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When Life Gives You Lemons . . . – A Recap of Boardwalk Empire’s “The Age of Reason”

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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.)

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“Her hair . . . it was just so . . . UNKEMPT!”

Additionally, I learned some very interesting things about kosher meat preparation.   Also, did you know that it is possible to seduce someone, just by offering to sweep up their cornflakes?

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Because it is!  (Owen, you sneaky STUD, you!)

Finally, I learned that, if you make out with your mom in public, Uncle Junior from The Sopranos will TOTALLY judge you!

You should be ashamed of yourself, you Mother Pucker! 

Let’s get on with the recap, shall we?

“I’ll Keep You, My Dirty Little Secret.”

Pyromaniac Teddy has to make his First Confession this week.  So, why is Margaret the one who’s panties are all in a bunch?  Could it be because SHE has been doing a little sinning of her own?

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“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 . . .

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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”

“Peekaboo!”

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.” 

“I’ll say!”

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 . . .

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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.

DOH!

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.

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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 . . .

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 . .   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.

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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 . . .

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Overreact, much?

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 . . .

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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.

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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 . . .

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Let’s Not Lose Our Heads Over This – A Recap of Boardwalk Empire’s “Gimcrack and Bunkum”

[Note:  For those of you looking for a Gossip Girl Recap for “The Fasting and The Furious,” check back around this time tomorrow (October 26th) and it should be up by then.  Sorry for the delay! :)]

NUCKY:  “Mirror, mirror on the wall.  Who’s the most badass of them all?  I am, because I beat the crap out of my own brother in the Garden Room.”

JIMMY: “I scalped some old dude in his house, while forcing him to eat a Native American Breach Cloth.”

NUCKY: “DOH!”

Let’s be honest.  Many of us watch gangster dramas for the WHACKINGS. . .

Not THAT kind of whacking . . . 

Sure, we might pretend to be all “evolved and mature” about these shows.  We might even talk a good game about how impressed we are with the “adult things,” like the “cinematography,” and the “symbolism,” and the “character development.”  Yet, in reality, most of us are just secretly waiting for the moment when the character we always knew was a goner anyway, gets murdered in a highly creative and equally disturbing way . . .

And a good gangster drama doesn’t just whack people, wily nily.  There’s got be a build up to the murders . . . some anticipation . . . and longing. So, when the killing actually arrives, you, the viewer, feel rewarded . . . like you’ve earned it.  In short, gangster dramas treat whackings, like teen dramas treat kisses between soulmates.  Technically speaking, both should happen ALL THE TIME, in EVERY episode.  But because they don’t . . . and because you are taunted and teased with the prospect of them, each week, when they DO happen, it is a true Thing of Beauty.

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That’s what “Gimcrack and Bunkum” was to me . .  . a true Thing of Beauty.  Sure, it had good “cinematography,” “character development,” and Richard Harrow being lifted out of an existential crisis by a dog, who tried to eat his “face” off.  But more importantly than all of that, it had two truly spectacular whackings . . .

Let’s review, shall we?

Public Speaking 101

“I’m picturing all of you naked, right now . . . especially you, Jimmy *winks*”

It’s Memorial Day in Atlantic City.  What better day to publicly humiliate a World War I veteran, right?  Apparently, this is what Nucky thinks, when, after saying a few words about the brave men, who fought for his country, Nucky decides to call Mr. Man of Few Words, Jimmy, to the stage for an impromptu speech, and the reading of the names of some dearly departed soldiers.

Jimmy is clearly neither that confortable, nor that experienced with public speaking.  And this, undoubtedly, is precisely what Nucky was counting on, when he made this tactical political and psychological maneuver.  Nucky’s silent message to his former protege turned nemesis is clear: If you can’t even make a simple speech in public, how can you possibly run an entire city?  At first, Nucky’s plan seems to have paid off.  And we watch for a few uncomfortable moments, as Jimmy shakes, sweats, and blinks silently at the waiting crowd.

“I will not puke on the podium . . . I will not puke on the podium . . . I will not puke on the podium, and if I do, I’ll be sure to puke on Nucky.”

But then something happens to Jimmy, as he stands on that stage.  In those few seconds, he transforms from the runty kid, whose father didn’t care about him, and who’s mother used to inappropriately make out with his winky, into a soldier.

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And though Jimmy’s words, may be just as politically motivated, as those of his predecessor, they ring true, in a way that Nucky’s did not, simply because he IS a veteran.  So, when Jimmy talks about fighting for his family and for America . . . and when he pauses in the reading of the names to remark on a fallen soldier he knew personally, we believe him, and find ourselves eating out of the palm of his hand, just like the rest of the watching crowd.

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Match point.  Jimmy: 1, Nucky: 0

Poor Richard (Poorer Squirrel)

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Meanwhile, Poor Richard is looking through his damn “Families are Awesome.  My Life is Sad” scrapbook again.

He then packs himself an apple for lunch, and heads out in the woods to eat bullets from his gun.

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I probably would have eaten the apple, instead.

I’ll never understand why people choose “blowing brains out,” as their preferred method of suicide.  I understand that it’s more error proof than taking pills, or drowning, or shooting yourself in the heart.  But really, I can’t think of a more awful and grotesque way to send one’s self out of the world.  Can you?

So, already, I’m watching this scene through my fingers, hoping we won’t have to see the actual Brain Explosion.  (They never show it on TV.  But that doesn’t ever stop me from fearing that, one day, they will.  This is HBO, after all.)  Fortunately, for us, and Richard, some adorable, but slightly mangy looking dog, interrupts the suicide attempt to play fetch with the Poor Guy’s face mask.

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If you look closely at the dog, he sort of looks like he’s got a mask on one side of his face, similar to Richard’s.  YAY for parallels (and for adorable mask-eating, suicide preventing dogs)!

Now, realistically speaking, you would think that the guy who was about to explode his FACE with gun powder, would no longer have much use for a face mask.  But Richard decides to put off offing himself, to chase the dog, anyway . . .

Richard eventually loses the dog.  But all that running, and NOT killing himself, has made him tired.  So, he chills out by a tree for a bit.  It is there he is discovered by a creepy, but ultimately well-meaning, hunting dude, and another guy who may be his dad, or just  an elderly friend of his.

Just a bunch of guys . . . chilling out . .  . chewing off the heads of rodents . . . 

These two dudes invite Richard to their little bonfire to drink booze and feast on squirrels.  I’ve never seen a roasted squirrel before.  And it surprises me how much they look like pink versions of the Geico Gecko, when de-furred.

“Please don’t eat me.  I give good rates on car insurance.”

It’s gross . . . and sad.  But not as gross and sad, as a headless Richard.  So . . . yay for that . . . I guess.

Oh, and the dog’s there too . . . with Richard’s mask, which now looks a bit more like a doggy chew toy, than half a face.  If I were him, I would have rinsed it off with the alcohol, before putting it back on.  Because, really, who knows where that dog’s mouth has been?  Anyway, apparently, the dog does not belong to either of the two men.  Rather, he is a SOLDIER *cough symbolism / foreshadowing cough*, and a fighter, who survives, by living every day, as if he is at war.

Richard Harrow’s new mascot. 

One of the guys who found Richard might just be a little psychic, since he somehow seems to know instinctively that Richard came to the forest to kill himself.  He lectures the younger man, about how these woods are FOR LIVING .  . . Yeah, dude . . . tell that to the roasting naked squirrels . . .

Judging YOU . . . 

All sarcasm aside, I’m glad Richard decided not to blow his brains out, and that he has found a new purpose for his life . . . More on that, in a bit.

Meanwhile, back at Vegetable Commodore’s house . . .

Never Mess with Old People Carrying Canes

One of these two men will be minus one scalp by the end of the episode.  Bet you can’t guess which one! 

Jimmy and Eli are meeting with those Old Dudes, led by Uncle Junior from the Sopranos . . .

When did Uncle Junior turn into Santa Claus? 

 . .  who are none too pleased with them, about their 70,000 having recently been eaten up by that fire Owen Sleater set last week, at Mickey’s distillery.  Jimmy tries to reassure the men, that the money will be forthcoming.  But with the Commodore no where in sight, the men are becoming restless, and suspicious about the safety of their investments.  When one particularly ornery old man in a wheelchair publicly suggests that the Commodore is either dead or dying, Jimmy mouths off at him, causing the dude to whack him in the face, with his cane.

It was kind of funny.  I’m not going to lie.  Like most Old Dudes, this one thinks that Young People, like Jimmy, need to learn to respect their elders.  And he is going to beat that respect into every last youngster,  if it is the last thing he does.

Silently seething, Jimmy storms out (probably so his mother can kiss his winkie and make it better).  Eli follows after him, to yell at him for not keeping his cool, and to warn him that, without the Commodore, the two of them are pretty much screwed.  Jimmy doesn’t really think he needs advice from Boardwalk Empire’s version of Fredo, and tells Eli as much.

Later, while Jimmy’s Mommy is cleaning his wound,  she not-so-subtly tells Jimmy he shouldn’t take this being caned, lying down.  “We will not be respected . . . Do what needs to be done,” she scolds him.

Of course, as we learned from last week, when Gillian Darmody tells you to do something, you DO IT.  Because she has a really nasty right hook . . .

Just ask THIS GUY . . . 

Speaking of women (and men) not to be trifled with . . .

“Hey Bro, sorry about the whole Betrayal Thing . . . wanna wrestle?”

Nucky comes home from a strenuous morning of kissing some lawyers’ asses to find, much to his dismay, that Margaret has let his brother into the Garden Room.   Eli’s totally working this Fredo angle, hardcore.  He’s crying and blubbering, and begging Nucky for forgiveness.  His nose is so far up his brother’s butt, that it’s practically popping out of the older man’s mouth.

After making a few cracks about how the lord distributes his gifts unequally (Yes, Nucky, clearly, you got the looks in the family.) . . .

. . .  and hearing Eli admit, both that he knows the names of the men testifying against Nucky, and that the Commodore has had a stroke . . .

. . . it really does seem that Nucky is going to take pity on his brother, and let him back into his inner circle.  And  . . . then he doesn’t.  Nucky boldly asks his brother to get on his KNEES AND KISS HIS FEET.  Eli seems genuinely shocked.  I suspect he really thought this was going to work out.

“But . . . you have really smelly feet!” 

Next thing you know, the two middle-aged men are wrestling on the floor . . . and, suddenly, I’m having flashbacks to that episode of The Sopranos, where Tony and Bobby Baccala started beating the crap out of eachother at the Lake House.

Ahhh, brotherly love . . . 

It’s kind of awesome, and unintentionally hilarious at the same time.  But then the men start grabbing for concealed weapons, and I’m genuinely beginning to get worried about their safety.

But wait .  . . SOMEONE has just put a rifle to Eli’s head, and it’s not Nucky.  It’s . . . wait for it . . . MARGARET!

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My hero!  Holy crap!  This woman has done it again.  She leads a shocked Eli out the door, with a simple and calm expression of a single word.  “Enough.”  And I’m pretty sure Eli just crapped his pants.

Once he’s gone, Nucky has the NERVE to tell the woman who just SAVED his ass, that she should have LOADED the gun, before she shoved it in Eli’s face.  HELLO, by the time she LOADED the gun, you’d probably have brains seaping out of your ears, ASSHAT!  A simple “thank you,” would have sufficed.  Just sayin . . .

Those are some BUSY prostitutes .  . .

Later that day, the Attorney General, Nucky’s lawyer, and that Senator Guy we keep seeing, pop by to explain, once again, how those election fraud charges SHOULD eventually be dropped against Nucky, once the case is removed to federal court, on account of the federal prostitution charges that are ALSO cleverly being lodged against Nucky.  And yet,  we’ve spent so MUCH time on the rather technical legal nuances of this storyline, that I can’t help but wonder whether all of this is going to end up blowing up in Nucky’s face.

Nevertheless, the same whores who initially got him out of State court, are back to bone the Attorney General and his pals in Nucky’s by-now-surely-disease infested “study.”  Part of me thinks, the only reason they keep showing these ladies is so that Boardwalk Empire meets it’s weekly Boobie Quotient . . .

Speaking of Boobies . . .

Dangerous Maid Gets Dangerously Laid

O face . . . 

Margaret awakens in the middle of the night, to the sound of a scream.  She runs into Maid Katie in the hallway, who claims she hasn’t heard a thing.  Later, of course, we learn that the scream came from Katie, who has been boning Owen, down the hall .  . . Way to go, Katie!  Now, Margaret’s not the only lady with a little Irish in her, if you catch my drift . . .

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Meanwhile, at Fredo-Eli’s house . . .

By George, he’s got it!  (And by IT, I mean a wrench in the face)

“May I have this dance?” 

Eli is hanging out with one of his 85,000 kids, when Alderman George comes by, asking some surprisingly on-point questions about the Commodore’s health.  In fact, the Alderman wants to go down to the Commodore’s house, to make sure he’s not a vegetable, or something.  Eli assures George that the Commodore is fine.  But George isn’t buying it, and threatens to go back to Nucky, if Eli isn’t honest with him.

So, Eli freaks out, and crushes George’s windpipe with his monkey wrench.

Well, that’s not good!   Now, George is definitely going to go to Nucky . . . if he’s ever able to speak again.  Eli can’t have that, so he hits him with the monkey wrench in the face . . . again . . . and again . . . and again.

Batter up . . . 

Remember earlier, when I was talking about how I never wanted to see what someone’s head looks like, after it’s been blown off.  Well, now, I know what someone’s head looks like, when it’s been smashed to bits by a monkey wrench.  And, let me tell you, it’s not pretty.  For those of you who have never seen something like this, I’ll attempt to provide you with the necessary visual.  Imagine drop-kicking a watermelon . . .

