Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Some Kind of Ruckus

Nucky barely had enough time to clear Owen's body from his foyer before the fight came to his doorstep this week.
With only one episode remaining in Boardwalk Empire Season 3, "Two Imposters" spent a lot of time setting the stage for the finale.
For a man who is accustomed to eating his meals with silver, Nucky showed he was no geek off the street and pretty handy with the steel when it came time to regulate.
He also showed his character when he made getting Eddie to a hospital his top priority. Was it odd he had no idea about his loyal servant's family? Sure, but his affection for the man who has stayed by his side was very admirable considering the threat on his own life.
The scene where Nucky yelled at the hospital chief was just great and was my first addition to this week's list of best Boardwalk Empire quotes.
After being absent for much of the season, Chalky White's recent return to the front lines has been excellent. He has defied the odds his entire life and has looked good doing it. Gyp Rosetti was told Chalky was the man to speak to on the far side of town. Despite Chalky's sharp dress, Gyp seemed to look at him like he was the human equivalent of the dilapidated house from where he emerged. Chalky showed he is no stranger to backhanded comments, however, as he fired back that Gyp wasn't done cooking yet when the Italian mocked him.
Chalky could have also told Nucky to get stuffed numerous times, but having met the alternative, I think his decision to back Nucky was easily made. Just days prior, Nucky had turned him down cold when the club idea came up, but Chalky knows how things are and just how much pride he has to swallow to get what he wants. Nucky is still alive thanks to him, and the price tag will be hefty.

I loved their little exchange at the lumber yard where Nucky mused about the two being stuck with each other followed by the close up on their handshake. Lets just hope nothing causes their new feeling of brotherhood to break apart.

The return of Chalky also meant the return of Don Purnsley, "Mr. Droopy Eye" himself. After the roadside shootout, Nucky and Chalky started talking about just how much this whole escape was going to cost. Don P. knew that it wasn't a good idea to stand around in the middle of the road talking numbers, so he dropped this little line (Pictured Below to bring them back to reality. In essence he was saying it ain't cool being no jive turkey so close to Thanksgiving fellas, let's get goin.
While Nucky and Chalky discussed a last stand, Richard was preparing to wage a war of his own. He endured insult after insult from his batty boss, but when Gillian moved to keep him and Tommy apart, a switch was flipped.
Jimmy deserved better than what he got at the hands of his mother and Richard will be damned if he is going to let Tommy suffer the same life. Richard and Tommy are meant to be together and pulling them apart is not going to go over well.

Harrow fans have been waiting a long time to see Richard unleash the fury. I think after next week, that wait will be over.

Meanwhile, back in New York, Lucky and Meyer have been having about as much success in the dope game as Margaret had with her maternity classes. Lucky usually defers to Meyer on matters of the mind, but Lucky's gut was riddled with worry about the money they owed and forced him into a bad decision. How did he not see all those lawmen hiding on the roof? Were they members of the Foot Clan? If Masseria is the source of Lucky's problems, it would make sense that he and Meyer align with Nucky if the opportunity or need to pick a side arrives.

We know where Chicago is hanging its hats thanks to a surprise visit from Al Capone, in what was one of my favorite scenes of the season. Capone and Nucky are from different generations and might not see eye to eye on a lot of things, but they both know opportunity when they see it and for that Capone is ready to spill some Italian red.

With just one episode remaining, this mostly was a set up episode, but was necessary. What bothered me were a few other things.
Gillian was more painful than ever.
And her line about Julia not appearing to be blind was below the belt and had me fuming.

Like Chris rock once said, I'd never hit a woman, never ever ever...but I'd shake the sh-t out of Gillian if I got the chance. Maybe Julia will step up and give Scarlett O'Horrible what she deserves.

Speaking of people who needed to get shook...while it was cool thinking under fire for Chalky to summon Samuel, I was a little surprised at the kid's gall. When a man like Chalky White tells you to jump, you ask how high.

Lastly I was shocked to find myself growing tired of Gyp's routine: "I'm pitching my tent hi-ho!" I think that general's hat is too tight and preventing the blood from getting to his head.

