When we settled down to watch this episode, we thought, “This show needs to be about the mob, stat.” We are done with the widow. We are done with ho’s getting cut up. We are tired of Jimmy and Al Capone doing NOTHING in Chicago. Fortunately, this episode delivered some mob action, complete with a few whackings. Now that’s the stuff.
As the episode opened, Nucky’s bagman was killed by someone from the D’Alessio mob. Nucky later suspected Lucky Luciano. Jimmy and Al sat down with Sheridan to negotiate territory, but on the way out, they shot all of Sheridan’s men. We guess that they are going to get all the territory now. Good. About time they did something. Also, it impressed another gangster, Johnny Torrio, that we guess they want to get in with. That’s what Sheridan and his men get for cutting up Jimmy’s ho. Jimmy and Al Capone aren’t exactly getting along swimmingly. Jimmy let Al know that he doesn’t believe Al’s World War I stories, and Al Capone’s family problems are affecting his partnership with Jimmy.
Yes, there was some romance drama, but it moved quickly. We saw Nucky and Lucy in bed after sex. Nucky seemed completely not into her, and she was being her usual stupid, chattering self. Then she clawed him and explained, “I’m being a little tiger cub.” Nucky was turned off. Dear Lucy, rough stuff is sometimes acceptable DURING sex, not after when you are acting like a three-year-old. As for Nucky’s second woman, the widow Margaret, Nucky offered her a new place to live, financial security, and his thin, lizardy body whenever he so chooses. Uhhh, good for her? She accepted and moved out of her crummy neighborhood.
After telling Nose-Job Lucy off at the dress shop ("Maybe your cunny isn't quite the draw you think it is."), she quit her job, and we said, “BURN.” Nice one, Margaret. We wanted to see a Lucy freak-out when Lucy found out that Nucky is having sex with Margaret. But it seems like she already knows and is taking it better than we had hoped. She’s just being clingy. Sadly for Margaret, she learned that she lives in a building of other “concubines.” We know that Margaret was a formerly moral woman with a lot of pride, and we don’t think she is going to handle being Nucky’s bought-and-paid-for call girl for long. We are happy about that. Throughout this episode, we were sad that Margaret is the show’s example of a “smart girl” and a classy woman. Why is the TV definition of a strong woman someone who sleeps around? Why is that sexual liberation? Everyone knows, in real life, that most women who sleep around are totally insecure/have daddy issues. But whatever. At least she’s better than Lucy (who we secretly like, because she is great comic relief).
Agent Van Alden found out that Margaret is living as Nucky’s concubine now. Through immigration records, he also found out that she left Ireland at 16, and she was pregnant and miscarried at the time. We didn’t pick up on this earlier, but now it’s pretty clear that Agent Van Alden has a really creepy crush on Margaret which could make things interesting. He looked at her picture and whipped himself with a knotted belt, and the camera gave us a view of his back covered in old scars. Uhhhh, we’re girls, so we aren’t experts at how guys pleasure themselves, but we are pretty sure Agent Van Alden is doing it wrong. What a serious creeper.
Also, Gillian (Jimmy’s mom) and Lucky Luciano (not to be mistaken with Nucky, haha) were having sex too. Lucky thought it was Jimmy’s wife, but Rothstein corrected that assumption. Out of all the women, we are most impressed with Gillian, whose confidence, brains, and good nature seem to light up every scene she is in. Lucky looked like he was digging a hole with a sledgehammer. That seriously had to be one of the funniest-looking sex scenes we’ve ever seen, and HBO topped it off with a penis shot. Hey, at least they are equal-opportunity nudity show-ers. Girls show you theirs, then guys have to reciprocate. That’s feminism, we guess. When Lucky insulted Gillian, Nucky about had his head off. It seems like Gillian is actually a woman that Nucky genuinely respects. Maybe SHE is Nucky’s true love? Naw, she’s too good for him.
What this show needs now is some honest-to-goodness tension. We want to worry about someone or something. We want something to be at risk. We want a central plot arc that doesn't involve love. This show can't be a must-see unless its story catches up with its acting and filmmaking quality. If they need to stick close to history, then they have to give us some great plot arcs with supporting, made-up characters that we care about/they can take more liberties with.
Episode grade: B+
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