I’m just glad, Eli sent his kid away, before he did this.  Talk about being traumatized for life.

Now, correct me if I’m wrong.  But wasn’t George supposed to be one of the alderman meant to testify against Nucky for Election Fraud.  Well, that should make things interesting  .  . .

Anywhoo, Eli gets his second in command, to help him carry George’s body to his car.  And then Eli buries the poor schlub on the beach.  Oh Fredo-Eli . . . you are SO getting whacked on a fishing boat, sometime soon . . .

Scalp and a Haircut . . .

Back at the Darmody house, Jimmy shares a sweet moment with his wife . . .

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JIMMY: “Just pretend you are making out with that woman you were cheating on me with, last season.”

ANGELA:  “Cool, and you can pretend you are making out with that woman you were cheating on ME with, last season.”

JIMMY: “Which one?  My mom?”

ANGELA: “THE OTHER ONE!”

 . . .  before having an even sweeter one, with Richard.   (As awful as Jimmy can be sometimes, you’ve got to admit, his bromance with Richard is just adorable.)  When Richard comes home late, Jimmy instinctively seems to know that something SERIOUS has gone down.  “I should have gone with you,” Jimmy tells Richard, when the latter claims to have “gone for a walk.”

Jimmy then asks Richard to go on job with him, because even Veterans, apparently, don’t get the full day off on Memorial Day.  “Would you fight for me?”  Richard asks, looking to his companion, much like a son seeking approval from his dad.

“Right down to the last bullet,” Jimmy assures his friend, rubbing his head, in a rather paternal way, much as we suspect Nucky used to do to HIM, back when he was a child.

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With a renewed sense of purpose, Richard rises, with a look of determination on his face.  “Then, let’s go to work.”

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“Scalp, Richard, scalp . . . GOOD BOY!”

Now, we’re at that Old Dude’s House . . . you know, the one who clocked Jimmy.  He’s looking at some Native American Breach Cloth, and making some not-very-PC comments about Native Americans to his butler, specifically, referring to their penchant for public nudity, and belief in magic.  Once Old Dude is alone, Jimmy and Harrow appear, in front of him.  Jimmy straps the soon-to-be-dead guy down to show him, that he is “not to be disrespected.”  “I’m going to teach you something, now” he says maniacally.

Then Harrow appears from behind.  “And who the hell are you?”  Old Dude asks.

“I’m a soldier just like that adorable dog that tried to eat my face,” says Harrow triumphantly, as he grotesquely scalps the Old Dude, and, in doing so, brings meaning back to his life.

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See, don’t you just love a happy ending?  🙂

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Filed under Boardwalk Empire

“I’ll have what he’s having!” – A Recap of Boardwalk Empire’s “A Dangerous Maid”

[I know I posted them out of order, this time.  But you can still find the Gossip Girl Recap for “The Jewel of Denial,” HERE.]

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And in that moment, Larry the Flying Lobster beat out Sebastian from The Little Mermaid for the honor of Best Performance by a Crustacean in a Film or Television Production.

Jealousy and regret.  We’ve all experienced both, at one time or another.  It’s easy to look at someone else’s life, and covet that which isn’t yours.  And it’s just as easy to look back at the past, longing for a time when things were simpler, and less complicated.  This week’s episode of Boardwalk Empire finds all of our characters feeling, in some way or another, uncomfortable in their own skins . . . or, in Commodore’s case, in his own Loberster Thermidor-covered lap . . .

“Why is there a claw in my crotch?” 

Let’s review, shall we?

(Special thanks to rawrcaps.net for the screencaps you see here.)

Nelson Van Alden: A Real Fun Guy

Sorry . . . I just couldn’t resist. 

Our tale begins in a creepy boarding house, where Crazy Pants Van Alden is scraping butter onto his toast, and looking out a dingy, dust-filled window onto the world.  In waddles a SUPER pregnant Lucy to announce, in her bizarro voice, which sounds like a cross between Wall-E and Miss Piggy, that “It is kicking again.”

“I think it’s the baby, but it could just be a really nasty case of crabs . . .” 

A clearly aggravated Nelson is quick to remind Lucy that “it” is actually a baby.  But, honestly, I can understand Lucy’s confusion.  I mean, any living being spawned from Crazy Pants and Madame Sluts-a-Lot has an exceptionally good chance of being born with fangs or a tail.

The future Baby Van Alden 

Last week, we learned that Lucy was hanging around the boarding house, and Nelson was paying her.  However, this week, we got to dig a bit deeper into the happy couple’s “business agreement.”  Apparently, Nelson is paying Lucy a “salary,” to stay in the boarding house, and not leave it, until their little demon baby is born.  Once she’s given birth, Lucy is free to return to her so-called “normal” life.

Of course, this begs the question of what will happen TO THE BABY.  Will Nelson give it up for adoption?  Will he bring it back to HIS wife, and claim that he adopted it for HER?  One thing is for sure, Nelson definitely isn’t going to want Lucipoo to have anything to do with the kid, once it’s wrenched from her alcohol and cigarette-scented uterus . . .

Lucy is understandably feeling a bit stifled by her new living arrangement.  After all, not too long ago she was Nucky’s #1 whore!  She wore fancy dresses, partied seven days a week, and had lots and lots of undoubtedly unappetizing looking sex with THIS GUY .  . .

Now, she’s stuck effectively living under house arrest (not unlike a puppy who hasn’t yet been potty trained and is, therefore, forced to do its business on a stack of old newspapers).

Lucy tells Nelson this, in no uncertain terms, remarking, by way of example, that she can’t even listen to music, because, unlike the neighbors, she and Nelson don’t even have a victrola in the house.  Nelson doesn’t know what a vitrola is . . . probably because it’s not mentioned in the bible . . .

Nonetheless, Crazy Pants Van Alden HATES the idea of being compared negatively with his adversary Nucky.  After all, Mrs. Van Alden lives EXACTLY like this.   And Nelson never hears complaints from her! Lucy is clearly just spoiled with all her crazy notions of, you know, actually LEAVING THE HOUSE, and stuff .  . .

“You better behave, or I’ll baptize you.  (And we all know what happened to the last guy I baptized . . .)” 

“Between ordering murders, and rigging elections, I’m sure [Nucky] showed you a real good time, ” scoffs Nelson sarcastically.

“Say what you will about Nucky, but at least he has a really big weiner was FUN!” Lucy pouts.

Honestly, Lucy’s got a point there.  With a name that looks and sounds so much like “nookie,” how could you be anything BUT FUN?

See?  This guy’s a BLAST! 

Speaking of fun, Lucy’s pal, Eddie Cantor — who is based on a real-life comedian, and Broadway performer, who was probably way too cool to actually hang out with a weirdo like Lucy –is his OWN party!

“Oh, Lucy!  You and I are going to have so much fun (once I used the restroom . . . I have to piss, like a racehorse).” 

He pops by the boarding house with a bottle of booze (As if this baby’s life, wasn’t ALREADY guaranteed to suck, let’s give him an alcohol problem, and possible congenital disease), some hilariously exaggerated facial expressions, and a real snoozer of a play entitled “A Dangerous Maid.”

My new favorite couple on this show . . . 

Lucy complains to her pal about wanting a man who wants her for more than just “makin’ whoopie.”

(The fact that Mr. Cantor didn’t bust into hysterical laughter, upon hearing this, makes him a WAY better person than I am.)

Later, Nelson comes home, and is shocked to find Lucy “rehearsing” for “A Dangerous Maid” in front of the bedroom mirror.  “You wish to perform in this spectacle?” He inquires, which causes Lucy to pout and mug at the camera a bit (a.k.a. her only workable facial expression).

Nelson actually tries reading the play out loud with her for a few minutes, before losing his temper, and tossing it at her.  Clearly, their little baby-making arrangement did not involve momentarily pretending you didn’t look 8.5 months pregnant and could actually star in a play!  How dare Lucy do such a thing!

But Lucy has gotten through to Nelson more than she knows.  While at work, Nelson asks a co-worker?  “Do you think I’m fun?”

The fact that THIS co-worker also did not laugh in Nelson’s face makes HIM a way better person than I am.  (Man, I must truly suck as a human).

Meanwhile, back at the boarding house, Lucy is crying over her naked massively pregnant body in the mirror.  Because, heaven forbid we go through an episode where Lucy doesn’t get naked at least once.  She even goes as far as to try to throw herself down the stairs . .  . either to lose the baby, or commit suicide, not quite sure which.

“Don’t worry, I’m not trying to kill myself.  I’m just teaching myself how to fly.” 

Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your particular thoughts about Lucy), Lucipoo’s epic Stair Dive is interrupted by a delivery person, bearing a gift from Nelson, or, more accurately, the fake name Nelson is living in the boarding house under.  It’s . . . wait for it . .  a victrola.  He comes home later to find Lucy listening to the victrola, and happily dancing around the house, as if she is giving the furniture a lap dance.  (Just like Old Times!)

“I’m a GREAT dancer!  I can pat my head, and rub my belly AT THE SAME TIME!” 

Nelson’s face, upon seeing this spectacle is inscrutable.  Is he overtaken with feelings of love, and pride, for this strange woman carrying her child?  Is he aroused by her naked body?  Confused as to why anyone would enjoy music that couldn’t be found in a hymn book?  Relieved that he has successfully prevented his Baby Maker from escaping with the child?  Perhaps, he is a little of all of these things . . .

Then again, maybe he’s just really, really constipated . . .

Speaking of poker faces . . .

Who is Peggy Rowland Margaret Schroeder

 . . . aside from someone who can really hold her liquor . . . 

Margaret continues on her quest to be the dutiful not-wife to Nucky, during his hour of need.  Concerned about their finances, Margaret returns some of the fancy jewelry Nucky bought her, despite the latters repeated (though not very believable) protests that “everything is going to be fine.”

“Hang on to the jewelry, now.  We may need to sell it on the streets, later, when we are poor and destitute . . .along with your body.” 

Of course, Margaret has more to worry about than just Nucky’s continued financial health.  A letter has arrived at her home from a local detective agency.  As it turns out, the agency has tracked down Margaret’s family in Ireland, and they have since emigrated to nearby Brookyln.

Margaret reluctantly reveals this fact to Nucky, when he finds her flipping through their photographs in bed.  He is suprisingly kind and supportive of Margaret’s discovery, and even encourages her to arrange for a family reunion.   “We didn’t leave on the best of terms,” Margaret admits.

“Golly gee, Boss!  This is fun!  Who do we get to prank call, tomorrow?”

Later in the episode, Margaret commandeers her busy little maid, Katie (she of the crappy coats), from last week’s episode, to call the house where Margaret is staying, and ask for Peggy Rowland.  When she does, Katey is informed that “Peggy,” died twelve years ago.  Margaret copes with this discovery, by crying by herself in her bedroom.  The outburst does not go unnoticed by an increasingly suspicious Katey.

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Later Margaret makes the odd choice of trying to “revisit her roots,” by trying to hang out with the maid staff, while they are drinking booze and gossiping down in the kitchen.  Perhaps, she feels this will help her to assauge the guilt about her own family.  She tells the girls to call her Margaret, and pour her a shot.  However, drinking with Margaret, feels to the girls a bit like drinking with their boss . . . or their own mother.  And so, the fun in the room, quickly, and humiliatingly dies.

MARGARET:  “Ladies, I was thinking of playing a rollicking game of strip poker.  What do you say?”

KATIE: “If we say no, do we get fired?” 

Margaret’s attempts at closeness, however, do strike a chord with Katie, who stops her on the staircase, at the end of the episode, to confirm a suspicion she has, “YOU’RE Peggy Rowland, aren’t you?”

“The minute I get upstairs, I am SO unfriending you on Facebook.” 

Well, so much for being friends with the help!  Margaret metaphorically shuts the door on a friendship with the maid, by coldly shooing her away.  However, based upon her sudden change in demeanor, we can tell that what Katie said was absolutely true.  Margaret had, for some reason, changed her name from Peggy Rowland, when she left the states.  And, because of that, her family either THINKS she’s dead, or is behaving as if she is dead, out of resentment.  Either way, it is quite a blow to Margaret, and pretty much makes her the “Don Draper,” of Boardwalk Empire . . .

Oh, how I miss you, Don Draper! 

Al C. and Jimmy Irish: Reunited and it feels so good!

Al Capone is BACK AT THE BOARDWALK!!!!

And he’s got a special message to deliver to Nucky Thompson on behalf of Joe Torrio:  Chicago and New York are no longer in the liquor business together.  This is because Chicago is now in business with Some Annoying Dude from Pittsburgh Who Refer to Himself in the Third Person.  Nucky is extremely insulted that Torrio sent his emissary, as opposed to delivering this information by himself.  And he tells Capone as much.

“You ditched me for someone who refers to themselves in the third person!  People who do that don’t deserve to LIVE!” 

Nonetheless, Nucky IS curious, given his recent struggles, with the business, how,his counterparts are fairing in other cities, “How is Torrio handling the competition?”  Nucky inquires, as Capone prepares to leave.

“We’re killing ’em,” Capone replies with a wry smile.  (Well, that IS one way to get rid of them . .  .)

But politics and platitudes never much interested Capone.  He’s much more interested in his bromantic buddy Jimmy Irish, a.k.a. Jimmy Darmody.  “You’ll have to ask him, himself,” Nucky replies coldly.

