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Boardwalk Empire: "A Return to Normalcy" Review

In the wake of the Nucky-Rothstein War, transition and confession emerge as the thematic elements "A Return To Normlacy" hinges upon. The war we were promised all season comes with a few bangs but without the urban warfare we may have (unreasonably) expected, given the tempermants of the two main opponents. Instead of all-out gangland violence, we get a conflict settled on the side of a road between two gangsters wearing suits, along with several revelations (Lucy's pregnant with Van Alden's baby!) that leave us quite eager for Season Two.   The final conflict is filled with more one-on-one dramatic scenes than handgun exchanges, which is a good thing. Each major character enters and exits the episode revealing more about who they are and why they have to be this way. Van Alden, having convinced his superiors that Sepso died of a heart attack instead of baptismal drowning, confesses to his wife that he wants a career change, that he is unhappy - with no acknowledgment of a similar confession he received from his wife weeks ago. The Commodore's maid confesses to poisoning her battle ax of a patient. Jimmy and Angela simultaneously address and side-step the cracks in their relationship, with Jimmy revealing what parts of him from the war came back with that he wishes didn't. The Governor even tells Jimmy the true story behind the incarceration that kept him out of his son's life, and the role Nucky played in that. To Read More  Click Here.

'Boardwalk Empire' season finale: Ending with love and loyalty betrayed

Boardwalk Empire  finished out its first season very strongly, with a finale that ended on a historical note — the election of Warren G. Harding, a Republican Steve Buscemi’s Nucky Thompson backed — as well as on a more emotional note. Nucky’s confession to Margaret about his past (his child’s death and how it drove his wife to suicide) brought Margaret back into his arms. Michael Pitt’s Jimmy tried to rekindle his marriage, but it seems such a lost cause, he was driven to find comfort in family elsewhere — with his dying father (what a wonderfully terse performance by Dabney Coleman) and, at the end, plotting with Nucky’s alienated brother, Eli, to try and take down the Nuckster. To Read More  Click Here.

BOARDWALK EMPIRE “Paris Green” Review

The penultimate episode of Boardwalk Empire revealed Jimmy’s father at last, saw Van Alden baptising his murderous partner Sesbo and Nucky and Margaret had their first major fight. It was not as action packed as previous episodes, but it was one of the most beautifully shot and acted an episode of television I have had the pleasure of watching in a long time (well, aside from the previous ten episodes of ‘Boardwalk’). Steve Buscemi and Kelly Macdonald both deserve Emmy nominations for their performances as Nucky and Margaret. Their argument proves that. The rage in his face was real, the way she attacked him, from the word "fuck", point and point after point, ferociously tearing down his defence, and his counterattacks as he finally admitted to killing off her abusive first husband. It was literally breathtaking to watch. The way Buscemi turned his head as his brother questions why he didn’t beat Margaret ("What are these for?" He says, holding up his fists) was another wonderfully mute scene-stealing motion. The scene was put into perspective when later Nucky revealed that Eli would no longer be sheriff. Eli wanted to take care of Margaret in case she starts shooting her mouth off. That’s when Nucky tells him: "Too bad you didn’t see Hardeen the other night. It’s an entertaining act, but if he wasn’t Houdini’s brother nobody would give a fuck." Burn, Eli, burn. To Read More Click Here.

Boardwalk Empire: "Paris Green" Review

Van Alden uses a backwoods baptism as a murder weapon, Jimmy deals with family issues and Nucky ties up loose ends as an exceptional first season nears its end. Boardwalk Empire may not be for everyone (despite its incredible ratings for pay-cable) but no one can accuse the series of not consistently delivering on new ways to explore the tried and true gangster genre. In doing so, Boardwalk has found varying degrees of success with this approach week in and week out. "Paris Green" represents the best of those efforts to date, perhaps one of the most daring hours of television HBO's ever committed to. To Read More Click Here.

