.”
Fully intrigued by Emma’s Dark One ability to occasionally turn into the greatest actors of all time, and also by the shocking and admittedly ego boosting revelation that he may be entirely responsible for his girlfriend’s Assholeyness, Captain Hook goes on a mission to find out what happened in Camelot that turned Emma into someone who sometimes talks like Jack Nicholson, wears an old lady bun, and has weird eyebrows.
Hook decides to seek his erstwhile enemy Rumpel’s advice on this, because the former Dark One just so happens to be the resident expert on Love and Assholeism. “Anyone who willingly wears eyebrows like that must be feeling super guilty about something. Find out why Emma feels guilty, and you’ll find out the mystery to why she’s such an asshole,” Rumpel advises sagely.
“Or I could just become Bella Swan and keep trying to kill myself, so my girlfriend (who I guess would be the Vampire Edward in this scenario) will have to save me and hang out with me, and maybe then she’ll tell me why she’s such an Asshole,” Hook explains excitedly.
“That wasn’t what I meant,” Rumpel cautions. “Actually I don’t think that suicide attempts are a healthy way to . . .”
“Thanks Rumpel, you’re the greatest,” Hook exclaims excitedly, as he runs to go jump off a building, because making good life choices is for pussies and unattractive people.
Emma saves Hook from dying again. And Hook shows his extreme gratitude for this selfless act by . . . asking Emma once again why she’s such an Asshole. Real suave, Hook!
Hook quickly recovers from his faux pas though, by showing Emma his impressive collection of man jewelry. Because everyone knows that nothing helps a guy get into a girl’s pants (and also learn why she’s such an asshole) like man jewelry.
Hook admits to Emma that, back in the day, he got a new piece of man jewelry, every time he did something particularly assholey . . . at least until he ran out of fingers. (Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see Hook’s feet, so we can’t be sure whether he’s wearing asshole souvenirs on them as well.) Now, he wears the rings as a reminder that he used to be an asshole but isn’t one anymore.
Emma whistles uncomfortably at Hook’s admission of erstwhile assholeism, and later we find out why. She also shows Hook the ring on a pendant he gave her back in Camelot, which now I’m hoping didn’t come off some dead pirate’s fat finger, because that would make the Gift of Man Jewelry a smidge less romantic than we all originally thought it was, and also a little gross / potentially unsanitary.
Hook still insists on wanting to know why Emma is an asshole, so Emma decides to show him the house he wanted to buy for her back in Camelot, in which she now lives. Then, Emma and Hook start making out, and she roofies him with her tongue, because this relationship wasn’t already sufficiently dysfunctional.
Television show writers always walk a fine line when drafting a game-changing season finale for a series they know will be returning in the fall. On one hand, there’s a lot of pressure to “go out with a bang,” and “shock people.” And modern TV viewers are notoriously jaded, and hard to shock . . . because, basically, we’ve seen it all before. So, if you really want to get people talking about your show over a long hiatus period, you can’t pull any punches.
On the other hand, if you go too far, or change things up too much, you risk alienating the very audience you worked so hard to keep. After all, your fans have certain expectations regarding shows they love. And they need to know that the show to which they are returning is the same one they fell in love with, in the first place.
Undoubtedly, this is the quandary Terence Winter and Co. found themselves mired in, when drafting “To the Lost.” It was, by all accounts a spectacular season finale, one that will undoubtedly have fans talking about it long after the final credits have rolled. But now that things have changed so dramatically, will fans have a reason to return?
Jimmy Darmody spent this episode much like Queen Latifah’s character did in “Last Holiday,” (only without the fancy dresses . . . and all the food . . . and certainly without Cuba Gooding Jr.)
What I mean, of course, is that Jimmy spent the entire episode behaving as a man who knew he was marked for death. He tidied up his affairs. He righted wrongs. He gave people important pieces of advice. Jimmy assured himself that when he left this world, he would do so with as few regrets possible, given the life he lived.
“I’m no one’s idea of a hero, least of all mine,” Jimmy said to the masses, during his impromptu speech on Veterans Day.
But Jimmy sure seemed like a hero, this week, which is how we all pretty much knew he was a goner. Let this be a lesson to you actors, out there. If you ever get a script, where your typically flawed, or under-used character, suddenly starts looking like the Messiah, chances are you aren’t making it out of the our alive . . .
In addition to these fine specimen, Jimmy also offered additional money to the families of the people the KKK had murdered during their raid. In return, Chalky agreed to end the labor strike, and broker a meeting between Jimmy and Nucky. Now, I’m not usually one who condones violence, but I have to say, I got a bit of thrill watching Chalky and his former-foe-turned-bestie, Purnsley, gleefully kicking the crap out of these racist bastards. Those sheet-heads had it coming . . .
They sure are dapper and perky, psycho killers, aren’t they?
As Harrow and Jimmy drive away from the fray, Harrow turns to Jimmy and tries to offer him some sage advice / tough love. “You know, no matter what you do, he’ll never forgive you for everything you did,” he says, clearly referring to Nucky, and Jimmy’s newfound, almost compulsive need to make things right with him.
And how does Jimmy respond to his most loyal comrades eerily prophetic words? “Let’s get some steak,” he says.
“I wouldn’t, if I were you!”
It sure is good to see that Jimmy has his priorities straight. I mean, you can’t eat when you’re dead, right?
Meanwhile, Nucky is meeting with that poopface, Angela-killer, Manny Horvitz, who is seeking the opportunity to kill his bitter rival, Waxy Gordon, in exchange for allowing Nucky to kill Jimmy. Nucky doesn’t seem particularly interested. At least . . . not at first . . .
“Might I instead interest you in a fresh cut of man meat?”
After his meeting with Poopface, Nucky arrives home to find Dangerous Maid Katie, and Anonymous Maid helping Emily walk with her new braces. He asks where Margaret has gone. Dangerous Maid and Anonymous Maid don’t know.
But we do . . .
“Set yourself free.”
One thing I definitely won’t miss about Boardwalk Empire is that ugly ass hat Margaret’s been wearing, ever since she got enough money to afford it. I HATE that hat! You know what else is kind of annoying? That self-assured, independent Margaret suddenly needs to consult her priest about every single decision she makes. I wouldn’t be surprised if he also accompanies her to the bathroom . . .
