Tag Archives: Jimmy Darmody

It’s Getting Hot in Here . . . – A Recap of Boardwalk Empire’s “Home”

Let me start by saying how much I’ve been enjoying Boardwalk Empire this season.  The characters are interesting.  The scripts are smart and witty.  The plot twists are unexpected.  However, I do have one small suggestion that would considerably improve my own personal appreciation of the show.  Nametags. 

I can’t tell you how many times, while watching this show, I’ve had to stop and check my notes, to ascertain WHO a particular person was, and HOW he or she related to the main characters of this story.  With a Nametag, all of that information would be right on your television screen!  Allow me to illustrate with some simple examples:

This is Chalky White:

(Nice jacket!)

And this is his Nametag:

This is Al Capone:

And this is his Nametag:

Finally, this is Lucy Danziger:

And this is her Nametag:

Can’t you see how something like this would be VERY helpful to viewers of Boardwalk Empire like you and me?

But enough about that.  Let’s get on with the recap, shall we?

Old Dirty Bastard

Hide your cats, kids!  Daddy’s home!

Boy, Nucky’s Dad sure ended up being an evil demented wackadoo, didn’t he?  But you know bothered me most about him?  It wasn’t that he told his own son, “You may think you’re king, but you aren’t worth a damn!”   

And it wasn’t that he scalded Nucky’s hand with a hot poker, for grabbing at a loaf of bread, when he was a boy.  It wasn’t even that he landed Nucky in the hospital for 11 days, by forcing him to pick a fight with boys four years older than he.  No . . . I hate Papa Thompson because he’s MEAN TO CATS!

“Only one of us has nine lives, Old Man.  And it’s DEFINITELY not you!”

When we first see him in this episode, Papa Thompson poking the poor felines residing in his home with sticks, and calling them nasty names.  At first, I thought the Old Coot was just talking to himself (as the interminably aged tend to do).  But when I found out he was berating the Purrrfect Ones, he got a big fat X in my book!  Can you really blame those cute little kitties for peeing all over his house?

I’m not going to lie, when the cats tripped Papa Thompson’s ass and he kerplunked on the floor, I cheered!

Remember that old commercial with the elderly lady and her walker?

“I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up!”

This scene was kind of like that.  Except, the old lady in that commercial, to my knowledge, was never mean to cats.  So, I actually felt bad for laughing at her.

Anyway, Nucky takes time out of his busy schedule of screwing, and screwing people over, to collect his fallen Daddy from the floor of his childhood home.  With Nucky, is his loveable, but not too swift, younger brother, Eli.

The brothers agree that their father can no longer live alone in the house.  Nucky immediately suggests putting his father in an old age home, but Eli won’t hear of it.  “He can stay with me,” Eli offers gallantly.

Later, Nucky meets with an adorably sweet employee of his, who has a wife and tons of kids.  Nucky learns that the employee is saving up to buy a home for his family, but is not able to afford it.  In a rare moment of decency — one that doesn’t involve his own trying to get rich or get laid for change — Nucky generously offers to give his employee the home for free, provided the Family Man can repair it, and remove the cat piss smell from its walls.

The Family Man is overjoyed!

He quickly fixes up the house, using all of his family’s savings on repairs.  When Nucky comes to visit the place, it looks as good as new!  So, Nucky, after a few choice words from his dad, decides to burn it to the ground.

When the Poor Family Man arrives on site to find his Dream Home overtaken by flames, Nucky boredly hands him a large wad of bills.  “Here.  Find a nicer place to live,” he says, before getting in his car, and driving away.

Ouch!  It looks like the apple might not fall too far from the cat-abusing tree . . .

A Few Screws Loose

Over in Chicago, Jimmy’s war injury has been acting up.  So, he heads to a doctor that specializes in treating veterans.  Aside from making some lame jokes about Jimmy having a few “screws loose” in his leg, the doctor provides our antihero with little help.  However, he does suggest that Jimmy submit to some psychological testing for war veterans.

I was actually really surprised that Jimmy agreed to go to the testing center in the first place, because it seemed so out of character for him to willingly do something like that.

“This is what I do to people who ask me to talk about my feelings.”

