Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Boardwalk Empire: Acres of Diamonds

This week's episode opens with our beloved Nucky visiting the Sunshine State. His old buddy Bill wants him to get in on a land deal that he's involved in. Hopefully Nucky will get a little sun while he's down there because he's looking a bit pale lately.

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I can't blame Nucky for being a bit skeptical of the whole thing. His instincts are correct. The whole reason his friend Bill wants him involved is because he owes the guy who's heading the deal (Tucker) a lot of money. Nucky wants no part of it. 

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Nucky has a change of heart just before leaving for Jersey but I'm sure it wouldn't have mattered anyway. Bill ends up killing Tucker with a machete so he'll be calling Nucky soon to get him out of the mess he's about to be in. Why are we spending time in Florida when we should be worried about where fire starting ass Teddy and his soda bread baking momma are?

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Back in Harlem, Dr. Narcisse is getting his Marcus Garvey on and gets a visit from Arnold Rothstein & Owney Madden. Dr. Narcisse wants to get into get into the heroine business and, to do so, he has to go through Rothstein. The more we see of Dr. Narcisse, the more of a hypocrite he reveals himself to be. His disdain for race mixing runs so deep that he makes it a point of wiping his hand after Rothstein shakes it to signify the closing of their deal. 

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When Dr. Narcisse shows up to Chalky's club with Daughter Maitland on his arm, it's obvious why he asked Owney Madden to let her leave the Cotton Club for a week. Yes, the girl is beautiful and talented but she's there to distract Chalky. 

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Dr. Narcisse approaches Dunn with his plans to traffic heroin. Dr. Narcisse isn't one to get his hands dirty and he he sees Dunn as an easy target. If Dunn is dumb enough to fall for this mess, he will not survive Chalky's wrath. 

Willie Thompson is really struggling with doing the right thing by staying in school and the allure of the gangster life led by his uncle and father. It's really not helping that he's experiencing peer pressure from some of his classmates. Willie decides to sneak some of the booze from one of Nucky's warehouses when Mickey tells him no.

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Mickey lets him have a case after smacking him around for trying to steal but something tells me this won't end well when it gets back to Eli and Nucky. If his classmates don't stop picking at him, they will find out that Willie is a lot more like his ruthless uncle than he's let on. 

I never thought that I would say this but I am actually happy that Gillian didn't OD last season. 

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Why? Because we wouldn't have the joy of watching the past come back to haunt her. Gillian thinks that she has hit the jackpot with Roy Phillips. She gets to play the roll of wife of an important businessman and be taken care of financially. It looks good on the surface but reminders of the past keep popping up at the most inopportune times. Their dinner companions just happen to be from the same town as Roger, the Jimmy look-alike that she murdered last season.

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 Of course Gillian plays stupid and says she's never heard of the place. Later, one of Roger's friends recognizes her and begins asking questions about his friend. Again, Gillian plays stupid. 

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Each time Gillian is confronted with the ghosts of her past, her instinct is to shoot up. I have a strong feeling that Gillian's demons will be the catalysts of her demise. 

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While Harrow is cleaning out his sister's garage, he gets surprise visit from Carl Billings. Billings is not pleased that Richard didn't carry out his plan to kill Billings' former business partner and he intends to make him pay. 

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Harrow ends up shanking Billings' partner and when Billings' tries to take out Harrow, Emma appears from the shadows to remove half of his head with a bullet from her shotgun. 

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Friday, September 20, 2013

Boardwalk Empire: Resignation

Guess who's back? None other than our old friend Van Alden! If you are like me, you've probably been wondering what became of him. It seems that our buddy Nelson is still hiding out in Chicago and is working full time as a deliveryman/head cracker for Dean O'Banion. Having two kids and a wife who likes nice things is expensive and Mrs. Mueller is spending the little that they have on furniture.

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Van Alden gets the opportunity to make some extra cash when O'Banion sends him to Cicero to help Al Capone keep voters in line during the upcoming elections. O'Banion wants him to keep and eye on Alan Frank.

