Category Archives: Boardwalk Empire Recaps

Boardwalk Empire Thread: 13 Stops Closer To Downtown

boardwalk14_58

Boardwalk Empire creator Terence Winter is a protege of David Chase and was one of the mainstays of the Sopranos writing staff and production team. To call The Sopranos series finale cryptic is an understatement. Winter chose another path to conclude 5 seasons of his series. Here’s a link to an interview he gave Alan Sepinwall about the rise and fall of Nucky Thompson. Warning: it contains spoilers up the wazoo so you should only read it if you’ve seen El Dorado.

Continue reading

Boardwalk Empire Thread: Friendless Child

episode-55-01-1024

Nucky Thompson starts the penultimate episode of Boardwalk Empire fighting a gang war that he has no chance of winning. It’s hard being a fictional gangster up against real world criminals who live long and prosper. Nucky’s empire once looked sold and substantial, but it’s being swept away like sand by someone much more ruthless than he’s ever been: Charlie Lucky Luciano.

Continue reading

Boardwalk Empire Thread: Van Weirdo, R.I.P.

BE Devil You Know

I didn’t get the memo about the final season of Boardwalk Empire being only 8 episodes. I learned it *after* the dramatic events of last night and now I understand why they put the pedal to the medal.

I tried to resist using this post title but I could not. Van Weirdo has been living on doomed turncoat copper/gangster borrowed time since season-2 but I won’t go into the *other* big event of Devil You Know until after the break.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , ,

Boardwalk Empire Thread: King Of Norway

Eli and Van Weirdo

It’s hard being a Thompson brother. Nucky used to be King of Atlantic City and now Luciano wants him dead. Nucky survives the second attempt, Joe Maranzano is not as lucky as Nucky. In Chicago, Eli’s life has become a self-described “fucking shipwreck.” He’s so far gone that he doesn’t recall diddling Mrs. Van Weirdo on her kitchen chair until he sees a picture of the King of Norway on the wall. In the immortal words of Van Weirdo, “land ho.”

Now that I’ve thoroughly bummed you out, it’s time for me to natter on whilst pretending to have organized my thoughts. I am, however, sufficiently organized to insert a break without seeing King Haakon VII on the wall; the sighting that gave the episode its title. I promise not to make too many puns on his name, nobody wants to hear a blogger haakon a lugee…

Continue reading

Tagged , ,

Boardwalk Empire Thread: Cuanto?

Screen Shot 2014-09-28 at 10_44_06 PM

Things are not going well for Nucky Thompson. One attempt has already been made on his life and there will be more to come. He’s merely rich instead of super-rich after making “legitimate” investments in the stock market. One woman close to him exits his life while another one returns but it’s uncertain for how long. The deal with Joe Kennedy appears to be off but not before the original wolf of wall street flirts with Margaret, offers her oysters and a ride home to New York. I’m pretty sure that ride was a double entendre…

After the break we’ll move on to my weekly random, discursive and sporadically relevant comments:

Continue reading

Boardwalk Empire Thread: Say It Ain’t So, Joe

15902754-mmmain

I must admit to finding the 7 year jump from season-4 to season-5 somewhat disconcerting. That’s a lot of plot water under the bridge. My understanding is that HBO and the producers of Boardwalk Empire agreed to wrap it up after 5 seasons. So it goes. It has made for a bit of extra exposition but what’s a little exposure among friends. It was obviously best to end a series about bootleggers with the repeal of the dread Volstead Act. That’s where we find ourselves. Cheers, bottoms up.

What Jesus Said focuses primarily on some of the core, original characters, which is always a good thing. I did, however, miss Al Capone’s demonic laugh and the weird glint in the artist formerly known as Agent Van Weirdo’s eyes. My  random, discursive and sporadically amusing comments will commence after the break.

Continue reading

Boardwalk Empire Thread: Different dogs, same fucking bones

Vanity thy name is Capone

It’s going to be a short one this week. The Good Listener was an episode that set the stage for the rest of the season so Imma keep it brief.

Al Capone is on top of the world, ma. He’s a celebrity who gives interviews in his underwear while being fitted by a tailor. His world, however, is about to come crumbling down later in year: the IRS is on his trail.

Nucky’s world is not so rosy. He took a hit in the 1929 crash; so much for legitimate investments. Now he’s trying to get some respectables to go into business with him when prohibition ends. They diss him by pretending not to know who he is. Only one of them gives him the time of day, Joseph P. Kennedy. I hope we’ll see more of old Joe. He might even have Gloria Swanson in tow…

Being dissed by the respectables is the least of the Nuckster’s problems: Charlie Lucky wants him dead. Nucky sends  a stern message by having our old friend Tonino (the Gypster’s right hand man) dispatched and deposited on the doorstep of one of Luciano’s bordellos. Minus an ear, which is his Cuban body guard, Arquimedes’ signature. He may not say much but the man knows how to use a knife. Slice.

