Tag Archives: Nelson Van Alden

Say Hello to My Little Winky! – A Recap of Boardwalk Empire’s Season 2 Premiere “21”

(NOTE:  For those of you who might be poking around for a certain Gossip Girl recap, I PROMISE it’s coming.  I’m just a day behind in my recapping schedule.  😦  Check back here around this time tomorrow, 9/28, and you’ll most definitely find it . . . Thanks for being patient!  )

“The new season of Boardwalk Empire starts this week.  Gotta look HOT!  You just know all the ladies love Buscemi!” 

Greetings fellow Boardwalkers!  Welcome back!  Man, it’s been a long time since I’ve talked to you!  I can’t believe it’s been an ENTIRE year since I last used THIS animated GIF . . .

For the record, I plan to use it AT LEAST two more times in this recap  . . . 

 Did you watch the Season Premiere?  If you didn’t, you missed a good show!  Let’s see .  . . people got blown to pieces, and had their necks slashed . . . there was some very awkward sex in a hotel room . . . we got to hear an interesting discussion about Jimmy Darmody’s winky .  . . that tubby old guy with the glasses did hilarious-looking exercises in his living room.  (By the way, if anybody has a picture of this, please send it my way, and I will be forever indebted to you!)

All in all, it was a fitting end to an interminable hiatus.  And I’m very eager to discuss it with you.

Maybe a little too eager . . . 

So, pop that cork, and load that gun, because we are about to have some fun . . .

The rhyming .  . . it was too much, right? 

“When you get what you want, you don’t want what you get.”

“I’m not wearing any underwear!  WOOHOO!”

Boardwalk Empire is nothing if not cinematic.  And why wouldn’t it be?  It’s produced by FRIGGIN MARTIN SCORCESE!  They don’t get much more cinematic than that . . .

“Are you talkin’ to me?”

The opening sequence of the episode, along with the song that accompanies it, pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the hour.  Four months have passed since we last spent time with our Boardwalk Empire crew.  And though many of them seem to have achieved what they “wanted” last season, few of them appear to be genuinely happy with the results.

New address . . . nicer clothes . . . better hair . . . same perma-b*tchface.

The year is 1921.  Prohibition is technically still in effect.  Except, it’s about as well-enforced as the “No Underage Drinking,” regulations at a present-day frat party, or the “No Pot” laws at a Dave Matthews Band concert.  A new shipment of booze has just come to shore.  And a bored-looking, recently-married, Jimmy Darmody, along with his trusty facially-challenged sidekick Richard Harrow, direct the cargo off the boats and into cars, where it will be shipped to Chalky White’s distillery.

YAY, Capitalism! 

There, it will be watered-down significantly, and rebottled, so that restaurants and bars around town can pay twice what it’s actually worth to serve it.  And Average Joe American can pay double THAT price to drink it.

Meanwhile, the no-longer arsenic-poisoned Commodore is doing what appears to be Tae Bo in his stuffed animal-infested living room.  Also in this sequence, we get to see a very sad Margaret Schroeder (Isn’t she ALWAYS very sad?) waking up alone in Nucky’s big empty bed, while he canoodles with a new trampy-looking lady, at yet another high class Atlantic City Orgy “business meeting.” (Well, that certainly didn’t take long!)

“What can I say?  I’m irresistible!”

Lest you think this entire episode is going to be all broody and contemplative about the “meaning of life” and “true happiness” and such, we are about to get to the GOOD STUFF . . .

Those Pesky Sheet-heads are at it again!

SHEEETTTT!

OK . . . this next part . . . I’m not going to lie . . . It’s kind of awesome.  And this is coming from someone who doesn’t condone violence at allWho am I kidding?  Fake violence RULES! So, Chalky is at his warehouse, overseeing the delivery of his alcohol shipment . . .

First of all, loving the outfit.  That hat? The red jacket with the fur collar?  The solid gold tie?  This guy is a TOTAL PIMP!

Source

 . . . when suddenly there’s a knock at the door.  It’s THIS GUY . . .

“Knock, Knock.”

“Who’s there?”

“Dead.”

“Dead who?”

“Dead YOU (and me).” 

Yep . . . so much for a security guard.  Those sheet heads from the KKK have come to crash this Jamaican Rum Party.  (Perhaps, the Rum Runners should have had a little CAPTAIN in them?)

“It’s just a Halloween costume.  I don’t know why you guys are getting so upset.”

 The Sheet Heads are shooting down the doors.  People are DYING!  One of the guys even has the NERVE to hold a gun to my darling Chalky’s beautiful head . . .

Fortunately, like all bigots, Sheet Head is a TOTAL MORON.  And instead of, you know, actually DOING WHAT HE CAME TO DO, he starts making the classic cartoon villain mistake of MONOLOGUING about the murder he’s about to commit.  This gives the Bad Ass Chica in the background the opportunity to fire a round right into Chalky’s would-be murderer’s shoulder, and TAKE THAT RACIST ASSHAT OUT!

Talk about standing by your man (or . . . someone else’s man . .  . whatever)!  I haven’t seen this much self-sacrificing bravery since Rupert Murdoch’s wife dove into that PIE, during the congressional hearing . . .

Unfortunately, she got blown up about two seconds later . .  .

R.I.P. Little Miss Awesomesauce . . . I’ll still remember you as the best thing about this episode. 🙂 

And then those damn Sheetheads got away!  But not before a thankfully ALIVE Chalky got one more parting shot at them . . .

 

Source

I may or may not have cheered, and raised a fist in triumph, when this happened.  Does that make me a bad person?

“Let’s SCHOOL these crackers!”

Learn, dammit! 

Nucky arrives home from a long HARD night of getting wasted and banging whores  planning Atlantic City’s future, when he gets news about the shooting.  Since the KKK are a fairly influential group in Atlantic City at this time, and Chalky is an important ally of Nucky’s both in the illegal liquor business, and in his ability to secure for the politician the much-prized African American vote, Nucky finds himself between a rock and a hard racist place.  And so he decides to visit Chalky at his home, along with his turncoat soon-to-be dead, just like Fredo brother, Eli.

All in all, it’s a rather uncomfortable meeting, that begins with an uncomfortably long piano solo by Chalky’s suprisingly preppy son, and continues with an uncomfortably awkward meal.  Nucky is frustrated with Chalky for shooting at white people, without consulting him first, because that makes HIM look bad.

Seriously, Chalky, had you texted me, when all this was happening, I would have totally told you to hold your fire.  Wait . . . sorry . .  wrong decade. 

(Ummm . . . yeah . . . it’s called self-defense, Nucky . . . learn it . . . live it . . . love it.)

 Chalky wonders why this happened in the first place, especially considering that a big part of the reason he allied with Nucky in the first place,  was to get protection from gun-toting wackadoodles like this.  Chalky’s plan is to crash a Klan meeting, guns blazing, and “SCHOOL THE CRACKERS.” And this is just such a cool phrase, I’d totally have it printed on a t-shirt, if I didn’t think that would probably get me beaten up in the city . . .

I was just kidding about the t-shirt, Chalky.  I swear! 

Nucky promises to do a less sucky job protecting Chalky in the future.  However, he cautions him to hold off on the “Cracker Schooling,” lest he accidentally get himself killed.  Nucky also agrees to refrain from arresting Chalky until further notice.  All in all, it seems like a pretty level-headed compromise on BOTH sides . . .

But things become even more complicated when, during one of Nucky’s community forums, one of the KKK members barges in to announce that a member of clan has died, due to wounds he sustained during the shoot out.  Coincidentally, this is the same guy that ALMOST killed Chalky, but was taken out by Little Miss Awesomesauce (R.I.P.).

“I should be in a brothelhome having sex with a random slut my wife, right now.”

Nucky, who had begun his speech, diplomatically condemning BOTH the African American Rum Runners and the KKK for their actions, finds himself forced to secretly arrest Chalky .  . . “for his own good.”  Something tells me Chalky isn’t going to like that very much . . .

Why PETA HATES the Commodore . . .

So, you like to shoot animals, and stuff them, huh, Old Man?  Well, STUFF THIS!

Back at La Casa de Commodore, Jimmy’s heretofore absentee dad is hard at work Lady Macbeth-ing his ambivalent son to usurp Nucky’s control over Atlantic City.  (It’s pretty strongly implied that Commodore and Co., were behind the KKK raid of Chalky’s warehouse, and his attempted assassination.)  Some of Commy’s advice makes sense.  For example, he tells Jimmy to start forging his own business connections in the liquor trade (a good idea), and to start developing a more positive public presence in the community, by shaking hands, kissing babies, and such (another good idea).  Then he starts point out all these creepy dead animals hanging around his house, and talking about how he killed them . . .

I don’t get it . . . and I don’t LIKE IT! 

He starts telling one story in particular about shooting a bear in the stomach, while looking him straight in the eye, when he was 10.  And I think it was supposed to be “metaphoric” about how you should, confront your enemies, and show no fear, and other such bullsh*t.  But, honestly, I was so disturbed by that poor teddy bears horrified visage, that I wasn’t really paying attention . . .

In my defense, I don’t think Jimmy was either . . . 

Oh, the Commodore did have one thought-provoking line in his otherwise interminable animal-slaughtering monologue.  And this was it: “You will be judged by what you succeed at, not by what you attempt.”

Depressing . . . but true.

In other Bad Parenting News . . .

Things you shouldn’t do to your kids #1 – KISS THEIR WINKYS!

Source

So, Jimmy finally decided to make an honest woman out of his lesbian wife, and move her and his kid into a nice big house, thanks to the raise he got from Nucky.  Also crashing in this rather sizeable pad, is Jimmy’s pretty, but promiscuous, Mommy, and his loyal sidekick, Richard (more on him later).

“Did you just say, ‘Grandma’s hot?” 

The odd little dynamic of this extended family, becomes immediately apparent in this breakfast scene.  Mrs. Darmody is clearly the third wheel in her own marriage.  First Mama Darmody insists on making Jimmy’s eggs, since SHE is the only one who knows how he likes them.  Then, when Jimmy suggests taking his son bird hunting, just as Nucky took him, back when he was young (important later), and Angela protests, Mama Darmody jumps right in, and sides with her son.

Mommy dearest? 

I have to say, as much as I found the character of Angela Darmody to be a HUGE bore, back in Season 1, I was pretty proud of her, this week.  In most shows where the Mother-in-Law babies her son, and passive-aggressively lashes out at her daughter-in-law, it can takes WEEKS before the wife has the (for lack of a better term) balls to actually say something about it.  Angela confronts Mama Darmody immediately (as soon as Jimmy leaves, of course) about undercutting her authority.  To this, Mama Darmody casually replies that when Jimmy was a baby, she used to kiss his winky.

