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"Boardwalk Empire" -- "Georgia Peaches"

By Aggie Maguire | TV | November 29, 2011 |

By Aggie Maguire | TV | November 29, 2011 |

This week’s episode had a completely different pace from its predecessors. Every major character (bar Gillian, who arguably is B-list not A-list) had some screen time and all of their stories advanced. It felt a little hectic after nine episodes that chose to follow only a few story lines each week, and in the case of Angela’s thread, it felt as if her story which had been languishing in a corner all season accelerated so fast and so suddenly that it was over before it had time to become interesting. Her reconciliation with Jimmy felt more than a little forced and after the heroin conversation about artsy types being into it, I was hoping they would follow that through with Angela becoming a user and forcing Jimmy to review his business relationships. Note to would-be Boardwalk Empire hit men: Watch how Horvitz works. You’ll learn a lot about planning and, ahem, successful execution.

Nucky has switched lawyers, but only after a hilarious conversation with the departing Ginsberg. I can’t understand why neither lawyer has advised him to marry Margaret. She knows a lot about his dealings and Esther has already told him the Feds are looking into Schroeder’s death. Why would he not close down that avenue to a potentially damning witness, especially now that she’s showing signs of getting serious about religion? I’ve never been the mother of a sick child so I’ll give her some leeway here on her irrationality, but I find it difficult to see how a woman who fled a country to get away from the Magdelenes would suddenly start believing that money is the way to God’s favor. So now: Lucy is gone; Angela is dead; Margaret is a weak mess; Van Alden’s nanny is a weird Swede obsessed with breastfeeding her siblings and other people’s babies; Gillian only appears occasionally to offer bad advice to her son. Esther Randolph better watch her back. This show’s writers have a strange tendency to create interesting but essentially unstable or unlikable women.

Eli continues his self-destructive stupidity, sending his hired thugs to go Oakland on Chalky’s Occupy the Boardwalk crowd, and delivering a savage beating to Halloran in the process. Halloran was probably the only real loyal friend Eli had in the entire city. For a show that spends so much on getting the period feel right, I wish they had hired some more extras to make the picketing look a little more compelling: the entire boardwalk is supposedly ground to a halt because of the strike but all we see is a handful of men walking in a circle outside the Ritz. And why did Eli even hesitate when Esther told him she would help him in exchange for information on Nucky? Isn’t Eli the one who wants Nucky dead?

Jimmy this week showed a wee glimmer of his previous ability to see the situation strategically this week until his dad, who is making a most remarkable recovery in the pre-thrombolytic age, shut him down. This is where the logic of these alliances falls apart for me. Jimmy sees that the old ways are no longer sustainable and clearly his backers will never be able to accept this. They literally are men from a different century. Nucky gets it, so why hasn’t Jimmy seen the trap he’s in and offered a deal to Nucky weeks ago?

Line of the week: “Call those two guinea anarchists from Massachusetts. Tell them to relax. I’ve found them a new lawyer.”

Anvil of the week: Smart college boy driving back into Princeton peddling liquor like a traveling salesman.

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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