So, Capone DOES!  The next time we see the inimitable Capone he is in Jimmy’s living room, charming Jimmy’s wife and son in the way only he can.

“Hey little guy!  Want me to tell you a story?  It’s all about this guy I whacked, back in Chicago . . .”

When Jimmy returns home, the two share a drink and catch up on where their respective storylines have taken them, since they last saw one another.  Both men are moving up the ranks, in their respective crime families, Jimmy due to his father’s greed, and his cunning, and Al, due to his strength, and seamless ability to whack the competition, without experiencing an ounce of guilt.  Case in point, when Jimmy tries to explain to Al the political coup he, the Commodore are planning, to oust Nucky, Capone is mystified.  The whole thing just seems like so much unnecessary work!  “Why don’t you just have Frankenstein here, put a bullet in his head?”  Capone asks, motioning to Harrow, who has been silently listening to this conversation the entire time.

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Meh . . . I don’t really see a resemblance.

“I won’t do that,” replies Harrow sternly.  (Wow .  . . it looks like our Family Coveting SUPER Hitman has gone and developed some scruples.  This can’t be good!)

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(All together now . . . AWWWWW!)

When Jimmy rushes to the living room floor to cuddle his son, and help him tie his shoes, both Capone and Harrow watch him with matching looks of envy, Harrow, because he has no wife and kids, and Capone, because his son is deaf, and therefore, can’t converse with him, like Jimmy’s can.  Harrow breaks the awkward ice by asking after that “lovely prostitute,” Odette, that took his virginity last season.  “She’s a WHORE,” Capone replies.  (I guess he’s not real big on “small talk.”)

“That’s the last straw.  I’m totally taking Al Capone out of my Family Scrapbook!  No one calls my prostitute girlfriend, a prostitute, and gets away with it!” 

Later, we see Jimmy getting a manicure from Mama “Kiss His Little Winky” Darmody.  Jimmy muses to her about Al Capone’s late father, who was a barber, and wonders whether he might have been meant for a simpler life.  Mama clearly sees her son as someone who’s Little Winky is destined to explore hot women for great things.  And she’s more than happy to be the woman behind that Winky . . . well, aside from HIS WIFE, of course.

“I do hope you’re treating your little winky, better than you are treating these nail beds.  Mind if I check?” 

It’s evident in this scene that Jimmy is already beginning to question his allegiance to the Commodore, who his mother used to call “The Lech.”  When questioned about this, Mama notes that forgiveness is a virtue.  And this undoubtedly causes Jimmy to wonder why he should be forgiving COMMODORE and not Nucky, who effectively raised him, while Commodore was out exploring his “other interests.”

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It kind of makes me wonder whether Jimmy will ultimately decide to return to Nucky, even if it means giving up the opportunity to ascend to power.  And if he does make this decision, will he be able to do so, before it is too late . . .

Speaking of paying one’s dues to one’s elders .  . .

Making the Cheshire Cat Frown

Oh no!  Why so serious, Meyer? 

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Ahhh . . . that’s better.

Lucky and Meyer are sitting down to a very uncomfortable dinner with Arnold Rothstein and Mr. Mazzeria, the Lower East Side Crime boss, who’s henchmen’s throat’s Jimmy slit last week.  Mr. Mazzeria is clearly pissed about this, especially considering that it happened on, what he considered to be his turf.  Apparently, Mazzeria is well aware of the card game Lucky and Meyer run, fairly close to where his men were killed.  Rothstein, ever the businessman, offers to make amends, by having Lucky and Meyer pay a lump sum to Mazzeria for the two victims families, as well as 10% of their card game wins, going forward.

Lucky is furious and moves to protest, but is quickly silenced by Rothstein, and the more cool-headed Meyer.  As he is leaving, Mazzeria notes in Italian to Lucky that he should be working with a fellow  Italian, like HIM, as opposed to two Jewish men.  Lucky seethes at this, but does not respond.  With Mazzeria out of the picture, Lucky turns to Rothstein out of sheer frustration.  “We already give 50% of our earnings from that game to you!”  He complains.

“And now you know why,” Rothstein says coolly.

Do you smell a rebellion?  Because I think I smell a rebellion . . .

Since we’re on the subject of rebellion . . .

A Face Not Even a Father Could Love . . .

“If I just move that pillow ever-so-slightly over his face, and press down really hard, no one will ever know . . .” 

Oh, Eli!  Poor sniveling Eli!  All he wants to do is FINALLY wear the Big Boy Pants, and step outside of his older brother’s shadow.  But while Eli is taking car of his senile, emaciated father, who is staying in his house, the only name on that man’s lips is Nucky.  “How can they do that to him?  You have to help your brother,” says Papa Thompson, looking frantically into Eli’s eyes at the newspaper detailing the election fraud charges recently lodged against Nucky by Eli, himself, among others.

Is it just me, or does Nucky look kind of hot in this picture?  It’s just me?  Yeah . . . I thought so . . . 

But then Papa, in his senility begins to believe he’s talking to Nucky.  “You have to help ELI, he’s not like you.  He’s weak and has no sense,” Eli’s father says . . . or something to that effect.

“I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up . . . oops . . . wrong line.” 

OUCH!  When you’re 80-something year old dad thinks your a loser, you’ve REALLY got problems.  It looks like Eli won’t be stepping into those Big Boy Pants anytime soon . . .

Speaking of surrogate sons .   . .

Jimmy Darmody 2.0

“I’m pretty sure I just fell in love with you . . .” 

So, remember that cute Irish guy from last week named Owen Sleater?  Well, it turns out he’s a lot more ambitious than his baby face would suggest.  Having landed a job at nearby casino, thanks to Nucky. Owen overhears the alderman nagging his boss for being short on Nucky’s “take” of the profits.  The boss gripes that, since he’s not getting any liquor, and drunks gamble more, and LOSE more, he’s suffering from a serious case of the Myfundsarelow Disease.  Sleater puts two and two together, and realizes that Nucky hasn’t been able to deliver his liquor to his patrons, because SOMEONE has been intercepting it at the shore, in order to sell their own.  *cough Commodore cough*

“Wow, Nucky, your desk is a mess.  I don’t think that woman, Katie, you hired as a maid, does a good job cleaning up around here.  Would you like me to spank her?  Because I would very much like to spank her . . . among other things.” 

Sleater sees this as an opportunity and quickly goes to see Nucky about it.  Sleater tells Nucky that he’s good at “making people stop doing things that other people don’t want them to do.”  It’s a bold move for someone who’s still clearly at the bottom of the food chain to make.  And Nucky seems equal parts intrigued, amused, and skeptical of the offer, which he neither accepts or rejects outright.

“Hmm . . . well, you’re definitely young and hot, like Jimmy is, but I’m not quite sure you really have what it takes.  Let me see your Little Winky, so I can know for sure.” 

However, later, back at the casino, Owen gets the opportunity to exhibit his skill, when he stops the Commodore’s liquor delivery to the casino, and ends up in an at gunpoint standoff with none other than Richard Harrow.  The two regard eachother as equals, with a matching twinkle in their eyes, and neither of them pulls the trigger.  “Why didn’t you shoot me?” Owen asks, a valid question, but also a REALLY stupid one, if you think about it.

“Would this be a bad time for me to ask you whether you have a Twitter account?” 

“I may yet,” says Richard, with a half grin, before exiting stage left, with his unloaded liquor.

Needless to say Owen’s boss isn’t going to be too happy with him, when he learns that his casino will be forced to, once again, stay dry, as a result of his new employees scare tactic.  But Owen is betting on the fact that Nucky will be take notice of what he did, and be pleased.  After all, he does seem to be in the market for a Jimmy 2.0 . . .

As for Jimmy 1.0 . . .

My Two Dads

JIMMY:  “Mmm . . . you smell nice, have you purchased a new cologne, since I betrayed you?”

NUCKY: “Why, yes, it’s called Eau De I’m Going to Kick Your Ass.” 

After spending some time in the pokey, and some more time in self-imposed exhile, Nucky seems super excited to have a night on the town with Margaret, his sole remaining political ally, Mayor Bader, and the Mayor’s wife.  The two couples head to their favorite nighttime spot, Babette’s only to find that their usual table is being occupied by, you guessed it, the Commodore, Jimmy D, and some Senator the pair are trying to butter up.  Nucky seethes, but says nothing, that is . . . until it comes time for the foursome to order their meals.

Margaret makes the HUGE mistake of ordering lobster thermidor.  This prompts the waiter to inform her that the last lobster was just sold.  Cut to Nucky’s eyes honing in on the Commodore, who is currently shoving a HUGE LUMP OF LOBSTER in his fat mustachioed mouth.

“Mmmmmm . . .  LOBSTER  . . . DELICIOUSSSSS!” 

“Hey!  You spit that out!  That lobster belongs to my lady!”

I think this is the first time in a LONG TIME, where we really see Nucky lose it.  He stomps over to the Commodore’s table, and hilariously flips that lobster plate, sending it flying across the table.  Quite frankly, it’s AWESOME!

“Weeeeeeeeeeeee!  I’m flyinggggggggg!” 

But Nucky’s not finished.  “I will ruin you,” he says determinedly.  “ALL OF YOU,” he concludes with a glare at Jimmy.

A bit embarrassed, and not sure how to respond, Jimmy stays silent . . . for now.  So, Nucky focuses his ire on Commodore, who chastizes him for acting like a child.  “You’re an expert on children,” he replies brilliantly.

(Ooh, that was a good one.)

But things get REALLY intense, when Nucky tells Jimmy that the Commodore didn’t even ask for his mother’s NAME, before he slept with her.  Instead, he just pointed to her, and said, “That one.”

Jimmy rises to his feet, and the two erstwhile comrades in crime, are now eyeing eachother with hatred and accusation.  It is the Commodore, who eventually prevents Jimmy from getting physical with Nucky.

“I want my daddy . . .*sniffle*” 

Later that night, when Jimmy is alone in his kitchen, we see the emotional and physical toll this evening has taken on him.  He is half asleep with drunkenness, and his head is heavy with sadness and regret.  Jimmy’s wife enters the room, and, seeing the state her husband is in, offers him a comforting hand on his shoulder, which he accepts gratefully.  “How was dinner with your father?”  She inquires.

“Which one?”  He replies glumly .  . .

You know, a lot of commenters have griped about Michael Pitt’s performance as Jimmy.  They’ve claimed it to be wooden, and uninteresting.  Now, maybe it’s just because I’m insanely attracted to the actor, but I have to respectfully disagree.  I love the understated way Pitt addresses this role.  The character of Jimmy Darmody is at a crossroads.  He can become a hardened criminal, a slimy politician, or a true hero . . . right now, any of these titles is ripe for the taking.  And, quite frankly, he’s not sure which one he wants.

To me, that’s what makes Jimmy SO interesting.  He always seems to be calculating his next move, and you just never know which version of him, you are going to get, at any particular moment.  It’s exciting . . . and sexy.

“Whatever, Recapper . . . you’re just saying that because you want to jump his bones.”

(Yeah . . . probably) 

OK . . . I’m off my soapbox now, and done with my recap.  So, what did you think of “The Dangerous Maid?”  Has it turned you off to lobster thermidor for good, or are you hungry for more?

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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“I’ve come to bury Nucky, not to praise him.” – A Recap of Boardwalk Empire’s “Ourselves Alone”

“All by my selllllllf.  Don’t wanna be, all by my selllllllf, anymorrrrre!” 

Poor Nucky!  I never thought I would ever begin a recap with those two words.   After all, wasn’t the entire theme of season one how blessed Nucky was in every way except in the looks department, of course, and how much power he wielded in his pants Atlantic City?

My, have the tables turned quickly . . . well, actually not so quickly, considering Season 1 aired a year ago!  Now, everyone’s out to screw Nucky over.  And District Attorney’s are touching his personal items in ways that Eddie finds personally offensive!

“I’m so upset over what is going on here that I am going to eat this phone.”

You know who else started out as a guy, who had it all, and ended up with crap?  THIS GUY . . .

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. . . well, him too.  But I was thinking more along the lines of THIS GUY . . .

The obvious comparisons between Nucky’s current situation and Julius Caesar’s are so striking, that I can’t imagine they weren’t intended by the writers of this show.  I mean, think about it, we’ve got the young up-and-comer, who used to be part of Nucky’s ranks, being groomed to usurp his throne.

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We’ve got the not-so-whispered words of mutiny amongst the senators alderman.  And, perhaps, most importantly, we have Nucky experiencing the ultimate betrayal at the hands of the person he trusted most . . . his own brother . . . his Brutus.

(Take that High School English Teacher that only gave me a B+ on my Julius Caesar paper!  You know who you are.)

And yet, while it would seem as though this episode revolved around the Downfall of Nucky Thompson, arguably, the real stars of “Ourselves Alone” were his supporting cast . . . the surprisingly sly, and cunning courage of Margaret Schroeder . . . the quiet, yet extremely dangerous, ferocity of Chalky White . . . the stone cold ambition of Jimmy Darmody . . . the bat-sh*t craziness of Nelson Van Alden . . .

Well, actually, he wasn’t in this episode.  But I think you catch my drift . . .

So, settle down with a good book, pop open a new can of shoe polish, or take a dip in the Temperance Fountain, because it’s time for another Boardwalk recap . . .

(By the way, special thanks to ladymanson.com, for the kickass screencaps you see here!)

“Nucky’s in the Slammer.  Who wants pancakes?”

“Do you think they are whispering about me, because I’m not wearing any underwear?”

The episode begins with Margaret tiptoeing down the mansion steps in her nightie, to the sight of her apprehensive all-female staff, regarding her, as one would regard a terminally ill cancer patient.