Jillian returns. She’s in the loony bin instead of jail for murdering the Jimmy lookalike. She’s keeping her head down and trying to stay out of trouble. She is the ultimate survivor, after all. Trouble comes to her in the presence of the laughing academy’s dominatrix/keeper-type who finds her irresistible. I’m not sure I care for this plot line. It’s a bit on the stereotypical side.

We see Eli Thompson and former agent Van Weirdo in Chicago. They comprise the oddest couple of all. They get into hot water with Scarface Al, and rob Jake Greasy Thumb Guzik to pay Capone the $20k they owe. Jake was a member of the Chicago Outfit and Capone’s bag man. That’s right, y’all, they robbed Capone to pay him back. This is not going to end well.

There was no sign of my man Chalky White and what happened to him after he escaped the chain gang. But he’ll be back next week and, hopefully, Jeffrey Wright as Dr. Narcisse will be along for the ride as well.

Oh yeah, Detective/Mr. Prezbo (Jim True-Frost) makes a brief appearance as Eliot Ness. It’s pretty darn good casting. But I have a feeling they won’t be playing this music in the episode:

Boardwalk Empire Thread: Ever talk on the telephone?

BoardwalkSeason5

I didn’t recap Season-4 of  Boardwalk Empire, in part, because the first episode didn’t float my boat. But I was also in mourning for one of my all-time favorite characters, Gyp Rosetti. I was wrong about last season, it was extraordinary, with the introduction of a great villain in Dr. Narcisse and the dramatic departure of the world’s most lovable hit man, Richard Harrow. R.I.P. sweet homicidal prince:

Harrow under the boardwalk

That was a long way of saying that I’m recapping Season-5. The premiere episode, Golden Days for Girls and Boys, was a great set up for the final season. They’ve advanced the action to 1931, which was a momentous year for two of the real life characters, Charlie Lucky Luciano and Al Capone. It’s also the year that Nucky starts planning for the return of legal booze by corrupting a Senator and cutting a deal in Havana with the Bacardi people. Party on, Nuckster. Nucky is ready to go full circle and become legit again. I have the feeling that some of his old partners aren’t going to be very co-operative. He’ll probably have a Pacino in Godfather Three moment.

Continue reading

Boardwalk Empire Thread: Arrivederci, Gypster

Bobby-Cannavale-in-Boardwalk-Empire-Margate-Sands

The war for criminal control of Atlantic City is over and the winnah and
still champeen is Nucky Thompson. But he neither acts nor feels triumphalist at
the end of the season finale, Margate Sands. Btw, the title is drawn
from TS Eliot’s epic poemThe Wasteland and that’s what AC feels like
when the guns are silenced. How’s
that for highbrow, y’all?

The primary theme of the episode is betrayal. There’s so much backstabbing
and double dealing going on that it seemed like a smoked-filled room at the1924
Democratic Convention.
That’s the one that went a record 123 ballots, and
produced a dark horse nominee, John W. Davis, who went on to be slaughtered by
Silent Cal in the general election. Of course, that’s in the future, Boardwalk
Empire-wise.

Reety alrighty, here are some scatter shot observations, hopefully a few
will hit the target:

Machiavelli Thompson: Nucky’s allies spill a lot of blood
but victory is really secured by playing the old bait and switch. Nucky devises
a brilliant scheme to get Arnold Rothstein’s help in convincing Masseria to
betray my main man, Gyp. Andrew Mellon’s inactive distillery is used as bait.
The trap is laid by Icky Mickey Doyle who pretends to betray Nucky to Rothstein
in the way that only a fake Irishman who is really Jewish can do. What that
means, I’ll never know, but I like the sound of it…

The greedy and conniving Rothstein swallows the bait hook, line and sinker. Sucker.
He cuts a deal with Nucky to take over the distillery by getting Masseria to
dump Gyp. This is, in turn, accomplished by Rothstein’s betrayal of his smack
dealing pal, Charlie Lucky. Masseria gets the heroin and a player to be named
later and Gyp gets got.

There’s yet another turn of the screw when Nucky betrays Arnie baby by
alerting the Feds that the latter is operating the Overholt distillery. Nucky
even gets the uber plutocratic Mellon to do his dirty work for him. The plan
was a thing of manipulative beauty, y’all.

Richard Channels Travis Bickle: The first time I watched
Richard’s balletic bordello bloodbath, I knew it reminded me of something. On
second viewing I realized that it was reminiscent of the finale ofTaxi
Driver
: an armed gunman shoots up a whorehouse to rescue someone. Scorsese
is one of the executive producers ofBE,
and this was the most Marty-like episode evah.

