Tuesday, December 7, 2010
A CUT ABOVE
Season One is in the books and there's no need for a vote on this one...the show is a hit and finale was tremendous. Van Alden likened Atlantic city to Carthage and his time there to that of St. Augustine who was temped and bribed on a daily basis. The city has gotten the better of him and he has decided to leave. He claimed there is nothing for him in Atlantic City after Sebso "died of a heart attack." He told his wife he is going to leave the bureau and go into the feed business with his relative. Just what this guy needs to be around, farm animals. She urged him to stay with the FBI, probably terrified at having him at home otherwise. He told her he will consider it if only God gives him a sign. Well Lucy showing up preggers with his love child is no "Grilled Cheezus" but I think in Nelson's mind it will count.
I loved how his face went from smile to frown in an instant when he realized it was Lucy who had come to visit him and not Margaret. BTW...Lucy was lookin good son! Pregnancy really suits her, she was "glowing." "Are you a post man Nelson?" Because this bundle inside me is C.O.D. sucka! You "made" me pregnant. Won't it be weird when both the baby and Lucy are calling Nelson "daddy?" Flethcer's people try to buy off Chalky, but being the "savvy bitness man" that he is he pocketed their bribe then told Nucky he wanted ten thousand dollars, a new car (Packard I'm guessing) and an invite to the victory party at Babette's. Nucky has no problem shelling out the cash, he probably had that in his pocket. And another shiny car for Chalky no big deal either, but the third request? Interesting to see Nucky balk at this demand. He openly deals with Chalky in front of his associates so Nucky's reluctance didn't jive with me(no pun intended). I did love how it allowed for Chalky's moment of victory though as he stood at the bar with his Nubian queen amongst all the stuffy white folk, confidently giving her a wink as if to say "how you like me now?" Nucky let's the maid Mrs Pratt off the hook, yes the same Mrs. Pratt that killed Jerry. Shocker I know. The commodore shouldn't be too upset it looks like he is going to have Gillian there to keep him warm at night. Would love to know what she said to him when she was trying to get him to drink his milk. Loved Mrs. Pratt's answer as to why she chose to poison her boss. "Cause if I used the shotgun I'd a had to clean the mess up myself." Nucky was very concerned with the Black vote and I'm sure did not want to risk upsetting any chance of their support by having a black woman arrested and charged with attempted murder on the eve of the elections. He gives her a quick lesson on morality, "you can't go around poisoning people" and a few hundred bucks and tells her that her A.C. privileges have been revoked. Like Marcellus Wallace told Butch, "when you're gone, you stay gone, or you be gone." She complied, but not before warning him to be careful and handing him what looked like a bible. No doubt she has been keeping tabs on the Commodore. Whether or not it was at Nucky's behest we will have to wait and see, but I would not be surprised to still find out that Gillian and Nucky were in the know with regard to the Commodores poisoning. The fact that they noted that the poison was even found in his tooth paste says to me that this was a well thought out and crafted attempt to rid a number of peoples lives of an unwanted presence. Oz references: As Rothstein exits his town house with Lanskey and Lucky a kid runs buy dressed as a scarecrow. Lansky was the original Fansworth Bentley it seems and for good measure Lucky also helped keep the rain off his boss. Was nice symbology for their relationship and further illustrated when Lucky remarks how "the advice is free, you pay us because we get out hands dirty." Rothstein was all but content to run away to Scotland to avoid being brought in on the World Series charges. Lansky tried to gauge the seriousness of his intent by scoffing "Scotland in November?" A.R. countered saying he heard the golf is great, to which Lucky countered with a laugh of his own saying "in June maybe." Like the trick-or-treaters running by them, frantically trying to go house to house before the candy is gone, Lansky and Lucky saw their meal ticket packing up shop before their own eyes and they were panicked. There was a quick but poignant shot where Lansky flashes a look of "do something!" to Lucky as Rothstein was preparing to get in his car. Lucky brought up Nucky and the chance he might be able to clear A.R. of this mess in Chicago and get their business back on track. They appeal to his sense of logic and tell him they don't see any "percentage" in a war with Atlantic City. Let Nucky help him out, pay him whatever he wants, offer up the D'Allessio brothers as an olive branch and move on. Jimmy came home to find little Tommy acting all aloof. Jimmy asked him what he was supposed to be dressed up as. I was waiting for Tommy to look at him and say "A pirate Dad, Arrr you going to bend Mommy over the table again?" Angela told Jimmy she and Tommy are both scared of him because of his nightmares and subsequent violent sleep antics. Might also be due to the fact Tommy saw his dad beat a wannabe Frenchman within an inch of his life with a tripod, JS. Jimmy eluded to the horrors again that he saw in the trenches. He told Angela that he would think of her and imagine he could feel her hair on his face. He asked her if they could go back to the way things were. He got his answer when he came home the next day to find she had cut most of her hair off after receiving a post card from Paris making her look like Winona Rydered circa 2002. She made her choice and Jimmy was not happy. Interesting to note how when she was sitting on Jimmy's lap the room to the left was empty, but when Angela is later sitting at the same table with her now short hair there is a painting she made of a naked woman in bed. No doubt it was a rendering of her "kissing friend." It appeared she forgave and could not forget her. Margaret comes across the grave of Nucky's 6 day old son. "So you have that in common,' says Harding's psycho mistress Nan. Anyone check to see if that baby she is carrying around is breathing? Chick has got issues. Nucky tried on his mask as Margaret entered and she suggested he leave it on. Hahahaha. Priceless. Margaret felt like she had met Nucky for the first time after he opened up to her about his family. This shot of him putting on the mask in the mirror was interesting too. Staring back at him were four reflections of himself. He is a man who certainly wears a lot of hats and masks. Leaders of the three cities met at what looked like the same spot where Sebso offed the witness. Big scene for Capone. He reprimanded Lucky telling him to "grow up uh? with the stupid jokes," after Lucky had quipped that he heard Collisomo was shot in the back of the head. Jimmy also spoke out of turn and Nucky corrected him. You clearly could see the growth of Al and how he had sort of moved ahead of his two other contemporaries in attitude and maturity. Note the hat again he was wearing and also how long he held his stare down on Lucky even after Torrio started talking again. Fantastic stuff.