“I can’t believe NONE of us were cast in the movie The Help.  It’s NOT FAIR!” 

Too bad Margaret doesn’t live in Modern Times.  Otherwise @randomnewsreporter could have totally tweeted her the news that her not-so-hubby was very much arrested the night before.

Doh!

Instead, the new Woman of the Thompson Household is forced to learn of her lover’s arrest in the local paper.

Margaret, who has obviously adapted rather quickly to the unspoken responsibilities of being an expensive sex toy the wife of a powerful public figure, is remarkably stoic, in the face of this obviously surprising and disturbing news.  Rather than bursting into hysterics, or rushing out the door to the nearest jail like a mad woman, as the old Margaret might have done, Nu-Margaret merely takes a deep breath, and returns to her regularly scheduled  tasks, i.e. bossing around of the staff.

It is not until a bit, later, when we see Margaret on the phone with Nucky’s driver, Eddie, that cracks in her marble facade begin to show.

“So, what exactly ARE conjugal visits?  I don’t think we had those back in Ireland.” 

“I’d be more than happy to SHOW you.”

Poor Margie can barely keep herself from crying, when Eddie tells her that he can’t pick her up and drive her to the jail.  (As it turns out, the District Attorney and his cronies have been inappropriately fondling the items in Nucky’s office.  And Eddie is afraid to leave them alone.)

When the house maid is found lurking near the doorway, Margaret asks her what kind of coat she owns?

Huh?

Well, THAT’S a strange thing to ask.  Is Margie hoping the maid will drive her to the jail to see Nucky?  Is she worried about her favorite housekeeper catching pneumonia during those cold A.C. winters?  Is she secretly writing an expose on the dressing habits of maids for the local paper?  Or is something more sinister afoot?  (Well, obviously, you already know the answer.  But let’s pretend everythings all scary and intriguing, for a little while longer, OK?)

Meanwhile, down at the Pokey . . .

“Gee, sorry I had you arrested, and am now sharing a jail cell with you . . . AWKWARD!”

“I never really believed all those silly rumors about ‘dropping the soap,’ did you?” 

How convenient odd is it that a large, purportedly crime-infested, place like Atlantic City, only seems to have two cells in its town jail?  Now, if that’s not a good reason NOT to screw over your friends, I don’t know what is.

Just last week, Nucky had his liquor and political compadre Chalky White arrested “for his own safety,” after a “nice, friendly” meeting with some SHEET HEADS KKK members went horribly awry.

SHEET!

Now, Nucky finds himself trapped ALONE in a jail cell with Nucky.

(Apparently, Chalky’s political clout has gained him enough social standing to earn a spot in the “more elite” jail cell, apart from the rest of the assorted riff-raff.  Umm . . . yay?)

Silly, Nucky!  He was apparently having sex sleeping during his Jail Cell Etiquette Class.  Rule #1 of Surviving Prison:  Don’t accuse your cell mate, who YOU are responsible of throwing in jail, of betraying YOU.  And yet, that’s exactly what Nucky does, by asking Chalky a few VERY pointed questions about whether his “people” had anything to do with the “anonymous witnesses” whose testimony got Nucky thrown in jail for election fraud.

“Vote on THIS, b*tch!” 

Talk about biting the hand that feeds you.  Were it not for Chalky, there is a good chance that Nucky’s cronie, Anthony Bader, would have NEVER been elected Mayor.    Not to mention the fact that Nucky is DEFINITELY no longer in the position to be choosy about who he gets to call his “friend.”

Things get even MORE awkward between Nucky and Chalky (I’m sorry, but are those not the WEIRDEST NAMES EVER? My fingers get twisted on my keyboard everytime I have to type them both together), when Nucky’s lawyer comes to post his bail, while Chalky is made to rot in the slammer.  Oops!

“See ya, Sucka . . . er . . . I mean . . . sorry, Big Guy!” 

So, Nucky exits the jail a Free Man (for now), and successfully engages in a battle of wits with the local journalists, looking to prove he’s a criminal to the “Good People of AC.”

(He calls them all alcoholics.  BURN!  What a NOVEL insult about journalists!  You have to wake up pretty early in the morning or whatever time Jimmy, the Commodore, and Eli wake up to pull one over on Nucky Thompson.  What a FIRE CRACKER!)

Meanwhile, Chalky is forced to deal with insults of a much more personal nature . . .

David Copperfield (err  . . . I mean “Tom Sawyer”) must be a REALLY GOOD BOOK!

“I have flipped through a 100 pages of this book, and I haven’t seen a single BOOB.  And they call this a classic!” 

It starts off innocent, enough. Chalky’s wife has come to visit him in jail.  They have a fairly banal conversation, during which Chalky’s wife tells Chalky that his son wanted to come visit him, but she thought it would be best if he stayed home.  Remember Chalky’s son?  The adorable prepster piano player from last week?  Yeah, not exactly someone you picture in a jail cell.

“I may look sweet and innocent, but  .  . . yeah, I’m sweet and innocent.” 

Mini-Chalky sent a gift to his dad, in his absence, however.  It’s a book, David Copperfield, to be exact.  (Was I the only one hoping there would be some sort of file, key, or weapon hidden in that book, that would help Chalky to plan his escape?  Well, there wasn’t . . . It was just a book.  Crime Boss’ son FAIL!)

Hidden mechanism for escape or not, Chalky seems touched by his son’s gift.  “That’s a good one,” he says, with a proud smile, as he takes the book from his wife’s hands.  As Mrs. Chalky leaves one of the Chalky’s “cell-mates” from across the way makes some comments that a man should NEVER make about another man’s wife.

“What’s that you say?  That I’m going to be dead in five minutes?  You’re LYIN’!” 

Chalky accepts the passive aggressive taunting of his cell mate, which is thinly disguised as good natured banter, with a surprising amount of dignity and grace, though its obvious he REALLY wants to put a cap in this guy’s ass.  The guy’s name is Dunn Purnsley, which is a really stupid name, if you ask me.    (No offense to all you Dunn Purnsley’s out there.)  And the fact that Chalky currently has a “fancy” cell to himself REALLY seems to dust Dunn’s doileys, as does the fact that Chalky dresses expensively, and has an attractive, comparatively light-skinned, wife.

You’ve got to admit, they do make a cute couple.

When another white prisoner is brought into the jail, Chalky is switched into the cell with Dunn, and the rest of the prisoners (all African American).  According to the guard, this is to prevent the mixing of races, which is strange considering that Nucky and Chalky shared a cell just hours earlier.  Weird .  . .

You would think that Chalky’s relocation into Dunn’s cell would placate the latter’s ire.  Unfortunately, it only seems to rile him up more.  Now Dunn is making increasingly inciteful and offensive comments about the color of Chalky’s skin, and referring to him in derrogatory terms, that, I suspect were generally reserved for the pre-Civil War era.

(OK, now I’m REALLY hoping Chalky kicks this Dunn guy’s butt!  He’s TOTALLY asking for it now.  If he doesn’t do it.  I may just jump into the television screen and do it for him.)

What follows are what are, in my opinion two of the most intriguing scenes in the entire episode.  The first arises when Dunn asks Chalky – who has been silently “reading” David Copperfield this whole time, what he is reading.  When Chalky first announced the book as Tom Sawyer, I thought he might just be messing with the guy.  After all, Mark Twain was an author who was pretty well known for having some fairly strong opinions about race relations, as evidenced in his follow-up book to Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn.

“Once upon a time, there was a man named Dunn, who’s life was almost finished.  Get it . . . done . . . finished?  Oh well, I guess you had to be there.” 

But then, when Dunn asks Chalky to describe what he is reading, he does so by making up a story about a picture that happens to appear in the center of the David Copperfield book.  Fans will undoubtedly recall that this is the method most of us used as children to PRETEND we knew how to read, before we had learned to do so.  The fact that Chalky probably does not know how to read, and has obviously hidden this fact from his wife, and Harvard-bound son, is both shocking and a little bit sad.

But now is not the time for sad stories.   Now is the time for ASS KICKING!  That’s right, boys and girls, Dunn is stupid enough to put up his fists and threaten Chalky.  He even has the audacity to RIP David Copperfield out of his hand, tearing out the picture Chalky used to describe what was happening in the book.

SERIOUSLY!  THE NERVE OF THIS GUY!

This next part is pretty cool.  Chalky doesn’t lift a FINGER!  Instead, he quietly addresses each of the men with whom he is sharing a cell.   He knows them all by name, and ALL of them, owe him SOME sort of debt.  It becomes apparent in this scene, that Chalky is the Nucky of the African American community in Atlantic City.  The only difference is that, unlike his political counterpart, Chalky’s power is still in full force.

Dunn rises to throw the first punch.  BAD MOVE!  Now, all of Chalky’s cell mates have been given their unspoken instructions.  They BEAT THE CRAP OUT OF HIM . . . LITERALLY, as in . . . HE DIES!  Then, one of them casually gives Chalky back his book.

“And they all lived happily ever after . . . well . . . almost everyone.” 

So, Chalky decides its a great time for a bedtime story.   (Why not?)  He asks the group, which of them know their letters, reaffirming the fact that he, himself, cannot read.  One of the cell mates obliges, and begins to read the remaining living cell mates David Copperfield proper, as the victorious, but not, necessarily triumphant Chalky, stares blankly at the torn out page of the book.  The fact that its incredibly depressing words are meaningless to him do not mean that they don’t hold meaning for him .  . .

When Season 2 Margaret Meets Season 1 Margaret . . . (How META!)

“So that’s me from the future .  . . I was kind of hoping my boobs would get bigger.”

So, earlier in this recap, I teased at Margaret’s inquiry to her maid about what kind of coat she wore.  In this scene, we get to see what exactly she did with that lovely coat.  In a scene that ironically mimics that of the poor, beaten, and pregnant, Margaret Schroeder’s first fateful visit to Nucky Thompson, Margaret arrives at Nucky’s office to see it being swarmed by lawyers and investigators.

Having had a lot of experience playing this particular part, Margaret is flawless (if a bit exaggerated)  in the role of her old pre-f*&king Nucky self.  She feigns ignorance to Nucky’s arrest, claims to have wanted to see him in order to get some cash, and asks to be shown to the nearest rest room.  Feeling pity on this helpless biddy, the District Attorney personally directs her to the toilet, and then, most likely forgets her existence.  This, of course, gives her free reign around the rest of Nucky’s office.

We’ll find out what she does with that “free reign” at the end of the episode . . .

Elsewhere, specifically,  at La Casa de Commodore . . .

The Oldest Man Ever to Suffer from a Mid-life Crisis . . .

“This is my very subtle way of telling you I have a large weiner.” 

For the Triumverate of Evil — Commodore, Eli, and Jimmy’s winky (Don’t worry, Jimmy, I still love you, even though you’ve turned to the dark side.  You are just too hot to hate.), getting all of Nucky’s cronies, specifically, the aldermans of each of the five wards over which Nucky is city treasurer, was surprisingly easy.  All they had to do, was convince these greedy poopyheads that Nucky’s ship had sailed.  And if they wanted to continue fattening their pockets, and living in the manner to which they had grown accustomed, they had to support the “New Guard.”

Having already got these doofuses under their thumb, except one (more on him later), Commodore invites them all to his Dead Animal Zoo study to talk “business.”  Concerned that the aldermans will discount him due to his age, Commodore decides to dress up as a fat Charlie Chaplin, and amaze them with his remarkable ability to lift elephant tusks in the air.  (Because you KNOW that’s going to come in handy on the road to World Domination!)

“When you come face-to-face with destiny, do you want to be the bear, or do you want to be the one holding the shotgun?”  Commodore asks his ambivalent admiring associates.

Actually, I’d prefer to be Dick Cheney.  But that’s neither here nor there, is it?

Meanwhile, Nucky is also trying to rally the troops for his cause . . .

When the guy who’s house you burned down is your only ally, you know you have problems . . .

Exhiled from his swanky Ritz Carlton office, Nucky is forced to (gasp) actually work in the dingy work space provided for him by the government.  It comes complete with a secretary, who has probably spent the past, lord knows how many years, sitting on her fanny from 9 to 5, reading magazines and painting her nails.  (Now THAT’s a living.)

“You REALLY want me to work today?  But my radio soap opera is on in five minutes?”

Nucky has his not-so-new assistant call all of the aldermans, the mayor, and his brother for an impromptu meeting.

Only two of them actually show, both RIDICULOUSLY LATE.  The first is the Mayor, because . . . well, duh . . . Nucky’s election fraud GOT him his job.  And if Nucky goes down, so does HE.

“Honestly, I was just looking for a little more screen time . . .” 

The second “loyalist” is alderman Damian Fleming.

Remember him?  Nucky offered him his father’s home.  And then he BURNED IT DOWN!

This takes the term “working fireplace” to a whole new level .  . . 

But he gave him another one.  So . . . let bygones be bygones.  I guess . . .  Except, Damian isn’t really coming to Nucky to tell him he’s on his side.  He’s coming to tell him that he’s SORRY that he can’t be, and to warn him that everyone is against him now . . . everyone, including . . . nu-Fredo his brother . . .

It’s pretty darn heartbreaking to see Nucky, with tears in his eyes, alone in a rundown office, taking a call from his brother, who, at this point, he KNOWS has betrayed him.  And yet Nucky is STILL offering him a chance to return to the fold.  It’s all very “Et tu Brute?”

“That’s really too bad, Eli.  Because I was planning to celebrate your coming back to my team, by getting you a hooker?”