Boardwalk Empire: "Emerald City" Review

By the end of "Emerald City", characters we met at the start of the season are no longer who they appear. These are people who stand in warehouses as others choke and shoot people to death. People who allow themselves to be manipulated into a political role, only to see that role celebrated as another win for the guy pulling the strings.   Capone's transformative arc is the episode's most peripheral one, centering on how an ill-timed prank prompts Al to trade in his little boy behavior (and cap) for a man's. But Nucky, Margaret, Jimmy, Van Alden become people more aware of what time and circumstance asks of them, and how difficult the consequences of their actions make it for them to look in the mirror, as Margaret does, and see if they recognize the person they once were.   To Read More  Click Here.

BOARDWALK EMPIRE “The Emerald City” Review

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. To Read More Click Here.

Boardwalk Empire 1.09 "Belle Femme" Review

The blood that was spilled at the end of "Belle Femme" was that of an innocent, but it landed right where it belonged: on Margaret ( Kelly Macdonald ). That's because Margaret's journey down the Yellow Brick Road of corruption took a decided turn for the worse in  Boardwalk 's ninth episode.  As she stumbled and faltered her way to learning the proper way to manipulate Nucky ( Steve Buscemi ), she had perhaps one of her most defining moments to date.  "My daughter didn't help you, I did," she says to Mme. Jeunet, finally cashing in on her own machinations.  The art of selfishness is not lost in Atlantic City but quickly found.  The continued brilliance of Margaret's evolution is that her tale is told mostly through the eyes: both hers and whoever she learns or takes from.  It's as if we can see her soul literally blackening from within. To Read More  Click Here.

Boardwalk Empire: "Belle Femme" Review

"Wow" was all I could muster at the end of this incredible episode. The Atlantic City war machine started moving fast, as Jimmy shows up at Nucky's door gunning for Luciano, Margaret takes advantage of her newly-realized powers of persuasion and Rothstein positions his chess pieces to fight bloody and dirty on the boards.  Every major character moved forward in their respective storylines, and a few minor ones emerged as having bigger roles than we thought. And Van Alden... yep, Van Alden won me over more than ever.  Best episode yet? Best episode yet.  To Read More  Click Here .

BOARWALK EMPIRE “Belle Femme” Review

Belle Femme means beaufitul woman, and in is also the name of Madame Jeunet’s shop in the Ritz. It’s being closed down since it’s too expensive to be kept running. Margaret sets out to help her former employer by persuading Nucky to keep it running: eventually she persuades him by telling him that it’s the only place she trusts to find good clothing. Well, I suppose agreeing to try and help Nucky secure the women’s vote helped grease the deal. One of the best moments of the show was when Madam Jeunet expresses her gratitude to Margaret. The look on Kelly Macdonald’s face: priceless. Several things go down in this episode as the finale looms closer and closer. Jimmy arrives home and interrupts his common law wife from possibly having a threesome (they do it in Paris) with Robert and Mary. Angela tries to give him the cold shoulder, but he subdues her and they end up having sex on the table. Tensions between Angela and Jimmy remain at breakfast the next morning, and Jimmy decides to have another baby. Jimmy consults his son: "You want a little brother, champ?" "Yeah!" "Yeah? Then it’s settled!" The joy on Angela’s face. To Read More Click Here.

BOARDWALK EMPIRE “Hold Me In Paradise” Review

Eli fills in for Nucky whilst the latter is in Chicago for the Republican party convention. I loved watching Margaret finally stand up to Lucy, but in a weird way it wasn’t quite as satisfying as I would have hoped. Lucy, brought down to the dregs without Nucky paying her way, is just a pitiful, drunken, slurring Lucy. I am really happy that Angela (Jimmy’s common law wife) is getting some screen time, and with his mother and son and her girlfriend at her sides, she is quickly turning into one of the more interesting characters in a very peculiar situation. She is almost broke, with no income. Van Alden has been intercepting the money Jimmy has been sending home. I loved the direction that went into the dinner between Van Alden and his wife. I loved the eeriness of the scene. Van Alden is conflicted: for $270, the cost of the surgery, he may finally get his son. In his drawer, he happens to have the money. But that money is Jimmy’s and Van Alden is conflicted. Eventually he does send the money…to Angela, and a letter to his wife. To Read More Click Here.