Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What I'm Watching: Boardwalk Empire

Boardwalk Empire: Season 1, Episode 5 “Nights in Ballygran” (A-)

This show is really making up for a few slow episodes at the start with back-to-back awesome episodes that really dig deep to reveal these truly interesting characters. The most impressive personality in this installment has to be Margaret, whose grand effort to bake Nucky some soda bread resulted in her being spurned and blown off by him in favor of more important matters. Apparently she's done taking things lying down, testing his honesty by asking him if he enjoyed the bread that she trashed right after he ignored her. Coming to Nucky was one thing, but going to the FBI after being ignored once again by him was an entirely new step in their relationship, which of course gets infinitely more complicated by their new romance at the end of the episode. Her reaction to his calling her by her first name really made it clear how much their personal boundaries were coming down, even if they were separated by so much on a professional level. Van Alden really seemed to relish busting the St. Patrick's Day dinner, and the raiding scene was one of the best the show has presented yet. I imagine that the relationship between Nucky and Eli will only deteriorate from here, and Eli won't soon forget being maligned and overshadowed by his brother. Jimmy caring for his battered girl was an intriguing side plotline that came to a quick and shocking end with her sudden suicide. Put in the memorable Arnold Rothstein haircut scene, and this show really knows how to handle multiple threads and do a marvelous job with all of them.

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