“If you want to get out of this, I can help you?”  Nucky offers.  “I’m prepared to hear your side.   Because in a minute it’s going to be too late.”

But Eli isn’t interested in second chances.  He’s interested in Power . . . and wearing Big Boy Pants . . . and sitting at the grown-ups table.  And so he gives Nucky a speech that I’m sure he practiced in front of his mirror for three hours, even though he always knew he was going to deliver it over the phone.  “How does it feel .  . . sitting by yourself?”  He asks cruelly, before continuing his Pee on Nucky Parade.  “Nobody takes power. Someone has to give it to them . . . What have YOU got?”

“What a poopy head!” 

Then he hangs up on Nucky, and I find myself in the rare situation of wanting to reach through the television screen and give Steve Buscemi a hug.  What are you DOING to me, Boardwalk Empire?

While Nucky is busy learning the One truly IS the Loneliest Number, Jimmy is across town, trying to get SOMEONE to give HIM some power . . .

Oh, Arnie, how we missed you! (And your milk!)

“Milk . . . it does a gangster GOOD!” 

Jimmy pays a visit to Arnold Rothstein (and his “pet” Lucky ;)).  He wishes to present him with a proposition . . . one that involves screwing over Nucky (SURPRISE!), and entering into the liquor business together.  Arnold seems a mixture of amused, impressed, and curious.  Arnold is no dummy.  He knows Jimmy used to be Nucky’s fair-haired boy.  He also knows that Nucky was recently arrested.

As he listens to the young up-and-comer kiss his butt and beg for his business, you can see he wheels turning in his head, regarding the possibilities this might present, and the inevitable risks.  Is this kid for real?  Arnold isn’t quite sure.  And so he politely bids Jimmy adieu, without offering an answer one way or the other.

“Well, if you are not going to go into business with me, could you at least take a drink.  I’ve always wanted to see the biggest crime boss on the East Coast with a Milk Mustache . . .” .

So, remember when Lucky f*&ked Jimmy’s winky kissing mom?

Source

Well, bygones, because now he wants to do business with him.  “You know that thing you asked for?  I would have said yes to that,” Lucky offers cheerily.

“Yes, but I asked Arnold.  Not the guy who carries his water.”  (Ummm . . . it was MILK, Jimmy!  MILK!  Get it right!)

Ohhh, yeah and . . .

Apparently, Arnold’s other pet, Meyer, he of the baby face and Cheshire Cat smile, instructed Lucky to invite Jimmy to their weekly poker night so the three could “talk.”

Oooh, I smell a Next Generation Rebellion!  Yay Twenty-somethings!

Meyer Lansky says, “Say YES to heroin.  (And NO to Temperance Fountain.)”

“So, before I got this part, I was cast in my college production of Batman . . .  I was the Joker.  I hope that explains the smile.” 

At their meeting Meyer tells Jimmy he has BIG PLANS for the two of them and Lucky.  “We’ve learned a great deal [from Nucky and Arnold],” he begins.  “But no one wants to be in school forever.”

Except all these people . . . 

Then, Lucky and Jimmy start exchanging Yo Mama jokes (well, actually, it’s just Jimmy’s mama), and beating the crap out of eachother.  So, Meyer has to stop them, so that he can tell them his BIG PLAN.

“Calm down.  You’re both pretty.” 

It involves Meyer and Lucky buying liquor from Jimmy, if Jimmy and HIS people buy HEROIN from them.

Ummm . . . HOORAY for HEROIN . . . I guess .  . .

(Something tells me school teachers Arnie and Nucky would most certainly NOT approve.)

At the poker game, Jimmy wipes the floor with some of Meyer’s friends, while Meyer has an uncomfortable meeting with two goons who apparently represent the “Lower East Side.”  Later that night, Jimmy is walking home from the poker game, when those same two goons try to steal his lunch money poker winnings.

“I know you really want to ask me out on a date, but this is a bit too agressive, don’t you think?  There is something to be said for playing a little hard to get.” 

So, Jimmy . . .. ummm KILLS THEM, and leaves them lying in the ironically named Temperance Fountain with their mouths gaping grotesquely, and their necks spurting out blood.

I’m not going to lie.  It’s kind of awesome.

Speaking of awesome  . . .

Hi, New Cute Irish Guy!  (Yeah, that’s basically all I got from this plotline.)

“SOMEONE has to make sure Steve Buscemi doesn’t get all the chicks.” 

While Margaret waits for Nucky to come home, she’s got her OWN problems to cope with.  Nucky is apparently having a very stuffy Irish gentleman to visit.  He wants guns . . . or something.  He also doesn’t eat anything that walks on clove or hoof, and HATES AMERICANS.  Sounds like a real Life of the Party Type, right?

PARTY ANIMAL! 

He does have one thing going for him though, his help is HOT.  His name is Owen Sleater.  He has a cute Irish accent, can helps straighten rugs, and puts his foot in his mouth, like it’s his JOB.  He arrives to try and get into Margie’s pantsmake sure the Thompson house is SAFE for his boss.  Within minutes, he proceeds to mistake Margaret for he MAID, and the MAID for Margaret’s DAUGHTER, despite the fact that the two look to be only about five years apart at most.

“I’m deeply offended, and furious with you.  Yet, I have this strange urge to bone you, right here on this floor.”

Yet, there’s something charming about him.   He has a bit of sexual chemistry going on with Margaret (and the maid).   And, most importantly, he’s STICKING AROUND!

Woohoo!  Look out Jimmy Darmody and Al Capone.  It seems you have some competition for my heart  . . .

Speaking of hearts . . .

Margaret Schroeder = A Modern Day (Likeable) Lady Macbeth (Who knew?)

“Just don’t start talking about ‘damn spots,’ or I am SOOOO out of here.” 

We’ve been waiting for it all week, and it finally happens at the end of the episode.  Margaret confronts Nucky about his arrest, and everything that has been going on with him, these past two episodes.  Calmly and firmly, she gets her lover to admit everything to her, including, most painfully, his brother’s betrayal.  “I keep people satisfied.  It’s what I do,” says Nucky dejectedly, unable to comprehend how far he has fallen.

“They will never satisfied.  You know that already,” she replies, not entirely unkindly.  (Now, we know who the REAL brains of this operation is!)

Then Nucky tells Margaret, what he has TRULY been avoiding telling her all along.  The District Attorney has evidence against him, hard evidence.  It appears the officers searching his office have taken his ridiculously crime ridden business ledger, as well as $20,000 in cash.  Or HAVE they?

Like a BOSS, Margaret, skips to the other side of the room, and pulls BOTH incriminating items out of a nearby drawer.  Ahhhh!  So, that’s what she was doing at the Ritz in the Poor Girl Costume!  It all makes sense now!

Margaret decisively tosses the ledger in the fire, making Nucky promise to commit his shady dealings to memory from NOW ON!  You tell  him sister!

Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever been as impressed with a female television character as I am with Margaret Schroeder right now.  Margaret, I take back every mean and snarky thing I ever said about you in season 1 and at the beginning of this rccap.

In the final moments of the episode, Margaret kisses and emotionally and physically exhausted Nucky on the forehead, and tells him to come to bed, where there will certainly be some EPIC lovemaking . . . I’d prefer not to picture it, though . . .

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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The Not-So-Suite Life – A Recap of Gossip Girl’s “Panic Roommate”

Chuck:  “It was nice to FINALLY get scenes with you again this week, Blair.  For a while there, I was worried that the writers were AFRAID to have us interact, out of fear of showing the world just how much our CURRENT so-called relationships PALE in comparison to what you and I have together.”

Blair:  “Tell me about it!  You have about as much romantic chemistry with that Raina chick, as I have with Raccoon Zombie, Little J!”

Chuck:  “Good point . . . but what about Dan?  Do you think YOU have romantic chemistry with him?”

Blair:  “Who?”

Chuck:  “Exactly.”

 I like to think of this week’s installment of Gossip Girl as the “Special Guest Episode.”  Now, I’m not saying that the episode was particularly “special” or even all that good, for that matter.  I’m simply referring to the fact that, during this episode, our favorite Upper East Siders spent the majority of the hour interacting with and talking about special guests characters, most of whom we all KNOW won’t be around in about three or four episodes, anyway.  In fact, TWO of these special guest characters “peaced out,” even before the final XOXO . . .

Screw Little J!  If Gossip Girl ever does go off the air, I, personally think THIS guy has the most spinoff potential.  In fact, I can picture the title of his new series now:  “High Times with Drug-Dealing Damien.”  (Zac Efron would co-star, as his younger, straight-edge brother, Troy Bolton Ramien!)

So, what are we waiting for?  Let’s go find out what the characters we do care about are saying about those we don’t.

Good Vibrations (or the lack thereof)

Is it just me, or does EVERY single Chuck / Raina sex scene on Gossip Girl look exactly the same (i.e. dull and colorless)?  In fact, not only do Chuck/Raina sex scenes not titillate me, they actually have the adverse effect of making me incredibly depressed. 

Why?  You ask . . .

Well, you see, everytime I watch Chuck and Raina power through one of their Five-Minute Missionary Position Lunch Break Lays, I can’t help but think of what I could be watching instead . . .

When Chuck and Blair have sex it’s a Contact Sport, one in which the competitors get extra points for creativity.  When Chuck and Raina do it, it’s an item on the To Do List, right underneath “Confirm Client Meeting” and “Make Sure the Maid Washes My Underwear.”

Anywhoo . . . the episode opens with Chuck and Raina doing it zzzzzzzzzzz.  Don’t feel bad if they are boring you, because Chuck’s bored too.  So, bored in fact, that when Raina’s cell phone vibrates, Chuck suggests she bring it into bed with her to up Arousal Factor.  (Note:  If this were Chuck and Blair in bed, they’d be going at it so aggressively, that not only would no one PICK UP the cell phone, it would probably get literally crushed beneath the sheer magnitude of the couple’s grinding backsides love.)

Raina, however, ignores Chuck’s advice, opting to pick up her phone, rather than use it as a Sex Toy.  In hindsight, that was probably a good decision, especially considering that the person calling Raina was HER FATHER . . .

The Awkward Moment when you are using your cell phone as a vibrator, and your DAD’S FACE appears on its screen . . .

Speaking of Chuck and Raina . . .  zzzzzzzzzzzz . . . 

(OK, I’m up!  I’m up!) 

What’s their ship name, anyway?  Ruck?  Chaina?  Is it even worth the effort of making one up?  Do any fans ACTUALLY ship these two as a couple?  I didn’t think so . . .

Always at Daddy’s beck and call, Raina exits the premises, leaving Chuck to nurse THESE . . .

Meanwhile, elsewhere on the Upper East Side . . .

Epperley Needs a Date (Wait . . . who the f*&k is Epperley?)

At W Magazine, Blair is finding herself in a very unique situation, one she has NEVER experienced in all her time on Gossip Girl:  She has to work . . . hard.

“Surely, this is the first sign of Show Cancellation Shark Jumping the Apocalypse!”

As luck would have it, Blair’s new boss, Epperley, is completely stressed out about the Plot Device Party Upcoming W Magazine event, and is working Poor Blair’s little french manicured fingers to the bone, as a result.  This, of course, is completely unacceptable to Blair.  No self-respecting woman should willingly busy herself with menial office tasks (That’s what DOROTA is for!).  In fact, according to Blair, any woman who DOES work hard in a career setting, MUST be hard up for loving! 

Sorry . . . I just couldn’t help myself . . .

Fear not, Upper East Siders.  Blair Waldorf has A PLAN!

Blair and Chuck Put their Heads Together (Unfortunately, no other body parts touch, in the process.)

After work (or before . . . or during . . . Annoying and inconsequential things like TIME, never seem to matter all that much to the ridiculously rich.), Blair (with Epperley in tow) heads over to La Casa de Chuck and Nate to screw Chuck’s brains out request a favor of her soulmate former beau.

Isn’t this picture SO much better, when taken completely out of the lame context of this episode?

The stated reason for the visit is that Blair wants to host the W Magazine function on Chuck’s property.  Of course, we all KNOW that Chuck could have probably agreed to host Blair’s event over the phone, thereby saving her and her boss the commute.  I SMELL A SCHEME!

Of course, we are not at all surprised, when Blair requests that Nate give Epperley a tour of the place, leaving Blair and Chuck alone to screw like bunny rabbits talk. 

As it turns out, both Blair and Chuck have favors to ask one another.  Chuck goes first.  He wants Blair to tell him how he can win Raina’s heart (blech!), so that she can convince her father not to sell Bass Industries out from under him.  (Ummm yeah . . . because asking your EX girlfriend, who you are CLEARLY still in love with, how to seduce your current one is not inappropriate AT ALL!) 

Improprieties aside, Blair actually offers Chuck some pretty helpful advice.  Contrary to what Chuck might think, hours and hours of sex (particularly the boring kind of sex he has with Raina) do not make a woman fall in love with a man.  Rather, Chuck will probably have to find some commonality between him and Raina that he can exploit, in order to make her feel connected to him.

“You mean I actually have to TALK to her?  I’m bored already . . .”

For Blair’s part, she wants Chuck to seduce Epperley, so that she doesn’t make Blair work so hard.  (Ummmm yeah . . . because asking your EX Boyfriend, who you are CLEARLY still in love with to have sex with your boss, so that he can sleep YOUR way to the top, is not inappropriate AT ALL!)  Unfortunately for Blair, Chuck declines her request.  Don’t get him wrong, it’s not that Chuck is AVERSE to having multiple sex partners at one time . . .

. . . it’s just that this whole “talking to Raina” thing is going to be using up all his excess mental energy, not to mention his patience.  So, there is simply not enough Chuck left over for Epperley. 

