November 1st, 2010
02:08 PM ET
“Boardwalk Empire” fans, it’s been an interesting week.
For starters, although I'm not a big Halloween guy, I felt adventurous after last week's episode and came up with the PERFECT scenario for some late October fun.
I decided to “go Nucky.”
For five full days leading up to last night's show, "Home” - which we'll get to shortly – CNN.com’s breakroom became my version of Atlantic City. "Going Nucky" meant nothing came in or went out without me getting a piece of the action. The breakroom fridge, vending machines, the microwaves and that trusty little condiment station next to the coffee pots were all under my jurisdiction. It would take the staff some time to adjust, but in five business days, I was going to have my "Breakroom Empire.”
Although things admittedly got a little testy after a co-worker noticed my handwritten, prohibition-style price hike on the soda machine, I made it through the week without any major incidents. Well, there was the note from HR conveniently posted on the breakroom bulletin board about corporate policy on "extortion,” but all’s fair in the name of Halloween fun right?
But back to the show: We saw another layer of Nucky's persona as he and Eli discovered the deplorable conditions their father's been living in. Consumed by terrible memories as he visited his boyhood home, I thought Steve Buscemi did a fantastic job wearing Nucky's emotions of a childhood marred by mental and physical abuse. More on that in a second.
Chalky had been absent in recent episodes, and it was good to see him back in a compelling "Nucky test" scene (he passed with flying colors).
This scene may seem less significant when compared to many, but I thought the writers did a great job illustrating the complex tension of a simple situation. That's become a routine thing on the show, but kudos should also be handed to the standout scene of the episode: Jimmy's confrontation with Liam.
From Jimmy meeting Richard Harrow and the stories they exchanged, it all seemed to be just another intriguing show item. Then, in a matter of moments, Liam breathed a sigh of momentary relief, received a perfectly-placed shot under his right eye, and it all made perfect sense. The show's flow through this subplot was absolutely phenomenal, and I'll give this scene "top 5 of the season" status. But was this Richard's sole purpose?
Elsewhere, we are introduced to Lucky's pal, Meyer Lansky. The meeting with the D'allessio brothers should be bearing fruit in future episodes, and it was good to hear another familiar mob folklore name. We were also introduced to the revelation behind those Angela Darmody photographs a few episodes ago. Jimmy had a hunch, but he (nor I, nor you) never thought to suspect Mary Dittrich. Simply put: Wow! I'll just stop there. Yep, right. There. And again: Wow.
Margaret and Nucky's relationship continues to evolve, and she thoughtfully extends compassion to Nucky at the point where it’s more than clear he's struggling with the dark past of the house he grew up in.
Nucky's not a complicated man, but it was more than apparent that his demons had resurfaced and subsequently required exorcism. I don't know who among us actually believed he'd torch the place to that effect, after promising the house to a constituent in need. I was stunned, and thought it all a bad dream. The next thing I know, I'm sitting there with my mouth open as flames roared and credits rolled. Magnificent.
That's the word for this week's episode. Not too flashy and not many bullets flying (just that one), but the episode shined without the gloss we’ve come to expect with gangsters and guns. Many questions abound after this episode, and the subplots (Mary/Angela, Chalky, Richard Harrow) should continue to be interesting.
I'm happy to report that no co-workers were harmed/corporate policies violated in the writing of this blog, and this week will be business as usual around the office. I'll surrender my breakroom territory for now, but Halloween is officially fun again.
See ya next week!
Loved, kinda liked or hated the show? Let us know.
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