Harrow is still playing catch up with his sister Emma. Boy, has this lady had a tough year. We learn that she had to endure their father's death that April, married her husband Gerald in May, only to have him die in November. On top of it all, she is pregnant and on the verge of losing the house that she and Richard grew up in.

Richard has become a hired hit man for a man named Carl Billings. When Richard tries to carry out the assassination of one of Billings' former partners, he can't bring himself to do it. As a matter of fact, Richard can't even bring himself to put his sister's dying dog out of it's misery because he has grown so sick of killing.

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Richard might want to get it together, though. Billings shows up after Richard leaves and ends up doing the deed himself. When Billings discovers the book that Richard left behind with the tax bill for the farm inside of it, he calls Richard posing as someone from the tax office. I doubt that he was doing that with the intent of making a donation toward paying down the debt. 

Thanks to the untimely passing of his partner, Agent Knox has taken over prohibition enforcement in Atlantic City. Nucky is not feeling this guy at all and says that he will only be dealing with Eli from this point on. 

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S/N: Damn, why did Heidi mess up her face with all of that surgery?

Even Gaston Means is fooled by Officer Friendly and tells Nucky he has nothing to worry about. 

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Kessler is back to waiting on Nucky hand and foot but he's still not fully recovered from being shot last season. Poor guy is too proud to ask for help and a life of service is all that he has ever known. Nearly dying has also made Kessler realize that Nucky tends to treat him like crap on the bottom of his shoe and threatens to resign. 

Rather than lose him, Nucky gives Kessler a promotion. No more servant work for him.

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Despite getting his face sliced by a thug and having to play backdoor surgeon during a potential gunfight with Gyp Rosetti, Samuel is still planning on marry Maybelle.

Samuel has brought his parents to meet Chalky, see his new club, and discuss wedding plans. It seems that Samuel has learned a few cues from hanging around these criminals and quickly users his folks out of the room when he sees Dunn aka Sweetback lurking in the shadows. 

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Dumb ass still hasn't tracked down Alma Pastor and Chalky is not pleased at all. 

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Cora mysteriously reappears at Chalky's club with a mysterious man named Dr. Valentin Narcisse. When Alma jumped out of that window the night Dickey was killed, she ran straight to Dr. Narcisse. Dickey was employed by Dr. Narcisse and he wants Chalky to compensate him for the loss of income. And did I mention that this broad is crying rape?

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Of course, Chalky is not trying to part with any of his cash and doesn't feel like there is anything more to discuss. Rather than get visibly upset when Chalky tells him to suck it, Dr. Narcisse orders all of the talent in Chalky's club, all who happen to be under contract with him, to stop performing.

No performers means no money coming in, so Nucky gets involved. To get their performers back on stage and make the mysterious case of Dickey Pastor go away, Nucky offers Dr. Narcisse 10% of the club revenue. Chalky wasn't too happy about that but what other choice was there?

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With all of the F-Bombs that Chalky was dropping and the condescending way that Dr. Narcisse handled him, I think that these two men will come to blows at some point. On the way back to New York, Dr. Narcisse shows that he never bought Alma's BS rape story and only used it to advance his business dealings. 

Dr. Narcisse has heard this same rape story a time or two or five (and 80 years later, we're still hearing it) and he has her killed in the same way she asked him to kill Dunn.

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Remember Nucky's land that Margaret donated to the church out of spite? The diocese is about to begin building a church on it and Nucky is determined to get his cut of the deal that was in place before Margaret tried absolving her sins with her little donation.  

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How convenient that Alma's body is found on that very piece of land and the press is there to capture it all.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Boardwalk Empire: New York Sour

It has seemed like forever but Nucky and the gang are finally back!

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Season 4 starts off with a bang (and a slice). Richard "M'Fing" Harrow, as he is affectionately called in the Twitterverse is still on his Kill Bill ish that started at the end of last season. Now is he still going after all who were connected with Gyp Rossetti or is he on some other mission?

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After racking up a couple of bodies, Harrow ends up at the doorstep of his beloved sister Emma. 

