'Going Nucky' for 'Boardwalk Empire'
November 1st, 2010
02:08 PM ET

'Going Nucky' for 'Boardwalk Empire'

“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.

soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. StefeDephit


    November 30, 2011 at 5:42 am | Report abuse |
  2. fuslysaflal


    November 27, 2011 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  3. untonejob

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    November 20, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Andrew

    That was one of the most powerful episodes yet. I’m so glad I was able ot catch up on the previous episodes in time to watch it. After taking a last minute trip out of town and forgetting to set my DVR I thought I was out of luck to catch up before this episode aired. But luckily I remembered my employer, DISH Network, has a live streaming site called dishonline (dot) com. I checked and the episodes I needed to catch up were on there. I was really impressed browsing the content of just how many shows there are. And it’s completely free! Definitely an awesome way DISH is adding value to their services.

    November 1, 2011 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  5. logan

    I love Steve Buscemi and Michael Pitt.....They are gangsters with heart and compassion.......A true oxymoron....Most people are not all good or all bad....Both Buscemi and Pitt are fascinating.....They are both intelligent, pragmatic, thoughtful, reflective, and violent....I am mesmerized watching them....I think Michael Pitt is the most gorgeous-looking actor I have ever seen....Great casting...Great acting....Complex and interesting characters...I like BOARDWALK EMPIRE more than I liked THE SOPRANOS.....

    November 4, 2010 at 12:25 am | Report abuse |
  6. Dave

    Pretty sure chalky white was not being tested by Nucky. That short huy was sent by Rothstein. Nucky had no clue when confronted by Chalky about being tested.

    November 2, 2010 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
  7. Zeena

    Everything about this show is A plus ! Actors,the set,costumes,the storyline - I am enjoying this series -

    November 2, 2010 at 7:20 am | Report abuse |
  8. Emily

    I think Steve Buscemi is amazing and a key factor to what makes this show so good. And, yes, while it's true he's an unlikely candidate to be be on the cover of People 's"Most Beautiful People," he has certainly shown how alluring a powerful man can be. With each new episode I'm convinced no one else could do it half as well.

    November 2, 2010 at 12:51 am | Report abuse |
  9. Me

    Althought this episode was a few miles slower than the last few, it was on point as always. I loved the intro of Mayer Lanksy.

    November 1, 2010 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  10. sheppard

    Love this show, love Steve Buscemi. He is long over due the opportunity to shine on his own. Great supporting cast – just really good all way around.

    November 1, 2010 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jessica

    I gotta say, I called it with Jimmy's girl and the photographer's wife... when they showed her walking to the bed, and the other girl was there, my boyfriend turned to me and said "yup, you called it"... and that scene at the end with Liam and Kimmy... another thing you saw coming.. as soon as he sat down and said "don't worry I'm not going to kill you," I was waiting for the JFK style hit on Liam, and boom! there it was! Love this show!!!

    November 1, 2010 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  12. silenceisgolden

    . Shhhh .

    November 1, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Mindy

    I really have come to like Steve Buscemi in the role. Who ever said that a political boss or gangster had to be a matinee idol to be believable in the role? Power is very attractive to women. I think Buscemi doesn't have to look like Nucky, but he has to BE like Nucky! This episode powerfully revealed the painful, horrific childhood he endured. Now we know more about why he is who he is and what made him that way.

    I totally didn't see it coming with the shooting of Liam. I thought Jimmy was going to let him go and was confused. That is, until that shot rang out and then we see Liam with the bullet hole right under his eye. Jimmy's new friend came in pretty handy. Nothing like a sharpshooter to help you take your revenge. It was brilliant to see the camera move from the hole in the window up to that room where Harrow was already packing up. Great music, too! I think these two could be a great team.

    Gillian figured out what was going on with Angela, hence her reference to the "bohemian" lifestyle. That's why she offered to bring up her son. I have a feeling that Jimmy is going to find out. I also loved seeing the preview in which Nucky asks Jimmy for help. How their relationship has changed! He will need it, to fight off the likes of Rothstein and Luciano.

    This show just keeps getting better.

    November 1, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  14. meryl shaye

    I thought the same thing how could steve buscemi pull of the leading man role, but he is a very powerful man and women are drawn to powerful men, and his looks are growing on me, love the series and cant wait till next Sunday.

    November 1, 2010 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  15. fjgehman

    I think Steve Buscemi is wonderful as this character! Keep the great episodes coming!

    November 1, 2010 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Deb

    Sorry, but Steve Buscemi just cannot carry off the leading ladies man character. Every time Margaret kisses him, I cringe. Couldn't Scorcesi have chosen someone better looking? I'm sure most of the women in the audience think as I do about this.

    November 1, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Meryl

      Speak for yourself. I think he's incredibly handsome in the role – and it's a delightful change of pace to have someone non-traditionally attractive at the center of a show like this one.

      November 1, 2010 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |

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