Wow! The final explosive scene of "Georgia Peaches" left me truly stunned.
For most of the show, I thought the entire episode was merely a way to transition to the finale, but the shocking death of a major character caught me off guard... in a good way. I love that the series can still be surprising even if we already anticipate the direction it may be going.
Jimmy's had a rough time as boss of Atlantic City, partially because of Nucky and partially because of his own lousy decisions. Despite Jimmy's violent responses to those who challenge his authority, he still folds under pressure from his so-called partners. Jimmy allows the worker's strike to be resolved with battery mostly because his father recovers his powers of speech just to insult Jimmy's manhood (an amusing scene). He also lets Luciano, Lansky and Capone call the shots when it comes to the bootlegging. As Chalky recounts the list of misfires under his tenure as boss, Jimmy doesn't even claim a single one as his own.
However, whenever Jimmy does make a blanket decision without anyone's help or advice, it seems to go badly. For example, the whole ugly situation with Horvitz was the result of his poor choice to send Waxey Gordon after his former partner. Naturally, Horvitz is extremely angered by both the murder attempt and Jimmy's inadequate repayment of his $5,000. It's baffling that Jimmy isn't more concerned about Horvitz, especially since he's seen how brutal this butcher can be (remember Kaufman!).
In the end, Angie paid Jimmy's debt. The entire scene was not only surprising, but disturbing. Before Jimmy left, he promised to get their married life back on track, and even though she didn't truly believe him, Angie accepted her husband's promise. It seemed a hopeful moment for the two, but we knew that Angie already found a new lady and that Jimmy's business would never settle down.
Then, Horvitz's enters the picture. His miscalculation ended up costing Angie's new girlfriend her life as well. Angie pleaded for her life, mostly on the behalf of her son, but Horvitz would not be swayed. He shot her right after the taunt your husband did this to you. Jimmy might not want to believe this, but it's true. Jimmy's (and even Richard's) grief will be tremendous, and the eventual meeting between Jimmy and Horvitz should be explosive.
But who will come out on top? And will Jimmy take the fall for his wife's death?
Apart from the major plot development between Jimmy and Horvitz, Margaret struggled with the realization that her daughter's life would be irrevocably changed. Margaret felt the burden of her involvement with Nucky and her complicity in her husband's death weighing on her. Believing her daughter was being punished for her sins, Margaret rededicated herself to her religion by donating all of her money to the church.
But unburdening herself of all her money and jewelry didn't change the reality of Emily's permanent paralysis. Margaret didn't seem to react to the news much at all, but I suspect she's probably not going to abandon her faith quite yet. There may be more confessions in her future as she seeks to rid herself of all that accumulated guilt.
In other Boardwalk news, Chalky's worker's strike will carry on despite the beatings his people endured. Jimmy's attempt at negotiating peace was almost successful, until it seemed liked the klansmen responsible for the shooting would have to pay for their crimes. That's something Jimmy just can't promise, especially not now. Race relations in Atlantic City will continue to teeter on the brink of violence. How will things be resolved?