No bother!  If Blair can’t have Chuck, she’ll take the Next Best Thing . . .

Source

OMG!  It’s Gossip Girl, Season 1, all over again!

So, Blair wants NATE to seduce Epperley now.   But she wants him to be a more “generous” lover with Epperley than he was with HER.  (Who knew Little Nate Archibald was such a glutton in the sack?)  Slutty as he may be, however, Nate is going to need a bit of convincing, before he lets Blair pimp him out. 

And so, when Chuck calls, while Blair is still with Nate, Blair pretends he’s Epperley, and starts talking to “her” about how “she” [Epperley] thinks Nate is a majorly Hot Piece of Ass, who she desperately wants to bone at the W party.

“Epperley” and I can agree on this point.

You’re overselling.  Wrap it up,” Chuck kindly advices his Lady Love, immediately understanding EXACTLY what she is trying to do.

Then, when Chuck notices Raina and her RIDICULOUS hat looming in the distance,  he starts playing the SAME game — casually telling Blair what a DEEP connection he and Raina share together . . .

“Legend has it, if you look at my hat for too long, you can turn to stone . . .”

Chuck and Raina Play Hotel Hide and Seek

Knowing that Raina’s dad’s company will vote on the buyout of Bass Industries in just a few short hours,  Chuck really turns on the charm.  He takes Raina out to lunch at his hotel, and sweet talks every busboy or waiter that passes him by.  When Raina notes that all this “Kindness for the Poor” stuff Chuck is doing seems like a Big Ole Crock of Sh&t, Chuck starts waxing poetic about his young days growing up on the Disney Show the Suite Life of Zack and Cody and Chuck on hotel property. And, wouldn’t you know it?  RAINA GREW UP in a hotel TOO!

You mean to tell me kids who’s Fathers Own HOTELS spend a lot of time in HOTELS?  I’M SHOCKED!

The two Children of Hotel Barons even shared the same Childhood Hiding Place!  This must be Lame True Love, right?  Recognizing that he has Raina in his clutches, Chuck allows the other shoe to drop, by inviting Raina to attend Blair’s W party event, thereby missing  the vote to take over Bass Industries, which, conveniently enough, must be unanimous in order to pass.  Raina accepts!

“I am SO GOOD!”

And yet, neither Chuck, nor Raina counted on Raina’s Kill Joy Dad crashing the party.  Thorpe quickly informs Raina that the Little Bass-tard knew all about the timing of the vote, and was only using her to save his company.  Raina asks Chuck if this is true.  He admits that it is, but assures her that, in the process of manipulating Raina, he eventually grew to “really care about her” and blah, blah, blah *cough . . . bullsh*t . . . cough*

“Nothing can make me trust you again,” pouts Raina, before stalking off.

“I’m MAD AS HELL.   And I’m not going to take it . . . for the next five minutes, at least!”

Apparently, when Raina said that “nothing” would make her trust Chuck again, she might have been exaggerating just a little bit.  Because all it takes is an itty bitty phone call from Blair telling her how much Chuck REALLY cares about her, for Raina to wind herself right back into Chuck’s bed.  (Wow!  She must REALLY like Boring Missionary Sex!)

Blair to Shark:  “Consider yourself JUMPED.”

Speaking of Meaningless Sex, Blair has finally managed to convince Epperley to attend the W event, so that she can screw Nate there, and, hopefully, start being nicer to Blair, as a result.  On the night of the event, when Nate starts getting cold feet about essentially being Blair’s Man Whore, our Queen B gets a little handsy . . .

Source

Later that night,  W Magazine enters into a bit of a crisis situation (Apparently, it had something to do with gift bags, or something else equally unimportant).  Unfortunately, for Blair, her boss, Epperley, is nowhere to be found.  Nate is there, however . . .

Nate explains to Blair that he struck out in his manwhoring with Epperley, when some dude with a British accent hit on her, causing her to go off with him.  Blair then commandeers Nate to help her fix the Gift Bag Crisis, by threatening him to reveal his favorite musical to everyone, if he doesn’t help.   Apparently, Nate thinks that The Sound of Music is the Bees Knees, because it has “guns and Nazis, and Julie Andrews was hot.”

Who knew?

With the help of the apparently Nazi-loving Nate, Blair does manage to singlehandedly SAVE W Magazine from the horror that is having a party with NO gift bags.  So, when Blair arrives at the office the next morning, she is surprised to learn that Epperley has been in the Editor’s office for OVER AN HOUR.  (“What could they POSSIBLY be talking about?”  She wonders.)

When Epperley emerges from the office, she gives Blair the news.  Apparently, Epperley’s British One-Night Stand ended up being a LONG TIME ex-beau, who wanted to take her to Bali so the pair could do yoga together, or something.  So, Epperley decided to QUIT her much coveted, insanely prestigious, job.

“You are leaving the magazine for ‘Eat, Pray, Love’?”  Blair inquires, confused by Epperley’s plot device change of heart.

As it turns out, not only did Epperley quit the magazine, but she has requested that Blair, an INTERN and COLLEGE SOPHOMORE / FULL TIME STUDENT, who she knew for MAYBE A WEEK, and who, during that time, GOT INTO A WRESTLING MATCH AT A HIGH PROFILE COMPANY EVENT, to be her replacement . . .

“Well . . . on a positive note . . . this will make me feel successful enough in my own right to start dating Chuck again!”

In other news . . .

He’s Baaaaack!

Ugh!  Ben . . . again!  When is this guy going to GO AWAY, already?  Isn’t it bad enough we had to cope with HIS EVIL PSYCHO SISTER for half a season? 

Now, I know Drug Dealing Damien is a “Bad Guy” who “Tried to Date Rape Raccoon Zombie” and “Hurt Eric’s Feelings,” but still . . . was any one else, besides me, actually ROOTING FOR HIM, this week?

Did I mention he’s REALLY hot?

Anyway, as you might recall from last week, Rufus took Serena advice (at the SECRET behest of Lily), and offered Ben the opportunity to live out the remainder of his parole at DAN’S APARTMENT.  He did this, mind you, without asking DAN whether it would be OK. 

“W . . . T . . . F!”

To make matters worse, Ben is an AWFUL ROOMMATE.  For starters, he PUTS THE SALAD BOWLS BACK ON THE WRONG SHELF!  (The horror!)  Ben also constantly eyef*&ks Dan’s ex girlfriend, EATS her out SUSHI with her, and agrees to attend W Magazine events with her . . .

NOT COOL, BRO!

Fortunately for Dan, help is on the way, in the form of Drug Dealing Damien, and Friendless Eric.  Honestly, I had to laugh when Damien started going into that ridiculously fake sob story, about how Ben threatened to tell his parents on him for DEALING DRUGS, and how Damien is SO VERY SCARED of Ben, and Eric ACTUALLY BELIEVED HIM! 

(Seriously, Eric?  Have years and years of being FRIENDS with Raccoon Zombie Little J, a step-sibling to Chuck Bass, and a son to your Lying Manipulative B*tch of a Mother taught you NOTHING?)

“So, I come off as gullible and mentally deficient in this episode.   So, what?  At least they gave me a PLOTLINE, for a change!”

Together, Damien and Eric come to Dan for help with Operation Make Ben Look Crazy so his Parole Officer will Cart him Back to Jail.  At the W party, Damien tries to provoke Ben into a fight, but fails.

Not willing to give up, Damien then has ERIC punch him in the face.  He then has Dan invite Ben’s parole officer to the party, so that the latter can see Damien’s smushed face, and think Ben did it.  (That’s A LOT of trouble to go through for some guy you just “don’t like very much.”  Isn’t it, Damien?)

When Serena arrives at the party, to find Ben being dragged away by his parole officer, she is not a Happy Camper . . .

“I am NOT a Happy Camper.”

Serena does not believe for ONE SECOND that Ben would willingly hurt Drug Dealing Damien at a public event.   And yet, when she confronts Ben about it, he doesn’t deny it, or try to defend himself because he is such a Boring Loser.   Later, Eric tries hitting on his “new friend” Drug Dealing Damien again.  However, this time, the latter admits to, more or less, just using him to get back at Ben, and wants nothing more to do with him.  As a result of this rejection, a heartbroken, and incredibly guilty-feeling, Baby VDW comes clean to Rufus, about what he and Drug Dealing Damien did (with Dan’s help, of course).  Then, Dan and Eric rat Drug Dealing Damien out to his Mommy and Daddy for being a drug dealer, and make him cry . . .

Ultimately, Ben is cleared of all charges.  He is also eventually allowed to move back into Dan’s place . . . and Serena’s pants.

“Welcome Ben, prepare to boldly go where every male (and some inanimate objects) on this show have already been . . .”

And that was “Panic Roommate” in a nutshell, Upper East Siders!   Until next time . . .XOXO!

[www.juliekushner.com] [Fangirls Forever]

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People Can Surprise You – A Recap of Gossip Girl’s “Damien Darko”

A WORD OF WARNING, BEFORE WE BEGIN:  I’m a Chair Fan . . . BIG TIME!  Dair Fans, some of this recap might annoy the heck out of you.  Please enter with caution.  And don’t say you weren’t warned . . .

BLAIR:  “Wait a minute!  Why am I FIGHTING with you over a stapler?  I have never stapled anything in my life!  Dorota stapled everything for me from the day I was born until middle school.  After that, my minions took over the job.”

DAN:  “Honestly, I’m not quite sure.  Just like I don’t understand how YOU ended up being the one who ‘worked hard to earn’ this internship, and I got it as a result of my ‘vast connections.’  Not to mention, the silver spoon Lily van der Woodsen has apparently, lodged up my ass, ever since she started boning my father.”

BLAIR:  “Ughhh, does this mean I’m still in that weird Nightmare World, where I suddenly know how to do thinks like ‘wash dishes,’ and rarely ever get to interact with Chuck?

DAN:  “I’m afraid so, Miss Waldorf.   I’m afraid so . . .”

BLAIR:  *closes her eyes and starts clicking her heels together repeatedly*  “There’s no place like home.  There’s no place like home.  There’s no . . .”

Just when you THINK you know a person, he or she can start doing things that are *ahem* COMPLETELY OUT OF CHARACTER.  If there was any theme at all to Gossip Girl’s “Damien Darko” episode, I would say that would be it.  And yet, toward the end of the episode, people returned to acting JUST how you would expect them to act.  Thus, proving that, at the end of even the darkest of tunnels, a bright light will ultimately shine through . . .

“Chuck Bass . . . and no guest.  You may enter my dress.

Let’s review, shall we?

Blair plays nice(?), while Dan plays . .  . with himself

“Ak . . .  and now I’m sitting on a DIRTY FLOOR .  . . IN MY DESIGNER DRESS?  What the heck is WITH this episode?”

When the episode begins, Blair and her roomie Serena are preparing for the day ahead. 

In a rare turn of events, Serena is extremely chatty about her plans for the upcoming week (i.e. “To give my Ex-Con Teacher Friend an “I’m sorry my family TOTALLY ruined your life, but, as it turns out, you kind of deserved it, because you and your sister are ABSOLUTE NUTBAGS, who almost got me killed” F*&k, by Friday.”).  Blair, on the other hand, is alarmingly secretive about her To Do List. 

(OK, since when has Blair EVER kept quiet about her career, and / or plans for Eventual World Domination?  The only time Blair is supposed to be keeping secrets, is when she’s having Mindblowing Sex with Chuck, and doesn’t want anyone else to know about it . . . because they’d be way too jealous.)

“You know you love us  . . . together.  XOXO!”

And yet, it is absolutely essential for this Bizarro Plot of the Week that positively NO ONE, save Blair herself, know about the internship she supposedly worked so hard to secure, sometime between this week’s episode and last.  “I feel like I’m living with Don Draper,” remarks Serena.

No, Serena.   You WISH you were living with Don Draper.  I hear he “Likey The Blondes,” particularly ones that are young, extremely promiscuous, and have low self-esteem, like yourself.

Blair leaves the apartment, and meets up with her New Movie Buddy Dan, who, apparently, she’s been seeing quite a bit of, since their first Holiday Dalliance, during the mid-season finale.  (Somehow, I find it difficult to imagine Blair enjoying herself in a place where Popcorn and Soda in a Plastic Cup are the choicest items on the menu.)  It seems, based on the pair’s exchange, that these two have had plenty to talk about, during their nights out.  Everything from movies, to books, to art is discussed, analyzed, and promptly disagreed upon, in a matter of two minutes. 

And yet, during all this time, NEITHER Blair, nor Dan, has mentioned where he or she is planning to INTERN.  This is despite the fact that these two are SO scholarly and ambitious, that obtaining said internship SHOULD have been the PRIMARY thing on BOTH of their minds, ever since winter break concluded.  (I mean, it’s not like EITHER of them has been getting laid!)  But hey, Plot Devices . . . they are important, right?  So, Blair and Dan part ways, only to find themselves together again, just moments later, in the Copy Room of W Magazine.

“You want me to WHAT?  Collate?  What the hell is that supposed to mean?  You, over there, in the unfashionable suit, get Dorota on the phone and ask her to tell me what ‘collate’ means?”

Now, I find it a bit hard to believe that Blair — a girl, who just last week, memorized the entire biography of a woman on the Forbes list, and literally made a life-sized CHART of her day-to-day schedule, in order to secure an internship with her — wouldn’t even THINK to inquire as to whether there might be OTHER interns working with her at a company as large as the W Magazine.  In fact, the Blair WE know and love, would have probably collected a full dosseir on EACH of the other interns (Dan included), complete with their Deepest Darkest Secrets, and already begun the process of bringing each and every one of them down.  But, like I said, Plot Devices are important . . .

