Boardwalk Empire: Season 1, Episode 11 “Paris Green” (B+)
This is one intense episode; there’s no doubt about it. We’re one short episode away from the season finale, which makes the gravity of the events in this episode all the more understandable considering the limited time left. Fortunately for fans of this show and its characters, this series will have a nice long life and season two should only be as far away as HBO deems it (which could be a bit of a wait, knowing the network, of course). In any case, this episode certainly does just fine in terms of having its own action instead of simply serving as a run-up to next week’s closer. As the most shocking and terrifying of all the plotlines I would cite Nelson’s violent baptizing of a Jewish bureau agent designed to scare the impurity out of him that resulted in his death and Nelson walking out of the water with his gun raised, declaring that it was God’s will for the sinner to die. I’ve seen some nutty lawmen in my time watching television, but Nelson probably takes the cake. It’s hard to remember that he’s supposed to be the good guy. Then we have Nucky, who abruptly removes his brother from power when he feels insulted and chews Margaret out pretty badly when she tries to take a moral stance against him. Margaret was quite fierce in this episode too, and hearing her swear was surprising. To remind us of the occasional tragedy of the times, we have Michael Badalucco from “The Practice” as victim of the original Ponzi scheme and a would-be lesbian couple that came so close to finding happiness in Paris.