“Three years. France, mostly. It’s almost impossible to describe the horror… It’s a living… waking… nightmare… There was a soldier, a German; him and his men tried to attack our position in the Argonne forest. It was nighttime. While he was trying to climb through some barbwire, I shot him twice; once in the stomach, once in the neck. He slumped over the barbwire, and no matter what he did to try and wriggle free, it just got worse for him. I left him there, like that, for days, listening to him moaning, crying, “mutti, mutti, mutti”; that’s German for “mama”; “mama”, that’s what he kept saying. The curious thing is that despite the fact that his situation was utterly hopeless, he didn’t wanna die. I offered to kill him several times, but he just kept fighting. Like some miracle would befall him, get him out of his predicament. We hold on so desperately to life; some people feel, certainly in that soldiers situation, that being alive is much, much worse…” (Jimmy)

That quote goes on for ever, but boy, the way Michael Pitt delivered those lines sent shivers down my spine. What a terrific actor.

Oh Nucky – of course you should have daddy issues. I wonder why his father didn’t like him? You could blame it on alcohol or whatever, but he and Eli seemed to get along just fine. So why burn Nucky’s stuff and not Eli’s? Nucky tried to make a clean slate, but in the end he found he just couldn’t do it. What a wonderful, powerful moment the burning of that “home” was.

In other news, a new character who’s looking for a home of his own. Richard Harold, the man who lost half of his face during the war. A tragic character – even more than Jimmy. These two connect on a very deep level, what with the war trauma and all – as opposed to Jimmy and Al. I like how Jimmy finally seems to have made a true friend – a rare feat in a show like this.

Thoughts and things

  • Obviously, Richard’s mask is the winner of the Twenties-award. Today, they’d at least try reconstructive surgery, but back then? Walk it off.
  • Hoo boy, I held my breath when Nucky took Margaret’s boy to the freshly finished house. And I think I’m not the only one. But that would have been too easy.
  • Margaret looks very civilized in her new outfits. What a classy lady!
  • So Angela wasn’t screwing the photographer. She is screwing his wife! I wonder if he knows. The possible outcome would have no dramatic limits.
  • The Tin Soldier by Temple Bailey. Hoo boy. Not the best book choice.

In All

I think this is the best stand-alone of the season. Sure, little happened to advance to plot, but we’ve got a lot of little tidbits to flesh out the characters some more. It kind of feels the series is deviating from… something, though. I still enjoy watching those episodes – in fact, I watch them several times – but somehow, I get the feeling nobody really knows what they’re going for.

But hey, I’m sure they know just as much as Matthew Wiener.


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