“Fa-ther, should I wipe myself with my right hand, or my left?”
So, Margaret ended up paying the federal prosecutor a visit, after all. And she did so, with her trusty priest at her side. That said, I found it a bit suspicious that the priest, of all people, seemed to be the one trying to convince Margaret not to speak. This makes me wonder if Nucky has this guy in his back pocket too. (Nucky’s back pocket is a crowded place, indeed.)
It was interesting seeing Margaret face off against Assistant D.A. Esther Randolph. After all, in many ways these two women are alike: intelligent, strong, judgmental to a fault, and somewhat cold and aloof. But they have vastly different value systems. As a result, the strategies these two women use to succeed in the male-oriented world in which they live are diametrically opposed to one another . . .
Margaret attempts to engage Esther in conversation by asking her whether it was difficult to become a lawyer. “Not if you are willing to do what it takes to achieve it,” replies Esther staunchly.
And yet, later she admits that it was, in fact, difficult for her to achieve. Margaret has little trouble admitting to Esther that her first husband was a drunkard, who beat her and her children. However, she becomes noticeably uncomfortable, when Esther notes how much better Margaret is doing for herself, now that her first husband is out of the way. “He’s never been cruel to me,” Margaret says of Nucky, clearly already having doubts about the decision she’s made.
“Though, admittedly, the sex leaves a bit to be desired . . .”
“But he’s been cruel to so many others,” Esther retorts.
“I’ve never seen it,” Margaret replies.
“But you know it to be true!”
The conversation really reaches its breaking point, when Esther suggests its wrong for Margaret to not testify against Nucky, because this would be better for her children. “You would put their well being above all others?” Esther asks.
Obviously for Margaret, as I suspect, for most mothers, the answer to that question is “yes.” And this is where Esther loses Margaret. Because of all the “sins” for which the latter feels guilty, protecting her children is definitely not one of them. (At least, she’s not . . . you know . . . kissing their winkies . . .or anything like that)
“Set yourself free,” Esther says, in a last ditch effort to convince Margaret to testify against her funny-looking gangster lover. “You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel.”
And Margaret does end up “setting herself free,” by the end of the hour . . . just not in the way either Nucky Thompson or Esther Randolph would have expected . . .
Elsewhere, Nucky is meeting with his lawyer, who is instructing him that he needs to “take care” of the Margaret situation, before she ruins everything for him. But could Nucky really murder his Margiepoo. . .
. . . or does he have a more peaceful solution in mind?
Jimmy Darmody is smoking by the window, and looking decidedly broken, beaten and bereft but still hot. When Nucky’s car pulls up in his driveway, his first instinct is to grab a gun. (It’s a good instinct.) But Nucky’s new driver / Number 1 Henchman, Owen, a.k.a. Jimmy 2.0, also has a gun, and this prompts Jimmy to put his down. (Though, if it were me, I would probably have the opposite response in this situation.
“You can wait outside. It’s OK, I used to do your job,” says Jimmy, a statement that is equal parts friendly and patronizing.
“You’re the reason I’m doing it now,” retorts Owen, as he reluctantly leaves the house.
Solemn and respectful, Jimmy pours his former father figure a drink, and proceeds to tell him about all his dearly departed family members, and who is responsible for each of their deaths, “To the Lost,” he toasts, holding his tumblr aloft. (I smell an episode title!)
The conversation quickly turns to Jimmy’s father, and murder victim, the Commodore. “I should have killed him the moment he suggested betraying you,” Jimmy admits “And I did kill him . . . it just happened to be a few episodes too late.”
Poor Jimmy . . . sexually molested by his mother . . . this was clearly a man in need of a healthy parent-child relationship. And you can’t help but feel bad for him, when he confides in Nucky that he was nearly brought to tears when the then-ailing Commodore once told him, “You’re a good son.”
“He was your father. Nothing trumps family,” Nucky says, echoing Margaret’s sentiments from earlier in the episode.
In hindsight, this statement was a hefty little piece of foreshadowing. But more on that, in a bit . . . “What can I do?” Jimmy pleads, seeking forgiveness from Nucky, as if the latter is his personal priest.
“Tell the truth,” Nucky exclaims.
“I was angry,” is all Jimmy can say in response.
He does manage to tell Nucky that the shooting was all Eli’s idea, which, of course, we know it was. But whether Nucky truly believes this of his own personal Fredo, will surely be a topic of discussion, over the next few weeks . . .
“Let’s make things right . . . as right as they can be,” Jimmy insists, finally. “Tell me how to help you.”
I know how I can help you, Jimmy. Here’s a little piece of advice:
“If there really is a god, would he have given me this mug?”
As big of a crock of sh*t as Nucky’s tail-between-his-legs, “I need you to marry me, so you can’t testify against me, due to spousal privilege . . . so I’m basically going to blow all this religious smoke up your ass that I don’t really give two craps about . . . but, hey, at least I’m not going to MURDER you . . . YAY!” speech to Margaret ended up being, it gave me a lot of respect for Steve Buscemi. I mean, clearly, someone wrote that script with the actor in mind. Especially since, from what I’ve heard, the real Enoch Johnson was quite the looker, back in the day . . .
My favorite people in the world are the ones who can laugh at themselves. Obviously, Steve Buscemi is one of these people . . .
While Ugly Mug Nucky is trying to “make things right,” on his end, Jimmy is busy preparing for his future, or rather, his lack of one. When the Late Commodore’s lawyer, Uncle Junior from The Sopranos, tells Jimmy that the bastard left all his wealth to the maid that may or may not have tried to poison him, Jimmy proceeds to RIP UP THE WILL, while Uncle Junior watches, secretly impressed.
Jimmy’s morbid inquiry as to whether his son will inherit the Commodore’s money when hedies, does give that baby f*&ker Gillian some pause. But the big dollar signs in her eyes prevent her from giving the matter the attention that it deserves . . .
After disposing of the Commodore’s will, Jimmy meets with the alderman who will be testifying against Nucky, and politely asks them to recant their statements. An offer they all, at least, initially refuse, though one of them, might end up being sorrier about that decision than the others . . .
