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Paved Roads = Socialism

By Aggie Maguire | TV | October 12, 2010 |

By Aggie Maguire | TV | October 12, 2010 |

Women of the world, rejoice! Saint Margaret has a flaw. She shoplifts to make herself feel better. She’s also remarkably well-versed on suffrage, informing a couple of Senators that she came from a country where women already have the right to vote (a little odd given that she’s obviously been in the US for at least five years given the age of her children: Irish women were only given the vote by the British in 1918, and had to be aged over 30 to be eligible). Her well-informed sweet little face and their dance together are obviously for Nucky the highlight of the surprise party he threw for himself, and poor Lucy’s half-clad cake stunt looks more than a little shoddy in comparison. A more glaring anachronism this week was the newspaper headline that Anna Anderson had been exposed as a fraud and was not in fact a surviving Romanov daughter (something that did not happen until 1927 as anyone who has ever had to suffer through a class on the Law Against Perpetuities will tell you). There are no fairy tale endings Mrs. Schroeder. I admire this show for not engaging in the mind-numbing expositionary dialogue of today’s TV but the obsession with obvious metaphor to make a point is becoming a little tedious.

On the psychopath front, the Chicago side is representing well with Al Capone ignoring Jimmy’s advice to be pragmatic and making major enemies of the Irish mob by trying to curb stomp his way into 50% of the Greek town business. On the other hand, our leading contender for the East Coast’s most violent thug, Lucky Luciano, appears to be rather inconveniently lusting after the mother of the guy he was sent to kill. It really is all so Greek.

Michael Kenneth Williams had the scene of the week after Eli in an uncharacteristic flash of genius brings Chalky in to extract information on last week’s lynching from the Klan leader. He took his time with his story introducing a slowly building note of threat, before he lovingly unfurled Daddy’s tools. Does it make me a bad person that I sort of loved him taking the finger home as a souvenir? Chalky is the only character I have seen so far who has anything close to the strategic vision of Rothstein. He plays a long game and plays to win. Unlike Cusick/Doyle and The Popes, whose power-plays are based on the behavior of the prototypical fool in a Shakespearean comedy.

Politics-wise, Nucky’s dealing with a Democratic Governor and a newly-elevated Senator who isn’t as malleable as he used to be. How much fun did the writers have with the Republican guy asking for money to pave roads and the Democrats pushing back? Although in true Republican style, Nucky is disgusted at the thought of people having to take the train to Atlantic City when they could be driving their cars. Another episode with a lot of set-up and, at least in Chalky and Lucky’s cases, some worthwhile character development. I’m still not all in, but I’m in and if all else fails I’d love to see a spin off with Nucky and Kessler: those two are comic gold.

(H/T to Scully for this week’s title.)

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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