I’m not really sure what will become of poor Richard. When he dropped Tommy
off at Julia’s pad, he was too ashamed to enter and track blood on the carpet.
I’m hoping that Richard will be back: Nucky could use a graceful gunslinger,
after all.

Continue reading

Boardwalk Empire Thread: Boxing Day

Owen

Boardwalk
Empire
impresario Terry Winter put the pedal to the medal with last week’s
entry, A Man, A Plan. Whereas the previous episode meandered in a concussive daze, episode-10 was
chock-full-O-payoffs and, not surprisingly, revenge.

Boxing
Day:
Nucky’s war against Gyp Rosetti and Joe Masseria isn’t going
well. Not only does he lack allies, but Charlie Lucky and Meyer Lansky sold him
out to Masseria with tragic consequences for Margaret and IRA Man Owen. The
former had formally decided to run off with the latter but bootlegger
fratricide got in the way of their escape.

Owen,
of course, was deputized to whack Masseria. Unfortunately for the savvy and
experienced hit man, they saw him coming and the poor bastard was delivered to
the Atlantic City Ritz-Carlton in a crate hence the title of the post. Making
matters worse, Margaret was there for the delivery and flipped out. I think
even the usually clueless Nuckster may add 1 and 1 up and get 2 instead of 11.
Okay enough arithmetic, I don’t want to exhaust any Gopers who may be reading
this…

Continue reading

Boardwalk Empire Thread: Shooting Up The Ritz

Boardwalk-empire-two-impostors-1

Gyp Rosetti is moving in on Nucky Thompson’s Atlantic City
fiefdom. In fact, Nucky is on the run after Gyp’s guys burst into Nucky’s suite
at the Ritz and shot up the joint in the opening scene ofTwo Impostors. The Nuckster is bound to be banned from swank hotel
life after this. It makes a Keith Moon room trashing look sedate. I suspect the
AC Ritz would rather have Led Zeppelin as guests. Should I go on? Nah.

On to a few terse comments about the not so terse turf war, and then I’ll tersely order a surf and turf:

Chalky’s Back:
I’ve been demanding the return of my favorite illiterate but awesome gangster for
weeks now. We’ve had a few Chalky teasers but he’s back in his full blown
glory. Why? Nucky runs home to Chalky after Gyp’s gang seriously wounds his
faithful factotum Eddie. It takes time for Nucky to fully grovel but after Gyp
offers Chalky $25K to sell out Nucky, the latter finally gives in.

Chalky’s proto-Buppie future son-in-law reappears to doctor Eddie’s
gut wound. He keeps saying: “I’m only a student” but it looks like
he’s got a promising future as a mob surgeon. It’s unclear as to whether Eddie will make it
but, hey, at least Nucky knows he has a family now.

Continue reading

Boardwalk Empire Thread: Boxing Day

Owen

Boardwalk
Empire
impresario Terry Winter put the pedal to the medal with last week’s
entry, A Man, A Plan. Whereas the previous episode meandered in a concussive daze, episode-10 was
chock-full-O-payoffs and, not surprisingly, revenge.

Boxing
Day:
Nucky’s war against Gyp Rosetti and Joe Masseria isn’t going
well. Not only does he lack allies, but Charlie Lucky and Meyer Lansky sold him
out to Masseria with tragic consequences for Margaret and IRA Man Owen. The
former had formally decided to run off with the latter but bootlegger
fratricide got in the way of their escape.

Owen,
of course, was deputized to whack Masseria. Unfortunately for the savvy and
experienced hit man, they saw him coming and the poor bastard was delivered to
the Atlantic City Ritz-Carlton in a crate hence the title of the post. Making
matters worse, Margaret was there for the delivery and flipped out. I think
even the usually clueless Nuckster may add 1 and 1 up and get 2 instead of 11.
Okay enough arithmetic, I don’t want to exhaust any Gopers who may be reading
this…

Continue reading

Boardwalk Empire Thread: Remus doesn’t get arrested

GypWashington-350x248

I’m late with this so I’m going to try something different and more concise. Hey, stop laughing out there, I can be positively terse at times. Anyway, here’s a list of things that we-or the characters-learned from the latest episode of Boardwalk Empire:

Remus learns that corrupt politcians don’t always stay bought. He still hasn’t learned that referring to yourself in the third person makes you sound crazy or like Bob Dole.

Nucky learns that you shouldn’t have important meetings with gangster gonniffs when you have a concusssion. It leads to mistaking your awesome ally Chalky White for a bootblack. Oops.

Gyp Rosetti learns that it would have been cool if Mad Anthony Wayne were Italian. He also learns that Sicilian wise guys look silly in a tri-corner hat.

We learn that, while Richard Harrow may not have taught Arthur Murray how to dance, he can still cut a mean rug at the Legion Hall.

Richard learns that everything that goes wrong at Madam Mommie Dearest Jillian’s cathouse is his fault.

