Boardwalk Empire Review: You Say Goodbye and I Say Hello
When it comes to influence on Boardwalk Empire, few characters command more than Nucky Thompson. On "The Pony," though, Nucky was made to feel like a donkey when he deceived his way into an audience with Andrew Mellon. Nucky does not buck easy, as we know, and he held his ground in the face of the pompous politician, striking an important deal.
Thanks to the Mr. Means setting him him up as some Prohibition version of Abe Froman, Nucky settled his legal issues with Daugherty. But his personal life took a turn for the worse after Billie's would-be costar insulted him. More on that later.
In one of the craziest scenes we've seen this season, Van Alden finally let off some steam at work. Luckily for him, his wife is one nimble Norwegian and proved she is as good at running a still as she is as raising a family. With Van Alden coming unhinged as he listened to his debt to O'Bannion diminish drip by drip, she did well to devise a plan to hold their family together.
Al Capone seemed to recognize him at their meeting to discuss Joe Miller, though, so I'm guessing we will see a run in between those two again at some point. Maybe Nelson will eventually become actual muscle for the fraudulent florist.
Torrio was back from his holiday with a new lease on life. He tried to convey to O'Banion how life is too short to kill yourself over a few dollars, but the message behind his anecdote fell on deaf ears. Capone seemed perplexed as well by his newly insouciant mentor's attitude, but I think he also started to see the writing on the wall. Torrio was more concerned with osso bucco than bootlegging and may hand over control of the business to his protege. Recall how he focussed on Al's decision making when the matter of Joe Miller came up.
While it seemed Al Capone was being prepped to jump in the driver's seat, Margaret was ready to literally take the wheel when she asked Owen to teach her how to drive. While I like seeing her become a more independent woman, the time spent on her quest to educate the pregnant masses has expired like the milk Mrs. Shearer admitted to drinking on purpose. I understand it was a difficult time for women, but with all the interesting story lines demanding screen time, to dedicate multiple scenes to the discussion of acquiring diaphragms was a bit much.
Gillian was looking for some protection of her own as she casually mentioned to Gyp Rosetti where Nucky and Arnold Rothstein would be dining together. Then Richard appeared to tell her the bar was restocked. While his message to her was of little importance, I have a feeling Gyp may have shaken the hand of and dismissed with an insult about scaring mice, the man that will do him in at some point.
Nucky was willing to play along as Gillian played the role of the grieving mother. When all pretenses were dropped, however, there was no mincing words as he reminded her of just who she was dealing with, a speech which made my list of top Boardwalk Empire quotes this week.
One of the funniest moments of the episode was when Nucky introduced himself to Andrew Mellon at the midtown Manhattan social club and got zero recognition. As I mentioned before, he did give Mellon something to contemplate, but then was labeled an interloper and forced from the premises. Nucky achieved what he had gone there to do, but it was clear the way he was disrespected stuck with him as he in turn called Billie's friend Gil an interloper after their fisticuffs.
It has become quite clear over the last couple weeks that Nucky is looking for a change in his life. He contended that people always want something new, but in his case I think he is yearning for the way things were. What life is he trying to recapture though? The one he had with Margaret, or has he always been trying to fill the void left by the passing of his wife and son years ago?
Whichever it is, after the closing scene, I'm sure Nucky is just happy to be alive even though Billie most likely is not. Being in business with Nucky is starting to be as dangerous as partnering up with SAMCRO on Sons of Anarchy.
What did you all think?