Now, for a while, a lot of fans have speculated as to the nature of Jimmy’s relationship with his mother . . .  specifically, how Oedipal it might be.  Some have even gone as far as to suggest that their relationship is a sexual one.  Maybe I’m just being naive here.  But, while I think that Gillian and Jimmy DEFINITELY have an inappropriate relationship — one borne out of her having given birth to him at the tender age of 13, and her constant need to be found desirable by ALL men, even her son — I don’t think it quite rises to that level of gross misconduct.

You know how dogs mark their territory, to silently inform other dogs that they should back off?

Yeah.  I think it’s safe to say that Gillian was metaphorically peeing on Jimmy here, to send Angela a message , which coincidentally, is probably exactly what Baby Jimmy would do to Gillian, if she ever got NEAR his winky to do anything other than change a diaper.

Things you shouldn’t do to your kids #2 – Give them wads of cash for trying to SET THEIR SCHOOL ON FIRE

“You just keep lighting those matches, Kiddies.  Mama needs a new pair of shoes!” 

So, remember back in Season 1, when Nucky used to get all weepy, while looking at thost baby incubators . .  . and he boo hoo hooed, about wanting to start a family, and got all upset when Margaret tried to Lysol herself in to contraception?  Yeah, those days are clearly over.  Nucky’s cool about being a dad, when it comes to reminiscing about the “good old days,” of going duck hunting with Little Jimmy.  But when it comes to Margaret’s kids, he pretty much can’t be bothered . . .

This leaves Margaret to cope with the unsightly bruises popping up all over her son, Teddy’s hands, and the fact that he’d rather hide under the kitchen table all day than go to school.  As it turns out, Teddy’s been whacked by his nun . . .

Bad NUN!

Teddy insists that he did nothing to deserve such treatment.  So, Margaret, who seems to be a fairly adept, if slightly cold and Betty Draper-esque mother herself, heads to the school to confront the Slugger Nun.  As it turns out, Slugger Nun hit Teddy because he was playing with matches in the school closet, seems obsessed with fire (FORESHADOWING!), and would have likely been expelled, were it not for Nucky’s high holy connections within the school.  Margie is a bit humiliated now, but relieved .  . . apparently, being a “play toy” for a powerful man has its perks . . .

 

But as kept a woman as she has become, Margaret Schroeder is no dummy.  And so the next time she hears Nucky moaning and carrying on about how Jimmy won’t call him Daddy anymore, she cleverly suggests that he start fathering HER son.  He can start by telling him to STOP TRYING TO BURN THINGS.

Only YOU can prevent Boardwalk Empire Fires . . .

I was saddened, and a bit disturbed, by the fact that, the minute Nucky entered Teddy’s room, he immediately started stripping down to his boxers.  For one thing, it reminded me that Margaret’s first husband was abusive to her, and likely was abusive to her kids as well.  It also reminded me of Gillian’s winky comment .  . . which gave me the shivers . . . if you catch where I’m going with this . . .

But Nucky didn’t want to hit Teddy . . . which was good.  Unfortunately, he didn’t want to PARENT him either . .  . which was bad.  After boredly and awkwardly telling the kids that he should . . . you know . . . not burn stuff anymore, Nucky actually digs into his wallet, and hands Teddy a sizeable bill.  (I think it may have even been a TWENTY  . . . which was SOOO much money back then.)  “Run along to the candy shop,” says Nucky to a surprised looking Mini Schroeder.

Hey Nucky, if by chance you are still alive when this comes out, I have a great movie recommendation for you . . .

(Hey, I just remembered something, didn’t Little Teddy watch Nucky burn down his father’s house, last season?  Uh oh . . .)

Meanwhile, at the complete opposite end of the “warmth” spectrum . . .

Why Richard Harrow needs a HUG . . .

Poor Richard Harrow!  Talk about a serial killer with a heart of gold!  My heart started to go out to the guy, the minute I saw him, sadly pushing his food around his plate, so as not to burden the Darmody family with his inability to hide his disfigurement while eating.  To Jimmy’s credit, he immediately senses his friend’s discomfort, and tells him not to worry about his appearance.  And when that doesn’t work, he kindly offers Richard the option of taking some biscuits back to his bedroom.  An offer Richard accepts gratefully .  . .

Richard’s inquiry to Jimmy about what it feels like to have everything, is an equally sad moment for both characters.  After all, what Jimmy has that Harrow wants is so minimal . . . a family who loves him, a home of his own, and a full-face.  And though Jimmy has all of these things, we know that he isn’t happy.  He wants more for himself, but isn’t quite sure what that entails.  His mother and father are pushing him to usurp Nucky’s position of power.  However, he seems ambivalent about such a future, and slightly troubled by the personal betrayals he will inevitably have to exact, in order to obtain it . . .

“I’m just a boy . . . with a knife . . . and a lot of guns . . . waiting for somebody to love me.”

Later we find Richard upstairs reading . . . Oh, wait  . . . he’s not reading, he’s cutting pictures of families and happy couples out of magazines and pasting them in a book.  OMG!  It’s a DREAM BOOK!  Richard Harrow READS THE SECRET!

Did I just undermine this sweet, and incredibly poignant moment, with a lame joke about a self-help book?   Yeah, I think I did.  Moving on . . . 

Why people who repeatedly refer to themselves in the third person don’t deserve to LIVE . . .

“Yeah, there are these words called ‘I’ and ‘me.’ Learn to use them, or ‘I’ will shoot off your face.” 

In case, I haven’t mentioned it before (and I know I haven’t), AL CAPONE’S BACK!

LOVE HIM! 

Having said that, the one scene we got to see him in, was actually pretty random.  It featured this annoying guy who insisted on talking about himself in the third-person, like the dude “Jimmy” from that one Seinfeld episode they always play on TBS.  Al Capone didn’t like him, and neither did I.  But apparently, this Third-Person Talker guy used to work for Torrio.  Now he has his own business in Cincinatti, which is apparently, a hot spot for liquor.  Torrio and Capone decide to STOP getting their liquor from Nucky, and START getting from this guy, which I guess is just another nail in Nucky’s already VERY HOLEY coffin.

Never . .  . gets . .  . old. 

More importantly, my man Capone is responsible for breaking the bad news to Nucky.  So, we will  DEFINITELY get to see more of him next week . . .

Can I get a HELL YEAH? 

Wasted Tablecloths and Misguided Wedding Gifts

Source

I’d say Jimmy’s line about the Sheet-Heads was my favorite of the evening.  How about you?

So, remember when I said that the Commodore told Jimmy he should start schmoozing more?   Well, apparently, that meant attending that Almost-Nucky-Murdering Bastard’s funeral.  Nucky, who is schmoozing king, was, of course, also in attendance.  That’s one of the things I love about all these mob shows and movies, they always view funerals as marketing opportunities . . .

JIMMY:  “Hey Nucky, doens’t Chalky have that exact same outfit in red?”

NUCKY: “Yeah, it also comes in purple, green and hot pink.  Would you like one, I have a coupon in my pocket?”

After Jimmy and Nucky pay there respective respects, they engage in an uncomfortable, but meaningful conversation about the fact that Jimmy has pretty much cut Nucky out of his life, apart from the most rudimentary of business transactions.  Nucky is clearly hurt by Jimmy’s recent chilliness, particularly his decision not to consult Nucky about, or even invite him to attend, his recent nuptials.  However, he’s also a bit paranoid (and rightfully so) that Jimmy might be plotting against him with the Commodore.  “He’s a very duplicitous man,” Nucky warns Jimmy, before heading back to the funeral.  “[Now] you’ve been told.”

Later that evening, Jimmy arrives home to find a “wedding present” from Nucky.  But instead of buying him plates, or His and Hers robes, Nucky buys him a rather ugly looking statue, featuring a father and son type hunting.   The significance of the statue is not lost on Jimmy, who clearly has fond memories of his childhood outings with his former surrogate dad, who he is now trying to majorly screw over.

And yet, Jimmy’s facial expression upon receiving the gift is fairly inscrutable.  Does he feel guilty about what he is about to do?   Or is he annoyed at Nucky for trying to manipulate him this way?  Either way, Jimmy literally and metaphorically casts aside his surrogate daddy, by hiding the statue away on the top shelf a closet .  . .

Speaking of things best kept hidden . . .

Hot Times in Atlantic City with Mr. and Mrs. Creepy Van Slappy

Name:  Mrs. Van Alden; Turn-ons: Jesus, churches, warm milk, long walks on the beach, alcohol raids .  . .

After an entire season of being tucked safely away in the suburbs, Mrs. Van Alden has FINALLY come to visit her Creepy, Crazy, Back-Slapping Murderous Husband.  First he takes her to his office at the Bureau, where he finds two of his men, homoerotically wrestling eachother on the floor . . . and act he pretends to be annoyed by, but actually finds quite titillating.

Hey, try not to be so hard on yourself, Psycho.  Your secret is safe with us.

(By the way, have you ever noticed that Nelson Van Alden looks perpetually constipated?)

Hoping to win back the points he just lost from his boss, one of the wrestlers, knowing how religious the Van Aldens claim to be, hands Mrs. V a pamphlet entitled “If Jesus came to Atlantic City.”

The problem of course, is that, while purporting to be a religious guide to the city,  the pamphlet is actually a listing of every WHOREHOUSE and NUDEY BAR in town!  Careful, Wrestler Cop, remember what happened to the LAST GUY who tried to “help” Van Alden with his “religous desires?”

R.I.P. Agent Sebso! 

While reading about whores, Mrs. Van Alden remarks that perhaps it is a good thing she can’t have children, since a world where people have sex for fun, is CLEARLY not a place to raise a godfearing kid . . .

At a swank restaurant, Mrs. Van Alden finds herself once again APPALLED when a sweet and efete-sounding waiter fairly blatantly offers the couple ALCOHOL!

Creepy Van Alden initially doesn’t seem to surprised or upset by this inquiry.  He simply orders himself some warm milk, and is ready to call it a day.  But one look at his wife’s judgy eyes tells him that he must do something about this MORTAL SIN the waiter is committing.  And so he calls his cronies at the Bureau, and stages a loud and over-dramatic raid on the restaurant . . . one that includes punching the poor waiter in the face, as well as raiding the restaurants massive liquor stash, and filled coffers . . .