Meanwhile, Margaret awakens to see Nucky helping Emily walk with her leg braces. She’s so touched by the gesture that she ultimately agrees to marry Nucky, provided she can make a full confession to her good pal, the Priest first . . . (See what I mean, about her consulting that guy about EVERYTHING!)
“Fa-ther, does marrying Nucky mean I can’t have delicious sex with Owen, anymore?”
“I’ll take the ducks”
The opening statement / wedding / murder montage was probably my favorite part of the entire episode, because it reminded me so much of the last twenty minutes of all three Godfather movies (even that super sh*tty third one), as well as some of my favorite Sopranos episodes. The montage begins with a nervous, but fiercely determined, Esther Randolph practicing her opening statement against Nucky Thompson, in front of her bedroom mirror.
While she rehearses, her case slowly unravels, right before our eyes. First we see Margaret give her confession, and marry Nucky, with Owen and Katie, of all people, as witnesses (AWK-WARD!)
As for Esther’s former star witness, Van Asshole, he’s taken his sweet little foreign nanny, and baby Abigail to Cicero, Illinois, where they will live as husband, wife and child, under the name “Mueller.” (Wow! I wonder what he told that Nanny to get her to agree to that? Surely, the explanation didn’t involve the BAPTISM FROM HELL!)
Meanwhile, Jimmy and Harrow storm into the courthouse, like the bad asses they are, promptly securing seven recantments from all of the Alderman’s set to testify against Nucky . . . well make that six recantments, and one . . . SUICIDE NOTE.
Should have said, “Yes,” the first time he asked you to recant, Neery!
At trial, Esther is both furious and humiliated by this recent turn of events. The judge gives her two options, proceed with her now-joke of a trial against Nucky, or come back later, once she has her ducks in a row. “I’ll take the ducks,” replies Esther.
Speaking of lame ducks, it’s not easy being a Friend of Fredo! While Eli was released from jail, immediately after the trial, it was the beaten-up and extremely pathetic-looking Deputy Halloran, who ended up taking the fall for him. (And I mean that, literally. The guy could barely stand up straight.)
Deputy, something tells me you will be “sitting there” for a looooooong time.
“Et tu, Eli?”
Oh, Eli! You’re so lucky to have a brother like Nucky. Not only does he let you get off, more or less, scot-free for TRYING TO HAVE HIM KILLED, he also provides you with valuable lessons on classical literature . . .
A true expert at trying to save his own ass, the fact that Eli tells Nucky that he wasn’t the one behind Eli’s attempted murder is not surprising. What is surprising is that Nucky actually believes him. Or does he? You recall that earlier in the episode, Nucky told Jimmy that there is nothing more important than the bonds of family . . . that blood is thicker than water. So, perhaps, it was ultimately that rationale, which prompted Nucky to choose his blood bag brother, Eli, over his watery-eyed erstwhile protege, Jimmy.
In the scene that follows this one, Nucky calls Arnold Rothstein, while the latter is discussing heroine with Meyer and Lucky. He asks Rothstein, though not in so many words, whether he would care if Nucky wacked Manny Horvitz. In response, Lucky and Meyer snicker, which, is more or less what these two massively underused characters have been doing all season . . . snickering . . . at everything.
(They’re still kind of sexy though.)
Rothstein pragmatically replies that he has no opinion, one way or the other. But he does offer Nucky some sage advice, “Flip a coin, when it’s in the air, you’ll know which side you’re hoping for.”
On it’s surface, it seems as though the statement is referring to whether or not Nucky should kill Manny. But in hindsight, it seems more like Nucky is trying to decide whether to kill his own brother, or Jimmy. After all, Rothstein’s statement sounds surprisingly similar to the one Jimmy uttered to Nucky, right before the latter was shot. “It doesn’t matter if you’re right or wrong, as long as you make a decision.”
Nucky might know that it’s wrong to trust Eli over Jimmy. But, rest assured, when that coin is up in the air, he’s hoping his brother’s side comes out on top . . .
Speaking of Jimmy . . .
“It’s time for you to come home.”
There’s a definite wistul nostalgia surrounding Jimmy, when he takes his son out for a pony ride, and regales him with stories from some of the brighter moments of his childhood. Jimmy probably never expected to be a father as soon as he was, and he wasn’t a perfect one, by any means. But it was always clear that he loved little Tommy deeply, and raised him the best way he knew how . . .
When Jimmy gives Tommy his dog tags, it certainly feels like he’s saying goodbye to his son, forever. And when Tommy immediately selects the solider hat, over the cowboy hat to wear while riding the pony, Jimmy is both proud of him, and afraid for him, at the same time. Though, if I was Jimmy, I’d be much more afraid of leaving him with that wackadoo mother of his, than about his possibly dressing up like an army man for Halloween.
Back at home, Jimmy and Harrow are drunkenly reminiscing about their days as soldiers in the war, an experience that broke them both beyond repair, and yet, at the same time, bonded them for life. Harrow admits that being at war was the only time that Harrow truly felt like he belonged, and that sometimes he feels like he’s still at war . . .
To this, Jimmy responds, by giving himself a sage piece of advice that, had he himself, been able to follow it, his life might have been very different, indeed . . .
Giving Richard permission to “come home from war,” is Jimmy’s first parting gift to Richard. His second may very well be the gift of life. When Nucky calls the house, instructing Jimmy to meet him in a remote area, at night, in the rain, Harrow offers to go in his place, or, at least, accompany him. But Jimmy refuses the offer, telling Richard that, “This is something I’ve gotta do myself.”
When Jimmy leaves out the back door, so as to prevent his mother and child from knowing where he is going, Richard knows for certain that he’s never coming back. In a way, he knew it the minute he told Jimmy that Nucky would never forgive him for the crimes the former perpetrated against him . . .
And when Gillian finds the dog tags around her grandson’s neck, she knows it too. “You’re going to be an important man, some day . . . just like your father,” Gillian says to Little Tommy. (For Tommy’s sake, I sure hope not . . .)
