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.


  1. So its starting to get a bit redundant now as im pretty sure that I said this last week but CLEARLY this week’s episode was the best of the season followed by what had to be the best post of the season thus far….the work of a gentleman’s gentleman, nothing more to say about that then respect to my best guy! Love ya buddy!

    I Have to admit that had I not heard that it was such a great episode that I would have been a but worried about “a man, a plan” started off like something like reading a book to me (as I literally think I nodded off twice the first time that I watched)…As we both know I love RH to death and I only want what is best for him watching him and his lady and the child that they are going to adopt or run away with (yes u heard it here first) is a little more character development then I can stand. (love the ode to Jaws btw---so well played)…..anyway u can look back and check if you don’t believe but like I have said all season RH is going to have his day in the sun and is going to leave the season THE MARTER…not just “a marter”….and we got a glimpse of that in the scenes from the upcoming eps, whats even better Jell is that it looks as the Chalky and he may join forces with nucky to take down Maseretti and GYP and THAT’S some sht I could get down with (yes even u don purnsley)..my only fear is that we don’t have to see RH lose something he loves to get the fire going in him although im not qquite sure how that will be avoided

    Now wer’re really starting to see what my namesake and meyer are really all about as you watch them cross the man that got them there AND Nuck and the establishment just too get their H bizness off the ground. Question is; I don’t remember Nuck ever telling anyone HOW they were going to get the Maseratti so how the eff did they know the exact plan? Anyone else find that odd? Pls discuss….

    Either way I don’t think that I have been more moved to see a main character taken from us since they took my jim-bone in the season two finale but man oh man was I worked up. (verklempted even)…..as a matter of fact im so upset that I think that the only thing that could have helped me along was the way that you eased thetension with the montage of the office tied to a M in the box followed by their D’s in the box…HAHAHA….u can tell that that one just came to you naturally, I respect genius at work, and you my friend have a gift…yes u do……YOU.

    I feel like you sending the Seven clip was something that needed t be addressed all on its own as I had to watch it in its entirety and man o man is that powerful cinema…it literally still make me upset..like flat out angry at the world….WHY!?!?! WHY KEVIN!?!? WHY!?!?! SHE WAS PREGGERS! HOW COULD U DO THAT…






  2. @BrownieLuciano wrote: Question is; I don’t remember Nuck ever telling anyone HOW they were going to get the Maseratti so how the eff did they know the exact plan? Anyone else find that odd? Pls discuss….

    That is a good question. Maybe Masseria was just that careful everywhere he went. But you are right, there was no scene where Lucky was told the exact plans about the bathhouse. There are the occasional holes in the story on this show, like how did Nucky keep getting to New York if Gyp controlled the roads to and from, but such slips are few and far inbetween.

  3. I can't help this but "O-W-E-N!!!!" (insert Mama Fratelli voice). I think I lost my sh-t more than even Margaret when they popped open that box full of lost hope and aspiration for prego Margs. Poor woman has reached a real low point now.She was all ready to bon voyage with an adorable lad willing to take on her chubby pyromaniac shitty son and young handicapped daughter and get away from a corpse of a husband. Boardwalk writers keep introducing these real promising hotties like Jimmy and Owen and then rip them away from me.WTF. My question is this though: What did Nucky and Eddie exactly expect to be in that box?! Based on the weight and dimensions, did they think maybe that pony for Emily would whinny her way out? Maybe another bomb? Good call on the Seven reference Chris. I thought the exact same during that scene. Does anyone else actually think if Margaret wasnt shtooping Owen that she would have reacted any differently though? Nucky was partially responsible for their day to day interactions so I personally didnt feel her inital reaction to finding a dead Owen in a box delivered in the middle of the night would have been interpretted any differently by Nucky. Her catatonic state afterwards on the other hand, really drove the point home more though.
    "Everything of mine is bigger than Nucky's"- Yeah i'm going to have to guess Gyp's right on that. Again w the Sex in the City "Mr. Too Big".

    Buried in the sand to the chin and watching a shovel end your life just after thinking you were about to be dug back up and released has gotta be one of the worst ways to go by the way. I can usually stomach the gruesome scenes, but this one forced me to look away and crack my neck myself a bit. buuuuuuuuuuuuuwah.

    Poor Chalky, full of ideas and business plans and once again not taken seriously. Nucky is about to realize real soon the true "colors" of his friends and foes. That being said, not quite sure how many more times Chalky is going to take the word "no" lightly. His own colored family and circle are starting to earn their keep in and around NY and NJ so Nucks better start to recognize soon. Even the Italians and likes of Gyp and Capone can identify better with the darker complexions than Nucks and his irish drinking buds.

    Ok, gotta go and catch up on teh next entry. missed you tricks :-).