Now, THAT looks like my kind of party!

Van Alden then takes a totally-aroused Mrs. Van A back to a seedy hotel  (He can’t take her back to his boarding house .  . . we’ll learn why in a bit.), and proceeds to have the unsexiest sex EVER with her.

The next day, Van Alden drops his wife off at the bus station and returns home, with the cash he stole from the restaurant during the raid.   He is not alone.  SOMEONE IS SLEEPING IN HIS BED . . .

Apparently, Van Alden has been boarding that evil slut Lucy (who is now VERY pregnant with his creepy spawn), and paying for her living expenses / doctors bills with money acquired from illegal raids.  Jesus would most certainly NOT approve, Nelson!

“Doh!”

Uh oh . . . I hope you can get a refund on that extra movie ticket, Margie!

The episode ends with a doleful Margaret watching Charlie Chaplin’s “The Kid,” with her children, and staring at an empty seat next to her.  It appears her loyal and loving .  . . whatever it is these two are to eachother now . . . Nucky has stood her up.  In Nucky’s defense, he actually has a pretty good excuse.  You see, he’s recently been ARRESTED FOR ELECTION FRAUD!

And that was the Season 2 Premiere of Boardwalk Empire, in a nutshell?  So, tell me, what did you think of the episode?  Was it Jackpot . . . or a disappointing Bust?  Sound of in the comment section below . . .

Until next week . . .

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

5 Comments

Filed under Boardwalk Empire

Blood is Thicker Than Water – A Recap of Boardwalk Empire’s Season 1 Finale “A Return to Normalcy”

“Now, son, you be a good boy, and wash your hands, before dessert.  That Dead D’Alessio’s neck blood under your fingers is probably covered with germs!  Who knows where that guy’s been?”

R.I.P. Guy who used to be on Doogie Howser.  Better luck next lifetime . . .

 Well, Season 1 of Boardwalk Empire quite literally went out with a BANG didn’t it?  The Body Count was HIGH, a President and Mayor were elected, couples were reunited, someone got knocked up, and someone else got a REALLY crappy haircut . . .

Yes, Angela, you keep that hat ON!  Remember what happened to Felicity when she cut HER hair too short on HER show?

*facepalm*

So, without further adieu, I proudly present to you a recap of “A Return to Normalcy” . . .

Halloween Just Got a Whole Lot Scarier . . .

Awww, it’s got its mother’s eyes (and its father’s teeth)!

When the episode opens, Van Alden is giving a self-righteous and incredibly lame rousing speech to prospective new FBI recruits.

We learn that one of the men to whom Van Alden is preaching, could end up serving as his replacement.  You see, after the unfortunate death of his partner, Agent Sebso, due to Van Alden holding his head underwater until he drowned while 30-someodd supposedly religious people watched and did NOTHING heart attack, Van Alden has become disillusioned with SINFUL Atlantic City, and the work he is doing there as Prohibition Agent.  Therefore, he would like to leave the FBI and find work elsewhere . . .

“What?  You couldn’t have decided that last week BEFORE you killed me?”

While Van Alden is warning the new recruits against temptation, a smart-mouthed rookie cop, who looks kind of like a Poor Man’s Matt Damon, jokes that Van Alden should “bring on the dancing girls!”

BIG MISTAKE, NotMattDamon! 

Van Alden rewards the celebrity look-alike’s humor, by PUNCHING HIM IN THE FACE (therby, forever dashing the poor man’s hopes of ever getting cast in Good Will Hunting 2: Electric Boogaloo . . . )

Back at home, Mrs. Van Alden is clearly disappointed to learn that her husband wants to leave the bureau, and become a farmer . . .

“Now, I’m NEVER going to get to meet Al Capone.  He’s SO DREAMY! *sigh*”

You were doing the Lord’s work,” Wifey argues . . .

= Lord’s Work

Oh, that Mrs. Van Alden!  She’s such a kidder!

Speaking of folks that Holy Man Van Alden may or may not be schtupping, the Grand Poobah of Hypocrisy gets a very frightening visit at his office, toward the end of the episode . . .

*sings*  “I know all there is to know about The Crying Game . . .”

It was so nice of the show’s writers to give us a reprieve from having to see Lucy Dumb Slut on our television screens, last week.  I guess asking for two in a row, was just too much to ask . . .  The good news is that Lucy only stuck around long enough to tell Creepy Van Alden, that she was carrying his Creepy Van Spawn.  Apparently, having a barren wife, has caused Mr. Back Slappy’s sperm to become a bit restless . . .

Mrs. Van Alden’s Hostile Uterus resents that remark . . . and argues that it has dodged a MAJOR bullet here.

Karma’s a b*tch, Mr. Van A.  And, you just got yourself screwed!

“The D’Alessio Brothers Sleep With the Fishes”

Al Capone shoots people in the face, WHILE smoking cigarettes.  Could he BE any cooler?

For most of the season, Arnold Rothstein has plotted to bring down Nucky Thompson, and take over his Boardwalk Empire.  And yet, with the Feds breathing down his back, and an indictment for fixing the World Series looming over his head, the New York crime boss finds himself in the new-to-him situation of being up “sh*t’s creek without a paddle.”  So, Arnold, being the rational guy he is, decides make temporary peace with his enemy, even if it means eating a little crow, along the way . . .

Tastes like chicken!

So, in a scene mimicking a similar one that took place during the pilot episode, Rothstein and his New York crew (including Lucky Luciano and Meyer Lansky), meet with Torrio, Capone, of the Chicago crew, as well as Nucky and Jimmy (from their own crew), on a deserted beach in Atlantic City . . .

“Never underestimate the Power of the Bow Tie.”

A deal is struck.  Nucky will make sure that Rothstein is cleared of all criminal charges, in return for $1 million and the known whereabouts of all those pesky D’Alessio brothers.  (I’m guessing Rothstein is MIGHTY happy about those Life Insurance policies he took out on all of them now, isn’t he?)

Then, in a scene that was a clearly a homage to the last 5 minutes of ALL THREE Godfather movies, as well as just about every mob movie I’ve ever seen, we watch Nucky give some dull political speech about ridding Atlantic City of violence.  The speech, of course, is intercut with gory peeks at the violent deaths of all the remaining living D’Alessio brothers, at the hands of Capone, Lucky Luciano, Richard Harrow, and Jimmy.  They even killed that poor little runty kid!

 

Trick or Treat!

Now that’s just wrong!

While most of the D’Alessio’s met their untimely demise by gunshots to the head, the most gruesome death of all came to Max Casella a.k.a. Vinny Delpino from Doogie Howser (one of the few D’Alessios who actually had LINES on the show).  Jimmy whacked him in the barber shop, by slicing his throat open with a knife.

Sweeney Todd would be so proud!

Speaking of BAD haircuts . . .

Splitting Hairs . . .

“When I told you I wanted to find common ground with you, us having the exact same haircut, wasn’t exactly what I had in mind . . .”

After a nice leisurely afternoon of neck slicing, Jimmy arrives home to a wife he doesn’t want to talk to, and a kid who doesn’t want to talk to him.  When confronted about her son’s “disrespectful” behavior, Dull as Dirt Angela admits that everyone in the house is frightened of Jimmy, because he has PTSD attacks in the middle of the night, and starts grabbing Angela and screaming at her.

To his credit, Jimmy seems horrified by the prospect of hurting his wife or his son. 

He much prefers beating up and killing grown men, to women and children!  (It pays better!)  Hugging Dull as Dirt Angela, Jimmy tells her that, now that he is home from the war, he wants to really start fresh at being a “family man” to her and Little Tommy.  “Were you in love with her?’  Jimmy plaintively asks Angela, in reference to her “Kissing Friend” Mary, who “left for Paris” last week.

Although Angela initially assures Jimmy of her love for him, the expression on her face when she receives a postcard, supposedly from Mary, with a cheesy picture of the Eiffel Tower on it, and the even cheesier line (“Forgive me, but don’t forget me.”) written across its back, says differently.  Oh, and lets not forget that AWFULLY butch Little Dutch Boy haircut Angela was sporting at the end of the episode! 

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a picture of it online.  However, I can tell you that it looked a little something like this . . .

“Don’t look directly at it, Son.  You might go blind.”

It was the Maid . . . in the Kitchen . . . with the Cookies . . .

Meanwhile, a much healthier looking Commodore is accusing his maid of poisoning him, his dog, Jimmy, and Cookie Monster, with her arsenic-flavored cookies . . .

“Still tastes DELICIOUS . . . nom . . . nom . . . nom.”

The Maid admits to poisoning her boss so quickly, and easily, that it really got me wondering whether she was taking the fall for somebody else. 

“Moi?”

Nucky’s reaction of refusing to arrest the Maid, and paying her to get out of town, seemed only to confirm my suspicions.

“And another one down, and another one down . . . another one bites the dust.”

“I certainly understand why you’d want to, but you can’t go around poisoning people you have to get others to do it for you,” Nucky lectures the Maid, before giving her a fond farewell.

Now, like Nucky, I’m not exactly mad at the Maid for trying to off Commodore Pedophile, either.  But she ABSOLUTELY deserves to go to jail for killing the POOR DOG!

“B*tch is going DOWN!”

“I tell you my sorrows . . . you pretend to be sympathetic .  . . we wind up in bed.”

“Well, geez, Nucky!  Now you’ve gone and spoiled all of Season 2!”

Having abandoned La Casa de Nucky, Margaret is now shacking up with that TOTAL MORON, Nan Britton, who is STILL convinced that Warren Harding is going to leave his wife for her, as soon as he becomes President.  While the pair are out frolicking through a cemetery, in honor of, Halloween, Margaret conveniently comes across the grave of Nucky’s son, who died, after having lived only six days.

Nucky’s SUPER harsh reaction to her daily “Lysol Baths” suddenly making a lot more sense to her, Margaret rushes to see Nucky, just as he is preparing to attend a Halloween party.  Nucky’s “costume” looks kind of like THIS . . .

 . . . only about 500 times LESS SEXY!

When Margaret arrives, Nucky goes to remove his mask, but she tells him to keep it on.  “It suits you,” she says flirtatiously.

And so does THIS . . .

When Margaret asks Nucky about his lost son, the Atlantic County Treasurer at first does not want to talk about it.  “I tell you my sorrows . . . you pretend to be sympathetic . . . we end up in bed,” whines Nucky, as if nookie with Margaret is the WORST thing that could possibly happen to him.

“Oh, please no!  Don’t have orgasmic, mindblowing, sex with me!  Anything but that!”