Jimmy arrives at the meeting spot, unarmed, and ready to die. He is not the least bit surprised to Eli, Nucky, Owen, Manny, and a couple of random goons with guns lying in wait for him. “I died back in the trenches,” Jimmy admits.
He no longer fears death. In fact, he may even welcome it, or feel like he deserves it. And when Jimmy learns that Nucky will be the one to kill him, he seems almost proud of that fact, as if taking the final bullet from anyone else would be an insult. It sort of reminds me of how Tony killed his cousin (also played by Buscemi) in cold blood, because he didn’t want anyone else to get the chance. In an odd way, Jimmy himself predicted this, when he made this bold statement to Nucky toward the end of the first season . . .
If it wasn’t so slit-your-wrist depressing, it would be almost comedic how Jimmy seems to be coaching Nucky in the art of murdering him. “Just breathe, Nucky. You’ll get through this,” he says. “The only person left to judge you as you.”
But Nucky doesn’t seem to find this advice helpful at all. In fact, it only makes him madder . . .
For a second there, when Jimmy started gurgling, and coughing up blood, still clearly alive, having not been shot in the head, but, rather, in the mouth (He DID tell you to breathe, Nucky! Maybe, if you did, you would have been more efficient.), I actually got all excited, thinking my guy might just make it through this, after all.
But . . . then he shot him in the head . . . and that was the end of that.
As awful as it was to see Jimmy ripped from this world, and this show, the fact that Nucky was so smug about it the next morning, at the breakfast table with Margaret made it ten times worse. Talk about embracing your gangster side! But when Nucky announces that the reason he was out in the rain in the middle of the night was because, “Jimmy decided to reenlist,” Margaret finally figures out that all the religious bullcrap he laid on her to get her to marry him, was just a bunch of lies . . .
But it seems Margaret might be the one having the last laugh. Remember when Nucky signed all his property, including that massive land mass on which he wanted to build a major money making road to Atlantic City? Well, Margaret just signed away her rights to it . . . and deeded them over to . . . wait for it . . . THE CHURCH!
It looks like this kitty just got claws . . . make that a machine gun.
Somewhere in Heaven(?) Jimmy Darmody just gave Margaret Schroeder a big ole’ high five . . .
And that was season 2 of Boardwalk Empire in a nutshell. But here’s my question: where do we go from here? After all, Jimmy Darmody was just as much an anchor to this show for two seasons as Nucky Thompson. Is Steve Buscemi strong enough, or likeable enough to carry this show on his own? Do any of the pre-existing characters have the charisma or the fan support necessary to take Jimmy’s place?
For the show’s head writer, Terence Winter’s take on this, feel free to check out this interesting, if a bit frustrating, interview from Entertainment Weekly. Also, check out this “scandalous” article on TVline.com, which not-so-subtly alludes to a possible less-than-kosher reason why the writers might have decided to axe the Darmody character. As for me, I’m going to hold my tongue, and save my most opinionated rhetoric for the comment section (should anyone decide to comment ;)). For now, I leave you with an absolutely hilarious musical number from that dude that used to play Agent Sebso on the show. Seriously, he’s AWESOME!
Hey, Erik Weiner, if you’re reading this, CALL ME! 😉
[Hey Gossip Girl fans, be sure to check back here, tomorrow evening (December 6th) for a recap of the mid-season finale episode, “Riding in Town Cars with Boys.” Thanks for your patience!]
OK, Michael Pitt . . . the good news is that you get to have sex with the beautiful Gretchen Mol on cable television (you know, where they can actually show all the dirty stuff) The bad news is, she plays YOUR MOTHER . . .
Want to know who’s probably not getting a Mother’s Day card, this year? THIS LADY . . .
Happy Motherf*&ker’s Day?
We’ve all that suspected something more than a bit un-kosher was going on between Gillian Darmody and her son, Jimmy. But man . . . there was just something about seeing it up close and personal that really did a number on my retinas, you know?
Personally, I think the fact that the characters are played by two extremely attractive actors, who, in real life, aren’t all that far apart in age, made the whole thing so much worse. Because, in any other situation, that scene would have actually been kind of hot . . .
But I’m getting a bit ahead of myself here. Though it’s quite hard to believe, there were actually other things that went on in this episode. Let’s talk about them briefly, before we get to the main event. Shall we?
Run, Van Alden, RUN!
So, it turns out, Van Alden’s parents were part of one of those creepy religious cults that make you sell all your worldly belongings, in preparation for The Armageddon . . .
(Holy crap! Until I uploaded this poster, I had no clue that Steve Buscemi was actually in Armageddon. Is it A SIGN?)
So, Van Alden was actually spawned by religious nutbars. It’s a wonder he turned out so normal, right?
So, remember back in Season 1, when Van A$$hat was all in luuuuuuuuve with Margaret Schroeder . . . so much in love, in fact, that he wanted nothing more — after a long hard day of busting up liquor joints — than to look at a picture of her at age 16, and . . . um. . . WHACK OFF? (See image above.) Well, Van Alden is going to hope you forget that little tidbit of info. Because, when asked by the Federal Prosecutor about his “opinion” of Ms. Schroeder, he claims to have formed none, one way or the other. Poor Margaret! I guess Van Asshole is “just not that into you” anymore . . .
I know, you’re all torn up about it. But try to stay strong . . .
Van Alden may be becoming more discerning about the people with whom he wants to slap himself silly spend his spare time. However, plenty of folks want a piece of him, this week. We’ve got his baby nanny telling him that he’s a “good person,” in one scene. And that Human Punching Bag with the Woody Woodpecker voice, Mickey, trying to strike a clandestine deal with him in another.
“Just another day at the office, HEHEHEHEHEE, OWWWW!”
Speaking of Mickey, his cuts and bruises from the past two weeks, seem to have healed rather quickly. Unfortunately, it’s done nothing to earn him any respect among his hoodlum peers. Thrown off a balcony by Jimmy, strangled by Manny, and virtually cut out of liquor deal by Capone, Luciano and Lansky, Mickey seems willing to do anything to get back whatever little manhood he has left . . . even if that means ratting out the rest of his crew to Van Alden, in exchange for both men partaking in a $150,000 a piece.