However, had Jimmy not gone to the test center, he would not have met Richard Harrow, a fellow war veteran, and an expert sniper, with a penchant for shooting guys in the face.  Speaking of faces, did I mention that Richard only has half of one?  The other half must have blown off during the war.  So, Richard has to wear a cool Phantom of the Opera-type mask, which makes him closely resemble a character in a Dick Tracy comic.

As if all this didn’t make Richard awesome enough, he also has this deep raspy voice, like a Budweiser Frog . . .

 . . . and a complete lack of affect, which makes his line delivery sound like something out of the movie RainMan.

“Six minutes to Wapner.  Kmart Sucks.”

Jimmy, who is fast becoming the manager of Team Kickass Gangster, knows a good future hoodlum when he sees one.  So, he quickly strikes up a friendship with the Masked One.  The two play hooky together from Psychological Testing, and head off to Jimmy’s favorite Hangout, Johnny Torrio’s Brothel.  Having concluded that the Masked One has never “been with a woman,” Jimmy nips that problem in the bud, lickety split.  Now THAT’S a good friend!

Later, thanks to a tip from Al Capone (who I WISH was in this episode more), Jimmy arrives at a bar on Chicago’s northside, and confronts Liam — the guy who cut up Pearl’s face a few episodes back, and, ultimately brought about her suicide.

With an eerie nonchalance that would make Michael Corleone proud, Jimmy lulls Liam into a false sense of security, by recounting an old war tale of a German soldier who got caught amidst a tangle of barbed wire, and yet still retained the will to live.  “Sometimes living is far worse than dying,” Jimmy concludes.  “I don’t ever want to see you here again.”

As Jimmy leaves, we hear Liam take a loud sigh of relief.  Then, a pitcher of water across the room from him shatters.  The patrons of the bar look around in confusion.  Then they see it — a small bullet-sized hole in the window.  A hole that matches the one on Liam’s face, right below his eye. 

We cut to an apartment a few floors above the bar, where the Super Cool Richard Barrow is calmly packing his gun back inside a brief case.  It was BY FAR the best scene in this episode!  And the fact that it was accompanied by music from the Phantom of the Opera, and followed by a pivotal scene from the film, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (“It was at this moment, that Dr. Jekyll was awakened to the baser sense of his nature.”), just made the whole thing ten times better!

Watching the Jekyll and Hyde film in question, is an increasingly agitated Lucy Dumb Slut, who is not taking her replacement by Margaret as Nucky’s favorite Sex Toy, particularly well.

Be afraid Margaret.  Be VERY AFRAID!

Van Alden’s Big Break

Back at the station, Nelsan Van Alden . . .

 . . . may not be any closer to convicting Nucky for any wrong doing.  However, he sure does seem to be developing a compelling case against Jimmy Darmody!  When one of Jimmy’s accomplices in that liquor raid featured in the pilot episode, is fingered on a bunch of unrelated charges, the Rat quickly drops a dime on Jimmy, in exchange for clemency.

(Ummmm .  . . you can stop hitting yourself now, Mr. Van Alden.  This is very good news for you . . .)

Girls who like Girls . . .

Speaking of Jimmy, remember when we all thought that his wife was banging that photographer, while he was away at war?  Well, it turns out, she wasn’t.  She was banging his wife.  Apparently, Angela is an artist of some sort, and her lover is trying to get her work shown in some swank New York gallery. 

During this scene, we also learn that Jimmy has been wisely putting Nucky’s name on the envelopes containing the money he sends his family monthly, so his rivals will not be able to locate him.  It sure makes him look like a prick to his family, though . . .

Speaking of Pricks . . .

. . . Margaret acts like a bit of one to Nucky, when he tries to tell her about his effed up relationship with his Dad.  “I’m no stranger to a man’s cruelty,” she says, dismissively.  “Sometimes it’s best to leave the past where it is.”

It seems Margaret has been getting some bad advice lately.  The first piece of it came last week from a pamphlet entitled “Family Limitation,” and involved a bottle of Lysol.

This week, one of her new whore friends instructs her not to allow Nucky to talk too much about his personal problems, because it will make him feel “weak.”  Margaret ultimately apologizes to Nucky for her insensitive behavior.  Nucky, to his credit, appears to take her faux pas in stride, eventually coming clean to Margaret about his father’s uncommon cruelty. 

