Boardwalk Empire, Shots through the heart, and rested spleens, some thoughts

“Belle Femme,” episode 9

How does one rest their spleen?

These questions are answered in tonight’s “Boardwalk Empire,” as Nucky  (Steve Buscemi) deals with the fallout of his brother Eli’s (Shea Whigham) ambushing, and Margaret (Kelly Macdonald) wrangles Harding’s baby mama side piece, Nan (Virginia Kull).

Jimmy Darmody (Michael Pitt) steps out of the fire of Chicago and squarely into the frying pan of Agent Van Alden (Michael Shannon) and Atlantic City heat.

Angela’s (Aleksa Palladino) lesbian fling and potential ménage à trois gets the brakes as Jimmy makes his homecoming out of the blue.

And erstwhile Eddie (Anthony Laciura) turns out to be the best valet ever.

Margaret is petitioned by a groveling Madame Jeunet (Anna Katarina) to advocate for a lower rent rate so she can stay in business, and Margaret’s delicate maneuverings of Nucky makes him suspicious and withdrawn at first, then he is later masterfully manipulated by Margaret, who is sensing her power with Nucky especially after he gives her a vote of confidence and calls upon her to help him politic the local women.

“Empire” has picked up the pace of Arnold Rothstein’s (Michael Stuhlbarg) vendetta against Nucky, and his employ of the Mickey Doyle (Paul Sparks) and the “Pope” D’Alessio brothers, the Italian gang from Philly all named after Popes, has Rothstein comparing them to Brooklyn monkeys, sans the zoo bars.

Darmody is very tight with his sexy mother Gillian (Gretchen Mol); this week their rather curiously close relationship ratchet up the ick factor as a nearly naked Gillian has freshly bedded a besotted Luciano (Vincent Piazza), dispatched initially to kill Jimmy, and now fully intoxicated by Gillian’s magic moneymaker that has raised his willy from the dead.  Darmody’s mom sets up Lucky, and Jimmy enters the bedroom post-coitus and nabs Lucky with his nearly naked mother telling Lucky they are “very close.”

Jimmy almost gets Luciano to sleep with the fishes except that pesky upright citizen, Nelson Van Alden, has finally cornered Darmody’s whereabouts and arrests him in the stairwell, giving Luciano a break.  The arrest and questioning of the steely Van Alden and the cagey ex Princeton gangster Darmody is a psychological pas de deux of police interrogation, with Darmody pulling his alibi together, shutting down Van Alden.

The witness that fingers Jimmy is assigned a dirty FBI agent in Van Alden’s office who dispatches him in a Godfather-like beach execution scene (one shot, straight through the heart), and Darmody’s looking like he will walk very soon, thanks to Nucky’s plant.

Well, back to our Irish rose, Margaret and her awakening political sensibilities that lay beneath her peaches and creme complexion. She successfully advocates for Madame Jeunet, and then manages to make it clear to the Madame that the proffered trifle gift for her daughter as a “thanks” is not going to cut it. “My daughter didn’t help you, I did.”

Of course a fetching dress that Harding’s silly mistress cannot afford is eyed by Margaret, and voila, the end of the episode sees our fair lassie in the stunning aqua gown, to Nucky’s attentive appreciation.  Sophie Tucker (Kathy Brier) is cracking wise and singing onstage while Nucky negotiates with a solid Republican for a run for the mayor’s race.

But Margaret is no longer clean in this sweeping Garden State yarn, and in a grand visual metaphor, Nucky and Margaret leave the dinner theater arm in arm, and he is set up on the Boardwalk by those Brooklyn gorillas, only to have a fast Eddie save Nucky, and in the process, an unlucky woman is shot through the heart, with her blood marring Margaret’s little trophy dress.

I feel so lonely
For you only,
‘Cause you know, honey,
You’ve always had your way;
And when you leave me
You know it’s gonna grieve me,
Gonna miss your big fat momma,
Your momma, some of these days!

Some of these day-ay-ays
You’ll miss me honey;
Some of these days
You’re gonna be so lonely!
You’ll miss my huggin’,
You’re gonna miss my kissin’,
Oh, you’re gonna miss me, honey,
When I’m far away.

I feel so lonely
For you only,
‘Cause you know, honey,
You’ve always had your way;
And when you leave me
You know it’s gonna grieve me,
Gonna miss your big fat momma,
Your momma, some of these days!




Note the date on this article may be incorrect due to importing it from our old system.

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