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Monday, November 8, 2010

Boardwalk Empire - Hold Me In Paradise review/recap

Going into this episode, this show was on its last leg with us. It had no central story arc, no suspense, its characters were everywhere, and its quality was yo-yoing. We also think it needs to find its focus, figure out who its good characters are, and figure out what kind of show it is. We are not the only ones who feel this way. Its ratings have dropped by a couple million and many are losing patience with its focus on sex, nudity, and love over ACTUAL MOB ACTIVITIES AND WHACKINGS. Jeez. But finally, Nucky and Jimmy are back together, we have a “team,” and everything is starting to fall into place. There are only a few episodes left in this season, so if you have been watching, now is not the time to quit. If you already quit, just read this recap and start up next week, because it’s all starting to go down. We would call this episode the set-up. We suggest that you give it one or two more episodes if you are ready to move on. You should have dropped out around episode four, not this one.

Nucky left the boardwalk to go to the Republican National Convention in Chicago, where he made an alliance with Warren Harding’s campaign manager, Harry Daugherty. Warren Harding was pretty much the worst, most useless president ever. Way to go, Nucky. Nucky helped the campaign by allowing Harding’s mistress and illegitimate child to hide in Atlantic City until Harding won the election, and Nucky, in turn, received paved roads. Most of this Republican convention stuff was pretty boring and talky to us, but the rest of the episode redeemed it.

Lucy showed up at the Ritz lobby where Margaret was having lunch with a friend. Lucy drunkenly demanded credit at the lingerie store, her plastic surgery-butchered face squinty and flapping annoyingly. They fought (we loved when Margaret tried to simply politely suggest that Lucy wasn’t at her best at the moment), and Margaret slapped Lucy, winning the fight.

Nucky’s brother, Sheriff Eli, tried to do Nucky’s job in Nucky’s absence, but he’s pathetic and slimy and couldn’t really pull it off. Eli was shot at one of Nucky’s casinos, signaling to Nucky that the mob business was getting rougher and that he needed to get scary. After learning the bad news, Nucky went to the Chicago brothel we always see and ran into Jimmy. Nucky offered Jimmy a job and opportunity to return to Atlantic City, which Jimmy accepted. His awesome friend, Richard Harrow, is also in on this deal. So is Margaret, apparently. Nucky phoned her and told her to hide his business ledger, saying “Until I return, I prefer to rely only on you.” He told her not to read the ledger. He also had her move into the hotel, which is the equivalent of his Bat Cave. Margaret moved into Nucky’s lair, found the ledger, and was interrupted by a phone call with lots of breathing on it. Who is the person most likely to call someone and breathe creepily? Hint: His last name is a two-parter, starting with “V” and “A.” That is unconfirmed though. That's just a suspicion. Margaret read the ledger.

Agent Van Alden experience conflict with his wife over whether she should get an operation that might enable her to have children. She wanted it, and he told her that he didn’t. Rather, he couldn’t afford it. Van Alden intercepted envelopes of money that Jimmy was sending to Angela, tempted to use it for his wife’s operation. In the end, he sent it to Angela. He also sent Rose a holier-than-thou rebuke letter. Rothstein, Nucky’s rival, and his lawyer rehearsed what Rothstein would say regarding him fixing the World Series.

We’re glad this show has stopped meandering and just parading its prettiness before our eyes. Thanks for the set-up, now we want some delivery. The show still has a good cast and it’s perfect for history buffs who want to see historical figures interact with fictional ones. If you enjoyed the pilot, don't back off now.

Episode Grade: B

Also, happy 200th post to us :)

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