To show there are no hard feelings, Nucky allows Margaret’s kids to call him “Daddy” “Uncle,” and even lets one of them come watch him burn his Dad’s house down. 

Awwwww . . . family bonding!  How sweet!

Meet Michael Lewis Meyer Lansky

While Nucky is huffing, and puffing, and blowing his Dad’s house down, Arnold Rothstein is trying to do the same thing to Nucky’s illegal liquor business.  When Chalky White is visited by a man who calls himself “Michael Lewis,” Nucky’s No-Nonsense Bootlegger becomes instantly suspicious.

“You may stay where the f*ck you standing,” he tells the young man, when the later politely requests admittance into Chalky’s “office.”

“Michael,” as it turns out, has a business proposition for Chalky.  It involves Chalky delivering liquor directly to Michael for $10,000 and cutting out Nucky as the Middle Man.  Though initially intrigued by the idea, Chalky smells a Rat.

“Tell Nucky it’s going to take more than 10 grand for me to f*ck him over,” scoffs Chalky.

“You can’t blame a guy for trying,” concedes “Michael,” as he exits stage left.

Later, we learn that “Michael” (who’s real name is Meyer Lansky) wasn’t working for Nucky at all.  Rather, he works for Arnold Rothstein.

You see, Arnold, Meyer, and Lucky Luciano are trying to get a foothold in the New Jersey liquor business.  But they need capital to do it.  And so, they contact the Philadelphia crime family, which is led by a guy named Mickey Doyle, and that dude from The Sopranos and Doogie Howser, M.D.

(Apparently, it was this Philly gang, and not Rothstein’s gang, who robbed Nucky’s “tax collector” at the beginning of last week’s episode.  See what I mean . . . about them all needing name tags!)

With the help of Lucky’s bravado . . .

“I’m a Captain in bed of Industry!”

 . . . and Meyer’s fast-talking salesmanship, the gangs of New York and Philly quickly form an EVVVVVILLL Alliance against Nucky Thompson.  Together, the two gangs plan to rob one of Nucky’s Atlantic City casinos, and use that cash to finance their own illegal liquor enterprise. 

(Don’t get me wrong, it’s a clever idea  .  . . but I think I liked it better when it was called Ocean’s Eleven . . .)

Arnold Rothstein is cute and all . . . but he’s NO George Clooney.

So, there you have it.  Though it was far from my favorite episode of the series (last week’s “Family Limitations probably still owns the crown on that title), “Home” did provide us with some illuminating insight into Nucky’s psyche.  It also introduced us to a couple of intriguing new characters: the enigmatic Richard Harrow and real-life criminal mastermind, Meyer Lansky.

Did I mention, there were cats in the episode?

[www.juliekushner.com]

Leave a comment

Filed under Boardwalk Empire

“Who’s Hunting Whom?” – A Recap of Boardwalk Empire’s “Family Limitation”

Is that a knife in your table, or are you just happy to see me?

During the Prohibition Era, business, politics, and love, were all Blood Sports.  Sometimes you were the Hunter, and sometimes you were hunted.  Your survival depended entirely on how well you played the Game . . .

“Hey . . . nobody said anything about “hunting.”  I thought the 1920’s were just about Booze and Sex . . .”

Let’s take a look back, shall we?

Nucky Gets Scratched and Screwed

When the episode opens, one of Nucky’s goons is collecting “taxes” from some local businesses on Nucky’s behalf.  Then, the Big Doughy Dude gets his ass kicked, and his money stolen, by a little kid and a skinny guy, who were obviously working as a Tag Team.  Now, if you ask me, this was Nucky’s first mistake.  You don’t hire someone who looks like this . . .

 . . . to collect your money for you.  You hire someone who looks like this . . .

“You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.”

You know what Nucky’s second mistake was?  Sleeping with her!

Now, I’m sure Paz de la Huerta (the actress who plays Mistress Lucy) is a lovely lady.  But I want this character to “get whacked” so badly, that I actually make fake machine gun noises (complete with accompanying hand gestures) every time she appears on screen. 

