Monday, December 12, 2011

Ain't No Such Thing As Halfway Crooks

Initially while watching the finale I thought the post title for the recap was going to be "Welcome Back Cracker!" A take off on the Welcome Back Kotter series and referencing Chalky's scene when the KKK guys were delivered to him. He and Purnsley could not have been more thrilled.

But then, the shit got real.

At first I was upset. How could Jimmy have been so jolly drunk when he knew what was coming. He gave Tommy his dog tags, he knew he was going to meet his end. I think what we watched over the last two seasons was a long slow death of a soldier who was never going to be whole ever again. Jimmy talked about how the soldiers would laugh and make up songs to take their mind off the killing. Jimmy was able to laugh about those times because he had let the war go finally. He was ready for death. Richard made the comment that he himself was still "there." He hadn't yet made peace with what he did "over there" and Atlantic City has been just another blind, just another mission for him. Jimmy prayed that his friend would find his own peace as he knew he would soon enough find his.

I turn to the Shogun Assassin on 1980 made popular by Gza's "Liquid Swords."

He was the greatest Samurai in the empire, and he was the Shogun's decapitator. He cut off the heads of 131 lords. It was a bad time for the empire. The Shogun just stayed inside his castle and he never came out.

That was when my father left his samurai life and became a demon.

Jimmy was a soldier and soldiers die, sent to death by politicians and businessmen. Well Jimmy made it home but he still was a soldier for the same type of people. When he tried to be someone else he lost touch with who he was. He said it himself, he was upset about what he saw happening around him back home, guys like Nucky lining their pockets thanks to the freedom he and his fallen brothers provided.

Jimmy knew what he was walking into, he went unarmed. Jimmy never expected to come back alive from the war. Nobody was more surprised than he was. Like Terence Winter noted, "He’s kind of been the walking dead, for lack of a better term, since he got back." Even from the first encounter with Gillian where she remarked, “This isn’t my son anymore,” he was different. He came full circle in the last few weeks, fully realizing how deeply he had been manipulated by his father and Gillian and how badly she screwed him up psychologically. He sort of took the honorable soldier route and fell on his own sword but only after he set things like Chalky's situation right. He said to Richard, “This is something that I have to do,” and Richard knew what he was talking about, and being a soldier himself, Richard allowed him to do that. Otherwise they could have picked off the whole lot of 'em together. Richard accepted Jimmy’s fate but still offered to go and help him and sort of take his place. “I’ll kill them all if you want."
In the pilot Jimmy told Nucky you can't be half a gangster anymore. Nucky showed blood runs deep as he chose Eli over Jimmy and ultimately pulled the trigger to put Jimmy away. In the end Nucky showed him he knew all to well there's no such things as half way crooks. In so many words he told Jimmy you spoke the wrong words man and now you get touched, it's gotta be this way.
Your simple words just don't move me, you're minor, we're major. (Goes back to the speech Manny made in the basement to Nucky about the middleman) You all up in the game and don't deserve to be a player. Your crew is featherweight, my gunshots'll make you levitate.
Photobucket Nucky is cold blooded, his warm heart didn't turn cold because he has no heart. The whole would-be touching scene with Emily, in the yard, was all a ploy to get Margaret to marry him and it worked. Earlier when Nucky came home and Katie was trying to get Emily to walk she burst out "Hi Daddy!" He didn't so much as put a hand on her shoulder to say hi, he just went upstairs to unpack once he knew Margaret wasn't home. If push came to shove he would use her, her brother even Margaret as a human shield if it meant saving his own hide. Wellhe is gonna burst when he realizes she signed over the land deed to the church.
Yeah Nucky chose Eli and kept with the blood is thicker than water/family theme of this season, but once Eli does his time and is out of jail I doubt he shows him much if any love.

On the future of the show Terence Winter recently said in an interview:
I’d like to explore more aspects of some of the characters, deeper aspects of characters we’ve gotten to know a little bit: Rothstein, Luciano Lansky, Capone, Chalky, Richard. Those are people who already exist and I’d like to get to know more about them. On the other hand, they also need conflicts and people to butt up against. So there will be new characters and new situations.
But he also said there will not be a revenge storyline for Richard so where does that leave my man? Trying to figure out how to climb out of the trench and into the light like his good friend did?

I'm so bummed about Jimmy, but also because I think it means the end of Richard.
I guess come Sunday night if I find myself feeling empty and lonely inside I'll just pick up the phone.

