More character development (and not the “he was abused as a child” stuff. Lame ploy for sympathy.)
Better dialogue (they’ve got the speeches down though)
Less lovey-dovey (including lesbian love scenes)
Quicker pacing (at least for some episodes)
More memorable moments
In this episode of Boardwalk Empire, we saw Nucky and Eli’s mean, old drunk of a father, who was taken to the hospital. Nucky gave the house to a man with a family, and he fixed it up for him. Awww, how nice. But then Nucky just burns it down in the end. We find out through a few flashbacks and a speech to Margaret what Nucky went through as a child.
In Chicago, Jimmy went to a veteran’s hospital to have his leg looked at, because it was aching. He met a veteran with one eye, and he was sufficiently creepy and delivered a nice downer of a monologue. We liked it. Jimmy bought him a night with a ho at the brothel, and the one-eyed man helped Jimmy kill the guy who cut up his favorite ho. Oh yeah, and Angela is gay. That's pretty much all that happened in this episode. A whole hour condensed to two paragraphs. The Jimmy side of the story is more interesting than Nucky's. Why can't this show be about Jimmy?
This episode was alright. Meh. This show is getting more and more disappointing after the first couple of episodes. Where is it going? What does it want to say? Who is the character to which we are supposed to feel connected? This show is getting a somber, self-satisfied tone that we don’t appreciate, and now it’s made Nucky a pitiable victim rather than a tough gangster that we both love and fear. Do we need to get Scorsese back to save this slowly sinking ship? Because it still has a whole load of potential to be our favorite show.
Episode grade: C