That's all I got. Hope I hit on some stuff you liked. Differing opinions are always great for discussion sake but I'm not gonna lie and say I don't love it when I am in sync with my homies. It be like...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

What's In the Box?

Two episodes of Boardwalk Empire Season 3 remain, but it will be difficult for either to top "A Man, A Plan." It had just about everything a fan of the show's heart could desire, as nearly every major character was featured.
The opening scene on the beach could have been the subject of a Norman Rockwell painting, as Richard carried two ice cream cones toward Julia and Tommy, who were busy making sand castles. All of a sudden, though, the mood shifted and the beach reminded me of those scenes in Jaws where everyone stood to look at the ocean with that confused look on their faces.
This time it was the cry of "WHISKEY" - not "SHARK" - that sent the beach goers into a frenzy and had them running into the water instead of out.

Richard no doubt had flashbacks of Angela as he saw his new crush sitting there next to his ward. Julia's father is no Jimmy, however, and Richard dealt with him appropriately when Julia's virtue and his war wound were insulted.
I simply could not get enough of Richard's assertiveness this week. Whether it was choke slamming the man who could end up being his father-in-law or making his move with Julia on the beach, I would have paid way more than a dime to see additional scenes of that caliber.

Fatherhood was a constant theme tonight. It played a big part in the latest addition to Gyp Rosetti's body count. From the moment he opened his mouth about the rogue waves, you knew Franco's days were numbered, but his initial explanation to Gyp about what happens to the sea when the wind shifts was a very telling part of this week's list of Boardwalk Empire quotes. The tide has turned in Atlantic City, setting Nucky and Gyp on a collision course, the fallout of which already has affected many others.

Lucky and Meyer may have had a partner in Nucky, but because of recent shifts in alliances, they were stuck between a Roth and a hard place. Yes, Arnold Rothstein turned the two entrepreneurs down, but he did it with sick swagger, didn't he?
His speech about the break off shot in snooker, and then walking away from the table having perfectly demonstrated it, was a great illustration of his point that a deal will always wait but fools will always rush in. Too bad Nucky wasn't privy to the same advice.

Also I'm pretty sure it is impossible to talk about doing ANYTHING in a bathhouse and not sound sexual.
Information is power, but is can also prove deadly in the wrong hands. For a second time this season lives were lost when a character seeking their own interest divulged valuable intel to a highly motivated party. Recently Billie Kent and others were killed thanks to Gillian's loose lips and here Owen's attempt on Masseria's life went topsy turvy after Lucky shared Nucky's plot in order to secure a partner for he and Meyer's heroin deal.
Prior to the news of his unborn heir, I'm pretty sure Owen's plans to walk away from his life of crime did not include Margaret or Katie. He told them both something they wanted to hear, but I think always planned on disappearing from both of their lives. We will never know the full truth of course, but I'm confident Margaret will learn of the promise made to Katie by her cryptic lover.

With them both in their PJ's and the angle of the camera I had to laugh at where my mind went when Eddie woke up Nucky in the middle of the night.
My laughter turned to shock of course moments later.
While Margaret's stock has decreased in value each time the maternity clinic has taken up valuable screen time this season, her reaction upon seeing Owen's lifeless and battered body in the box was some of Kelly MacDonald's best acting to date.

And because of my last name I am allowed to do this:
Actually I just realized that in the case of Margaret and Katie the SNL song really does apply.
Masseria could have saved a ton on shipping if he had just sent Owen's head like Kevin Spacey did in Seven, but maybe it was one of those Fedex Flat Rate boxes... "if it fits it ships."

Margaret's hysterics were so convincing that they might prove to be her undoing as it was clear Nucky's eyes were opened to what has been happening under his roof. The question that remains is whether or not Nucky is so desperate for a "normal" relationship that he will be willing to forgive his wife and make good on his promise to set things right in their life together.

