“I try to be good. I really do.” (Nucky)

I’m probably not the first one to say this, but I think that quote sums up half a season of Boardwalk Empire quite accurately. There’s not a single character that’s morally unambigious anymore. Nucky has show to have his softer sides. Van Alden – whom we figured a devout man – has a dark sexual passenger of his own. Even Al Capone, whom I thought a loose cannon, has something worth fighting for: his son. How can you be black or white in a world this grey?

Al Capone’s son brings us right away to what I thought was the best scene of the episode – nay, of the season: Jimmy snapping his fingers next to Capone’s kid. You can feel the entire audience’s heart drop: damn, this kid is deaf. A wonderful performance by Michael Pitt – and that’s saying something in the series that defines wonderful performances.

Some great humour aswell in this episode. The wonderful thing of having a character like Eddie be Nucky’s servant is he makes everyone in the room look good. Sure, Nucky’s an ass to him, but deep down inside, he loves the little German to death and thus, we love Nucky for loving Eddie.

Thoughts and things

  • Twenties-award of the week: Products like Lysol. Which, google tells me, are still sold until this very day.
  • Oh Lucky, you take the cake as oblivious idiot of the week. He got all the shit – but the “That’s not his wife. That’s his mother” was the worst. Or the best. And the way he didn’t seem to care one bit – priceless!
  • It was time for a bit of the olde ultraviolence – it’d been too long. So they cranked up a notch and delivered Greek brains splattered on the wall. Yikes.
  • Nice little powerplay between Lucy and Margaret. Apparently, they used a body double for Margaret’s breasts. Which raises the question: because Kelly MacDonald doesn’t have a nudity clause in her contract or because her breasts weren’t saggy, as per scene request?

In all…

There’s a problem plagueing Boardwalk Empire – a problem I’ve seen before. Here’s a series that’s trying to tell an incredibly complex, semi-historic story. Then again, here’s a series that’s also trying to tell a rich story about interesting characters – not all of which are gangsters. It’s a lot to live up to – and even I, who at this point am completely sold, sometimes doubt whether it’s actually doable.

So once again, something I like gets a lot of polarizing feedback. I guess that’s the way to tell if something’s really pushing boundaries…

 

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