Monday, December 12, 2011
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.
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
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
We will get to the giant elephant in the room soon enough but aside from what is rather common place in places like West Virginia and Cleveland, Ohio there was a lot of amazing this week to discuss.
The flash back sequences to Jimmy's days at Princeton were very special. I'm never shocked by Scorcese's attention to detail or his costume departments for that matter, but I am constantly in awe. Case in point was the well chewed pencil Jimmy held while reading aloud to his classmates and professor.
We saw that Jimmy's tendency to "come out swingin'" was a part of him from early on and a byproduct of his upbringing in Atlantic City. While most of his classmates came from well off families by way of schools like Phillips Exeter, our boy prepped at the School of Hard Knocks. His professor found that out the hard way after he messed with Gillian at the school mixer.
I loved seeing Jimmy in the early days of he and Angela's relationship. Highlight though was his room mate self deprecating quips and his referencing Cyrano De Bergerac when he called Angela his "Roxanne."
We knew Gillian has always had a weird relationship with her son bordering on the inappropriate like when she shared with Angela how she used to kiss Jimmy's winkie as a baby, but I never thought they would take us where they did this week. Gillian you were wrong, there definitely was something wrong, there was something wrong with all of it. Flash forward to when she was going over the funeral arrangements with Jimmy and she remarked how Angela didn't really have a very wide circle. Well you would know Mommy Dearest having had your son inside you like she did. Jimmy woke up the morning after and we've all had those face in hands moments after a night of boozing and poor decision making, but this was a whole different ball of wax. Maybe I wasn't as appalled as most because my college room mate had this tape he kept in his sock drawer that I would borrow periodically titled Taboo-The Ultimate Sin, but I do put all the blame on Gillian. Just like Jimmy's fast temper was a product of his upbringing so is his distorted sense of family and sexual conduct. There was no fire wall whatsoever when it came to his mother's sexual exploits and his sense of what a mother son relationship was perverted from birth.
One of the more impressive shots of the season, perfectly captured Jimmy at the crossroads of his life as he looked out the window and saw a car load of coeds driving off screen as in the distance a formation of soldiers marched out onto the quad. In case that wasn't an obvious depiction of the crossroad Jimmy had reached in life, the railroad crossing sign in the foreground left little to misinterpret. We soon realize that Jimmy is aware of Angela's death and the flashbacks were brought on most likely by his dive bombing the envelope of heroin Lucky gave to him. (Great Call btw by Brownie Luche last week) I've seen a lot of weird techniques for getting f'ed up in my day. I once saw Johnny Knoxville stick drugs right up his 2-hole, but this was by far one of the most pathetic scenes of drug abuse I have even witnessed. Can someone get that guy a straw?!?!? Jimmy looks like he and Mr. Brownstone will be spending a lot of time Under the Bridge if you know what I mean.
Meanwhile back home his boys are moving on without him and looking to cut him out of the equation like Boston George. Jimmy hasn't exactly left them much choice with his inability to move their booze. They each seemed to have no issues selling their own lots. Lucky had to only go as far at Hoboken to unload his. I gotta side with the young guns here and say Jimmy was droppin the ball there. How hard is it to sell booze when there is nothing but demand and no supply. It's like Chris Rock once said, "Drug dealers don't sell drugs. Drugs sell themselves...You don't ever really got to try to sell crack. I never heard of crack dealers going, 'Man, how am I going to get rid of all this crack? It's just piled up in my house." Uh gimme a happy meal and an 8-Ball thank you!On the subject of addiction Margaret must have some serious sauce in the bedroom because Sleater may have gotten her off his fingers but she was still stuck in his head this week. She did look pretty amazing as she brushed her hair while talking to Nucky.
Don't look so glum though Katie. If Margaret keeps giving our man the Heisman he is gonna come knocking at your door once again or end up looking like Quagmire.
Speaking of weird arm muscles, where did the Commodore get his retard strength from. One look at Jimmy's face though when he went after Gillian told you no amount of thrust practice was gonna stop Jimmy from winning that mortal kombat. Gillian might be weird and twisted, but she is cold blooded son. She wasted no time telling Jimmy to finish the old man off.
I so wanted Jimmy to finish off the Oedipus Complex with some sort of catch phrase to the tune of "How's that for showing you my cock? Can u see my cock now Dad?" Oh well I guess the knife from his pants was all the imagery he needed.
Saddest moment of the week aside from Emily's "magic legs" fail (which we have agreed we have no interest in discussing because it's way too emotional) was Richard's goodbye to Angela. Having mustered all his restraint to not call Gillian a flat out "C" after she basically called him a "re-tard" in front of the police officer, I was amazed he was able to keep it together while he rubbed the blood of his beloved Angela between his fingers. If we don't see him avenge either with or without Jimmy, I will shit a brick. Scalping won't even come close to what he thinks up for Mannie the butcher. Maybe he can borrow Chalky's daddy's tools.
Well that's about it for me this week, I can't wait to hear your comments. Till then I'm out da door like Van Alden.