Van Alden ultimately turns down the deal. But something tells me, by the end of the episode, he’s going to wish he took it. After all, $150,000 can buy you and your bastard child a WHOLE LOTTA LEMONS . . . especially when you’re ON THE LAM.
But Van Alden’s creepy crush on Margaret, and sticky fingers’ tendency to steal cash while on the job, aren’t the only secrets that come back to haunt him, this week. Remember the BAPTISM FROM HELL?
THIS GUY does . . .
Or, at least, he would, if VAN ALDEN HADN’T DROWNED HIM, IN FRONT OF A WHOLE CHURCH’S WORTH OF PEOPLE. Coincidentally, one of the people who watched this take place, just so happens to be one of Nucky’s employees. And this employee is more than happy to turn this information over to Nucky, to show him gratitude for keeping him employed during the strike.
At least HE won’t be getting whacked for Christmas . . .
Nucky’s newer, younger, smarter attorney is quick to pounce on this information. He gleefully turns it over to the Feds, even going so far as to dig Sebso’s clothing out of the water. (Talk about going above and beyond the call of duty!)
In an oddly hilarious turn of events, Van Alden arrives at work, only to be confronted with his crime, and arrested on the spot (just about a year too late). When cornered, the doofus shoots the Assistant Prosecutor in the tummy, and dashes off awkwardly, like a tubby kid being pelted by dodgeballs.
I knew I should have began an exercise regimen . . .
Somewhere in heaven, Agent Sebso is pumping his fist in triumph, not to mention laughing his ass off . . .
“Who have you cheated on?”
Don’t mess with CRAZY EYES!
In what was probably the most annoying storyline of the evening except for that scene with OWEN, TV Recapper likes Owen . . . A LOT!, Margaret continued her lame attempts to “save” Nucky, by helping him find religion, just as she found it, two episodes ago. (Maybe Margaret has more in common with Van Alden and his parents than we thought.)
If the ugly hat fits . . .
Call me a sap, but I actually really liked the Priest’s story about the people in Heaven who all fed eachother with their abnormally large spoons. I thought it was adorable. And yet, Nucky’s inquiry as to why the people in Hell couldn’t just hold the spoons differently, so they could feed themselves, also made a lot of good sense to me. (Actually, I would say they all should just eat with their fingers. Spoons are overrated, anyway.)
Nucky Thompson personally invites you to take your abnormally large spoon, and shove it up your . . . lobster.
Speaking of spoons, Margaret might be wishing she thought twice before spooning with Sexy Owen, especially, now that Dangerous Maid Katie seems wise to their “one-time” indiscretion.
“So, tell me Margie, was he as good for you, as he was for me?”
It all started when Owen offered Margaret a helping hand with little Emily’s polio braces. (As Owen knows full well, when trying to get back into a woman’s panties, it’s always helpful to remind her how “handy” you are.)
“Do you think about me? Because I think about you,” Owen admits, in a confession that is equal parts oddly romantic, and shamelessly flirtatious.
“I have a big gun, and I’m not afraid to use it.”
When Margaret patronizes her former sex buddy, by telling him she will “pray he gains the strength not to think about her.” The cocky, confident Owen is unfazed, cheekily responding that, if she prays for him, she WILL be thinking about him. Katie overhears this, and stalks off, undoubtedly to write in her diary about two-timing poopyhead scoundrels who’s names start with “O” and end with “wen.”
“Can I, perhaps, interest either of you in a threesome?’
Later that night, Margaret is drinking hard liquor, all in a snit, because she’s been subpoenaed by the Feds on account of that whole “Nucky had her drunk abusive husband killed” thing. She starts rambling on to Nucky about how the two of them are living their lives in sin, and blah, blah, blah. But things start to get messy, when Margaret decides to use Nucky as an impromptu Priest, randomly confessing to him that she has stolen, deceived, and cheated.
Nucky’s no dummy. So, he inquires as to the specific circumstances behind each of the aforementioned sins. Interestingly enough, Nucky barely reacts to the realization that Margaret has stolen money from him. (Why not? Everybody else does.) He also fails to react to Margaret’s silly non-confession that she has “deceived anyone who has ever thought of her as a good person.”
But things get interesting, when Nucky asks Margaret who she cheated on. There have been a few instances, throughout this season, where Nucky seemed to somehow know of Margaret’s X-rated rendezvous with Owen. And this was just one more telltale scene to add to the pile. “Just say it,” Nucky challenges, as if already anticipating her response.
How could you possibly want more than THIS?
However, Margaret has conveniently decided she’s done confessing her sins today. Instead, she turns the tables on Nucky, blatantly accusing him of having her husband killed, and basically threatening to testify against Nucky in court. Mind you, this is AFTER Nucky pretty much told Margaret that if he ever went to jail, he’d make sure she got all of his assets, to be spent on her and her two children, one of whom HAS POLIO. I mean, being ungrateful and self-righteous is one thing, but being stupid is quite another.
“I gave you everything,” exclaims Nucky, before stalking out of the room, seeming more hurt than angry, at his lover’s surprise betrayal.
Hey Margaret, Nucky’s feeding you with his BIG SPOON. You’d be wise to fill your mouth with food and keep quiet . . .
And now, the storyline you’ve all been waiting for . . . TV Recappers Anonymous proudly presents to you, Oedipus Darmody: Atlantic City Edition . . .
“One day soon, he won’t be a little boy, anymore.”
When we last left our antihero, Jimmy he was headed to his alma mater, Princeton, the school whose motto is the title for this episode. Jimmy had big plans for Princeton . . . plans that involved unloading a carload of heroine and some quality booze on a bunch of wealthy Ivy Leaguers. (That Jimmy . . . always giving back.) Then, those plans got shot to Heaven . . . literally, when his wife and her lover both met the business end of Manny Horvitz’s gun, all on account of Jimmy’s unpaid debt.
Now, all that lovely white powder is up Jimmy’s nose, instead of in some smart kid’s pocket.. Now, he’s hallucinating / remembering those good ole days . . . you know, back when he was in Princeton, the place where he met his wife-to-be, and, f*&ked his mother for this first time. Ahhh memories . . .
