Boardwalk Empire 112 – A Return to Normalcy

“Stop acting like you care.” (Jimmy)

Boy, what a spectacular end to the first season. Characters that didn’t interact during the entire season suddenly stood face to face once more to blow up bridges that ultimately built new ones that will come into play in the second season. Let’s dig in, shall we?

The ending to the first season couldn’t be any further away from what I’ve imagined. In my prediction, Nucky would have achieved all his goal and would have everyone around him – as per status quo – except for Margaret. What we got was actually the other way around: we see the people closest to Nucky falling out with him – but Margaret? She’s the beacon, man. She’s the one Nucky comes home to. They’re an amazing couple, I hope they stay together, even if it will undoubtedly mean Margaret will have to convert to the dark side instead of being morally gray.

An interesting development with Jimmy, flowing forth from his encounter with Nucky: Nucky’s not his father, he has no emotional obligations towards him. If only he were a bit softer on the kid – little does he know he made a very dangerous enemy. Jimmy is a true mastermind, and with Eli as his wingman, he can do just about anything. In season 2, we’ll see exactly how their little plan works out. Or what it is, at any rate.

Jimmy’s not doing that hot on a more personal level, though. The scene where he opened up to Angela about dreaming about her hair was so naked, so real I wanted to hug the poor guy. But alas, Angela doesn’t seem to be able to make a clean break. Why? Is it because she is in love with that woman? I feel like we’re missing something. For instance, I think the referred-to night scene in which Jimmy was thrashing about was vital to us understanding how she feels. For me, there’s no reason for her to be scared of him. He’s always been honest to her and opposed to his work attitude, he’s very gentle with her.

Oh, and Van Alden asked for a sign to stay in Atlantic City and got Lucy Danziger pregnant. I’ll just leave that there.

Thoughts and things

  • Nucky opening up to Margaret must have been the most emotional scene in the season. The way Buscemi cut that page-long monologue apart and delivered it with Nucky’s typical emotional uninvolvement (that seemed to fail, too)… breathtaking. I know I often praise actors on this show, but seriously, they deserve it.
  • No real twenties-award this week. But I have to say, the final shot of the boardwalk showed once again how impressive Atlantic City must’ve been.
  • Chalky White attended the election celebration. Did Nucky let the commodore’s maid go to secure the black vote as well? Or are they going to pull a backstory bunny out of their hat to explain why he’s consistently nice to black people in a time where that’s improbable?

In All…

A very strong episode, marking a return to normalcy in the series. There’s a strange status quo that was never truly established, but we did reach it. Nucky and Margaret together. Jimmy patching things up with his father. A truce being made. Everyone seems to be in their rightful place.

Only nothing ever really is on this show, is it?