Young Tommy learns the true meaning of doggystyle.

IRA Man Owen learns that Margaret may want to run away with him but hasn’t thought through pesky details such as: how do you flee in the company of your pyromaniac son and polio afflcted daughter.

Finally, I learned that I want to see more of Chalky White. Actually, I already knew that but I am actively campaigning for his Chalkiness. Repeat after me: MORE CHALKY. MORE CHALKY.

That is all.

Boardwalk Empire Thread: Remus doesn’t get arrested

GypWashington-350x248

I’m late with this so I’m going to try something different and more concise. Hey, stop laughing out there, I can be positively terse at times. Anyway, here’s a list of things that we-or the characters-learned from the latest episode ofBoardwalk Empire:

Remus learns that corrupt politcians don’t always stay bought. He still hasn’t learned that referring to yourself in the third person makes you sound crazy or like Bob Dole.

Nucky learns that you shouldn’t have important meetings with gangster gonniffs when you have a concusssion. It leads to mistaking your awesome ally Chalky White for a bootblack. Oops.

Gyp Rosetti learns that it would have been cool if Mad Anthony Wayne were Italian. He also learns that Sicilian wise guys look silly in a tri-corner hat.

We learn that, while Richard Harrow may not have taught Arthur Murray how to dance, he can still cut a mean rug at the Legion Hall.

Richard learns that everything that goes wrong at Madam Mommie Dearest Jillian’s cathouse is his fault.

Young Tommy learns the true meaning of doggystyle.

IRA Man Owen learns that Margaret may want to run away with him but hasn’t thought through pesky details such as: how do you flee in the company of your pyromaniac son and polio afflcted daughter.

Finally, I learned that I want to see more of Chalky White. Actually, I already knew that but I am actively campaigning for his Chalkiness. Repeat after me: MORE CHALKY. MORE CHALKY.

That is all.

Boardwalk Empire Thread: Bone For Tuna

BE-bone-for-tuna

The ghost of Jimmy Darmody haunts the third episode of Season 3.Nucky sees a very young and very blonde Jimmy several times throughout the episode. He’s a cute youngun with a bullet hole in his head. Notice the picture above wherein Nucky looks as if he has seen a ghost and he has: the Jimmy apparition is one of the boy’s choir.

We see Nucky and Jillian together for the first time since the former whacked the latter’s son. But only at a distance: Jillian glares and Nucky glowers as he drops my man Gyp off at her fancy bordello. Nucky declines Gyp’s invitation inside and we know why.

Richard Harrell is feeling the Jimmy geist too. In the episode’s best scene, the sniper confronts Mickey Doyle over the latter’s bragging that he’d killed Manny Horvitz. Richard, of course, was the one who did the deed. He abducts the sniggering bootlegger who starts simpering as he’s dragged to Nucky’s suite at the Ritz, which gives a whole new meaning to the term putting on the Ritz.

Richard forces Mickey to admit that he did not whack Manny and the sniper nods gravely when asked by Nucky if he did so. Nucky is scared shitless so he asks if Richard’s wrath extends beyond Angela Darmody to Jimmy. Richard essentially told Nucky not to shit himself by saying, “Jimmy was a soldier who lost.” Dr. A and I have been wondering if Richard would move against Nucky now we know. We also knows that he knows, know what I’m saying?

That’s my cue to move on to some quick-but probably not hard-hitting comments on the episode:

Jolly Jokers: Former Agent Van Weirdo is a solemn humorless sort. That’s why his Chitown co-workers love busting his chops. They actually felt bad about it and took him to a speakeasy, which is promptly raided by the Prohies. Former corrupt agent Van Weirdo buys his way out of the situation. Betcha $10K that he goes to work for Dion O’Bannon.

No Rubbers: Margaret continues to be the *real* politician in the Thompson family by conning the pompous bishop into ordering pompous Dr. Landau to open a women’s clinic at the hospital with the injunction “it’s a Catholic hospital.” No birth control or Johnny hats, y’all.

Mr Sensitive: Gyp Rosetti continues to have skin thinner than Olive Oyl’s ankles. He gets Nucky to sell him some hooch directly but gets all pissy about picking it up from Owen, Mickey and Eli in Nucky’s absence. The. best line on the subject came from the Nuckster to the Gypper: “You can find an insult in a bouquet of roses.” Yo, Nuck, roses have thorns and Gyp is on record as thinking you’re a skinny Irish prick.

This time Gyp’s flip out is provoked by Owen Sleater’s phonetical pronunciation of bon fortuna: the episode title, Bone For Tuna. In the manner of all bullies, Gyp waits to flip out until he’s away from the former IRA man. Owen, of course, is heavily armed. Gyp is not only sensitive, he’s a bit on the literal side. He takes the term combustible temper to heart by dousing the corrupt rural sheriff with gasoline and setting him ablaze in a full tilt psychotic Cody Jarrett moment. Why? The crooked copper wished Gyp good luck. In the immortal words of Rick Haircut, “oops.”