Things started out pretty well for Princeton Jimmy, actually. He had a cute waitress girlfriend, who drew pictures of him while he slept, and even liked his floppy hair.
He was also the teacher’s pet in his Dead Poet’s Society-esque English class, which was taught by a teacher who was significantly less hairy than Robin Williams. Some of his pals from that class were enlisting in the army, because they had brothers who died on the Lusitania. But not Jimmy. Jimmy could care less about sticking it to the Kaiser. After all, he’s from the A.C., and soldiering is just not how they roll down there . . .
Then, we find out that Angela’s pregnant. And we think . . . uh oh . . . here comes the CRAZY JIMMY we know and love. But actually . . . he’s TOTALLY COOL WITH IT. She’s a nice girl. He figures they’ll get married, move back to A.C. together, pop out a few puppies, and most certainly NOT involve themselves with sapphic adulterous relationships, or organized crime. NO SIR, not these two good kids.
But then . . . MOM COMES TO VISIT! *insert horror movie scream*
She begins her reign of terror, by liquoring our boy Jimmy up, even though he has a PAPER TO WRITE!
Then, she goes to his school mixer and hits on all his friends, and his DEAD POET’S SOCIETY TEACHER!
“Hey, Professor. Look how high I can lift my leg. Do I get an A?”
Next, she gets fondled / possibly raped by that same Dead Poet’s Society Teacher. (Robin Williams wouldn’t do that!) This causes a weirdly jealous Jimmy to kick the sh*t out of not-Robin Williams, thereby facing possible expulsion from Princeton.
Oh, but it gets worse. Mama Darmody proceeds to get herself wasted. So, she stumbles back to Jimmy’s dorm room, requests his help undressing, falls into bed with him and . . . HAS SEX WITH HIM, while the train passes by.
(And based on the sound that train made, you could tell it was just as disgusted as we were!)
“There’s nothing wrong with this,” says Mommy Dearest, as she bumps and grinds with Sonny Boy, as if she was doing nothing more taboo, than having a glass of wine with lunch.
The next morning, Jimmy wakes up hungover, wanting to bleach himself out of existence. Instead, he enlists in the army . . . claiming he has no living relatives, and a brother who died in the Lusitania. Basically, he’s claiming to be somebody else, because, he desperately wants to be anyone but himself. (Can you blame him?)
And that’s how Jimmy ended up in World War I. The rest is Boardwalk Empire history . . .
Eventually, Jimmy returns home, drugged out, and highly emotional. His creepy sicko mom should have seen the signs that this guy was a bomb waiting to explode. But no. Instead, she sits calmly, working on her needlepoint. She then carelessly assures Jimmy that, in one month, Little Tommy won’t even remember Angela, anymore, and will likely come to view Gillian-Winkie-Toucher as his real mom.
Well . . . that does it. Next thing you know, Jimmy’s got his hands around Gillian’s neck, and is screaming repeatedly. “But I’ll remember.”
For a few seconds there, it looks like he might actually kill her. But then, in comes the Commodore to Gillian’s rescue. Because, if anyone could relate to a fellow pedophile, it’s him. You’ve got to admit, for a stroke victim / old tubby guy, that Commodore’s got some real “get up and go.”
Size does matter.
He stabs Jimmy with a poker, and is about to complete the job, when Jimmy STABS HIM in the gut . . .
“Anyone up for a nice game of checkers?”
There are few seconds there, after Jimmy has pulled out the knife, where the Big Happy Family all stare at one another in shock . . . possibly considering hugging it out, and having a big laugh over all of this. (Just another great story to tell at Christmas dinner, right?) But then, Gillian tells Jimmy to “finish it,” like she’s the announcer in some random father/ son wrestling match, or the computerized voiceover at the end of that game, Mortal Kombat.
And Jimmy actually does it . . . he finishes it, stabbing Commodore again . . . in the heart, this time. You can’t undo that . . .
Time passes, and a dazed Jimmy awakens to find Richard, once again cleaning up his bloody mess. (In an earlier, truly poignant scene, we see poor Richard — who has genuinely become the heart of this show — falls to his knees in anguish, upon touching the blood of Angela Darmody, the only woman, since his sister, who really seemed to care for, and understand him.)
In the chilling final moments of the episode, we see Tommy calling for his mommy, and Gillian answering the call. She promptly picks up the small child, as she undoubtedly did many times with Jimmy, during his youth. “One day soon, he won’t be a little boy anymore,” says Gillian cheerfully, though, coming from her, it sounds like a threat.
As grandma and kid climb the staircase, Jimmy watches, broken, beaten, and clearly terrified.
But you know who I’m most terrified for . . . Tommy Boy. Kid, if you know what’s best for you, you will run as fast as those little legs will carry you. (And while you’re at it, you should really consider picking up Baby Abigail Van Alden.)
And that’s all she wrote on the penultimate episode of Season 2 of Boardwalk Empire. Next stop, the finale . . . See ya then!
I continue to learn a lot from Boardwalk Empire. For example, this week, I learned that the Age of Reason is seven-years old (which sucks, because I was really hoping I hadn’t gotten there yet). I also learned that you should always brush your hair, before giving birth to a baby by yourself in your bedroom. (You never know who might be stopping by.)
“I am not having sexual thoughts right now. I am simply stroking this broom up and down repeatedly, because the friction helps me to clean better. Yes . . . that’s it.”
After spending some quality time with the priest, Margaret arrives home to enjoy what has become her favorite past time over the past few weeks: namely, The Passive Aggressive Verbal Assault of Maid Katie. Truth be told, Margaret seems to have had it out for this Dangerous Maid, ever since the latter learned the truth about her “secret” identity, and the family she left behind. This week’s jabs are directed at the highly spirited naked aerobics noises Margaret heard coming Katie’s room, in the last episode.
MARGARET: “I just want to let you know that I think your loud sex moans are totally fake and unnecessary. This is HBO, not Skinemax.”
KATIE: For your information, my moans are totally real. Perhaps, you’ve just never had a partner that was good enough to make you scream like that.”
“HEY! I heard that!”