Nothing on that front will likely be dealt with until Nucky's business with Rosetti and Masseria is concluded. Nucky stood a chance last week after Masseria told Gyp that his problems in Atlantic City were his own, but now Gyp will most definitely have his boss's army at his disposal. My feeling is Nucky's only chance to survive this battle will be to enlist the aid of Chalky White and his supporters. Chalky's idea to add a little color to the boardwalk club scene was a sound one and will come to fruition I think once Nucky realizes Chalky is his only hope, a real Obi Wan Bro-nobi.
The above was one of the more emotional moments for me this week. Chalky came to Nucky literally with his hat in hand and excitedly proposed his new business idea. Nucky dismissed him saying A.C. wasn't Harlem and people there aren't ready for that kind of integration even if the color was only on stage. Why is it hard for Chalky to accept the way things are Nuck? You try being treated like dirt your whole life, not even like a second class citizen. Chalky is okay to call on when you need someone shaken down, or to do business with in dark places people don't like to talk about, but when he comes to you with a real business idea that would make him legit, you tell him his kind need not apply. It's like that interlude in the Dr. Dre song that says "that's what they told us today, in otherwords, you're still a slave, no matter how much money you got, you still ain't sh-t!" Break em off somethin' Chalk!

Chalky had certainly thought his new business idea through, but the same could not be said for Van Alden and his Norwegian venture. I assumed the men who picked up Cicero George were O'Banion's boys, so I was thrilled to see it was actually Al Capone flexing his muscle. Van Alden looked like crazy eye Mr. Demartino on Daria back in the day.

Like Chalky White, Capone's presence this season has been sorely lacking, but this week's fork full was a great step in the right direction.
While I have missed seeing certain show regulars on a weekly basis, their omission has made room for the likes of Gaston Means whose scheming and ice cold delivery has yet to ware the slightest bit thin on me. Loved the small touch of having Jess Smith reading The Redemption of David Corson, a book that was reviewed as being as moral as a Sunday school tale which at the end pleases if not surprises the reader by the tableau of virtue triumphant and vice in the dust. I think it was more fruitless wishing on Jess Smith's party and not some kind of foreshadowing though. That was some serious gaming on Means's part. Making both Nucky and Daugherty (Shooter McGavin) pony up to have the potential rat killed. It was pure comedy watching him try to talk his way out of trouble when Jess got the drop on him in his bedroom.

Of course, by far the best addition to the cast has been Bobby Cannavale. His performance tonight only served to further cement his legacy on this show. Last week he stressed the importance of reading and this time he touted the power of math to his men when his shipment came in unharmed. Who knew he was such a whiz with numbers?
He certainly took Franco and his cousin to school, once again displaying the maniacal inferiority complex and quick temper that has made him such a fan favorite. The shovel scene was almost too much to watch though.

One of my favorite lines was when the bootlegger head goes "thats even bigger than Nucky's order" and Gyp replies "everything of mine is bigger than Nucky's."

Lastly for those keeping score at home...somehow Mickey Doyle continued to defy logic and is somehow still alive.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

After the Smoke is Done

As the dust from Rosetti's bomb settled and the clean up ensued on Boardwalk Empire this week, I could not help but think of all those people in present day Atlantic City and elsewhere who have been trying to put their lives back together as well.
Places like Babette's can be rebuilt, but the loss of a loved one can leave scars that no amount of time can heal. "The Milkmaid's Lot" featured a traumatized Nucky, who was affected both physically and mentally by the attempt on his life.
It was hard to know if it was appropriate to laugh or not at some of Nucky's miscues that resulted from his loss of mental acuity.
You must forgive me a cruel chuckle or two during the scenes where Nucky called Eli, Eddie or when he mistook Chalky for the shoeshine guy.
Other scenes were more disturbing, however, like those where Nucky kept referring to Margaret like she was Billie or Mabel.
While Nucky was not at his best, Margaret showed her strength as she told her man to pull himself together and deal with his business. Poor woman, it was hard enough dealing with Nucky and his ever-changing disposition, on top of having being cooped up in the hotel with Gyp Rosetti's dog and her two children... who have apparently grown quite accustomed to the charmed life.

