Michael Shannon shines as Van Alden on Boardwalk Empire, some thoughts
By April MacIntyre Oct 4, 2010, 18:31 GMT
When he tells his field boss that Nucky is “as corrupt as the day is long,” we learned that Prohibition issues were the tip of the iceberg for our agent Nelson, who wants Nucky\'s new love Margaret in a most ungodly way.
HBO's "Boardwalk Empire" is working my happy nerves every which way to Sunday, the day that it airs.
"Boardwalk" is my favorite show on the network, which wisely selected the juicy Steve Buscemi to carry this complex and wry lead character, Enoch "Nucky" Thompson, amidst a sea of brilliant actors.
My favorite player is turning out to be Michael Shannon, the buttoned-up disciplinarian Prohibition agent Nelson Van Alden, who is unintentionally hilarious in his vexation at dim agents who cannot get names right, or dentists who cannot revive nearly dead witnesses.
Nelson's fetish over Margaret's hair ribbon, his dutiful roast praising qualities to his long-faced wife, his stern admonishing another agent reading someone's "private correspondence" and his jealousy-turned indignation at Nucky's "Pharoah" existence make him highly entertaining, and a total scene stealer.
When he tells his field boss that Nucky is “as corrupt as the day is long,” we learned that Prohibition issues were the tip of the iceberg for our agent Nelson, who wants Nucky's new love Margaret in a most ungodly way.
Thompson and his protege James "Jimmy" Darmody (Michael Pitt) and Nucky's brother Sheriff Elias “Eli” Thompson (Shea Whigham) come to loggerheads and Darmody is now heading to Chicago, to hook up with his old friend Al Capone.
Chalky White (Michael Kenneth Williams), the ex-boxer who runs Atlantic City's black community, is replacing the wheezing creep Mickey Doyle (Paul Sparks) and he is a serious character who means business and busts Nucky's cojones over the split.
An interesting scenes over at the Schroeder household, as newly widowed Margaret Schroeder (Kelly MacDonald) makes breakfast for her two kids as she chats with her friend Edith (Barbara Tirrell).
Edith creeped me out. She has a latent lesbian weirdness vibe as she tries to entice Margaret to live with her. When Margaret reveals she has a benefactor in Nucky, and a job with a French woman, Edith goes sour.
Charles "Lucky" Luciano (Vincent Piazza) undergoes the evil Valentine irrigation torture treatment for gonorrhea. If you research this early medical treatment for the big 'G", make sure you are sitting down.
Lucy Danziger (Paz de la Huerta), Nucky's needy narcissist showgirl side piece is sensing Nucky isn't crazy for her anymore. She overhears him donating money to the premature baby hospital.
Jimmy begins to suspect his partner was untrue, and flips through a rather large photograph book with pictures of his wife and child. "It's hard to believe he was ever this little," Jimmy says.
Now a shopgirl at the Ritz-Carlton, Margaret is subjected to the imperious French shopkeeper in the hotel's exclusive dress shop. Margaret is humiliated and told she must bathe and wash her hair at least once a week.
You know where this is going, a showdown between the showgirl and the widow, and Darmody's ambition will take him out West.
Who is your favorite character?