Don’t get me wrong, I like a good villain as much as the next girl.  (My favorite characters on this show are Al Capone and Lucky Luciano, if that’s any indication.)  But here’s the thing about good villains — they tend to be either fun, or fun-ny (being hot helps too) and Lucy is none of the above!  In fact, she’s more like . . .boobs meat with eyes . . .

So, anyway, Nucky is lounging in bed with Annoying Ass Lucy.  Noticing how clearly BORED he is with her (and, honestly, who wouldn’t be?), Lucy decides to engage in a little “role playing.”  And that role playing involves pretending to be a “tiger” and scratching Nucky, until he bleeds.

Now, aside from the fact that unnecessary close-ups of Steve Buscemi’s abdominal muscles (or lack thereof) should be avoided at all costs, this had to be the LEAST sexy showing of rough foreplay I have EVER seen in my entire life! Come on, HBO!  I know you can do better.  In fact, I’ve SEEN you do better . . .

I rest my case . . .

After warning Lucy not to get carried away by his UNBELIEVABLE HOTNESS . . .

Ummmm . .  . OK?

 . . . Nucky escapes to the bathroom, and our eyes are finally given a rest.

Professor McGonagall Knows her Birth Control . . .

In the next scene, an embarrassed Margaret heads to the Temperance League to seek advice from her favorite mentor, Professor McGonagall.

It is common knowledge that those who can turn into cats, know a thing or two about pussy love.

Margaret tells Professor McGonagall, that she has received an offer from a Powerful Wizard, who is willing to care for her and her family, provided she cleans his wand every once in a while.  Who is this Wizard you may ask?  Well, Margaret Dare Not Speak his Name . . .

But I will!  I’s . . .  Nucky!  (Why?  Who did you think I was talking about?)

Anyway, McGonagall, who’s been around the block a few times (Dumbledore?  Snape?  She totally hit those!), admits that she does, in fact, think Margaret is a whore.  And yet, she’s surprisingly cool about the whole thing!  “You gotta do, who what you gotta do,” McGonagall tells Margaret, more or less.

However, before Margaret leaves, McGonagall gives her a book entitled “Family Limitations,” written by Margaret Sanger.  Now, because I didn’t know anything about this book, or why McGonagall gave it to Margaret, or what the heck it had to do Lysol, I took the liberty of doing a little research.  Apparently “Family Limitations” was a controversial pamphlet  about birth control, which made it’s way around town during the 1920’s.  As for what the reference to “Lysol” was doing in there? 

Well, I think you can probably figure it out . . .

Speaking of Someone in Need of Lysol . . .

How’s this for an awkward moment.  You are getting it on with your rival’s mother (by the way, I don’t believe for a second that Gretchen Mol, who is in her late 30’s, looks old enough to play Mommy to Michael Pitts, who’s in his late 20’s). 

Then, your boss calls . . .

And he tells you that, not only does he KNOW that you have been getting it on with your rival’s mother, he also knows that the two of you are doing it RIGHT NOW!

All I have to say is, thank goodness they didn’t have web cams back then.  Because, if they did, we all KNOW Rothstein would be checking that stuff out on YouTube . . .

Later, Nucky, who suspects Lucky of being behind the “tax” heist, calls him into his office.  He then, basically, has little brother beat the crap out of the guy. 

Interestingly enough, the beating had NOTHING to do with the “tax theft” and everything to do with Frank talking disrespectfully about Jimmy’s mother.  (Wait . . . NUCKY knew those two were screwing too?  Maybe they did have YouTube back then . . .)

“Everything you see here is mine . . . if you steal from my men, or boink the mother of my illegitimate child you steal from me,” warns Nucky.

“Thank you for showing me how it’s done here,” seethes Lucky, as he exits the office.

Oh, I have a feeling this is FAR FROM OVER . . .

“We’ll Make Them an Offer They Can’t Refuse”

Tensions began to boil beneath the surface for “new friends” Al Capone and Jimmy Darmody, when Al’s lack of knowledge about how to play “Five Finger Filet” (Come on, Al!  I used to play ALL THE TIME in elementary school!  Granted . . .  I used a dull Number 2 pencil instead of a knife.  But still!) leads Jimmy to publicly question Al about his “time as a soldier.”