Eventually, Nucky tells Margaret about how he was always afraid to hold his frail newborn boy.  Therefore, he busied himself with work, during its first days home from the hospital.  After a few days, Nucky finally gets the courage to hold his son.  But when he goes to take the child from his wife, he sees that it has been dead for many days.  His wife just refused to believe this was so.  She suffered from serious depression, as a result.  One month after the baby was buried, she slit her wrists and died.

“The times with you and the children in the house . . . I have never been happier or more terrified in my life .  . . And now you know more about me than anybody here,” Nucky admits.

A tearful Margaret is touched by Nucky’s story.  Much of his behavior toward her makes sense now.  After all, she too lost a baby.  Margaret then tells Nucky that she is planning on leaving Atlantic City, for good.  Nucky offers to give her money, but she declines.  “There is a kindness in you,” Margaret insists.  “How can you do what you do?”

“We all have to decide how much sin, we can live with,” Nucky says sadly.

“Mr. Thompson, I am pleased to have finally made your acquaintance and I would really like to f*ck you now,” says Margaret, before bidding Nucky adieu.

“She’ll be back.  They always come back.  I mean, who can resist this Hot Hunk of Man Cheese?”

The Thrill of Victory, and The Sweetness of Revenge

Halloween is over and election day is here.  That means Nucky and his friends are going to have to ramp up the corruption and campaign rigging to a whole new level, if they want to get those Republicans in office!  Bribes exchange hands.  People vote multiple times in multiple districts.  The dead are registered to vote . . .

 . . . as are the undead.

Shortly before election day, Chalky White approaches Nucky, reminding him of his ability to control the African American vote, a contingent that is much coveted on both sides of the political divide.

“I RULE!”

So, Chalky’s going to need a few favors from Nucky, before he can offer his services.  He asks for cash, a car, and an invitation to the inaugural ball.  Nucky seems fine with the first two, but the last request concerns him a bit.  This is 1920, after all . . .

On Election Day, Nucky is shaking babies and kissing hands (or whatever the heck that old expression is supposed to say) . . .

 . . . when he locks eyes with Margaret, on the voting line.  They eye f*ck eachother for a bit, but say nothing.

Ultimately, Nucky’s stool pidgeon, Mayor Bader, wins his election.  (Ummmm, yay, I guess?)  Everyone seems to be happy with the results, except Eli, who, understandably, is still pissed about being passed over as Sheriff in favor of Opportunistic Prick . . .

Nucky doesn’t understand what Eli is getting so cranky about.  (Little Bro must be on the rag.)  “I gave you a cut of Rothstein’s money,” argues Nucky.

Eli is not impressed.  But I would be.  Do you have any idea how much $1 million was back in 1920.  That’s A LOT of salad!  “What you say affects people,” Eli lectures.  “There are consequences to what you say, and what you do.”

Nucky continues to try and plead his case, “I’m sorry I hurt your feelings, but you have to trust me.  Blood is thicker than water.”

“And tastier too!”

“But why does it have to be MY blood?”  Eli whines.

As if on cue, Mayor Bader announces to the party that his first act as Mayor will be to fire Opportunistic Prick Halloran, and reinstate Eli as Sheriff.  Ladies and gentlemen, it looks like there is a New / Old Sheriff in Town.

HAHA!  Sayonara, SUCKA!

So, it would appear that Nucky was looking out for his little brother, after all!  He just needed the Little Guy to lay low, until elections were over, so, as not to bring about any bad publicity related to Eli’s “Casino Scandal” to the Republican party.  The problem is that Eli doesn’t seem to see it that way . . .

Jimmy doesn’t really see it that way, either.  And when he drunkenly starts asking people at the Mayor’s party whether Nucky  “pimped their mothers out too,” (which is REALLY inappropriate, but kind of hilarious), Eli realizes he may have just located an unlikely ally . . .

Later, a pretty wasted Jimmy arrives at his Pedophile Dad’s house — still stewing over Big Pimp Nucky, and his wife’s Little Dutch Boy haircut.

Jimmy spikes Commodore’s milk with arsenic whiskey, and the Commodore rewards his son, by sharing with him a little bedtime stor,y about the time that Commodore took the fall for Nucky’s rigging of an earlier presidential election.  While Commodore stewed in jail, Nucky quickly rose to power, thereby terminating any chance Commodore would ever have of running Atlantic City again.

Commodore warns Jimmy, that Nucky is doing the same thing to him, using Jimmy’s talents for his own personal gain, and forcing him to do what Nucky himself doesn’t have the stomach for.  Commodore then reveals to Jimmy the big plans he has for his future.  “You are my flesh and blood.  You are going to take Atlantic City back for both of us.”

Then, who should enter the room?  But Nucky’s very own brother Eli . . . and he has . . . you guessed it . . . a plan.

Careful, Eli!  Remember what happened to that OTHER BROTHER who thought he could screw over his smarter, more powerful sibling and get away with it?

My advice to Eli?   Try not to go fishing anytime soon . . .

Margaret and Nucky — Together Forever For Now

While Pedophile, NotFredo, and Henry from Dawson’s Creek are plotting revenge against Nucky, Margaret is busy tarting herself up in a surprisingly low-cut flapper dress, in hopes of winning the Man Cheese back! “But what has made her change her mind, so suddenly?”  You ask . . .

Well, it all started when Margaret found a piece of rag in her cake . . .

Oh, don’t worry!  She baked it in there, on purpose!

You see, apparently, the Irish have something called a “Barnstack Cake,” into which you bake a rag, a coin, and a wedding ring.  (Sounds to me like a lawsuit waiting to happen . . .)  Then, when you eat the cake, if you get the piece with the wedding ring in it, you will get married.  If you get the piece with the coin in it, you will be rich.  And, if you get the piece with the rag in it, you are destined to be poor and destitute, FOREVER. 

Moron Nan got the wedding ring piece, thus proving Margaret’s Barnstack Cake must be TOTALLY broken!

But when Margaret got the rag piece, she got a little freaked out.  And so, off she ran to Nucky’s Party of the Week, Dressed to Screw.  At the party, just like in every romantic comedy I’ve ever seen, Nucky’s and Margaret’s eyes meet from across the room.  (I kept waiting for that song from Pretty in Pink to start playing in the background.) 

“I touch you once.  I touch you twice.  I won’t let go at any price . . .”

The pair come togther.  They drink champagne.  (Temperance Barbie, Margaret, is TOTALLY going to become an alchy!  I can just feel it!)  Margaret even calls him Uncle Nucky.  (Because EVERYBODY screws their uncles!)  

Then, it is announced that the Worst President in History, Warren G. Harding, has just been elected.  In his inaugural speech, he advocates a Return to Sh*t Normalcy.  Everybody claps, even THIS GUY . . .

Chalky is such a sex stallion, that he impregnated the ENTIRE ballroom, just by looking at them (even the old men!)

The episode ends with a slightly tipsy Margaret and Nucky leaving the party at dawn, strolling out toward the Boardwalk, and staring contentedly at the sunrise . . .

The whole thing was cheesy as heck, and yet, an oddly appropriate end to the show’s first season.  Except . . . was I the only one who expected someone to pop out from behind, and shoot Nucky in the head, at the last second?

Yeah . . . I definitely watch too many Gangster Movies . . .

See ya next year, folks!

[www.juliekushner.com]

5 Comments

Filed under Boardwalk Empire

Who’s Your Daddy? – A Recap of Boardwalk Empire’s “Paris Green”

Those out there who once complained that nothing ever happens on Boardwalk Empire are certainly eating crow now, aren’t they?

After all, this was the episode that FINALLY answered both the question of Jimmy’s paternity, and why his mom looks the same age that he does!  Also this week, we learned: what Margaret REALLY does with her Lysol; why you should never EVER double cross that Creepy Psychopath Van Alden, and what type of things you have to say to get Steve Buscemi’s eyes to bug out of his head, like one of those cartoon characters, who just saw a Naked Lady.

But, I think my absolute FAVORITE thing about this episode was that, even though there was no Awesome Al Capone in it . . .

 .  . . there was also NO DUMB SLUT LUCY, either!

So, let’s bring on the sheer fabulousness.  Shall we?

Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?

Don’t you hate it when, you’ve tied yourself upside down from the ceiling, and you can’t seem to get out of your straight jacket?  Well, so does Harry Houdini’s much less famous brother, NotHoudini.  We learn this during a VERY embarrassing public performance, during which NotHoudini takes WAY TOO LONG to get himself out of his straight jacket, while thousands look on, boredly. 

Later, back at Nucky’s mansion, NotHoudini redeems himself (sort of) by performing that So-Easy-a-Five-Year-Old-Can-Do-It, Hide the Jewelry Trick on Margaret.  Margaret is clearly impressed.  Thus, proving that she should really get out more!  I blame Nucky, of course.

“Wow!  Could you pull a rabbit out of a hat, and a coin out of my ear too?”

“I knew you were deceiving me, and yet you still succeeded in doing it,” Margaret marvels.

The aforementioned statement ends up being a major exercise in foreshadowing.  As it turns out, both Margaret’s “willingness” to be deceived, and that “hidden” necklace Nucky gave her, will be featured prominently in one of the episode’s main plotlines.

Later, when Nucky’s brother, Eli, rips him a new tushy, for letting his girlfriend get too involved in his business affairs, Nucky responds by comparing Eli to NotHoudini.  “If it weren’t for who his brother was, nobody would give a f*&k [about him],” exclaims Nucky.

And just to prove to Eli, how serious he is about nobody giving a sh*t about him, Nucky rips Eli’s Sheriff position right out from under his nose, and awards it to Opportunistic Prick Halloran.  Opportunistic Prick, if you recall, had the sheer GALL to ask Nucky for the position last week, mere days after Eli had been shot.

Don’t worry Eli!  You could always decide to become a Magician like NotHoudini.  You’re already pretty good at making opportunities disappear . . .

“Wash Your Mouth Out With Lysol, Just Like You Wash Your . . . Cat!”

Thank you, Boardwalk Empire for reminding me just how much I’ve missed Steve Buscemi’s Crazy Eyes!

Shortly after NotHoudini’s in-house performance, Nucky’s friend, Random Dude with Mustache, starts blubbering like a baby, because he lost all his money in a Ponzi Scheme.  Scratch that.  He lost his money in THE Ponzi Scheme, orchestrated by Charles Ponzi, himself.   Now, you’ve got to admit, that’s pretty impressive.  I mean that’s the type of thing they make souvenirs for!

