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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Boardwalk Empire- The Ivory Tower review

Short recap: Agent Nelson Van Auden suspected that Nucky pinned last week’s murders on the dead drunken husband, because it’s just too convenient. Agent Auden visited Nucky, who freaked a little bit, and got his brother, Sheriff Elias Thompson, to help with the situation. He also takes it out on Jimmy a little. Nucky met with Margaret (the new widow), who needs help providing for her adorable kids. Nucky and his mentor, Louis Kaestner think about the upcoming election after Al Capone beats a Chicago reporter.

Comments for those who watched it:
-This show is taking opportunities to show how racist people were in the 20s. In the pilot, the show-makers gleefully gave us white men in blackface playing trumpets, as well as an Anti-Semitic pamphlet and a few other hints at racism. In this episode, Jimmy bypassed a KKK recruiter. We wonder if the show is building up to a plot with this theme, trying to be true to history, or getting a kick out of showing racist things because it can (because it is historical).
-Dear Jimmy’s kid: Don’t be sad, we were scared of vacuums when we were kids too.
-Dear Jimmy’s wife: Don’t get naked, let your husband rub all over you, make out with him, and then say you don’t want to have sex right now. That’s just cruel.
-The guy who made the professional thing-swallower guy choke on a large cue ball on purpose is a jerk, but that was kind of a funny story. We hope it isn’t true.
-Jimmy, we are glad you aren’t cheating, but way to wait a month before you visit your mother.

This episode showed that this new series wasn’t all about its flashy, Scorsese-directed pilot. It is still shaping up to be a fun, interesting mob history piece. Stay tuned.

Episode Grade- B


  1. I agree that this episode was a little bit of a letdown from the pilot, but it was still better than most shows on television. I really dig the Nucky/widow relationship; I hope they don't kill her off. Rothstein was both a genius and ruthless, but I never heard that particular tale. I wouldn't put it past him, though. Right now, he's my favorite character besides Nucky.

  2. This show is making us want to look up these people and the history, but we are afraid knowing what happens will ruin the show. We would rather watch the show first and then check the accuracy after. Do YOU think it ruins the show to know things about the historical figures? Or does it improve the viewing experience?

  3. Assuming they stay with the historical record I would think it would take away from the experience somewhat. Fortunately, the historical record of the mob is hardly an exact science; most of the information we have comes from mobsters who were anything but paragons of virtue, and the police were not a whole lot better. Scorcese will definitely be able to take liberties in his narrative without it becoming unbelievable. However, it can go too far; The Untouchables, while a great movie, had nothing at all to do with the truth (for example, the whole Nitti/Ness final showdown was total myth).

  4. Never saw the Untouchables. We know, we know: shame on us. Based on your words, we will stay in the dark about the history. But if there is an interesting deviation from history or a story you can tell us after an episode that won't ruin the plot, pop by and let us know.