This week, women are allowed to vote. “You’ve caught up with Ireland at last!” Margaret comments, before Nucky has her thank him for getting the vote. Margaret, against her better judgement, gives a speech endorsing a corrupt man who will become Nucky’s puppet. She knows this: she’s no idiot, but she needs Nucky more than Nucky needs her, especially after a weird visit from Agent Van Alden.
The most original character is also the most tortured. Was there any scene as simultaneously sweet and pathetic as the Wizard of Oz reading, when Margaret told her children that Richard Harrow was the tin woodsman? Or when he tells Margaret that sometimes he forgets his deformed face until he passes a mirror? Jack Huston’s throaty portrayal of Harrow surely deserves an Emmy nomination.
Van Alden, at the end of his tether after his informant was shot, goes to Margaret and shows her the photograph of her sixteen year old self, confessing to looking at it at night. The scene was beautifully played by both Michael Sheen (how tall is he?)’s self-righteous Van Alden and Kelly Macdonald’s Margaret, who maintained some control by ordering him out of her home. She clutches for the mantle for balance, and he clutches a glass of whiskey and Lucy. What happened between Van Alden and Lucy was not shocking because it was unpredictable (we all know what Lucy’s like) but because of Van Alden’s shame after they finished having explicit sex. It was like one of his whipping punishments without the whip.
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