Thursday, October 31, 2013

What I’m Watching: Boardwalk Empire

Boardwalk Empire: Season 4, Episode 8 “The Old Ship of Zion” (B+)

This season has featured many interesting plotlines but no coherent centric storyline, and this episode worked to bring things together a bit more. Willie staying with Nucky lets him get a glimpse at just what kind of business his family is in, but it looks like that’s already come to an end after a short stint and just in time for him to be used as a pawn in manipulating Eli to do Knox’s bidding. He’s really stepping up his investigation, and the scene where he confronted Eli was an important intensification. Sally coming up from Tampa was surprising, and it definitely threw Nucky for a loop. Mickey flirting so blatantly with her earned him the first real consequence for his obnoxiousness that we’ve seen, in the form a blow to the head from an annoyed Nucky. I don’t find Sally to be nearly as compelling as Nucky’s last muse, Billie, but that’s also because she’s a character in her own right separate from him who doesn’t want to be tethered to him or to his legacy. As the walls are starting to close in on Nucky without him knowing, things are also going poorly for Chalky. Narcisse is a formidable opponent, and sweating Chalky in church was his first big move, followed by Chalky’s performance in the street outside the play. It’s a good thing he realized that his number two had it in for him, and their physical confrontation was aggressive and violent. Chalky’s going to need some help getting back on his feet if he makes it, and let’s hope he gets the upper hand soon to put him back on a level playing field with Narcisse.

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