“Your behavior . . . there are children in this house, as you are well aware,” snorts Queen Mother Margaret, as she stalks out of the room.
Cut to the next scene, where Nucky is riding Margaret, like she’s one of those coin-operated horses you see outside supermarkets.
Aside from showing Margaret’s apparent hypocrisy . . . as far as sex scenes go, this one is pretty darn ugly . . . with Nucky flopping all over the place, like a fish out of water, and Margaret, lying there, more or less immobile, with a look on her face, like she just smelled something skanky. Then it ends, and Studly Nucky lights up a cigarette, while patting himself on the back for a job well done . . .
NUCKY: “Was it as good for you, as it was for me?”
MARGARET: “I plea the Fifth.”
Though Nucky would probably like nothing better than to roll over like a dog and go to sleep, after his 30-second exertion, he notices that Margaret looks upset. (Isn’t she always?) So, he decides to ask her what’s wrong? Just like the insecure school girl, Katie seems to turn her into, Margaret begins awkwardly fishing for compliments from her current lover. “Do you not find me attractive?” Margaret asks poutily. Um . . . Margaret, perhaps, the better question is, “Do you actually find Nucky attractive?”
George Clooney, he ain’t!
“We just made love,” Nucky offers soothingly. (That’s right, Nucky, because no man has EVER screwed a woman he DIDN’T find attractive.)
“Sometimes it feels like you are elsewhere,” Margaret admits.
Margaret then reveals to Nucky the true source of her stress. It involves the Confession she is expected to give to the priest prior to Teddy’s First Confession, so that she can “set a good example” for her probably already a sociopath / future serial killer son. Nucky tells his “lover,” in no uncertain terms, that she should NOT reveal anything to the priest about his and Margaret’s “shared history,” which could be described as “morally ambiguous” to say the least. “How Catholic are you, really?” He asks casually.
“Catholic enough to shove this halo up your ass . . .”
However, the accusation and paranoia creeping into Nucky’s voice when he says this, is not lost on Margaret, who retorts, “If you are feeling guilty, perhaps you should take that up with the priest yourself,” she replies.
Game . . . Set . . . Match. Margaret: 1, Nucky: 0 (actually negative 1, for being bad in bed).
Later, Owen pays a visit to Margaret to defend the honor of his Lady Love, Katie. After taking FULL responsibility for the Dangerous Maid’s EXTRA LOUD moans of erotic passion, this Pimp Daddy proceeds to cleverly fondle Margaret’s hands and arms, under the guise of “helping her sweep up the Corn Flakes.” (So, that’s what the cool kids are calling it, nowadays!) Poor Margaret is total puddy in this guy’s hands, and immediately starts swooning, like a school girl, whose nursing a major crush on the star quarterback.
Owen also makes sure to purposefully accidentally refer to Miss Schroeder as Miss Thompson to REMIND her that she is NOT a married woman, and, therefore, has no LEGAL obligation to continue having bad sex with Nucky, when she can be having GREAT sex with this tall glass of Irish Whisky. Message sent and received . . .
At confession, Margaret speaks NOT of all the criminal activities she’s gotten up to with Nucky, but rather of the erotic feelings she’s been having for a “very bad man,” who provides her with “nothing.” Though she doesn’t mention that man’s name, I think it’s pretty safe to guess that it probably rhymes with Mowin’ Cheater. Sorry, Nucky! It looks like this honeymoon is OVER!
“Anyone know how you spell Margaret’s last name? How about Owen’s?”
Meanwhile, in Creepy Crazy Van Alden Land . . .
“I Know Who What You Did, Nine Months Ago”
Lucy is SUPER tired of being preggers, and is seriously craving some lemons. Van Alden, being the real sweetheart he is, promises to get her some, after work. Today, “work” for Van Alden involves visiting that employee of his that got burnt to a crisp at a liquor distillery, while trying to expose Van Alden for being a total fraud and secret boozehound. Van Alden stands guiltily over the latter’s now charred and grotesque form, blubbering on about how the man’s fate is now the Lord’s hands, and what-not.
But then, the Human Bacon Lookalike starts chanting ominously, “I see you. I know what you did!”
This freaks Van Alden out, BIG TIME. So, he rushes outside in the hallway, where he is met with (GASP!) a flickering lamp. Oh no! It MUST be a sign from the Lord that the hospital needs to hire better maintenance people Van Alden is about to be punished for his EVIL WAYS!
Frantic, Van Alden calls his wife, whining that he is a BAD MAN, who doesn’t deserve her, and isn’t fit for his job. (Tell, us something we DON’T know, Van A$$hole!) Mrs. Van Al-turd is understandably disturbed by her husband’s uncharacteristic demonstration that he might actually have a soul.
“There’s something fishy going on.”
Meanwhile, Lucy’s water has broken. And no one is around to get her to a hospital. She tries to get the neighbor kid to do it. But he takes one look at Lucy, and hides behind a curtain. (Honestly, can you blame him?) For most of the episode, we are “treated” to extremely uncomfortable interludes of Lucy, doing nothing but squatting awkwardly on various pieces of furniture, and moaning . . . (and I’m not talking about the GOOD Katie and Owen moaning, either).
“Please, make it stop.”
Then, she brushes her hair out in the mirror, and proceeds to give birth to her baby, all by her lonesome. (But, who cut the umbilical chord?)
“Dr. Jimmy, at your service!”
Back at the hospital, Van Creepo is completely unaware of the fact that he has just become a daddy. However, he has received some other good news. As it turns out, The Human Bacon isn’t REALLY the voice of the LORD. Rather, he is just some delirious, close to dying, DUDE, who spout out random crap at completely inopportune moments. We see that, when he tells the NURSE that . . . wait for it . . .”He sees [her]. And knows what she did.”
But wait . . . it gets better. Here’s what he says next: “You ate all the pie! I’m going to tell MA!”
Suddenly, Van Douchebag’s conscience is clear! (HOORAY!) He comes home lighthearted (with his bag of lemons, of course!) to find broken glass all over the floor. But before he can beat Lucy to a pulp, for being such a pig, he finds her in bed, nuzzling their newborn evil spawn. “I did it all myself,” says Lucy. “It’s a girl.”
