Wednesday, September 18, 2013

What I’m Watching: Boardwalk Empire

Boardwalk Empire: Season 4, Episode 2 “Resignation” (B+)

We’re still getting a sense of where this season is headed, but there are two enormous developments in this hour that definitely preview a rocky course ahead for the newly more subtle behind-the-scenes-operator Nucky. The first is Jeffrey Wright’s Dr. Narcisse, whose name even sounds nefarious. Unlike Gyp from last season, Narcisse isn’t handicapped by blind rage. Instead, his anger is controlled and directed at sinners and those who fail to uphold his moral standards. He has a worrisome point of view about his own people – the Libyans, as he calls them – and addressing only Nucky and ignoring Chucky is extremely problematic. Most importantly, he merely used Ducky’s murder to his advantage before brutally disposing of his widow once his purposes had been served. Agent Knox is doing a great job of making his awkward naivety work for him, playing both sides as an undercover agent of the FBI, a job that will almost certainly get him killed. It’s a wonder that no one recognizes Van Alden in his new role as a member of Al Capone’s crew, where hopefully he won’t get himself into too much trouble despite the many violence-filled things he’ll now be commissioned to do. I like that Eddie, despite not functioning well in some basic tasks, still warns to serve Nucky but demands he be taken seriously or he leave. Letting Eddie do more was a sweet gesture on his part, and Chalky aside, Nucky really doesn’t have any other true friends. Harrow is starting to show compassion around his sister, and let’s hope that letting his guard down doesn’t get him or someone he loves killed.

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