 “Epperly” Blair’s and Dan’s modelesque, but obviously business-minded, boss informs the group that they are all fighting for the same job — which appears to be an “assistant to the editor’s assistant” — sort of deal.  (Lesson to you future employers out there:  If you want to GUARANTEE a toxic environment within your workplace, THIS is how you do it.)  That being said, I actually saw a lot of promise in this storyline . . . intially. 

I pictured Dan and Blair banding together (They are members of the SAME Scooby Gang after all), to cleverly and hilariously weed out the other interns, only to engage one another in heated battle, during the final moments of the episode.  Unfortunately, that didn’t happen . . .

“W . . . T . . . F!”

I also expected for a place like W Magazine to engage its potential employees in a series of meaningful, Project Runway for Fashion Writers-esque competitions.  This way,  the “competitors” could truly showcase, which of them was the Best of the Best for the position.  What I got instead was Dan and Blair pretty much ignoring the rest of their competition (to their peril, I might add) and engaging in fundamentally idiotic battles over who made the best lattes, and who got to “handle the stapler.”  (Unfortunately, this is NOT a Euphemism for Sexual Activity).

All complaints aside, one part of GG’s take on The Devil Wears Prada 2:  Electric Boogaloo that I did enjoy, was when Blair distracted Dan from one of his menial office tasks, by shouting to him, “Oh, look!  It’s Georgina’s Baby!”

Do you remember that storyline?  Because Dan Humphrey probably wishes that you would forget it.

But when the interns actually are assigned a GENUINELY competitive task:  Who can get the most prestigious guest to attend Gossip Girl’s Fancy Party of the Week W Magazine’s promotional event?   . . .  well, that’s when things get REALLY bizarre.  As Convenient Plot Devices Luck would have it, both Dan and Blair somehow manage to get a hold of one another’s proposed guest lists.  Yet while Blair stupidly politely throws Dan’s list in the trash, determined to play fairly for once, DAN sabotages her, by preventing her prized guest from attending the event.

On the night of the party, Blair finds herself working the door, when, who should enter, but Chuck Bass.  Thus, begins, what, OF COURSE, was my favorite scene of the entire episode . . .

Source

BLAIR:  “Chuck Bass . . . and no guest.   You may enter.”

CHUCK:  Blair Waldorf . . . working the door.

BLAIR:  “I got an internship at W Magazine.”

CHUCK:  “Knowing you, you’ll be Editor and my wife by May.  Your plan is working.

BLAIR:  “So, it seems to be.”

And in that one small scene — surrounded, as it was, by abyss of woeful Chair-lessness – I found HOPE, for the couple I’ve grown to love over four seasons.  Though admittedly short, the interaction was pulsating with chemistry, sexual tension, longing looks, and above all, an unmatched sweetness.  This unique flavor of sweetness is one that Chuck and Blair reserve exclusively for one another.  Though, on occasion, they can be KIND to others (generous, and self-sacrificing even), never are these two driven, extremely serious, individuals EVER “sweet.”  Unless, of course, they are together, sharing a moment like this one.

Watching this scene, I couldn’t help but be reminded of Chuck’s words to Blair, during their painful breakup, back in “The Witches of Bushwick” episode,  “When two people are meant to be together, eventually they will find their way back.”

That, of course, is “The Plan” to which Chuck refers in the scene.  And that plan IS working.  Because as Blair mentioned during “The Witches of Bushwick,” she needs to chart her own path in life, before she can build a true and everlasting future with Chuck.  Succeeding at this internship, is her first step down that Golden Path . . .

So, of course, Dan has to go and screw it up, by sabatoging Blair’s party list, and, thereby, causing THIS to happen . . .

Source

And then this happens to both Dan and Blair . . .

Blair is NOT amused . . .

 (I would like to note, at this point, that I was searching for a picspam on the Dair tumblr page to insert into this recap.  And the mere act of doing so NEARLY gave me a virus.  My computer started doing all these weird scary things, and I had to unplug it quickly, before any more damage can be done.  I suspect this is either the result of Dair fans wanting revenge against me for my undying devotion to Chair, or the universe trying to tell me something . . .)

Anyway . . .

Back at the W offices, Blair and Dan are packing their things, when Blair reveals to Dan just how big of an ass he REALLY is.  As it turns out, Blair’s mom DIDN’T secure Blair this internship, as Dan (and most of us) assumed.  Instead, she stalked the office, like a crazy person, to get the job . . . creepily bombarding every fax machine in the office with her resume.

Then she KILLED the intern who was ACTUALLY supposed to get the position . . . just kidding!

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m loving this “New and Improved” Blair, who’s willing to actually work hard to get what she wants, as opposed to getting there through manipulation and nepotism.   And yet, I find it VERY hard to believe that Eleanor, one of New York’s Premier Designers, couldn’t get Blair an internship at W, by . . . say . . . offering its editor an exclusive peek at her Spring Line.  Nevertheless, I agree with Blair, that, Dan’s career aspirations and talents would be better suited with him working for an enterprise like The New Yorker.  (For the record, Lily got Dan HIS job . . . probably by paying off Epperley, or screwing the director of Human Resources, knowing her.)

“You wanted an internship.  I wanted THIS one,” argues Blair.

Dan then wondered out loud (as most of US wondered) why Blair didn’t sabotage Dan’s efforts to secure a guest for the party.  “Guess I must have an undiagnosed brain injury, because I stupidly thought this fake friendship might be real!”  Blair admits.

“Well, don’t I feel like a Douche!”

Ultimately, Dan redeems himself, by calling Epperley, and admitting that HE was the one who sabatoged Blair’s internship efforts, not the other way around.  He goes one step further, by fibbing that it was BLAIR, and not Dan, who got Dan’s famous guest to arrive at the party.  He even goes as far as to tell his former boss that HE started the knockdown, drag out, fight with Blair, just to make her look bad. 

It WAS a genuinely nice gesture on Dan’s part, I must admit — one that shows that Blair was right.  Her FRIENDSHIP with Dan is a real one.  And yet, I can’t help but notice that, having lost HIS internship already, Dan really had nothing to lose, by calling Epperley, and taking the blame for what had happened at the party.  Now, had only BLAIR been fired, thereby, forcing Dan to GIVE UP the position . . . so that she could have it, in his place . . . THAT would have been a special sacrificial act, indeed. 

(A missed opportunity, Gossip Girl writers!  If you want us Chair Fans to support a Dan and Blair hookup . . . even if it’s only a temporary one, which ultimately ends in a lasting friendship for the pair . . . you are going to have to work WAY harder than that!)

The next morning, Blair is sulking in bed with Serena, when Epperley calls her, to tell her she has her job back.  Blair has 15 minutes to get her butt to the office.  (You can’t get ANYWHERE in 15 minutes, in Manhattan!)  This probably would explain why Blair showed up at work looking like THIS . . .

Looks like SOMEONE raided SERENA’s closet, by accident . . . FISHNET STOCKINGS?  PINK SHORTS?  A GRANNY SWEATER?  SERIOUSLY, B?

In other news . . .

Strange (and boring) bedfellows

Chuck’s been doing the Horizontal Mambo with Raina, in hopes that she will fall so desperately in love with him, that she will convince her father not to buy out Bass Industries.  Riiiiight . . . because THAT always works.  (And by “always,” I mean “never.”)  Chuck, I’m disappointed in you.  Clearly, you need Blair on your side to help you come up with better Diabolical Plans.

Chuck’s eyes are closed, because he’s sleeping through this scene . . . as are most fans.

Chuck’s duller than dishwater scheme hits a bit of a snag, when he learns that Russell Thorpe has hired Nate’s ex-con dad to do his dirty work for him.  So, Chuck stupidly requests that Raina fire him.  Insulted that Chuck would have the GALL to mix business with pleasure (Clearly, this chick has never watched Gossip Girl before.)  Raina kicks Chuck out of her bed . . . for about an hour.  Then she takes him back.  *Yawn*

Speaking of Nate’s Coke addicted loser of a Papa . . . The Captain of Douchebaggery . . .

 . . . he’s positively SHOCKED that his son would even THINK that he, of all people, would sabotage Chuck’s business interests, while working for his corporate enemy.  So, the morally outraged Captain moves out of Nate’s house.  And then . . . wait for it . . . he tells Russell Thorpe that he is willing to sabotage Chuck’s business interests.  SURPRISE!

Eric Finally Gets His Own Plotline!  (YAY!) Too Bad its One That Makes Him Look Like a Gullible Moron (BOO!)

The Awkward Moment when you come home, to find your Ex-Boyfriend and your Mom engaged in an in-depth conversation about your Love Life, or lack thereof . . .

This week, we learn that, even though Eric CLAIMS to have been spending time with his boyfriend, Elliot, they actually broke up weeks ago.  (Way to spill the beans to Mom, LAME-O Ex Beau, Jonathan!)  Instead, Eric has been spending his time filling up on sleeping pills, and hanging out with Drug Dealing Damien — the same guy who (1) almost KILLED Serena, by dealing the drugs Juliet used to knock the poor girl unconscious; AND (2) almost date raped his former bestie, Little J a.k.a. Raccoon Zombie.

He’s still hot though . . . which, come to think of it, may be why Eric likes him so much.

Eric eventually comes clean to his family about what he’s been doing, these past few weeks.  But, alas, Mini van der Woodsen is SO very lonely, that when Drug Dealing Damien calls him, in the last few moments of the episode, with offers to “be his friend,” Eric accepts the invitation without a single moment of questioning or hesitation.  Well, this certainly doesn’t look good . . .

Speaking of Drug Dealing Damien, his Call of Friendship to Eric seems to be in response to a recent threat he received from Ex Con,  Ben (or, as I like to call him, Professor Pedophile) who warned the Triple D to stay away from Serena’s family, even thoughProfessor Pedo claimed earlier in the episode that he had “no romantic feelings for Serena, AT ALL.”

“That’s not really true, Serena.  I dreamed about you in prison . .  .  every single time I dropped the soap.”

Regarding the Happily Now-Of-Age Sort-of / Kind of Couple . . .

Serena is in love AGAIN!  (It must be a Monday!)

It appears that Eric isn’t the only van der Woodsen that’s a Glutton for Punishment.  No matter that Ben had Nate’s dad beat up in prison, and hired his own sister to basically ruin Serena’s life for the entire first half of the season, Serena is positively smitten with Professor Pedo.  And when he tells her that he’s leaving town in a few days to start an Organic Farm in Ithaca (?)  (Oh, Professor, you are SO on the wrong show!), Serena is positively heartbroken.  She’s even more shocked to learn that Professor Pedo isn’t living on his friend’s couch, as he mentioned, but at a Super Seedy Halfway House  . . .

It should, perhaps, be noted that Serena defines a “Super Seedy Halfway House” as anything below 80th street  . . .

At the Gossip Girl Fancy Party of the Week, Serena’s affection for Professor Pedo grows, when he offers some “fatherly” (hint, hint, wink, wink) advice to Eric about staying away from drug dealers like Damien (and ex cons, like himself, and the Captain of Douchebaggery).  Then, Ben actually goes so far as to REJECT Serena’s romantic advances.  This nearly sends the Masochistic, Serial Dumping, S to her knees, with orgasmic pleasure. 

“Yes . . . yes . . . yes!  Reject me!  Say you hate me!  Treat me like crap, and try to have me murdered!  MORE!  MORE!  MORE!”

So, of course, Serena is flabbergasted, though not exactly surprised, to find that Evil Mommy Dearest Lily (who redeemed herself in fans eyes for precisely two seconds, by getting Ben released from jail) had tried, once again, to use her money and influence to keep Professor Pedo out of the van der Woodsen’s lives for good. 

Ben refuses the money, however.  And this prompts Rufus to take him on as a tenant.  Serena is POSITIVELY THRILLED with this new development.  But it just makes me nervous . . . really nervous. 

And that’s all I’ve got on Damien Darko.  But, of course, I’d love to hear YOUR thoughts on the episode!

Until next time . . . XOXO!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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It’s All “Relative” – A Recap of Gossip Girl’s “The Kids Are Not All Right”

Welcome Back, GGers!  I’ve MISSED you!  Heck, I’ve missed ALL my favorite Upper East Siders!  It’s definitely been a long and dark December, without a hint of gossip, a dollop of scandal, or a heaping helping of Limosine Sex, to keep me warm . . .

And, honestly, I think it’s BECAUSE I missed this show, and these characters, so much, that I had such a great deal of trouble sitting down to write this recap.  You see, I really, REALLY wanted to kick off the second half of the fourth season of Gossip Girl, by writing an energetic, fun, and, above all, extremely positive, recap, of which I could truly be proud.  But then, I watched this episode . . . and . . . well . . .

 . . . Suffice it to say, I had some “less than positive” things to say about it.

OK . . . I know what you’re thinking!  I can practically feel you rolling your eyes at me from your computer screen . . .

Your thinking to yourself, of course SHE didn’t like the episode!  SHE is a crazed, unapologetically biased, Chair Fan.  And “The Kids Are Not All Right,” not only featured virtually NO interaction between Chuck and Blair whatsoever, it also depicted both characters getting “friendly” with other members of the opposite sex, from OTHER “Ships.”

Good point!  But it’s not ALL about that!  REALLY!  I mean, surely, I’ve enjoyed at least SOME GG episodes that didn’t feature solid Chuck and Blair scenes in them. 