Unfortunately, Random Dude with Mustache’s “concubine,” Annabelle Lotsa Wigs, doesn’t think so.  And when she tries to gather up the money she’s been stealing from him all these years, and skip town, she’s APPALLED to find out that HE STOLE IT FIRST!

It’s not easy being sleazy . . .

So, of course, Annabelle Lotsa Wigs, upon realizing that her Meal Ticket has expired, runs crying to Former F*&k Buddy, Nucky for some dough.   She even offers to give him a little screw, for good luck.  During their foreplay little exchange, who should walk in, but . . . LARGE MARGE!

To say Margaret is pissed off is an understatement, especially since SHE just lent Lotsa Wigs $50 herself, earlier.  So Margie starts really letting Nucky have it, in that grumpy passive-aggressive style she’s mastered so well, over the years.  Before you know it, EVERYTHING that has been unspoken between Nucky and Margaret throught the season, comes bubbling to the surface. 

Margaret calls Nucky out on making her do his political dirty work, while not permitting her to ask questions about his criminal enterprises.  Nucky calls Margaret out on being a hypocrite.  “If you were really a good person, you wouldn’t be here right now,” he remarks SAGELY.

He’s kind of got a point there . . .

Then, Nucky calls Margaret out on using Lysol to . . . ahem . . . clean herself.

Lysol:  It Gets the Sperm Out!

But, hey, Margaret doesn’t want to risk making any more Little Nuckys with her Nookie!  After all, there’s a good chance one of those bastard children might end up getting the Crazy Eyes Gene! 

However, things don’t REALLY get heated, until Margaret (rightfully) accuses Nucky of having her husband killed.  Sure, he was a stinking drunk loser, who beat her, and made her lose her baby.  But that doesn’t mean he DESERVED TO DIE!  Oh .  . . wait . . . yes it does. 

Yet, when Nucky (rightfully) replies that Margaret is WAY better off with her old husband dead, Margaret SLAPS HIM IN THE FACE!

Is it just me, or does she do that to people, A LOT?

Well . . . that Bitch Slap was MORE than enough ammunition for Nucky’s Crazy Eyes to come out to play.  Suddenly, the Nuckster is hurling Margaret’s Lysol bottle into a mirror, shattering it.   “You won’t be needing THIS anymore!”  Nucky yelps. 

(Now, I’m assuming he was referring to the Lysol Douche Bottle.  But wouldn’t it be funny if he was talking about the mirror?)

Margaret calls Nucky’s bluff, and definitively ends his Nookie (at least, for now).  Toward, the end of the episode, Nucky learns from Richard Harrow, that Margaret “fired” the Sweet Tin Man Serial Killer, packed up her kiddies, and fled Concubine Row, leaving the necklace that Nucky bought for her behind.

“Was it something I said?”

At the end of the episode, Nucky visits a fortune teller, to find out whether there is any hope of him getting laid in the near future.  In payment for her services, Nucky undoubtedly will give said fortune teller a used necklace, and a half-empty bottle of Lysol . . .

“Look Mom, Ghosts!”

Speaking of people who’s futures are going to suck, when we last left the Most Boring Closeted Lesbian in the World, Angela, she was making plans to escape to Paris with Little Tommy and her Kissing Friend, the Photographer’s Wife . . .

So, this week, Angela packs her bags, and, after leaving a note for Jimmy, heads off to the Photography Shop to meet her Destiny.

Unfortunately, when Angela arrives at the shop, she learns that Destiny left without her.  Some dude sweeping the floor, informs a very heartbroken Angela that the Photographer and his Wife skipped town permanently in the dead of night, supposedly en route to Paris.  And yet, a photograph Tommy finds on the floor of the otherwise empty shop seems to suggest otherwise.  “Look Mom, Ghosts!”  Angela’s son exclaims.

When Angela examines the picture she sees to her horror, that it is a wedding photo of the photographer and his wife, both with their faces crudely scratched out.  No more Kissing Friend, for Angela!

“Well, great!  Now, I have NO PURPOSE WHATSOEVER for being on this show!”

When Angela arrives home, a rather Sinister Looking Jimmy appears shortly thereafter.  “I know what you’ve been doing,” he says cryptically, to a very freaked out Angela. 

(Has Jimmy read the “Dear JimmyJohn” note Angela left him?  Did he order a hit on the Photographer and his Wife?   Or did he just want Angela to THINK they were dead?  So many questions . . . So little recapping time.)

In fact, Jimmy pretty much ignores Angela, throughout the entire scene, talking instead to Tommy, about how much fun the two of them will have together, once he gets older.  (Translation:  “You’re NEVER EVER taking my kid from me, B*tch!”) 

But the best part of the entire scene comes at the very end.  In it, Jimmy tells Angela to put Tommy to bed, and then very dramatically closes the door in her face.  The manner in which he does it is very reminiscent of that FABULOUS final scene from The Godfather, where Michael Corleone lies to his wife about killing his sister’s husband, and then closes the door in her face, as he begins to take over his father’s position, as head of the Corleone crime family, in earnest.

The fact that nobody has thought to excerpt this iconic scene on YouTube annoys me greatly.  Because I really, really, really wanted to include it in this recap!  If you haven’t seen the film yet, Netflix it now, or Richard Harrow will shoot you, right under your eyeball!

We are Family . . .

Hey there, Commodore!  You know what grown men who diddle 13-year olds deserve?  Arsenic-flavored Cookies, that’s what!

Jimmy receives a call early on in the episode from his mom that his father is dying.  “What do you want me to do about it?”  Jimmy asks gruffly.

Ahhh . . . there’s nothing like the love between a father and son!

Apathy aside, Jimmy decides to show up at the Commodore’s Death Bed to support his mother. 

During our stay over at the Commodore’s, we learn a thing or two about Jimmy’s origins.  As it turns out, Nucky pimped out Mama Gillian to the Commodore, when she was just THIRTEEN and Commodore was FIFTY FOUR!

For a lot of women, that’s not even medically possible!  Poor Gillian!  I mean, she probably wasn’t even old enough to buy LYSOL then!  Besides, who the heck wants to be a grandmother by their early 30’s?  That”d be pretty darn awful!

No wonder Jimmy’s got such a chip on his shoulder!  “I’m what time and circumstances have made me,” Jimmy remarks, when a sickly Commodore inquires after Jimmy’s life choices.

“And, thankfully, I got most of my looks from my mother’s side of the family.”

Commodore then tells Jimmy that it was HIS Pervy Ass that built Atlantic City up from a dank swamp into the Cest Pool of Sin it is now!  (I think he deserves a round of applause for that, don’t you?  No?  Still mad at him about the whole pedophile thing?  Yeah . . . me too.  No applause then.)

“Yeah, you and your Big Blue Ox,” Jimmy snarks.

You know you’re watching a “period piece,” when one of its “pop culture references” is about Paul Bunyan . . .

“What I’m saying is that the wrong man is running this town!”  Commodore yells, frustratedly.

“Hey!  I resemble that remark!”

And how does Jimmy respond to his absentee father’s suggestion that HE should be running Atlantic City, instead of Nucky.  “I don’t feel well,” he says, before LITERALLY walking out of the room, and “Tossing his Cookies.”

As we find out later, those “cookies” happen to have been doused with arsenic.  We learn this when the Commodore’s doctor finds evidence of the poison in the Pedophile’s blood and hair sample.  As luck would have it, a bottle labeled POISON in really big letters is sitting conveniently under the Commodore’s bed, and NOBODY NOTICED IT BEFORE!  Go figure!

The most obvious culprit in Cookie-Gate is Nucky himself.  After all, he had the most to gain in offing the Commodore.  He wanted his job (and GOT IT).  Next on the list of suspects is Jimmy’s mom, Gillian, who seemed just a little too cool with caring for the man who knocked her up, while she was still wearing a training bra.  Having been at the Commodore’s bedside for a few weeks now, she certainly had the “opportunity” to poison him.  Then again, it could have always been Cookie Monster . . .

Everybody knows how much HE hates pedophiles!

In Other News .  . .

“One ringy dingy . . . two ringy dingy . . .”

It seems that Arnold Rothstein has not been off the phone once, since the pilot episode.  If anybody needs a good cell phone plan, it’s him.  Wait . . . your saying there were no cell phones in the 1920’s?  Sucks to be Arnie!  Anyway, some “consultant Rothstein is talking to, tells him to go to Chicago.  You know what that means, don’t you?

More Capone, next week!  WOO HOO!

Also . . .

Richard Harrow wants to get the D’Alessio Crime Family out of hiding, by killing their mother, sisters, and dentist (?).  Criminals always did have really f*cked up teeth.  That’s not very nice, Tin Man!

And finally . . .

Nelson Van Alden Gives Me Nightmares . . .

R.I.P. Agent Sebso!

When we first see Wackadoo Van Alden, he (with good reason) is still skeptical of his underling Sebso’s excuse for shooting Jimmy’s snitch.  Sebso calls Nucky to whine about it.  So, Nucky decides to throw his lackey a bone that ends up choking him to death.  to help him remedy the situation.  Nucky provides Sebso with intel on a supposed illegal liquor distillery.  This way, Sebso can pass the information along to Van Alden, thereby regaining Spanky’s Trust. 

However, while the pair are searching for the distillery, they come across some Baptists.

Creepo Van Alden and the Baptist minister start engaging in some “Religious Talk.” During the whole scene, I keep waiting for Sir-Belts-a-Lot to walk right into that river(?) / lake (?) and clean that Dirty Skank Lucy’s Juices right off him.  But he doesn’t.  (He must have Lysol at home.) 

Instead, Mr. Self-Righteous Jack Off acts APPALLED, by the fact that Sebso is Jewish, and, therefore, cannot be nearly as good of a person as the bat sh*t crazy, evil, jerks off to 16-year old girl’s pictures, cheats on his wife with whores, steals money, refuses to support his wife emotionally or financially Angelic Van Alden.

So, that he can start to trust the “Heathen” Sebso again, Van Alden decides to “baptize” him. 

And by “baptize” him, I mean repeatedly dunk him in the water until he drowns, while an ENTIRE CROWD OF “GOOD” BAPTISTS watch him do it, and do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO HELP!

*Kitty Genovese, once again shakes her head in sympathy with the Now-Dead Sebso’s plight.*

To cover his ass, Van Alden makes some B.S. excuse about having “purged evil from the world” or some crap like that.

Then this Horrible Excuse for a Human Being walks out of the water, as if he is the Lord, himself.  And an ENTIRE CROWD of god-fearing individuals, who just WATCHED HIM KILL SOMEONE, just let the Murderer GO ON HIS MERRY WAY!  Then again, maybe that had something to do with the loaded gun Crazytown was carrying, as moved through the crowd . . .

But still!  That group could have TOTALLY taken the bastard down!  (Those little grannies may look wimpy . . . but they’ve got REALLY long nails, and usually aren’t afraid to use them!)

And . . .  that was the episode in a nutshell.  Can you believe next week is ALREADY the Season Finale?  It seems like only yesterday, that I was using this picture . . .

 . . . and this picture . . .

 . . . for the first time.

See you next week!

[www.juliekushner.com]

2 Comments

Filed under Boardwalk Empire

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

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

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

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

Well . . . maybe THAT Santa would . . .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Awww, Tin Man!  How I heart you!

Speaking of celebrities I adore . . .

Al Capone – When Naughty Boys Grow into Naughtier Man

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

Stop laughing, I’m serious!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jimmy Darmody = Bad to the Bone!

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

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

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

Apparently, it does!

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

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

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

OOPS!

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

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

AND THIS . . .

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

(Poor Kitty Genovese from the Future nods sympathetically.)

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

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

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

Speaking of getting whacked . . .

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

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

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

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

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

They do kind of look alike .  . .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Speaking of “Faking it” . . .

Margaret Builds a Better Future for Womankind Herself

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

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

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

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

Speaking of doing the WRONG THING . . .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I think I just pissed my pants.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I’m totally judging you, right now.”

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

[www.juliekushner.com]

 

10 Comments

Filed under Boardwalk Empire, Uncategorized

Unlikely Heroes – A Recap of Boardwalk Empire’s “Belle Femme”

Eddie Kessler.  Sure he may talk funny.  And he’s certainly not the most masculine guy on the block.  But if you need someone to take a bullet throw a defenseless lady in front of a bullet for you, he’s DEFINITELY your guy!

If there was one lesson to be learned from this week’s installment of Boardwalk Empire it was this:  Never discount ANYBODY!  From the small gangly pre-teen, to the sweet-tongued mistress, to the meek sycophantic “Yes” Man — anyone can save you’re ass, at a moment’s notice.  But those same folks can screw you over, just as easily . . .

So, without further adieu, let’s take a look back at the unlikely heroes and villains of “Belle Femme” . . .

Out with the old, in with the new . . .

 

“Hello, Nucky.  I don’t believe we’ve met.  My name is Opportunistic Prick . . .”

When the episode opens, we find Nucky, and his “loyal” underling Deputy Halloran, at Sheriff Eli’s bedside.  Eli is obviously still recovering from being shot in the spleen by Rothstein’s men, the previous week.  While Nucky’s little brother is mentally just as quick-witted, as he was before the accident (Actually, he’s still pretty dumb, but not any more so than usual.), physically, his prognosis is somewhat worse than expected.  As a result, he will be out of commission for another month.

“A month is a LONG time to be in bed with nothing to do!  Too bad I burned that Hot Nun Porn from last week . . .”

But extended bedrest isn’t the only problem Eli is facing.  He’s also receiving some bad press from the new Democratic Candidate for Mayor.  The Candidate in question not-so-subtly implies, in an interview with a local newspaper, that Eli’s mere presence at the illegal casino suggests misconduct, on his part.

Eli’s second-in-command, Deputy Douchebag Halloran, sees Eli’s misfortune as an excellent career opportunity.  At a “private meeting,” Halloran boldly assures Nucky that, if he were to offer him the job of Sheriff, Halloran would gladly take it.  Initially, Nucky thinks Halloran is kind of an a**hole.  (And we agree.)  I mean, the nerve of this guy to go behind his “friend’s” back and ask his friend’s brother for his friend’s job!

But then Nucky has a meeting with that Old Dude, Commodore.  We can tell immediately, based on the respect with which Nucky regards him (and how friggin huge his mansion is), that the Commodore is supposed to be a fairly “powerful and important”guy.  And yet, all we’ve ever seen him do on the show so far, is fight with his housekeeper, and puke nasty green stuff into a large bowl . . .

“Now, I know how that chick from The Exorcist felt . . .”

Commodore tells Nucky that, in the upcoming election, he should throw support at Republican candidates other than Sheriff Eli and the incumbent Mayor.  Commodore reasons that new candidates (like Deputy Douchebag Halloran, and that random construction tycoon, who Nucky met with later in the episode) will not be as tainted with “bad press” as the men they are replacing.  Nucky agrees immediately (quite possibly, because he has seen The Exorcist, and knows what happens to those who fail to heed the demands of people who puke nasty green stuff . . .)

“Hey!   I resemble that remark!”

Dress for Success . . .

 . . . but when you really want to get things done, UNDRESSED is BEST!

When we first see Margaret, she, and soon-to-be President Warren Harding’s mistress, Nan Britton, are wandering the Boardwalk, for a fun day of sun and shopping.  Unfortunately, for Margaret, Nan isn’t exactly the best conversationalist, as she only has interest in one topic.  “It was love at first sight,” coos Nan nauseatingly, regarding Mr. Harding.  “He was the handsomest man I have ever seen!”

Ummmmmm . . . . OK?

(Pssst . . . I think Nan Britton needs to get out more.)  The duo quickly head to Madame Jeunet’s dress shop, Belle Femme, which seems to be the ONLY place in Atlantic City where the concubines shop  . . . While Nan tries on dresses for Harding’s upcoming Inaugural Ball (Awwwww, that’s sweet!  She actually still thinks she’s going . . .), Madame Jeunet takes Margaret aside to discuss some “private” matters.

“Listen, do you know any politicians in need of a mistress?  Dress shop ownership doesn’t pay what it used to.  Did I mention, I’m a beast in the sack?”

After spending a few minutes shamelessly kissing her former employee’s ass, Madame Jeunet gets down to business.  Nucky’s “tax” collections have become too expensive for the dress shop owner.  If the Madame keeps having to pay these “taxes,” she will go out of business.  So, Madame not-so-subtly suggests that Margaret appeal to Nucky, on her behalf.

At first, Margaret tries the intellectual approach.  She explains to Nucky the financial problems Madame Jeunet is experiencing, and appeals to his sense of fair play.  After all, Madame Jeunet did give Margaret a job, when Nucky asked her to do so.  Nucky, who is not at all used to being told what to do by a woman except during sex —  Nucky always struck me as a “bottom” kind of guy, if you catch my drift, is furious with Margaret for having the gall to try to tell him how to do his job. 

“This is not a suitable topic for conversation,” lectures Nucky.  “You are GROUNDED!  Now, go to your room, and give me a BJ!”

But Margaret is not the kind of gal to give up without a fight . . .

Later that evening, Nucky and Margaret are cuddling in bed, engaging in Nucky’s favorite post-coital topic of conversation: politics.  Nucky is obviously concerned about the upcoming elections.  “What can I do to help?”  Margaret inquires coyly.

Nucky, who correctly believes that women are about to get the right to vote, asks Margaret to campaign on his behalf.  He was impressed by her ability to “wipe the floor” with Senator Hedge at his birthday party, and believes her to be a real political asset to his campaign.  Margaret sees an opening, and jumps on it.  “I suppose [I can do it].  But do you not want me to look pretty?  Do you not wish me to dress well?”  Margaret asks innocently.

“Uh Oh!  I walked right into that one . . .”

Of course, I do.  You look beautiful . . .  in  . . . um . . . whatever you .  . . um . . . wear . . . um . . . yeah,” Nucky babbles, stumbling over his words.

Margaret smirks, knowing she’s already won.  “Madame Jeunet knows what suits me.  She knows how to make me look my best,” she coos seductively, massaging Nucky’s arms as she speaks.

Apparently, butting into Nucky’s business affairs is a no-no, but wanting to look “pretty,” now, that’s a female desire that Nucky fully supports!  “Is that why you didn’t want Madame Jeunet to lose her business.  Why didn’t you just say so?”  Nucky asks.  “Selfishness is an impulse I fully condone.”

Awwww yeah!  YOU GO, MARGARET!

Current score:  Margaret – 1; Nucky – 0

Back at Belle Femme, Madame Jeunet is thrilled with the financial break she received, thanks to Margaret.  And she tells her as much.  To show her appreciation, the Madame starts kissing Margaret’s ass even harder than before, telling Nucky’s mistress how dignified and classy she has always been. 

But Margaret is not so easily won over.  She is quick to remind Madame Jeunet about how dirty and disgusting she once thought Margaret was, and how often she let her know it.

But Margaret’s real power play comes when Madame Jeunet tries to give Margaret a dress and comb for her daughter, to show appreciation for what Margaret did on her behalf.  “But Madame Jeunet, my daughter did not save your business, I did.”

Current score:  Margaret – 1, Madame Jeunet – 0

The next scene shows Margaret accompanying Nucky to a fancy party, clad in a brand new FREE dress  . . .

Classy, right?  It’s kind of too bad that all that blood from the Dead Lady, who unwittingly took a bullet for Nucky, at the end of the episode, had to ruin it . . .

 I’m betting that baby dress and hairbrush are looking MIGHTY appealing, right now, aren’t they, Margaret?  Don’t let Gordon Gekko’s word’s fool you, GREED IS BAD . . . VERY BAD!

Current score:  Margaret – 0, Dead Lady’s Blood – 150

Jimmy to Nucky: “I’m BAAAAAAACK!”

Who were you expecting?  The Tooth Fairy?”

Jimmy shows up at Nucky’s office unexpectedly, though he claims NOT to have arrived unannounced.  “I sent you a telegram,” Jimmy says matter-of-factly.

  (I’ll admit, I absolutely thought Jimmy was full of sh*t, when he said this.  But it turns out that he DID actually send a telegram to Nucky.  Just like he DID pay Angela, during all those weeks he was in Chicago.  Shows how much I know . . .)

As it turns out, Jimmy has decided to take Nucky up on his offer to come back and work for him.  However, there are a couple of conditions to his return.  First, Richard Harrow must be allowed to join Jimmy’s Jersey Team . . .

I LOVE THAT GUY!  Now, if only we can get Capone to come too . . .

The second condition is that all discussions that occur between Jimmy and Nucky are to be kept completely private.   “Fair enough,” replies The Boss Man.

Nucky then hands Jimmy over pictures of the entire Philly crew, which is mostly comprised of D’Alessio brothers, and Vinnie Delpino from Doogie Howser, M.D.

In case you were curious, Vinnie is the guy in this picture that ISN’T Neil Patrick Harris.

Now, do you see the resemblance?

These were the guys who shot Eli.  So, Nucky would like them “found.”  “When I find them, what do you want me to do with them?”  Jimmy asks slyly.

“Well, I was kind of hoping you’d get them to join my Crooks League Baseball Team.  Clearly, these are guys who know how to swing a bat.”  “Do I have to spell it out for you?”  Nucky growls.

But Jimmy, like Margaret, is no dummy.  He knows he’s got the upper hand on Nucky, and he’s going to milk it for all it’s worth.  “I want you to know that you are a murderer.  Because that’s what you want me to do, right?  You want me to kill them?”

“Yes,” Nucky concedes grudgingly.

“Even the kid?”  Jimmy asks, plopping this cute little picture on the desk before Nucky.

“I think I babysat for that guy, once . . .”

Nucky says nothing to confirm or deny Jimmy’s latest inquiry . . .

Nice knowing ya, “Pius.”

“I’m going to go eat my steak,” says Jimmy casually, as if he didn’t just agree to murder some little kid, Vinny Delpino, and the entire Philadelphia Crime Family.

Be afraid, Steak.  Be VERY AFRAID!

Lets Make a Deal.

Speaking of the A’lessio family, they are about to make a deal with Arnold Rothstein, which might cost them their lives.  (I mean that literally.  Rothstein took out life insurance policies on ALL OF THEM.)  As it turns out, Nucky isn’t the only Kingpin with designs on the liquor business. But while Nucky sells locally-distilled, low-quality booze at mid-range prices, Rothstein plans to sell top quality scotch, imported from England.  And the D’Alessio’s are going to help him do it . . . unless, of course, they get whacked first.

Jimmy to Angela:  “I’m BAAAAAAACK!”

When we first see Angela this week, she is having a fine old time with that dweeby photographer, and her lover, his hot-to-trot wife.

The group is about to get involved in a little threesome action, when Jimmy has to show up, and RUIN everything!

(I never thought I’d say this about the arrival of the adorable Jimmy on my screen, but . . .)

Like Nucky, Angela also never got Jimmy’s “telegram.” 

Note to Jimmy:  Next time you need a message delivered, send an owl . . .

It always worked for Harry Potter!

After the photographer and his wife leave, Jimmy and Angela have a conversation that goes a little something like this . . .

Angela:  “I’m not really too happy to see you.   I was going to have a threesome, and you ruined it, Bastard.”

Jimmy:  “Let’s screw on the kitchen table.”

Angela:  “No, that’s gross.  We eat there.”

Jimmy:  “So what?  I’m going to screw you on the kitchen table, right now.”

Angela: “No!”

Jimmy:  “Yes, yes, yes, OOOOOH YES!”

Angela:  *sighs*  Fine.  But I am totally picturing the Photographer’s Wife, while you do me.”

And . . . I bet you will never guess what happens next . . .

Do you think they at least washed the table, first?

Apparently, Jimmy had so much fun screwing his Lesbian Wife, and then eating eggs off the same surface where he did it, that he has now decided he wants to have more kids with her.  Now, if that’s not romantic, I don’t know what is .  . .

But this Happy Family Moment is interrupted, when Jimmy gets a Secret Phone Call .  . .

Lucky Luciano Gets Screwed (Twice)

“I’m so winning the Mother of the Year Award.”

Those of you out there who were MAD at Jimmy’s mom, for repeatedly boinking his enemy, probably forgave her a bit this week.  After all, as soon as Jimmy came back to town, she called him to let him know that Lucky was “indisposed.”  

Once Jimmy arrives, Gillian holds a gun to her former lover’s head, while Jimmy pours coffee on Lucky’s face and naked chest.  “[Al Capone] says I should blow your f*cking brains out,” threatens Jimmy.

“Yeah, that definitely sounds like something I would say.”

I’d appreciate it, if you didn’t,” Lucky says politely (Rothstein has taught him well . . .)

“You’re coming with me,” Jimmy demands, doing his best Bad Ass Gangster impersonation.

Little does Jimmy know that Lucky, is about to get . . . well . .  . lucky . . .

OMG!  It’s Creepy Van Alden!  How did he know Jimmy was back in town?  You guessed it . . . Western Union!  (See, Jimmy?  Owls!  Stick with the Owls!)  So, Van Alden arrests Jimmy, and brings him to the station, while Lucky laughs his ass off.

“Best . . . Morning . . . EVER . . . Well, aside from the whole ‘being held at gunpoint’ and ‘getting coffee in my crotch’ thing.”

Jimmy’s Going DOWN . . . Or is he?

Over in Crazy Town, Van Alden is supposed to be interrogating Jimmy about the heist, during which he and Al Capone supposedly killed four people.  And yet, the Wackadoo Agent, just can’t seem to stop inquiring about Margaret Schroeder, and her “relationship” with Nucky.  “Listen, if you want to know who Mr. Thompson is f*cking, why don’t you ask him?”  Jimmy asks, quite rationally.

As far as the heist, Jimmy claims he has an alibi.  He was “seeing a movie” at the time.  Unfortunately for Jimmy, there’s an eyewitness placing him at the scene of the crime.  And it looks like Jimmy’s pretty screwed.  The ever-supportive Nucky tells him as much, when he comes to visit his protege in jail. 

“You’re pretty much screwed, Jimmy.”

But fear not, Jimmy Fans!  An unexpected ally is about to come to Jimmy’s rescue.  Agent Sedso, Creepy Van Alden’s second in command (he of the hidden Western Union packages) suggests to Van Alden that Jimmy’s snitch be brought to a safe place, so he can’t be whacked by Nucky’s men.  In fact, Sedso will take him there himself.  (What a NICE GUY!)

So, off the pair head to an undisclosed location.  And, you know what happens next?

Oh yes, boys and girls, that Snitch is GONE!  Apparently, Sedso has been on Nucky’s payroll all along — sabotaging Van Alden’s investigation, and hiding important pieces of evidence, like the Western Union telegrams stating that Jimmy was in town.  And now, all he’s got to do is make the killing look like self defense, by hitting himself on the head with a few rocks.  No biggie!

“There’s nothing wrong with having a few bruises on your face.  It adds CHARACTER!”

So, for those of you out there who were keeping score, by the end of the episode: (1) Eddie saved Nucky’s life (but not that poor woman’s); (2) Agent Sedso saved Jimmy’s life; (3) Van Alden saved Lucky’s life; and (4) Margaret saved Madame Jeunet’s business. 

That’s a lot of “saving” for a single hour!  Who knows where this show will take us next?

[www.juliekushner.com]

Leave a comment

Filed under Boardwalk Empire

“Too Hot to Watch” – A Recap of Boardwalk Empire’s “Hold Me in Paradise”

Poor Eli Thompson!  As if being the Daniel Baldwin of his family wasn’t bad enough.  This guy gets ONE opportunity to show his big brother he’s not a TOTAL LOSER.  And what happens?  He gets stood up, robbed, shot in the stomach, and his BURNING PORN nearly sets his brother’s house on fire!

There is a special place in Hell reserved for people who watch Black-and-White “Wind-up Porn”  starring “Naughty Nuns.”

And yet, the attack that Lucky Luciano, Meyer Lansky and Co. made on Nucky’s casino, and on Eli, in particular, launched a sequence of events that will undoubtedly shape this series, in the episodes to come . . .

Hard-up for Harding . . .

Warren G. Harding was the 29th President of the United States.  And yet, he was only really known for two things: (1) dying while in office; and (2) being the President most often featured on various “Worst President in History” lists.  Harding was a blow-hard, slutty, corrupt, and associated with plenty of known criminals.  And, as far as this show would have you believe, Nucky Thompson, more or less, singlehandedly secured him the Presidency .  . . well . . . at least the Republican nomination.

You’re welcome.”

Ever since Jimmy Darmody was exhiled from Atlantic City to Chicago, a few episodes back, I’ve often wondered how the writers of this show would tie together what seemed to me like two completely separate storylines.  After all, the show is called Boardwalk Empire, not Chicago Empire.  (Not that I’m complaining, mind you.  I LOVE MY WEEKLY DOSE OF AL CAPONE!)

This week, when Nucky headed over to Chicago to attend the Republican National Convention, all those lingering questions were answered. 

At first everything seems to be business as usual for Nucky.  First, talks up that two-timing snake Senator Hedge, who (wrongly) believes himself to be a shoe-in for the Vice Presidential Nomination.

Never trust a man with a Count Dracula hairdo . . .

“We are going to take this thing, Nucky!  And, as soon as we do, the sky is the limit,” brags Hedge.

“The sky?  I’m only interested in the road,” Nucky fires back, not-so-subtly alluding to the roadway deal Senator Hedge made with the Mayor of Jersey City, behind his back.

As it turns out, Hedge has a favor to ask of Nucky.  He wants the A.C. King to attend a campaign event thrown by Harding’s campaign manager — a guy named Harry Doherty (based on Harding’s real campaign manager, of the same name) on his behalf. 

Now, even had I not been familiar with the historical background of Harry Doherty (OK . . . I wasn’t), I could have told you immediately that he would be BAD NEWS, just based on who was playing him.  Ladies and gentlemen, this is Harry Doherty . . .

I’m referring to the guy without the war paint . . . obviously.

Seriously, have you EVER seen this actor (his name is Christopher McDonald, by the way) play a character that wasn’t a total and complete douchebag?  Talk about being typecast!  In fact, if I ever see this guy cast as a do-gooder humanitarian in a film, I might just drop dead, in shock.

But I digress . . .

Upon meeting with Harry, Nucky is so impressed with his ability to be a bigger sleazebucket than he is “work a room,” as well as the obvious power he has over Harding, that the A.C. King decides to get in bed with him . . .

 

I meant that figuratively, of course . . .

So, Nucky and Harry strike up a deal.  Nucky will secure Harding enough delegates to get the Republican nomination, provided the chameleonic Hedge is NOT selected as Harding’s VP.  Furthermore, if Harding agrees to fund Nucky’s”Road Project,” Nucky will take Harding’s “mistress,” Nan Britton, and her son, Harding’s bastard child, off the politician’s hands, until Election Day.  (The mother and child will stay in Atlantic City, with Margaret, and the rest of the “concubines.”)

Before leaving Chicago, Nucky once again runs into Senator Hedge.  Now that he has the “Road” support he needed, and a future President in his back pocket, Nucky no longer needs to kiss this guy’s ass.  “The only chance you’ll have of entering the White House is on a guided tour,” challenges Nucky.

Fear not, Senator Hedge!  There are plenty of other ways to get into the White House, without being a Vice President or Cabinet Member.  For example . . .

How comfortable are you with wearing a bunny suit?

 But Senator Hedge wasn’t the only politician that came off looking lousy, in this episode.  El Presidente didn’t fare too well, either.  Warren Harding’s ramblings to Nucky when the pair first met were pretty bad.  But that LAME ASS poem he wrote to his mistress was FAR WORSE. 

“Hold Me in Paradise,” cooes Mistress Nan, on the train ride back to Atlantic City, as she reads from one of Harding’s infamous “love letters.”

“That imbecile is going to be the next President of the United States,” snarks Nucky, when Nan excuses herself to use the rest room.

Indeed . . .

 Lucy Danziger Teaches Us How to Speak Irish . . .

Meanwhile, back in Atlantic City, Margaret is at the Ritz Carlton, basking in the joys of being a very well-paid prostitute.  Her tea companion is fellow concubine, Annabelle, or, as I like to call her, Miss Wigs-a-Lot.  (Seriously, this lady’s got more mismatched headpieces than Lady Gaga!)

“I’d smile, but my mouth is too sore from sucking . . . lemons.  Why, what did you think I was going to say?”

But Annabelle and Margarets royal snoozefest rollicking good time is interrupted by Margaret’s old boss from the dress shop, who is looking rather worse for wear. 

(Get it?  “Worse for Wear?”  Because she works at a dress shop?  No?  Well, you can’t blame a gal for trying . . .)

Interestingly enough according to IMDB, Margaret’s old boss is named Madame Jeunet.  However, the way Margaret pronounced her name, I thought for sure that she was referring to that girl from Forrest Gump . . .

Madame Jenny, I am not a smart man.  But I know what dumb annoying slut Lucy Danziger is.”

Anyway, Madame JEUNET is very upset, because Lucy Damnslut has barged into her “fine” dress shop demanding service.  Lucy does this, despite the fact that Nucky cut that Biatch’s unlimited credit line, the minute he found a suitable replacement sex toy . . .

Lucy, as per usual, is totally wasted, and flails about aimlessly, slurring incoherent insults at everybody within shooting range.  She calls Margaret Mrs. McDougal, and Margaret politely corrects her.  (Her last name is Schroeder, thank you very much!)

“Is that Irish for b*tch?”  Lucy inquires, showing off her impressive multilingual skills.  (Who said you couldn’t learn anything from HBO?)

Suddenly, Boardwalk Empire has skidded into Spanish Telenovela territory, with the two overly made-up women getting up in each other’s faces, and fighting over one Macho Stallion of a Man.

“You think he’s your friend.  You think you understand him,” challenges Lucy, throwing out the most coherent lines she’s had all episode.

“And what if I did?” Margaret seethes.

“Well than you’re the Dumbest Dora I have ever met,” fires back Lucy.

WELL!  Margaret may share her last name with a Tiny Pianist (and an Irish B*tch?), but she is NO DORA!  And so, like any good Telenovela heroine, Margaret slaps that evil wench Lucy right across the mouth, and stomps out of the Ritz Carlton, in triumph!

“Well thanks for dining and dashing, Dora B*tch!”

How to Scar Your Children for Life – by Angela Darmody

“Oh, don’t be such a prude!  I breast fed that boy, what harm could a few more boobies do?”

Back at the house formerly known as Jimmy Darmody’s, Jimmy’s Gay Wife Angela is busy painting the ugliest naked chick picture I have ever seen in my ENTIRE LIFE!  (The sex must be REALLY GOOD, for Angela’s lover to think she’s actually a good artist.  That’s all I’ve got to say . . .)  But the fact that Angela is painting an ugly ass naked chick picture is not NEARLY as disturbing, as the fact that she’s forcing her kid to watch!

“That’s pretty, Mommy,” says the dumbfounded four-year old boy, in a scene he will likely relive OVER and OVER AGAIN in therapy, for YEARS TO COME!

Jimmy’s mom enters the room, takes one look at that HIDEOUS picture, and immediately suggests Angela start thinking about a getting a job that actually gives her a shot at MAKING SOME MONEY.

“You know, we could put that picture outside.  I bet it would keep the raccoons from digging in our trash cans . . .”

But Mrs. Darmody doesn’t want to WORK!  And why should she?  When she has a Sexy Princeton Educated Hoodlum earning for her, over in Chicago!

Just another day at the office . . .

Except, that’s the problem.  Even though WE know that Jimmy has been sending cash to his wife, each week, like a Good Little Hubby, Angela hasn’t received ONE RED CENT!  And Girlfriend is going BROKE!  As it turns out, Jimmy’s “letters” have been regularly intercepted by THIS GUY . . .

Yes, Mr. Van Alden.  It is BAD to steal money from untalented young mothers, who have no alternate means of support.  You are a BAD BOY!  BAD BOY!

Some People Just Weren’t Meant to Procreate . . .

At first, it seemed as though Agent Van Alden was rifling through the Darmody’s mail for “surveillance purposes.”  After all, Darmody was a suspect in robbery / murder, and was, for all intents and purposes, still missing-at-large.  And yet, Van Alden could have easily gleaned the information he needed from the envelopes, resealed them, and simply returned them to Angela’s mailbox, once they had been investigated.  No one would be any the wiser.

Except . . . it seemed that Van Alden had more selfish plans for the bundles of cash he had lying in his desk drawer.  In, yet another AWKWARD husband-wife scene that we have come to accept from this creepy character, Mrs. Van Alden starts bawling at the dinner table, because she has her period.  (It’s OK, Mrs. Van A!  My period makes ME CRY TOO!)

As it turns out Mrs. Van Alden is crazy enough to want to make a Baby Nelson. But she can’t have one, because she has a HOSTILE UTERUS!

But . . . there is HOPE!  For the mere price of $270, Mrs. Van A can MAKE PEACE WITH HER UTERUS, and make babies with her Psychotic Self-Flagellating Husband!  (Umm . . . yay?)

The only problem is that Mr. Van A spends his ENTIRE salary on leather belts and whips.  Therefore, he has no cash to pay for his wife’s  Uterus Rehab.

Later in the episode, we see Van Alden fingering Jimmy’s cash, and slipping it all into an envelope.  We ASSUME the envelope is headed to his Hostile Uterus-having wife, but it is NOT!

Instead, Nelson sent the money back to ANGELA (who, really should have had it in the first place . . .).  Oh, but, don’t worry!  He sent a letter to his wife too!  And it said all sorts of nice stuff in it, like “Maybe the Lord wants you to be barren.  Ever think of that?” and, “Trust in the Lord,” and “Too bad, so sad on you, you Childless Wench!  I literally whack off to a picture of Miss Schroeder on a daily basis.”

That Van Alden’s a real romantic, isn’t he?

In Other News . . .

Arnold Rothstein made a lawyer joke . . .

“I prefer to make my living honestly,” said Mr. Rothstein, when his lawyer suggested he go to law school, based on his award-winning testimony regarding the “Black Sox Scandal,” which Rothstein purportedly orchestrated himself.

Right, Arnie!  Like we’ve never heard THAT one before  . . .

Well, THAT was awkward . . .

Back in Chicago, discomfort abounds, when Nucky is at The Brothel, chatting up Johnny Torrio for scoop on the political situation in Ohio.  It is there that he runs into Jimmy . . .

Nucky doesn’t look the least bit happy to see his “protege.”  Instead, Nucky insults Jimmy, calling him out on being a Deadbeat Dad, for not sending more money to Angela, even though Jimmy can clearly afford to buy himself Snazzy $70 suits, like the one he’s wearing.  Little does Nucky know that Jimmy owns precisely ONE SUIT.   In fact, he hasn’t taken it off once, since he purchased it around episode 4.  (I bet it smells like a dream . . .)

However, Nucky’s tune quickly changes, when he gets a call from A.C., informing him that his casino was robbed, and his brother, Eli was shot and wounded.

Now, suddenly, Nucky is forced to kiss Jimmy’s ass.  He offers Jimmy a sweet percentage of all his bootleg profits, if the Little Guy agrees to come back to A.C., and work for him again.  “I’m doing really well here,” pouts Jimmy, clearly angling for a little fatherly affection, from the guy who was once his surrogate and possibly biological dad.

But Nucky isn’t really one for fatherly affection.  Instead, the A.C. King tells Jimmy that he will always be an outsider in the Chicago Gang, because they are all Italian, and he’s Irish.  But Jimmy plays it cool, telling Nucky, “I’ll think about it.”

However, later that night, we see Jimmy staring forlornly at Al Capone and his buddies, as they play cards, and make “Yo Mama” jokes to one another, in, you guessed it, Italian.

“Hmph!  You guys all think you are SO COOL!  But I bet you didn’t know that Schroeder is Irish for B*tch!  Yo Mama is a TOTAL Schroeder, Capone!”

Knowing full well that the shooting of Eli marks the start to a full-on Gang War on his home turf, a frantic Nucky phones Margaret, in the middle of the night. 

“Isn’t it a little late for phone sex?”

Nucky quickly fills Margaret in on what happened to Eli.  He then instructs her to go to his suite at the Ritz, hide his ledger book, and wait there with her children, until he arrives home.  “You’re the only one I can trust,” says Nucky the Moron.

So, of course, Margaret heads off to La Casa de Nucky.  Once there, she gets a phone call from a “Breather,” and stupidly tells him, “This is Margaret Schroeder.” (That’s Irish for B*tch!)

Seriously?  I thought Margaret was supposed to be SMART?  Who, in their right mind, tells a “Breather” who’s probably out to murder your lover, and ransack the suite where you and your kids are staying, their FULL NAME?  She might as well have given out her Social Security Number, the names and ages of her children, and where in the suite they’d all be, by the time he arrived . . .

Oh, and then Margaret starts sifting through Nucky’s ledger, and acts ALL SHOCKED, when she finds payments made for booze delivery, in there. 

“My goodness!  This is terrible.  My whole life is a LIE!  I could use a stiff drink.  I wonder if Nucky has any whiskey in his office . . .”

As if Margaret HONESTLY had NO CLUE the Nucky was involved in illegal bootlegging, despite already knowing, full well, that ALL the men working for him were. 

You know, I never thought I’d say this, but Lucy Danziger might be the Smart Chick in Nucky’s life after all . . .

[www.juliekushner.com]

Leave a comment

Filed under Boardwalk Empire

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