Chalky White is finally getting a chance to open the club he has dreamt of for so long. In his quest to have the best talent grace his stage, he's gotten involved with a guy named Dickey. Dude seems kind of shiesty.
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If Dickey Pastor isn't shiesty, his wife Cora surely is. She's found a way to slip a little drawing of two people doing the horizontal mambo into Purnsley's pocket when he goes off to get her a drink. The look on Dunn's face shows that even in the 1920s guys made decisions with their little heads before their big ones.

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Like many dumb brothers who came before and who have come after, Dunn decides to take Cora Pastor up on her offer. It doesn't take too long before Dickey shows up with a gun.

Not only does Dickey plan to force Dunn to do his wife at gunpoint while he watches, he wants to call him all kinds of racial slurs in the process. Dunn is not having it and ends up killing Dickey by stabbing him repeatedly with a broken bottle. Somehow, Cora is able to run for the hills. 

Yet another situation for Chalky to clean up because this doofus can't keep his temper in check. If Chalky doesn't get him under control, it will not be good for business. 

Nucky is still dealing with some of the fallout from the mini war that occurred eight months earlier. Nucky just wants to live in peace and run his business, so he meets with the heavy hitters - including Masseria and Rothstein - to make sure that happens. Nucky is even willing to hand over a little peace offering.

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In spite of the prayers of many fans of the show and a massive amount of heroin, Gillian is still alive and kicking. I think it's safe to say that most of us reacted like this:

The child molesting junky has decided to seek custody of Tommy from Julia, who has had Tommy since the night Gillian almost OD'd. She claims that she'll be selling the house and plans to raise Tommy modestly but we all know that a heaux never changes her stripes. 

I was so proud of Julia when she proceeded to spill all of Gillian's dirt for the whole courtroom to hear.

In spite of all of the BS that Gillian was spouting in the courtroom, she has not kicked that nasty heroin habit. And how does she find the funds to support this habit? By offering up her goodies to prospective male buyers of her home. The one guy she doesn't offer herself to is Roy Philips. He says he's in town for a couple of months for Piggly Wiggly's expansion into the Northeast. When Roy mentions that he would like a companion while he's in town, Gillian jumps at the opportunity.

Eli is still handling Nucky's business when it comes to the Prohibition Enforcement Agency. Sawicki is still about his same old, same old but the new agent, Knox, seems a little too mild mannered to be involved in this line of work. He's just a bit too curious for my taste.

Eventually, Knox allows Sawicki to walk into a room rigged with a booby-trapped shot gun at one of Mickey Doyle's warehouses. As Knox is standing over Sawicki's bleeding body, he admits to being an undercover federal agent. 

Eli's eldest, Willie, has done the family proud and gone off to Temple University. Even with all the trappings that a life on campus offers, Willie is way more fascinated with his Uncle Nucky's line of work and the perks that come along with it. Nucky tells him that getting his degree is the best thing he could do for his family but will that be enough to persuade Willie from becoming the next Jimmy Darmody?

Al Capone is still moving up the ranks in Illinois and has begun to get recognition from the press. It is an election year and a local journalist has decided to expose the criminal element. Capone thinks that having his name in the paper is great...until his buddies point out that his name is spelled wrong. So, the problem isn't that all of his business was put on blast, just that his name was spelled wrong.

Al is way more interested in being a celebrity gangster than keeping his business dealings on the down-low. 

Eddie Cantor. I swear this guy is like a cockroach that will never go away. With Nucky & Chalky's new club set to open, it isn't a surprise that he would want his own act. Of course he has a young, pretty opportunist actress with him. At the opening for the Onyx Jubilee, she offers herself on a platter to Nucky and, of course, he sleeps with her. 

Rather than have a cigarette and bask in the afterglow, she tells Nucky all about how she's wanted to meet him since she heard about what he was able to do for Billie Kent's career. Stupid girl. If you are trying to play someone for a fool, it's best not to reveal your hand. 

It was only a matter of seconds before Nucky sent Kessler to send her on her way. 

All of this has to make you wonder where the heck is Margaret and Teddy's fire-starting behind?

Until next time...