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By Aggie Maguire | TV Reviews | November 16, 2010 | Comments ()


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Well, well and isn't little Margaret Schroeder a quick study when it comes to graft! That look on her face last week when she read Nucky's ledger wasn't horror; it was "ooh, how do I work this angle, and why not get some revenge on Madame Jeunet in the process?" Adjusting for inflation, that "present" she got from Madame would be worth $4,246 in today's dollars. Hey, Margaret, when you tire of Nucky, the mayoral job is opening up in Chicago in 2011: you'd be perfect for it.

There was a lot of betrayal going on this week. Gillian set up Lucky Luciano for Jimmy. Angela's promise of a gallery show apparently hinged upon expanding her "bohemian" ways into a ménage a trois. Jimmy's return means that's a no go so now her work is "derivative". Am I the only one who sort of felt she deserved this for thinking she is so much better than Gillian? The GOP candidate for New Jersey Mayor is about to be replaced and Sheriff Thompson's days are numbered also. Great look of perplexity on Nucky's face when he had to admit they couldn't get any dirt on the Democratic mayoral opponent. The idea of a clean candidate was so alien to his way of life, he couldn't quite process it. I've also got to bet that Eli is going to start cooperating with Van Alden at some point. A guy can only take so much public humiliation from his brother before he turns. Which brings us to Agent Sesbo: I liked the way they worked this. Sesbo's been portrayed as a harmless lackey so far, frustrated with his boss and just trying to get home at a reasonable hour every night, but he's been playing Van Alden cleverly for weeks. I fully expected him to balk at the last minute when it came to killing the witness; instead he was very calm and cold-blooded. I once had a boss who was every bit the despotic bully as Van Alden, so I'll admit I cheered more than a little at Sesbo's betrayal.

At last we got a full-length scene with the inimitable Rothstein. And really, D'Alessio brothers: if your contract of employment consists of a life insurance policy with your boss as the beneficiary, perhaps you should be circulating some more resumes before signing on the dotted line.

We got a closer look at Nan Britton this week. I'm now convinced the actor was cast based on her physical resemblance to Monica Lewinsky. I was fully expecting Madame Jeunet to pull out a sailor beret style cap when she was looking for an outfit to wear to the inauguration.

Jimmy's character has finally come together over the past few weeks. Michael Pitt was excellent in the interrogation scene: his little grin when Van Alden asked about Margaret's relationship with Nucky had just the right amount of "this guy's a nutter" in it. Another nice bit was his reunion with Angela, the fact that is was practically rape reflected where he's been and what he's been doing for the past six months. Also, a big hint at Jimmy's paternity this week: the Commodore? Higher up?

And then there was the failed hit on Nucky, where I feared for a horrible few seconds that poor Kessler was a goner. This show moves along so well with some good scenes and some beautiful scenes every week but then they just can't resist going for the shooting on the steps of the opera house every single time. It's so frustrating. And of course because this is the show that employs giant visual anvils wherever possible, we have to close looking at a trembling Margaret with her Jackie Kennedyesque blood-soiled Madame Jeunet dress. It couldn't have been less subtle if they'd actually had her lie down with a bunch of dogs and stand up scratching.

Aggie Maguire lives in a fly-over state where she enjoys waving at the people flying over and wondering if anybody ever waves back. She is a member of the Jane Austen society and a life-long supporter of the Home for Abused Apostrophes.



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