I’ll let Gyp have the last word, uh, picture:

Gyp the hoser

Boardwalk Empire Thread: Our intercourse is concluded

Boardwalk12_57

No,
that’s not Nucky talking to his mistress, Billie. The line was spoken by James
Cromwell as Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon to conclude a phone conversation with
Nucky. The latter approached the plutocrat at the stuffiest men’s club ever. The
Nuckster had a proposal to deal with their mutual enemy, Attorney General Harry
Daugherty. Nucky gets the bum’s rush at the club, so he thinks Mellon is done
with him but the mogul wanted to finish their business on the phone. Nucky got
everything he wanted: a bootlegger patsy in George Remus and the chance
to operate a Mellon distillery that has been closed since the start of
Prohibition, which Mellon dismisses as “a child’s idea of morality.”
I’ll drink to that.

Time
for a few either accursed or discursive comments, I cannot tell the difference
any more:

The Jillian Darmody Follies: Madam
Mommie Dearest Jillian’s scheme to have Jimmy declared legally dead is
perfected in the opening scene ofThe
Pony
. I know it seems like a lot to go through but without a corpus
deliciti or a death certificate it takes 5 to 7 years to have a missing person
declared legally dead in most jurisdictions. I learned that from the Cary
Grant-Irene Dunne flick, My Favorite Wife, not law school.

Last
week, I wondered whether Richard would do anything about the wrong blonde in
the box but this was his only response:

Richard on jimmy

Nucky
hears about Jimmy’s “death” so he goes to Jillian’s “health
resort” to give his condolences. She does not appreciate the gesture and
throws a drink in his face; something I’ve only seen in the movies or on teevee.
Any of you lot ever see that in real life?

Jillian
is steamed at both Nucky and her now ex-business partner Charlie Lucky, so she
lets a certain Gyp Rosetti know where they’re having dinner. We’ll get to that
at the end of the post.

Van Weirdo Loses It: Speaking of
steamed, Van Weirdo is going through a rough patch. Dean O’Banion has
not only enlisted the poor schmoe as muscle but makes him distill liquor at his
crib in Cicero. Hey, at least it’s not bathtub gin.

Van
Weirdo’s real explosion is at work. They’re introducing a line of steam irons
and one of his co-workers/tormentors
mocks the deranged former fed. Fed up with being bullied, Van Weirdo goes all
Boris Karloff on the cackling salesman and steam irons his face. Pow right in
the kisser. He’s talked out of fleeing by his practical Scandinavian wife and
embarks on a new career as a bootlegger and O’Banionite thug. I suspect he’ll
eventually, uh, bug Bugs Moran but will we ever see Bugsy bugging Bugs? The
insect jokes will be soon be swarming like mosquitoes in August…

Capone Takes Over: Capone comes eyeball
to eyeball with Van Weirdo when the born again bootlegger accompanies O’Banion
to a parley with Torrio and Scarface Al. The dapper Irish hoodlum is stunned to
learn that Torrio is ready to wake up and smell the espresso, as it were, after
a vacation to Italy. He’s more interested in oso bucco and Mount Vesuvius than
in discussing the serious business of crime in Chicago. Torrio’s retirement
does not bode well for the North Side Irish gang or for its leader. <Cue the
theme fromThe Untouchables>

Nucky Explodes: Nucky’s mistress Billie
auditions for a movie, and gets the part. Her guy, Gus, (not sure why she calls
Nucky that but she does) catches her frolicking with some fellow players; one
of whom is a young guy who calls Nucky “sir.” The Nuckster is not
amused and thrashes the poor hambone, gangster style.

Nucky
and Billie make up, and she goes to Atlantic City with him. The plan is for her
to be decorative at Nucky’s business dinner with Rothstein and Luciano. It’s a
tough job but somebody’s gotta do it.

On
their way to the swanky restaurant, Nucky runs into the dullest man in Atlantic
City. He is detained by the windbag, and indulges the close talking fool while
Billie moves on. It was a lucky break for the Nuckster, but not for Billie. A
bomb explodes inside the restaurant and blows the poor kid to smithereens.

I
have a funny feeling that our old pal the Gypper was behind the explosion. There’s
a gang war a brewin’ in both AC and Chitown. I cannot wait to see what happens
next but I guess I have no choice…

I’ll give Peter Gabriel the last word, you’ll see why in a nano-second:

Boardwalk Empire Thread: Easter Sunday Bloody Sunday

Boardwalk portrait

It’s
Easter Sunday, 1923. It’s a day for family gatherings, which can be weirder
than hell. Since we’re talking Boardwalk Empire, they, quite naturally,
veer off in odd and unexpected directions. Sort of like Easters in my family.
Of course, it was all very Greeky Greek complete with the e gg crushing Christos anesti thing
and roast leg of lamb. But I digress; anyone surprised by that? I thought not.