Until then...if anyone needs me I'll be on the beach in my drift wood lean-to eating a pocket full or peanuts...TO THE LOST


  1. Jell the Shogun is straight nuts I cant even believe you went there and drew it together I think it has a little of that and a little Greek oedipus tragedy to it .. Until the end I still thought Nucky was going to shoot Eli and save Jimmy who I always thought he viewed as his son ... But that doesnt make it any less difficult to deal with..But as Jell has eloquently said Jimmy made peace with his life and what he chose and he knew where it was headed.. In the last 2-3 shows it had become evident that jimmy was closing the loop on his life. And fulfilling his Oedipian journey, we discussed it last week and felt like it was heading that way but Jimmy lost his kingdom and his life.. Kudos to him for making it right withteh people who were wronged, but a part of me weeps for his son who is now left alone to go through life with his fuckked up grandma .. I wonder if Richards roll becomes one of father and less of avenger .. Does he get his family in the end.. ??
    I mentioned last year that Jimmy was one of the only characters who didnt have a historical significance and I brushed it off..But in the end it was an important point.. Jimmy was soldier and he made his play and lost just like a lieutenant who couldnt cut it as a general, because some people are just meant to be soldiers and not leaders like others may want them to be.. But History is told by the winners not the losers...and When I saw the dog tags on his son I knew his fate had been sealed..I hoped it wouldnt come but I knew that it did, he had come full circle, he knew it and deep down so did we ... He had nothing left to give or to get and he owed the only man who cared about him an apology ...while leaving his fate in that same man's hands for him to judge him ...

    Nucky has become cold blooded thru this and he manipulates everyone to his own benefit...From the begining we thought he didnt have the stomach for it ad we felt compassion for him, but he is a user ...Margaret wanted to believe him and his love but she saw it in his eyes when he was released and when he talked about seeing Jimmy ... She saw thru him and the lies and she will not let him manipulate her anymore..Kudos to her for having the forthright to coldly put it past her and move forward with no remorse ...

    Van Alden is thru as well he will melt into the background never to be seen again..In Cicero which is kind of ironic if you look in the history of Cicero and what he was known for... Eloquent speeches and orations but also viewwed as pompous and deceitful..the 2 sides of Van alden who like Cicero was killed as an enemy of the state..Van A was not killed but his departure is pretty much the same thing .. He is gone there is no Van Alden..

    Props to the writers for pretty much letting everyone get laid in the last moments of their life...Neery was able to get one last bend u over the desk moment before he was called to higher power so at least he got to go out wiht 2 bangs...

    Fianlly to Jimmy I pour out my 1st sip to you my friend.. Your tortured journey has come to an end and finally you could find peace that Webster spoke about in your Princeton class, one of the last times you ever felt innocent and full of hope.. Your mother's visit changed that and your innocence was lost, life changed and your eyes were open ... You never experienced true love except for when you looked into your son's eyes in the end ...I m glad you found your peace ...

  2. Mutedric wrote: "I wonder if Richards roll becomes one of father and less of avenger .. Does he get his family in the end.. ??"
    Verrrrry interesting Mute. Me likes the possibility of that story line. Richard taking Tommy out in the woods and teaching him how to be a sniper. A young Tommy takes out revenge in the final season on Nucky?

    "But History is told by the winners not the losers..." that's the truth Truth! and samesies on the dog tags for me too. thats when I knew for sure.

    " You never experienced true love except for when you looked into your son's eyes in the end ...I'm glad you found your peace..." Ugh got something in my eyes again...damn allergies.
    You are a poet Mute and I thank you.

  3. THanks Jell I d be remiss if I didnt mention the Godfather coorelation that I didnt mention.. THe marriage whacking and all very creepy as I was watching that and getting flashbacks.. I was looking for Moe Green to come out of the shadows... Also in reasearching Cicero, IND I ve come to find that is where Capone made his home... Hello Darkness my old friend, Van Alden is going to become straight gangsta watch out..Also everyone saying Jimmy lied about Eli wanting Nucky dead wasnt a lie when they were all debating it and Jimmy was non-committal ELi said DO IT ... Kill him ..

  4. "TO The Lost"

    Goes without saying that it was one of the bestt epiosdes ever but i actually watched it again last night and still cant believe some of the moments i the show, was literally fkn incredible!

    Was i the only person that thought that over the last couple weeks of the season (and especially the finale) there were some very interesting trust scenarios that went down...i mean how did purnsley (what a creep btw) ever get so close w/ chalky?....nevermidn how did Chalky EVER even consider trusting ELI again after the guy tried to have him wacked!? AND TRIED TO ACTUALLY KILL HIM WITH HIS OWN HANDS IN HIS HOUSE?!?....for a place where scum runs around willy nilly i was very surprised at the trust level that was thrown around.

    Have to say "I think what we watched over the last two seasons was a long slow death of a soldier who was never going to be whole ever again" everything else you've done and wrote this season is SPOT on. Basically we were all under the impression that we were watching the rise of of a general when in actuality we were witnessing the death of a solider.....truely was sad sad/shocking thing.


    It really was great to see Jimmy in teh days of old (besides shredding his momma) and see what the war really eneded up doing to him, moreover LOVED the shot of him waiting in teh buker wheil everyone is freeing and nervous, bombs and artillary lighting up the sky and him taking a breath and going over the bunker to engage the war. UNREAL.