“Hey!  I was too in a war!  Ever heard of a little thing called the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre?  Oh . . . wait . . . that didn’t happen yet . . .”

Later, Johnny Torrio calls Jimmy and Al over to discuss a rival “Family’s” hostile takeover of Torrio’s territory in Greektown, as well as their hostile invasion of Torrio’s brothel (an event, which, as we know, ultimately brought about Jimmy’s girlfriend, Pearl’s suicide).  When Capone tells Torrio to start a war with the rival Family, Torrio scoffs at the idea, and tells the young gangster to “go wash [his] Buick.”

“Are you smart?” Torrio inquires of Jimmy, as a cowed Capone exits the building.

Jimmy suggests that Torrio go to the rival Family and come to an understanding with them.  He agrees with Torrio that out-and-out-war is the wrong way to go.  “But retreating?  How would that look?”  Jimmy asks pointedly.

“What is your obsession with this Schroeder person?”

We’ve all known that Detective Van Alden has had a hard on for Margaret, ever since he started sniffing her stolen hair ribbon, a few weeks back.  But we didn’t know just how far his obsession has gone, until this week.  When Van Alden got a surprise visit from his boss, over at the FBI, he had pretty much nothing to show him that would result in any sort of criminal charges against Nucky Thompson.  He did, however, have a whole lot of intel on Margaret Schroeder, including her personal file . . . a file that is about to be put to some pretty interesting use within the hour . . . (and by “pretty interesting,” I mean “really CREEPY”).

“And then, what am I?”

Back at the mansion, Nucky and Margaret are getting mighty close, when Margaret notices the Lucy-sized scratches on Nucky’s stomach.  (AGAIN with the Buscemi abdominal shot?  SERIOUSLY, HBO!)  “What happened here?”   Margaret asks suspiciously.

“Hunting accident,” Nucky replies.

“Be vewy, vewy quiet.  I’m hunting Ho Bags!”

But Margaret’s no dummy.  She knows Nucky can’t hunt.   She watched The Sopranos.   “Who’s hunting whom?”  She asks smartly.

When Margaret announces she has to leave for work, Nucky, who’s idea of “working” involves screwing slutty girls, drinking, and threatening people, is understandably confused.  “No you don’t,” he pouts, obviously alluding to the “proposition” he made to her, sometime between last episode and this one.

“And then, what am I?”  She inquires skeptically. 

(Well . . . that would make you a Ho Bag, Margaret . . . but a very nice and likeable one . . . kind of like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman.)

“Maybe Your C**ny, Isn’t Quite the Draw You Think it Is.”

We are back at the dress shop where Margaret works, when who should stop in, but the Annoying Ass Lucy, who apparently is this shop’s ONLY CUSTOMER.  Lucy is interested in trying on some underwear with a Big Fat Hole in Crotch.  (That’s funny . . . because when my underwear gets a Big Fat Hole in the Crotch, you know what I do with it . . . I THROW IT AWAY!)

As if that wasn’t bad enough, Lucy wants MARGARET to try on the underwear FOR HER!

So, into the dressing room goes Margaret.  And, before you know it, girlfriend is STARK NAKED.

OK . . . so let me get this straight.  She’s trying on underwear.  She’s wearing a dress, with nothing underneath.  So, she takes off her top to put something on her bottom?  Why?  Apparently, HBO stands for “Have Boobs Often” . . .

Anyway, there’s Margaret in her birthday suit.  And Annoying Ass Lucy starts making all these nasty comments are her body.  I basically tuned the b*tch out, so I couldn’t tell you all of what she said.  I do recall, however, that Margaret admitted that she doesn’t wear a bra.

Am I the only one who thought an uptight, shy girl like Margaret would, not only wear a bra, she would NEVER TAKE IT OFF (not even in the shower)?

“I find them uncomfortable,” replies Margaret.

(Ummmm . . . really?  Because you know what I find “uncomfortable”?  NOT WEARING A BRA . . . particularly when doing things like . . . you know . . . walking.)

When Margaret notes that Nucky has no complaints about her body (or lack of a bra), Lucy chooses that moment to go all Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct.  Suddenly, her legs are wide open, and, just like every box of cheap kid’s cereal, there is a prize inside . . .