Okey
dokey. On to this week’s rantings, ravings, and other R words to be named
later.

Thompson Family Values: The episode
opens with Eli skulking about his yard in his bathrobe. He’s hiding something:
booze; cash; a gat? What the hell is it? Easter eggs, that’s what. It’s time
for the annual Thompson egg hunt and if you find the red one you get a whole quarter.
Golly, Wally. I would have thought that Eli’s family would have its own
softball team since he has 444 kids.

Nucky,
Margaret, Emily, and Pyro-boy come for the day in-what else?-their Sunday Best, which is-you guessed it-the episode title. It’s the first time that the
Eli Thompsons have met Margaret and her brood. Not a big surprise since Eli
just got sprung from the pokey after betraying the Nuckster. Despite that
unpromising start, things go pretty darn well. Eli’s wife, June, flatters Nucky
and Margaret into submission. The latter, in fact, blurts out to June that
Nucky has nookie on the side. It’s the first time we’ve seen Margaret open up
to anyone but IRA Man Owen and, well, never mind…

The
Thompson brothers finally bury the hatchet. Eli grovels, Nucky rants, and they
kinda sorta kiss and make up since Nucky needs someone/anyone with half a brain
in his criminal enterprise. And Eli qualifies…

Nucky
and Margaret, however, do NOT bury the hatchet. She’s amused to learn that he
can juggle and tell a few jokes; and he’s amused to learn that she can sing the
old Irish ditty I’ll Tell Me Ma. He
again tentatively reaches out to her and she goes all Carole King on him and
sings “It’s Too Late.” Not really but it *is* what she says…

Continue reading

Boardwalk Empire Thread: Ging Gang Goolie

Gil2

It’s hard being a corrupt Attorney General. Harry Daugherty is under investigation and his pudgy bag man, Jess Smith, has a meltdown at a Boy Scout shebang, which was probably caused by the Scouts rendition of the excreable dirt sleeping anthem, Ging Gang Goolie. I know that it gave me nightmares. My skin crawls at the very thought of camping. I am a city boy and damn proud of it.

Now where was I? Oh yeah, Nucky is pissed off at Harry who reciprocates by having the Nuckster tossed in the hoosegow. Nucky chills in the cooler, and then is fined $5 at the night court by a judge who looks nothing like Harry Anderson.

The Nuckster runs into his old nemesis, Esther Randolph, who has been demoted to trying cases in front of Judge Not Harry Anderson. Hey, at least Dan Fielding isn’t there to pinch her ass. Anyway, Nucky is concerned that Daugherty is planning to throw him under the trolley car and comes up with a plan to make this boomerang on the crooked AG. His attempt to sell this idea to Ms. Randolph flops. For now, for now.

Okey doke, on to some brief comments:

Seeing Double: Madam Mommie Dearest Jillian’s life continues to suck ass. She catches Charlie Lucky encouraging one of her “hoors” (his word, not mine, Imam) to sell heroin to the johns. Jillian wants to run a respectable bordello and fires her ass after being mocked by Charlie Lucky for having “hoors” who dress like school marms. Roaring Twenties snap.

After her encounter with the future boss of bosses, she gathers Jimmy’s pictures and puts them in a jar that she keeps by the door. What is it for? Oops, that’s Eleanor Rigby, not Madam Mommie Dearest Jillian.

She hits the boardwalk, meets a young Hoosier named Roger who resembles Jimmy. She beds him and calls him James because “that’s the name of a king.” I shall call him Roger James.

Jillian is a fascinating, twisted and very disturbed character. Her sick and incestuous relationship with Jimmy was deeply creepy, and the new thing with Roger James is as well. I love casting the sweet faced and adorable Gretchen Moll as the skeezy, hopelessly messed up Jillian. And Gretchen rocks the part, y’all.

Scrapbooking with Richard Harrow: Speaking of creepily endearing characters, Richard has a new fixation. He meets a nice young lady when he helped her drunken lout of a father after he got his blotto butt kicked at the Legion Hall. Stomp. Hmm, that sounds like a country song; maybe something for George Jones…

Richard likes this woman because she’ll look him in the eye, and not call him “half moon” like her drunken lout of a father did. Hereinafter referred to as DLOAF. DLOAF? That sounds like day old bread or well-worn, uh, loafers.

Richard goes home, takes off his Guy Fawkes mask, and breaks out his scrapbook. Jack Huston is astonishing as Richard. He’s a third generation thespian and has a silent film star vibe going on. He moves very gracefully, sort of like Charlie Chaplin and has that shell shocked John Gilbert look. I hope Richard finds his Garbo.