Since Van Wackadoo is incapable of showing any genuine emotions, aside from anger, and discomfort, the Agent awkwardly excuses himself to get a doctor. When he returns, he is shocked to find the lemons he bought, placed neatly in a bowl . . .
The broken glass has also been cleaned up, and Lucy’s bloody nightgown soaking in the sink. (Really? Because, I would throw that sh*t out, SO FAST! Can you imagine wearing that again?)
Van Doofus is SHOCKED. “Wow,” he thinks to himself. “That Lucy is pretty amazing. She just gave birth, without a doctor, and still manages to find the energy to clean the house! What a saint!”
But, then, he goes back into Lucy’s room and finds . . . HIS WIFE, THERE.
Van Cheater is in BIG TROUBLE. “This child is FOR YOU!” He offers, pleadingly, as the two wrestle against the wall. Then, Rose BITES HIM ON THE WRIST, vampire style, before storming out of the boarding house.
Whoops! So, much for a family reunion. I hope you’ve saved up for a good babysitter, Mr. Van Newly Single. Because, something tells me that you, and Lucy Can’t Close Her Legs are going to need one . . .
Speaking of plans gone awry . . .
Green Shoes and Legal Blues
Nucky’s Evil Genius Plan to get his Election Fraud case moved to federal court, where (he thought) it would promptly be dismissed, gets off to a good start, when Ugly Green Toad Shoes, Esquire succeeds in getting the case removed from state court. But then, Nucky’s BIG BAD ENEMIES, Senator Hedge and Mr. Cincinatti / I Only Talk About Myself in the Third Person, Remus . . .
. . band together to blackmail Nucky’s allies into hiring a more vigorous prosecutor to throw the book at Nucky.
This means Nucky might actually have to defend himself in court against a REAL lawyer. He’s SUPER PISSED . . . so pissed, in fact, that he tosses Ugly Green Toad Shoes, Esquire right out of the Ritz Carlton, without even waiting for him to finish screwing the whores he hired at Nucky’s behest. Now . . . that’s just bad manners . . .
Finally, let’s check in on Jimmy D . . .
“Not Every Insult Requires a Response”
Simon says, stick out your arm. Simon says, hold up your gun. Now, SHOOT . . . (MANNY! I didn’t say “Simon Says!” You’re out!)
Jimmy, Gillian, and a still not particularly communicative Commodore, are meeting in the Commodore’s living room with Uncle Junior from The Sopranos, who doesn’t seem nearly as torn up as you would think he would be about his friend’s unfortunate scalping, last week. In fact, he seems much more disturbed by the big wet one Mommy Dearest leaves on Jimmy’s lips, as she exits the room.
JIMMY: “If he’s that grossed out by this, what would he say, if he knew she used to kiss my winkie, when I was a baby and still does.”
Though highly socially aware in most circumstances, this really does seem to be the first time Jimmy sees what his bizarro relationship with his mother, must look like to other people. “She just does that sometimes,” he tells Uncle Junior, with an embarrassed look on his face.
“I’m confused. Doesn’t everybody’s mother try to make out with them, every once in a while?”
Fortunately, for Jimmy, Uncle Junior isn’t here to talk about incest. He’s here to discuss Jimmy’s leadership techniques, and how they could stand some improvement. “Not every insult requires a response,” notes Uncle Junior cleverly.
In other words, it is not necessary to scalp every old man who tells you that you lack respect for your elders, and proceeds to hit you on the head with a cane . . .
By way of example, Uncle Junior notes how Commodore was a big blow hard as a County Treasurer, while Nucky was more prudent, ambitious, and not afraid to grease a few wheels to get what he wanted. This , he explains, is why Nucky was more successful than Commodore in his position.
“Oh yeah? Well, I bet HE can’t hold a big fat phallic elephant tusk over his head! Oh wait . . . I can’t do that anymore, either.”
Jimmy gets a chance to use what he learned from Uncle Junior, soon enough. It begins, when he’s walking on the boardwalk, and sees Nucky walking with known mobster, Waxy Gordon (enemy to JIMMY’s new ally Manny Horovitz) and Manny’s associate Traitor Herman.
To ensure he hasn’t been seen, Jimmy plants a big sloppy tongue kiss on his lesbian wife, in order to hide his face.
Smooth move, Romeo! (Just don’t tell your Mom, or she’ll get jealous.)
Later, Jimmy rats out Traitor Herman to Manny, who responds by stringing the poor guy upside down in a meat locker.
After getting Traitor Herman to admit that he was conspiring with Waxy to help Nucky secure a liquor shipment, Manny asks Jimmy to slit his friend’s throat, because, as a kosher butcher, he isn’t permitted to kill an already wounded animal.
“This Bud’s for you!”
It’s a power play, for sure. But Jimmy only shows the slightest hint of hesitation, before slitting Herman’s throat, in a killing that wasn’t quite as grotesque as the two we saw last week, but still made me hide under my pillow for a few moments, while watching . . .
Later, when Manny, Jimmy and Richard come to intercept the liquor shipment (in a scene echoing the one from the pilot, in which Jimmy and Al Capone did the same thing), they are shocked to find Lucky and Meyer are the ones doing the shipping! The shock is so great for the usually UBER polite Richard, that it causes him to swear, for what is likely the first time. This, of course, is oddly adorable, as is most everything Richard Harrow does except , when he scalps people, of course . . .
Manny wants to kill EVERYBODY, but Jimmy holds him off. “Not every insult requires a response,” insists Jimmy, echoing the very same words Uncle Junior uttered to him, earlier in the episode.
Tony Soprano approves (even though he hates Uncle Junior)
That is when Meyer, ever the diplomat and expert negotiator, suggests a plan. If Waxy and Jimmy team up with Lucky and Meyer in the heroine business, everybody wins. “Our predecessors’ time has passed,” he remarks prophetically.
Jimmy and Manny then agree to let Lucky and Meyer complete the liquor delivery, so as not to alert Nucky and his minions about agreement that has just been made. Then, Manny shoots some 13-year old kid, for sh*ts and giggles, and everybody goes home . . .
It’s just another day on the Boardwalk, folks . . .