I mean . . . I can’t really think of any right now.  But I’m willing to bet they exist! 🙂

In all seriousness, it was the STORYLINES of “The Kids Are Not All Right” that really bugged me:  Another “Battle for Bass Industries” . . . 

 

 . . . another situation, where Blair schemes to get some “prestigious” internship with some fancy One-Week-Wonder Guest Star, only to have it ultimately blow up in her face . . .

 .  .  another storyline where Dan fumbles a “great” opportunity, because he’s too busy following Serena around like a puppy dog to care about his own life . . .  

 . . . another Nate’s Deadbeat Dad storyline . . . COME ON, Gossip Girl!  These aren’t the fun, sexy, and uniquely scandalous storylines that have kept us coming back, week after week, for FOUR YEARS NOW!

That being said . . . I thought a lot about how I could write this recap, and keep it “positive.”  I explored a lot of options.  I even considered MAKING UP STUFF, and pretending that it happened in the episode — thereby, turning this “recap” into what would essentially be a glorified Chair fanfiction . . .

Not that there’s anything wrong with that!

And that’s when it hit me .  . .

I don’t NEED to insert any fake Chair scenes into this episode, because this episode is ALREADY ALL about Chair . . . and (unfortunately, for me, because I’m a Serenate fan) Derena.  Specifically, “The Kids Are All Right” is about how these two seemingly volatile couples are both essentially DESTINED to be the “Endgame” in Gossip Girl world! 

(Suddenly, I’m liking this episode a WHOLE lot better . . .)

Confused?  Allow me to help you examine “The Kids Are Not All Right” from what I’d like to call the “Chair Perspective.”  (Oh, and for those of you who aren’t Chair fans, you may want to skip down to the words THE END at the bottom of this VERY Chair-full recap section.  I don’t want to make you any madder at me, than you probably already are. ;))

The Chair Perspective – Blair’s Path to Greatness

Remember “The Witches of Bushwick” episode?  If so, then you probably recall how Chuck and Blair FINALLY mutually confessed their love for one another, only to break up outside the Empire Hotel, moments later, so that Blair could try and “find herself.”  Here are some of the “highlights” of that heartbreaking scene:

BLAIR:  “I followed my heart all last year, and it got me no where.  Now I need to follow my head . . . I have to be Blair Waldorf, before I can be Chuck Bass’ Girlfriend.

CHUCK:  “I love you.”

BLAIR:  “I love you too . . . I don’t expect you to wait.”

CHUCK: “If two people are meant to be together, eventually they will find their way back.”

A pointless breakup of two soulmates, you say?  ABSOLUTELY!  🙂  And yet, the above scene is very meaningful, in terms of this episode!  You see, Blair always knew she didn’t want to simply follow in her mother’s footsteps, or live off her family’s wealth. 

Blair wants to chart her own path, and be a successful, powerful woman, in her own right.  But, up until this point, she had NO CLUE what that path was!  That’s why she always got her ideas for internships and extracurriculars activity ideas out of Forbes Magazine, as opposed to by picking her own brain.  Yet, this week, with the help of her new buddy, Dan (Yes, I said Dan . . . and “buddy,” of course) as well as the support of her mother, Blair, for lack of a better term, finally figured out what she “wants to be when she grows up.” 

Chair Fans, Blair Waldorf is destined to be the next Anna Wintour!   

She’s the editor of Vogue, in case you were wondering.

And once Blair is confident that she can successfully achieve that goal, she will be ready to begin the lifelong relationship with Chuck that we all know she is destined to have.  In real life, “finding yourself” can take years, maybe even a lifetime!  But in TV land, it takes approximately “four episodes” . . . 

“If two people are meant to be together, they will find their way back [to eachother],” says Chuck Bass. 

And, if my predictions are correct, Blair should be “back” to Chuck in four-to-six episodes . . .  Sound good?

But What About Chuck?

Chuck may not have been as adamant about it as Blair was, but he also needs to find himself, before he can enter into a livelong relationship with Blair.  Unlike his soulmate, who has spent her whole life striving for success, Chuck merely allowed it to be handed to him.  The Chuck Bass we met during Seasons 1 and 2, cared little about academics, and only slightly more about his father’s business and finances.  He was much more interested in booze and sex. 

Chuck inherited Bass Industries.  He never had to work for it.  And in the first few months of his ownership of the company, he squandered his wealth and the company’s good name.  So, his stepmother, Lily had to step in, and take the reigns for him. 

Now Chuck is at risk to lose Bass Industries once again.  And this time, Lily can’t help him.  This time, Chuck must prove to himself, (and to rest of New York City) that HE is not just the slacker son of a Real Estate Magnate, but a force to be reckoned with — an adult, who is capable of running a successful Empire (and Empire Hotel, of course).  Only when Chuck has accomplished this, will he feel truly worthy of Blair, or at least, of the strong powerful business woman that she is destined to become.

This is why this whole (admittedly snoozy) Bass Industries storyline, is essential to the Chair Endgame.  It is forcing Chuck to prove himself, in a professional way, and on his own merits, without his parents, step-parents, or his slimy older brother to lift him up, if he falls.

So what’s the deal with Dair?  (And why are Chuck and Serena getting so pal-y all the sudden?  Because, that’s just creepy!)

Watching Dan interact with Serena this week, proved to me that he and Blair are in effectively the same place, in terms of their respective relationships.  Both Dan and Blair are more studious, and hardworking than their counterparts.  And yet, they also tend to sacrifice more of their own success and happiness for that of their significant others, due to their generally giving (albeit, slightly judgmental) natures.  Blair mentioned in “The Witches of Bushwick” that she followed her heart for a year, and it got her nowhere.  Dan might have said the same thing, if he had more lines, during that episode . . .

No less than THREE times, during this episode, Dan gave up his own plans, and even a JOB INTERVIEW, to cater to Serena’s whim.  And each time, she DITCHED HIS ass!  To echo Blair’s now-iconic words, Dan REALLY needs to become Dan Humphrey, before he can become Serena van der Woodsen’s boyfriend!  And who better to help him chart that path (platonically, I hope!), than the one woman who wants to achieve the exact same thing, for herself?

We know that Dan helped Blair out this week, by letting her know that she was a “Dictator of Taste,” someone who let people know, in no uncertain terms, that “tights are NOT pants” (Nice Season 1 reference, Humphrey!)  This, of course, helped Blair to figure out that she wanted to one day become the Editor (Editrix?) of a Fashion Magazine

But Blair helped Dan too!   She told Serena, that she couldn’t keep stringing her poor dopey dog of a boyfriend on such a short leash, and just expect him to roll over and play dead for her, forever.  And it was this conversation between the two besties, that ultimately allowed Serena to see the sh*tty way she was treating Dan.  Basically, it convinced her to break things off with him now, so the pair could get back together, later.  (Sound familiar?)

In essence, Serena’s breakup with Dan this week, almost perfectly mirrored Chuck’s with Blair, in “The Witches of Bushwick,” in that both pairs needed to find themselves, individually, in the short term, to salvage their relationships, in the long term.  “We either sink or swim.  We won’t get another chance,” Serena tells Dan.  “So, when we try again, we better be ready.”

This brings us to Serena and Chuck.  (YES!  They are related . . . in more ways than one. :))

Like Chuck, Serena has never been exactly what you would call, “ambitious.”  Both Upper East Siders have reputations for being hard partiers, and more than a bit slutty . . . *cough the Raccoon Zombie Sex Incident cough*  Up to this point, both Chuck and Serena have gotten where they are in life, through a mix of good luck, and unadulterated nepotism. 

So, while Chuck needs to break free from Lily, to prove to himself he can run Bass Industries on his own, Serena needs to break free from her mother too, to prove to herself that she’s more than just the van der Woodsen heiress getting wasted on page 6 of the Post, she’s her own Slutty  Person!  So, Chuck and Serena can help one another achieve their goals, in the same way that Dan and Blair can help one another achieve their’s.

And when that’s all said and done (hopefully, in approximately four episodes), . . .

 .  . . everything will be exactly how it’s supposed to be.  (Well, unless you prefer Serena with Nate, like I do.  But we can’t have EVERYTHING we want, can we?)

THE END(GAME)!

And now, for those other storylines I mentioned earlier. . .

Nate’s Dad is The Captain (of a Sinking Ship)

This question is specifically directed to those of you who have spent time in prison.  (Don’t worry, I won’t ask for names!)  Remember when Nate’s dad, “The Captain” looked like THIS?

Well, what the heck HAPPENED to him in the pokey, that he now looks like Uncle Fester, from the Addams Family?

You might have just assumed that the ACTOR (Sam Robards) who plays “The Captain” has merely lost his hair, and put on a few pounds, since we last saw him.  But, really, FOUR YEARS is NOT THAT LONG!  I think the costume department suggested this “new look” for Howard Archibald.  My question is, “Why?” 

I always thought folks in TOUGH High Security Prisons (where “wrongly accused” teachers got other inmates to beat the crap out of you, just to “teach their baby sister a lesson)” did nothing all day, but lift weights, do push ups, run laps around the track, and try not to drop the soap in the communal shower.  But apparently, I was mistaken.  Is prison food really THAT good?  Just saying . . .

So, anyway, The Captain is living with Nate, and has basically become a total leech, and waste of life.  Rather than abide by the conditions of his parole, and get a job, “The Captain” prefers instead to boink the help (who are helpfully clad in French Maid Halloween costumes, just in case we couldn’t figure out what they did for a living), and play Nate’s Wii in his hotel apartment. 

The Captain later tells Nate that this is because he’s “too good” for janitor work.  Nate, understandably doesn’t buy it.

 

And yet, “The Captain” seems to catch a TOTALLY undeserved career break, when the EEEEEVVVILL Russell Thorpe hires him to do . . . well . . .  heck if I KNOW!  Whatever it is, I strongly suspect that “The Captain’s” undoubtedly job description will end up making janitors look like Mother Theresa, by comparison . . .  (I don’t buy for a second, that Russell didn’t know about The Captain’s incarceration, just because he used to live in Chicago, instead of NYC.  Do you?)

Speaking of Bass Industries (and Russell Thorpe) . . .

Upon learning that Lily has designs on selling his company out from under Chuck’s nose, Chuck seeks out the help of a man who used to be business associates with his father, a Chicago Tycoon, named Russell Thorpe.

What Chuck doesn’t know, at least, until the end of the episode, is that Lily was actually selling the business to a benevolent third party, who would keep the Bass name in tact, and prevent the now-financially destitute company from going up on the auction block.  Oh, and that “friend” of Bart Bass, Russell Thorpe?  He actually HATED Chuck’s dad with a passion!  (Who didn’t, right?)  So, of course, upon learning from Chuck that Bass Industries is being sold, Thorpe blocks the sale, so that HE can buy the company at auction price, and sell it for parts, as a form of revenge against the dearly departed (Debarted?) Bart.

How does Chuck respond to this total threat to his financial health, and good name, you ask?  Well, by SCREWING Russell’s daughter, Raina, of course! 

Screwing people, after all, IS what Chuck Bass does best!  (Just ask Blair!)

But Chuck Bass isn’t the only one, who has seemingly misread Lily van der Woodsen’s intentions.   Serena screwed up as well.  With Chuck’s help (and armed with Lily’s Glamour Shots-looking passport) . . .

(Seriously, who’s passport photo actually LOOKS like this?  Mine is so scary looking, it actually breaks MIRRORS, when I leave it to close to them!)

  . . . Serena somehow convinces a clearly BLIND bank manager that she is her 40-something year old mother, and that Chuck is her SON!

Way to keep the storylines plausible, Writers!

This allows Serena and Chuck to go digging through Lily’s safety deposit box at the bank.   And, lo and behold, in there they find the fake affidavit that Lily signed on Serena’s behalf,  to put Juliet’s brother Professor Ben away for a sex act he didn’t commit.  (Actually, Professor Ben may be the ONLY man on the East coast who HASN’T slept with Serena . . .)

Chuck and Serena plan to show this affidavit to the judge who originally signed off on it, and prove to him that it’s a fraud, thereby ensuring Ben’s release.  And yet, the Judge seems to have flown the coop .  . . or has he?  With Little Eric van der Woodsen’s help, Serena learns that the Judge had been staying at the Empire at Lily’s behest, but has now left town.  Could Lily have been paying the judge off, to stay hidden, so that her daughter couldn’t FIND HIM?

THE HORROR!

When Serena confronts Lily with the incriminating affidavit, at the episode’s Fancy Party of the Week, Lily balks at the idea that she has done anything wrong.  And yet the argument, causes a stir among the partygoers, illustrating publicly the unrest that exists between the Bass-van der Woodsen families.  And it is this unrest that Russell Thorpe is ultimately able to capitalize on, when he is making a play for Bass Industries . . .

And yet, as it turns out, Lily ends up not being as BIG of an A**HOLE as we once thought she was!  Because, at the end of the episode, when Serena goes back to the jail to visit Ben, she learns that Judge in question has already released him from jail, thanks to the presumably well-intentioned efforts of Lily, herself.

But, you know, Serena!  This girl is absolutely incapable of ending an episode, without doing something self-destructive and stupid.  And so, she meets up with former-convict Ben (who is creepily waiting for her outside the jail, even though he was released HOURS ago), and invites him for sex coffee.  Need I remind you that this is the same guy who “hired” his baby sister to ruin Serena’s life, not to mention, the same guy who had The Captain ground to a pulp, by his fellow inmates, just to keep that same baby sister in line, when she started to develop a conscience?

Oh, Serena!  You SURE know how to pick ’em! 

Until next time, folks . . . XOXO!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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