    I guess in teh end Nucky proved that he weas the furthest thing from a shook one as he handled his buisness out there in the rain and did it all w/ his own hands (love the quotes and analogies from that song btw)

    I guess in the end that Nuck was much colder than and heartless than we all thought he was and yeah i would imagine that its safe to say that this may be the last that we have seen of richard harrow (although im sure he will have some hardware for his mantlepiece to enjoy w/ all of this moel gf's) will be sad to see them go but have to love they way they went out. Like g's

    Although i never put it i writing i was actualy telling a bunch of people how i would LOVE to see teh show continue on and develop the story line of such characters as Rotherstein/Alphonse/Luciano etc etc....this way everyone gets a little something/ we get to contiue our show and had teh shock value of the death of its manin character/aso validate the true storyline. CANT WAIT!

    Lastly, have to quote matthew J casamassima (or his idea) that i could easily see a scenario w/ Nuk and margaret where sleater has to rub her sht out (not rub her down) after the sht she pulled with my mans highway. but i guess we'll have to wait another year or so to see that. Either way, another amazing season with evern better posts LOVED WHAT YOU'VE DONE WITH THE PLACE

  5. i have had a challenging time coming up with what to say, and i think that is in large part due to the post chris gave us- just tremendous.... the first thing i want to say is, Jimmy had to die, and nucky had to do it himself. jimmy tried to kill him once, whos to say that he wouldnt try it again. once you prove yourself to be not trustworthy, it lasts forever. ESPECIALLY in a business as unforgiving as this one. Nucky had to do it himself in order to save face for the rest of AC and the rest of organized crime to hear. if he could take out his own "son", then hes truly a man capable of taking out anyone or anything. i dont think he was as ruthless of a person until this very scene. what i don't understand is why scorcesse exaggerated the shaking hand to the extent he did... thought that was a little cheesy quite frankly. cause immediately after shooting the kid in the face, he stood over him like he was nino brown, made a hard core speech, and shot him in the head... something is very inconsistent about this entire chain of events.
    eli is clearly on borrowed time; the second he gets out of the slammer, hes gonna have a bullet waiting in his head. if you think about it, this is the most insane scene on tv since tony suffocated christopher in the car... eerily similar. nucky once again demonstrated what a user he is and used him to save him from going to jail.
    meanwhile, we gotta mention what a sick fuck nucky is, for how simply he explained to margaret that jimmy re-inlisted in the war, and left that evening, in the pouring rain. he said it so smoothly without even flinching, and margaret knew what it meant. nuts.
    i dont like margaret one bit, and i dont know what her ulterior motive is, but i look fwd to getting to the bottom of it.
    really an excellent season all around. you can forget about a sophmore jinx for this show, in fact its a sophmore stud. despite a part of my love for the show dying wtih jimmys last breath, i have a feeling we will quickly forget about him in due time. here here.

  6. Nucky must have known all the sh!t that we found out on the prior episode. He must have known that Jimmy was totally fcked up in the head and there was nothing he could do to straighten him out. I feel like deep down he loved Jimmy far more than Eli but there really was nothing he could do. Nucky doesnt give a sh!t about Eli and he won't last long after he gets out of jail.

  7. Wow Marc..."once you prove yourself to be not trustworthy, it lasts forever"...I hope u never live to eat those words my man. While I don't agree with you there I do agree entirely with your statement about this season being a Sophomore Stud. It really was. So many shows second seasons are regarded as their weakest (The Wire, FNL) but this was a winner. I think the whole point of Nucky pulling the trigger was because he never got his hands dirty. Earlier in the episode he complained about being accused of ordering Hans Schroeders death and recall he was like "if i ordered someone to walk in front of a train does that make me a murderer?" It goes back to the half way crook/gangster angle I talked about. Nucky had to pull the trigger, had to get blood on his hands if he wants to be a real O.G. He always has people doing it for him. Eli would have killed him remember if not for Margaret showing up with the shotgun (albeit unloaded as it was).

  8. Btw, what I DIDNT ever get to was? SUP WITH VADER W/O A HELMUT DOING THE REAL TURN IN THE JOINT?!? you KNOW that aint right. I guess the good news is that w/ all his head gear it will be awhile before he has to smoke any rope in there.........Sophmore stud ALL THE WAY, and i honestly think as they develop the stories lines for capone/luciano/rothstein and crew the trend may just continue up....and ELI? i wouldnt give that lsr till the end of the opener, (if they just dont write him off w/ scrolling script ala star wars)

  9. Helmetless Vader a.k.a. Deputy Halloran may have his grill sewn up but you know what you do when the Licoln Tunnel is backed up right? Just double back and take the Holland out the back end. Guy is gonna get real familiar with what his ankles look like upside down if u ask me.