Btw, if you’d like to see an *excellent* silent film, Gilbert is awesome in King Vidor’sThe Big Parade. It’s the first great Hollywood war film, and it was fresh and contemporaneous when it came out in 1925. It’s set in what Wilson called the war to end all wars. Woodrow was meshuggah when he said that…

Striking Matches:It’s the case of the burning greenhouse. Nucky and Margaret have a greenhouse? Who knew? I wonder if Teddy will eventually become the marijuana king of Atlantic City? Probably not. Enough with the questions, already.

Margaret suspects her creepily endearing pyromaniacal son of setting the blaze. Teddy loves matches but is not guilty: a “vagrant” did it. An aside: Not a word we use today but perhaps I should revive it. I got nothing better to do right now. Plus it rhymes with fragrant and flagrant…

Speaking of fire, Margaret and IRA Man Owen (I’m dead serious about this multiple name thing, y’all) reignite their smoldering passion in (where else?) the greenhouse. We didn’t see much of Nucky’s greenhouse: I wonder if it was anything like the one in The Big Sleep wherein Bogie sweated like Willard Romney during the last debate. Pardon the digression but what’s a little digression among friends? The Crack Van is all about digression, yo.

I’ll let the great Chris Difford have the last word with a croaky voiced rendition of a tune from Babylon and On, which is what I just did:

Boardwalk Empire Thread: Chalky White Meets Eddie Cantor

Chalky comes a callin

I hate to be repetitive, but Nucky Thompson is still in a vile mood. Given the episode title, You’d Be Surprised, that probably shouldn’t be so, BUT the man is in a world of shit. He’s called on the carpet by Arnold Rothstein in the wake of the Taber Heights massacre and told he’s acting like a lovesick schoolboy in carrying on with Billie the showgirl. She, however, fits neatly into Nucky’s pattern of bringing home strays and rescuing damsels in distress. Speaking of distress, Margaret meets Billie in the company of Nucky at the snooty French boutique. Poor form, says Nucky.

On to this week’s random notes and general nattering.

Denial Flows In Jersey: Speaking of deep shit, Jillian’s venture into classy bordello land isn’t going well. Making matters worse is her refusal to admit that Jimmy is dead. She writes the corpse a letter instead of having him declared dead so she can borrow money on the house, and make it an even bawdier house. Luciano is no help, I wonder if she’ll turn to Gyp since mutton chopped Junior Soprano dude will not bail her out.

From Hunky Dory to Yumpin’ Yiminy: We visit the Van Weirdo family in Cicero. They have a vistor, the corrupt agent who shook down former Agent Van Weirdo at the speakeasy. Van Weirdo and wife think that he’s on to who he really is, so she whaps him upside the head, and insists that her husband finish him off. It turns out that he visited to return a really crappy iron Van Weirdo sold him weeks before. Oops.

This paved the way for Van Weirdo to hook up with Dion O’Bannon again. Who better to help you dispose of a dead body than a florist/wise guy? Nobody.

I’m glad that they moved the buxom Mrs. Van Weirdo out of movie Swede-land (anyone else remember the Swedish sodbusters in Shane?) and fleshed the fleshy former nanny out a bit more as a character. It’s a pity that she didn’t have Van Weirdo suffocate the guy with a slab of lutefisk. That shit could kill anyone…

Eddie croons

Milky White: Chalky and his henchman pay a visit on Eddie Cantor at Nucky’s behest. The latter is making like Charles Foster Kane and trying to prop up his doxy’s failing musical, which was on the verge of folding during previews in Atlantic City. Nucky had already tried bribing and sweet talking the Vaudevillian into helping out but Eddie refused. For a good reason too: he was set to star in a show with music by Jerome Kern, the King of Broadway in 1923.

Now that Nucky is all gangster, he calls on Chalky and pal to “convince” Eddie to give in. After mildly humiliating him by making him perform a really goofy number, Eddie folds his weak hand to avoid getting his ass kicked. Wise choice, Eddie; especially since you thought Mr. White’s nickname was Milky. Chalky don’t play that.

We see Eddie and Billie at the end of the episode performing You’d Be Surprised. She thanks Eddie for helping but our boychick ungallantly mentioned the name of Lucy Danziger, Nucky’s previous showgirl mistress. After seeing the blank look on her face, he said “The one before you. The next one will never hear of you either.” Snap.

Kinky Gyp: Our boy Gyp Rosetti is on top of the world when the episode commences. He thinks, wrongly, that he’s convinced Rothstein to betray Nucky. Arnold dislikes them both but would rather deal with the semi-predictable Nuckster than the crazy Gypster.