Teddy's response to his mother when she told him to make his bed a second time was one of the funnier Boardwalk Empire quotes of the week. Here's some food for thought though...
Did Gyp ever tell Margaret that the dogs name was Regina? I'm pretty sure the answer is no, but last night Teddy called “Scruffy” Regina. I think Gyp has quite possibly paid a visit to Nucky's house on several occasions. He is the "vagrant" or gypsie that Teddy has been so scared of. Rosetti probably did set the fire in the greenhouse and has spoken with Teddy on at least one occasion outside their phone call last night. Creeeeepy.
Last week Van Alden's wife talked him out of running away. This week it was Margaret who felt threatened, and Owen was offering to help pack her bags. The exchanges between these two secret lovers were some of their best moments to date. Owen touched on the idea that there is no half way when it comes to a life of crime, but despite being all in at the moment, he does have plans to walk away. His resolve seemed much stronger than Margaret's who looked like she was struggling with her decision to stay or go.
There was one person who had his mind all made. Well you know his name is Tommy, and he likes to do draw-rings.
Both pictures we saw him draw this week had modes of transportation on them. The first a train and the second one which he was carrying to Josephine when he walked in on her "working," featured a boat. Although after seeing his lady friend getting the "business" he might feel an unfamiliar urge to change that drawing to a "motorboat."

He told Richard he wants to go home, which I took to mean anywhere that his crazy Mi Ma Gillian is not. I also could not help but think of Almost Famous during this scene.
Did you notice how Richard was the only one who instantly knew the animal Tommy had drawn was a rhino waiting for the train? Richard's connection with his lost friend's son is much stronger than Gillian's. After seeing the way Richard and Julia got along, I am more resolute in my belief that Richard will get some justice for Tommy's fallen father and then will become the boy's full time guardian.
Richard has so much to offer Tommy, including dance lessons.
You just have to love how simple a soul Richard has while still being very funny and charming in his own right. He is a darker version of Forrest Gump in a way. Okay, maybe much darker.
No soul on the show, though, is more devoid of light than that of Gyp Rosetti. The man actually had the gall to call Nucky and gloat over the death/murder of Billie Kent. His personality is like a slot machine. Once in awhile it comes up cherries, but on most pulls what you get is a mixed bag of psychosis. His town hall meeting was positively hilarious, however, highlighted by his comment about librarians...
And his subsequent cancellation of Bible Camp.

His idea of being neighborly sure is out of whack but man I couldn't help but laugh. 
While Masseria tried to convey to him how long it takes to grow a business and make it in this life, all Gyp heard was his boss say he might make a good general someday. So what does the ever impulsive Rosetti do? He takes the hat off the statue of the Civil War Brigadier General and shows up looking like Napoleon in a three piece suit.
His men aren't loyal they are scared. Gyp has made it clear what happens to those who cross him, but will they stand up with him when things get really heated? I think the word is going to start to get out about this whackadoo and his proclivities.

Masseria made it clear that Rosetti's problems are his own, so while Nucky was no doubt left wondering how he will ever muster enough muscle to beat the crazy Italian, the field of battle may be more level than he at first imagined now that Gyp no longer has use of Masseria's "army."

I wasn't surprised to see Rothstein walk away from Nucky and Atlantic City. After all, he makes his living in New York City, where things "actually matter." When Rothstein, Lansky and the other bosses walked out and Nucky was yelling "I won't forget this Arnold...Arnold!" I could not help but think of the scene where the Delta House marched out of the school hearing and Dean Wormer was freaking out. Nucky was looking for some love and got as harshly denied as I have seen.

Hopefully this will open the door for the likes of Chalky White to comes back into the mix and help Nucky defend what he has built. At the very least it seems his Washington worries are now resolved after Remus got chased down in his own home.
We certainly have not seen the last of the Manhattan boys or the Chi-town twosome of Torrio and Capone. For now, though, it seems the stage is set for a one on one grudge match by the sea. That's it from me...

What did you think?