Nucky called a press conference and while the reporters spilled ink on themselves to take into account the breaking news about the roadside murders, Jimmy, Richard Harrow and Capone are spilled blood all over Philly.
Richard is cold blooded as usual. Capone still shows he has that kid inside him when he grabs the apple out of the dead brothers grocery bag, but Jimmy is dark as ever as he goes all Sweeney Todd on Vinny Delpino in the barber chair. Loved how he wiped off his knife as if to say "your blood got all over my blade!" The whole montage was spectacular and reminiscent of the Baptism by Fire sequence from The Godfather.
The election results were being tallied when Nucky tried to reassure Eli saying "almost home little brother." Nucky's little shout out to him during the press conference and his cut of the Rothstein money did little to heal Eli's damaged ego. Even when Nucky reinstated him as sheriff there was no grand thank you. Blood is thicker than water, but Eli was still none to psyched about it being his that had to be spilled. No amount of money can get his self respect back. Nucky took that from him when he made retarded Steve Sanders interim sheriff. Jimmy gets a not so warm hello from "good ole Patty Ryan." Patty mentioned that Nucky really helped him out in politics to which Jimmy said that Nucky must have pimped out his mother too. Interesting stand off between those two. I have a feeling Patty Ryan will be a big player next season.
Jimmy was over served but not out of line. I was glad to see him call Nucky out on acting as if he really cared about him or anyone else for that matter.
Commodore told Jimmy how he took the fall when Wilson came to town looking to make a name for himself. The truth started to flow and so did the brandy. The second pour of booze into the milk from Jimmy was much more generous. Great depiction of his attitude toward his father showing him slowly opening up to the guy. Then Eli rolled in and it all came together. We saw Eli staring at Jimmy and Nucky earlier when they were arguing. These three are going to become the axis of evil in Nucky's side. Closing montage we see Gillian vexed sitting alone smoking and drinking. She is either upset about her foiled attempt to off the commodore or nervous because she knows what is being discussed in the other room between her son, the Commodore and Eli. Or maybe she is just tying a big enough one on before she has to go upstairs and throw leg for the old man.
Last week Dirty Jerz fan and contributor, 'Chalky Dunne' made a great call after he noticed a duck statue in Nucky's office. Another bird with a lot of historic symbolism was featured in the finale. When Jimmy and the Commodore met we were shown that the Commodore had a pet owl in a cage. In the Celtic tradition, the owl represents wisdom, clairvoyance, stealth, initiation, change and detachment. Always aware of its surroundings, the owl uses intuition courageously, with insight into hidden truth. The Commodore is a real O.G. and knows exactly what the man behind the curtain is doing which will prove to be a serious weapon come next season.
It was also a very interesting choice of bird considering how we recently saw Nucky visiting the psychic and Gillian also has talked about her faith in clairvoyants. Adding to this theme were the apparent fortune telling properties of Margaret's Irish prize cake. She was none to thrilled to see that rag on her fork. That either meant that the Lysol has been working, or that she will end up destitute. She went right back to Nucky to lock up her well being so that the next time she finds a sheet in her cake it's going to be Egyptian 1500 Thread Count! Nucky and Margaret look like they never skipped a beat at the party when the bubbly was flowing. Not all is well though in Oz. He affectionately stared at her while hugging her from behind, but when they walked out of the club to face the new morning Nucky's expression changed to one of fear/concern and he no longer was embracing Margaret. He just stood next to her detatched. As the season closed out we saw Jimmy walking along the ocean much like Nucky does in the opening credits. The final shot showed Nucky gazing out over the boardwalk as the sun rose over Atlantic City. Could this represent the rise of a new sun/son as the Commodore and Eli look to bring Jimmy to power? We will have to see.
Nucky Lackey: Hell Nuck you'll even get the spooks.
Chalky: The fuck you just say?
Lackey: What? I got my clerk coming the obituaries, he's writing down names.
Torrio: Noon tomorrow we'll pick a spot out by you. Nucky to butler: Ow god damnit. Torrio thinking he said "how": The train, how you think?
Rose Van Alden: Biscuit?
Nelson: The molasses hurts my filling!