Except, it didn’t look nearly that cute . . .

Margaret lapses into a story about a singing rooster that once fascinated people, but eventually bored them, because it only knew how to do ONE THING.

Lucy, being a total MORON, doesn’t get it . . .

“Maybe your c&*ny isn’t quite the draw you think it is,” explains Margaret.

With that, Girlfriend quits her job at the dress shop, and calls Nucky to accept her new position as Ho Bag – a job that comes with a brand new Barbie Dream House, complete with a built in babysitter, for nights out on the town.

Ho Bag . . . that’s more or less how Margaret’s former neighbor described Margaret, when Van Alden came to her old home looking for her.

“Interesting . . . so that’s why her ribbons smelled like that!  Oh well, nothing a little Lysol can’t cure . . .”

Friends versus Accomplices

While having dinner at Al Capone’s house, Jimmy learns that Al’s son, Sonny, is deaf (a fact that is more or less historically accurate – The real Sonny Capone lost partial hearing as a result of an illness he contracted at age 7.).  Later, Jimmy finds an old love note from the “dearly departed Pearl,” which inspires him to take Torrio’s Greektown negotiation in a different direction . . .

The initial negotiations go quite well, actually.  Sure, there was a little snafu, when Jimmy’s favorite Five Finger Filet Knife and the “skull crusher” attached to it ended up in Jimmy’s throat.  But, other than that, it was fairly uneventful.  At least . . . until Jimmy, Al and Johnny shot the stuffing out of the rival gang, leaving them all dead with a capital D . . .

Oops . . . that might set back “negotiations” a little bit . . .

Later, Torrio holds a celebration at the brothel, in honor of his re-acquisition of Greektown.  At the celebration, he praises Jimmy for his smarts, business acumen, and his amazing ability to look insanely hot while murdering people.  Feeling a bit left out, a jealous Al starts making some not-so-funny jokes to the crowd, about Jimmy cleaning toilets and pooping in his pants.

So, Jimmy retaliates, by making some not-so-funny jokes about Al not really ever being in the army.  AWKWARD!

That night, Al comes to Jimmy’s room with a weapon in his pocket . . .

Oh, don’t worry!  It’s just a STEAK!

Al wants to play nice, and make amends.  He’s really sorry for getting drunk and telling tales about Jimmy’s poopy pants.  But all that “fake soldier” stuff, Jimmy said about him?  That was just “not cool.”  “It makes me look bad,” explains Captain Obvious.  “That’s not how you treat a buddy.”

“Is that what we are?”  Jimmy asks skeptically.

“Yeah, what did you think?”  Al asks.

“Accomplices,” Jimmy replies.

“Same thing,” Al asserts.

With accomplices like these, who needs enemies . . .

Ironic implications aside, the little powwow between Baby Al and Baby Jimmy ends on a relatively high note, with a tearful Al admitting to his son’s deafness, and how guilty it makes him feel.  “I hate to think he’s being punished for the things I’ve done, or the things I’m about to do.”

Well, what do you know?  There is a heart in there!  Not that we’re surprised.  After all, Capone always had a thing for Valentine’s Day . . .

Love Hurts . . . and SCARS.

Alls well that didn’t end so hot for Poor Margaret, who was supposed to go out on a date with Nucky to see Houdini’s Brother perform, but got stood up at the last minute.  So, while Nucky got a little Weiner Appreciation from some naked floozy with a mandolin . . .

 . . . Margaret stayed home with the babysitter and some of the other “Concubine’s Children.” 

Meanwhile, Super Creep Van Alden ogled an underage picture of Margaret from her file.  Then, after learning about her earlier miscarriage, Super Creep got so turned on, that he put her kiddie picture on his night stand, and proceeded to SLAP HIMSELF IN THE BACK WITH A BELT, FOR THREE WHOLE MINUTES, while we all were forced to watch in horror.

You gotta love a little self-flagellation with your Sunday night television!  Honestly, I don’t know who was hurt more by watching this scene, Van Alden or US!  Mike Shannon (who plays Van Alden) does have a pretty sexy back though . . . So, at least there was that . . .

[www.juliekushner.com]

10 Comments

Filed under Boardwalk Empire