October 27, 2010

Boardwalk Empire Episode 1.6 Recap

This week's episode concerned itself greatly with sex (though to say all of the other episodes didn't also concern themselves with sex would be untrue), what with Jimmy holing up in a brothel in New York and all of the sundry other naughty shenanigans gotten up to by the cast at large. Boardwalk Empire is always a hotbed of sin and debauchery. But this week, dear reader, it was a veritable orgy.

Let's start with Margaret Schroeder, because it seems that no one can resist that mousy-immigrant-widow thing she's got going on. The late-night confrontation at the end of last week's episode has set great changes in motion—an affair has decisively commenced between Margaret and Nucky, so much so he buys her a new flat. In addition to this particular relationship suddenly developing qualities reminiscent of a bullet train or lear jet, it seems a bit mishandled—something like three seconds have passed and Margaret is ready to quit her job (after an absolutely heartwarming miniature catfight with Lucy) and move house, fully sealing her mistress-hood. She spends the first five minutes of the episode deliberating, but that's it. I would have thought her character would be more reluctant to cede independence, but I suppose a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. Or something. At the very least it is revealing of what her character wants and is willing to do.

Speaking of women that Nucky Thompson is sleeping with, the ever-naked Lucy put some clothes on (for a moment) this episode to attempt to intimidate Margaret again and resoundingly failed. She also took some clothes off (for more than a moment) in an attempt to make Nucky love her and to generally be exceptionally obnoxious, and while she again resoundingly failed at the former, she succeeded immensely at the latter. Does Nucky tire of her? Could anyone not? Will she ever wear clothes for more than half a scene? All of these questions and more remain to be answered.

Other lingering questions include: Why is Jimmy's mother sleeping with Lucky Luciano? Why is he sleeping with her (other than the obvious)? What the hell is going on, generally? This subplot was as weird as it was graphic. I have seen a lot more of Vincent Piazza than I ever wanted to.

Back in New York, Jimmy is sad, Al Capone is kind of crazy, and the plucky young Italian Mob is making headway in its battle against the Irish one, in ways that mostly involve killing lots of people, with Jimmy stepping up in a way as the brains of the operation. Also, Al Capone's kid is deaf and he and Jimmy have a poignant moment about it.

The New York story line is providing a nice contrast, with its bloody struggles for underworld dominance, to Nucky's relatively placid dominion over Atlantic city, where this week the main news was that someone stole some of his money and he can't find out who. Which gives the writers all the more time to concentrate on the women he's sleeping with.

To get back, as the show always does, to Margaret Schroeder, Agent Van Alden's weird and unexplained obsession with her has moved from creepy-ribbon-sniffing to self-flagellation, and, I mean—I don't even know what to say about that.

Next week, perhaps, we will get more insight into why he is apparently completely insane, in addition to further exploring how Margaret deals with her sudden induction into the world of the "concubines" of the Atlantic City elite. I could do with more Lucy character development, as well, because while her voice makes me want to light things on fire, she's an interesting character with a unique place in the world of Boardwalk Empire.

I'd also like for Jimmy to stop killing people, but I don't want to set my hopes too high.