Now that Steve Buscemi has put in his time, he has earned the privilege of really shaking things up on this season of HBO’s ‘Boardwalk Empire’. If there was anything standing in his way he made sure to throw it on the ground!
Nucky is confident in the face of reality. He has been betrayed and the hits just keep on coming. His casinos aren’t doing well, his booze is being cut off by the coast guard and his former right hand man Jimmy Dormady is abandoning him. He tries to call in some favors from Warren G. Harding who he helped get into office, but it’s no dice. Luckily, he has a peacock feather patterned smoking jacket and a hellava nice garden room to cheer him up when he is down, like a boss.
Angela: “How was dinner with your father?”
Jimmy: “Which one?”
Margaret Shroader is still a bad ass, but things are getting to her. She starts taking her expensive things back to the store, knocking back a few drinks with the help and searching out her Irish family members. This is a far cry from when she was being beaten everyday & douching with Lysol, so the audience can’t be too worried about her. After she attends dinner with Nucky she realizes that in order for him to stay cool, she needs to keep her shit together and she goes back to talking down to the maid.
Arnold Rothstein punishes his drones by making them pay for their victims’ funeral costs and giving away another ten percent of their business. Both of these dudes are already showing disloyalty to Rothstein and it will be interesting to see how it all plays out.
By far the most dynamic performance of the episode was Paz de la Huerta and her cooped up pregnant desperation. It’s the first acting we’ve seen from her the entire series and surprisingly, she nailed it. Van Alden has her trapped and her only way out is by drinking black market booze, smoking ciggies and acting out terrible showgirl scripts in front of her mirror naked. Her performance created real sympathy, which for Lucy Danziger is extremely hard to do. Van Alden treated his ‘whore like a queen’ and bought that brawd a record player. It was a close call too because that bitch was about to throw her pregnant ass down a flight of stairs!
Al Capone came to town to deliver a message from his boss and bury his dead barber father. That and he wanted to sing some Italian diddies to Jimmy Dormady’s son. Poor half-a-face asked about Odette the hooker because that bastard really needs a good lay. Instead, he and that adorable Irish bodyguard got into a gun fight over booze and the audience was glad to see that Richard Harrow has finally met his match. It’s going to make for an awesome ultimate showdown throughout this season.
But really, the best moment of the night was when Nucky lost his shit at his favorite restaurant. I love the hostess, who plays a Marlene Dietrich from ‘Blue Venus’ tuxedo vamp. She had an anxiety attack when Nucky showed up unannounced. The waiter, who I’m pretty sure was castrated later, asked Nucky if he needed help with the menu. This is the guy who lives at the place and knows every pair of boobs like the back of his hand. Does he need help with the menu? He needs help cleaning up the Commodore’s lobster which he just threw on the ground!
Watching Jimmy and Nucky struggle internally while threatening each other makes for some of the best acting on television. Michael Pitt is killing it in this role. It’s almost like his magnum opus thus far, well aside from ‘Funny Games’. Bold claim? If I’ve learned anything from ‘Boardwalk Empire’ is that you own your stance, like a true gangster!