Speaking of crazy, Meyer and Charlie Lucky dispatch Benny Bugsy to whack Gyp at the end of the episode. Benny cackles while shooting 4 people dead but Gyp survives by using a human shield, the cute redheaded waitress who was, uh, restraining him when Benny burst in. Gyp is into some form of auto erotic asphyxiation like a proto Mick Hutchence. From excess to INXS, all in one episode.

I knew Gyp would survive since it’s only mid-season but it’s a full blown gang war now, and the bodies are only beginning to drop. I’m not sure whose will fall first, Rothstein or Masseria, but neither has much shelf life left if you catch my drift.

Boardwalk Empire Thread: Ging Gang Goolie

Gil2

It’s hard being a corrupt Attorney General. Harry Daugherty is under investigation and his pudgy bag man, Jess Smith, has a meltdown at a Boy Scout shebang, which was probably caused by the Scouts rendition of the excreable dirt sleeping anthem, Ging Gang Goolie. I know that it gave me nightmares. My skin crawls at the very thought of camping. I am a city boy and damn proud of it.

Now where was I? Oh yeah, Nucky is pissed off at Harry who reciprocates by having the Nuckster tossed in the hoosegow. Nucky chills in the cooler, and then is fined $5 at the night court by a judge who looks nothing likeHarry Anderson.

The Nuckster runs into his old nemesis, Esther Randolph, who has been demoted to trying cases in front of Judge Not Harry Anderson. Hey, at least Dan Fielding isn’t there to pinch her ass. Anyway, Nucky is concerned that Daugherty is planning to throw him under the trolley car and comes up with a plan to make this boomerang on the crooked AG. His attempt to sell this idea to Ms. Randolph flops. For now, for now.

Okey doke, on to some brief comments:

Seeing Double: Madam Mommie Dearest Jillian’s life continues to suck ass. She catches Charlie Lucky encouraging one of her “hoors” (his word, not mine, Imam) to sell heroin to the johns. Jillian wants to run a respectable bordello and fires her ass after being mocked by Charlie Lucky for having “hoors” who dress like school marms. Roaring Twenties snap.

After her encounter with the future boss of bosses, she gathers Jimmy’s pictures and puts them in a jar that she keeps by the door. What is it for? Oops, that’s Eleanor Rigby, not Madam Mommie Dearest Jillian.

She hits the boardwalk, meets a young Hoosier named Roger who resembles Jimmy. She beds him and calls him James because “that’s the name of a king.” I shall call him Roger James.

Jillian is a fascinating, twisted and very disturbed character. Her sick and incestuous relationship with Jimmy was deeply creepy, and the new thing with Roger James is as well. I love casting the sweet faced and adorable Gretchen Moll as the skeezy, hopelessly messed up Jillian. And Gretchen rocks the part, y’all.

Scrapbooking with Richard Harrow: Speaking of creepily endearing characters, Richard has a new fixation. He meets a nice young lady when he helped her drunken lout of a father after he got his blotto butt kicked at the Legion Hall. Stomp. Hmm, that sounds like a country song; maybe something for George Jones…

Richard likes this woman because she’ll look him in the eye, and not call him “half moon” like her drunken lout of a father did. Hereinafter referred to as DLOAF. DLOAF? That sounds like day old bread or well-worn, uh, loafers.

Richard goes home, takes off his Guy Fawkes mask, and breaks out his scrapbook. Jack Huston is astonishing as Richard. He’s a third generation thespian and has a silent film star vibe going on. He moves very gracefully, sort of like Charlie Chaplin and has that shell shockedJohn Gilbert look. I hope Richard finds his Garbo.

Btw, if you’d like to see an *excellent* silent film, Gilbert is awesome inKing Vidor’sThe Big Parade. It’s the first great Hollywood war film, and it was fresh and contemporaneous when it came out in 1925. It’s set in what Wilson called the war to end all wars. Woodrow was meshuggah when he said that…

Striking Matches:It’s the case of the burning greenhouse. Nucky and Margaret have a greenhouse? Who knew? I wonder if Teddy will eventually become the marijuana king of Atlantic City? Probably not. Enough with the questions, already.

Margaret suspects her creepily endearing pyromaniacal son of setting the blaze. Teddy loves matches but is not guilty: a “vagrant” did it. An aside: Not a word we use today but perhaps I should revive it. I got nothing better to do right now. Plus it rhymes with fragrant and flagrant…

Speaking of fire, Margaret and IRA Man Owen (I’m dead serious about this multiple name thing, y’all) reignite their smoldering passion in (where else?) the greenhouse. We didn’t see much of Nucky’s greenhouse: I wonder if it was anything like the one inThe Big Sleep wherein Bogie sweated like Willard Romney during the last debate. Pardon the digression but what’s a little digression among friends? The Crack Van is all about digression, yo.

I’ll let the great Chris Difford have the last word with a croaky voiced rendition of a tune from Babylon and On, which is what I just did: