October 25th, 2010
03:23 PM ET
Welcome back "Empire" fans. Let's get right to it...
For the five episodes we've seen thus far, each "Boardwalk Empire" episode feels extremely unique. As a matter of fact, I coined last week's episode a smorgasbord. And, to avoid the overuse of terms that mean "large helpings," I absolutely will NOT refer to this week's episode (another gem brimming with drama) as a "buffet." Nope, I'm drawing the line. That's it. No more food terms to describe the show that has offered us so much in its 60 minutes.
IT WAS A CORNUCOPIA! I'm sorry, I couldn't help myself. Episode six, "Family Limitation," was abundant in riveting drama, jolting action and savvy dialogue. Now that I got that off my chest, how about a quick stroll past last night's episode:
The episode began with one of Nucky's "guys" (I simply cannot call the guy a "soldier" in traditional gangster terms) making the rounds, collecting cash from boardwalk businesses. The scene was fairly unimposing, and seemed completely normal, even as an unassuming kid spits in his face ("what the?"). Then, the chase (and subsequent robbery setup) is on, and we have liftoff.
From there, the show blasted into orbit with the widow Schroeder shedding her clothes AND that stuffy, pretentious moniker. She shall hereby be known as "Margaret." Any questions? Ask Lucy. She can certainly confirm this startling development.
While I'm not extremely versed in the art of the "TV girl fight," Lucy and Margaret's boutique confrontation was an unforgettable scene of the "Krystle Carrington/Alexis Colby" variety. Wait a minute, who am I kidding? I'm an 80s kid..."TV girl fights" defined my generation. From Erica Kane to Sue Ellen Ewing, the 80s were slam-packed with epic female battles, and I had a ringside seat for much of the gal-on-gal TV violence of that decade.
So, now that my credentials have been established, the Lucy/Margaret showdown can best be described as a "3-time DVR rewind" in my book. That's how many times it took for me to learn the story of "the man and his mountain rooster that played the Mountains of Mourne." For you rookie girl fighters out there learning the ropes, feel free to add your own classic spice to "when I was a girl in (insert your hometown here)..." as you begin to spin the tale. Lucy's jabs were feeble at best, and Margaret emerged victorious (it wasn't even close) with the rooster story (read: the left hook).
I didn't feel goofy in the least bit pumping my fist as Margaret made her exit with Lucy and the boutique owner both looking confounded.
Pow! Take that! Well done Margaret, you are officially the champ.
For the record, Alexis Colby had many classic, "3-time VHS/Betamax rewind" moments back in "Dynasty's" run. One of the her finest was a wry, sarcastic line to her nemesis Krystle, "I just can't wait for the day when I see you walking out of this house carrying the same two cheap plastic suitcases that you walked in here with." Pow! Take that! Brilliant.
But back to "Boardwalk..." For the three times I rewound the DVR to catch Margaret's lines, I fast forwarded Lucky and Gillian's scene every time. When the situation began bubbling two episodes ago, I backed away and politely said no thank you. Last night, I avoided it at all costs. I can't call it non-interest, but I don't like it at all, and found strange satisfaction in Rothstein making the omnipresent call to let Lucky know exactly how off-task he's been as of late.
Will Gillian be the tipping point for the war between Arnold Rothstein and Nucky Thompson? Its getting awfully dicey. We'll have to keep an eye on how this shakes out.
Speaking of dicey, Al Capone and Jimmy have had some moments, but as Jimmy had dinner with the Capones, I remember thinking "there is NOTHING 'Huxtable' about this family." Capone berates/degrades his wife and mother, and scoffs at his deaf son. I thought the writers did a great job illustrating Capone's sense of self-loathing as Sonny Capone suffered from childhood ailments that his father actually blamed himself for. Nicely done.
For all Margaret brought to the table this week, Capone and Jimmy stole the spotlight. Her showdown with Lucy was in the good-to-great range, but Capone, Jimmy, and Torrio's meeting with Charlie Sheridan was in the "awesome-to-TOTALLY-awesome" range. The tension boiled at the perfect temperature, and was cleverly choreographed with the drama stacked high. As the meet seemed to end peacefully, Jimmy fires the first shot, and it all came tumbling down in gunfire. Revenge is sweet indeed.
Summing it up, the only reason this episode wasn't a "10" by my standards was due to the Lucky/Gillian situation. I just don't like it. I'm sure the writers have a master plan, but she's been five shades of strange since she came on the show. A one-point deduction is more than fair.
Another good episode (scored a "nine") is in the books. Next week's previews look good and the beat goes on.
In the spirit of the Margaret/Lucy showdown, feel free to stroll down "TV girl fight" memory lane in the comments below, as well as your thoughts on the episode overall. Surely there are more battles worth mentioning. And Margaret deserves your girl fight tributes with her gutsy performance. See you next week.
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