Boardwalk Empire: Season 3, Episode 5 “You’d Be Surprised” (B+)
This show sure knows how to start off an episode. It’s not much of a shocker that Gyp, who makes violence and brushes with death a part of his every day, likes to be choked when he’s intimate with a woman, but it’s still disturbing to watch. Interestingly, it’s what saves his life, as his indiscretion permits him a few extra moments to prepare for his assailants and to sacrifice the poor girl next to him. Anytime an extra gets lines, they’re automatically doomed, as was the case with the paperboy who got yelled at for delivering yesterday’s news in the diner. Rothstein seemed extraordinarily angry with Nucky and Eli, skewering New Jersey as a state, and it’s a good thing that he wasn’t being sincere about working with Gyp, since that would have done immeasurable damage to Nucky’s livelihood. On another front, Nucky dealt appropriately with an uncooperative actor by sending Chalky, or, if you prefer, Milky, and his associate to intimidate Eddie Cantor into performing with a stunned Billie. Margaret running into Nucky and Billie in town was predictably awkward, and Nucky managed what for him counts as an apology, admitting to demonstrating bad form, which was something. Margaret may not have the numbers she wants, but she’s succeeding well enough with her class to earn the respect of the doctor and even to teach a lesson by herself when the doctor had pressing business. Nelson had a few close calls with being found out in this episode, and it’s a shame that his wife reacted so defensively to put him in the situation of having to kill someone and, presumably, to have to go back on the run.