Last week's season premiere of Boardwalk Empire possessed a shock and awe quality about it, thanks to the violent side of the bootlegging business.
"Spaghetti & Coffee," meanwhile, opened in a most peculiar way, exploring the more cerebral part of this criminal element.
From Nucky's meeting with Mr. Means to his chat with Rothstein, we saw how a sharp intellect is just as important as a dead aim when it comes to staying atop the criminal underworld. Men like the aforementioned do not leave things to chance. So when something like Manny getting killed by an unknown assailant occurs, it perplexes them and causes them to question everything and everyone.
We were treated to some amazing dialogue this week, weren't we? Mr. Means talk of paradoxes and the difference between ordinary versus extraordinary men and the great game of quid pro quo Nucky played with Rothstein are why I enjoy those conversations like Arnold said he does. Despite their cool and calm exteriors, Nucky and Arnold have to be feeling a bit on edge, which is why the introduction of Gyp Rosetti could not have been timed better.
Gyp doesn't play by anyone's rules. Based on what we saw in the premiere, I found myself flinching each time he spoke to someone, half expecting their next comment to be their last. His psychosis aside, you had to laugh at his delivery in a number of scenes, most notably when he asked the waitress to tell him more about the spaghetti and meatballs on the menu.
His line about sleeping with George Washington and everything, to convey how far back he and Tabor Heights went, was also classic. I think I need to Photoshop the "Don't Hassle Me I'm Local" teeshirt from What About Bob onto him.
I fully enjoy most any scene featuring Richard Harrow, but I didn't mind that he wasn't featured this week after being part of such a pivotal scene to close out last Sunday. There are a lot of players in this game; to try and dedicate time to all of them each week would do the over all feel of the show a disservice.
Absence certainly makes the heart grow fonder, so I was very pleased to see the return of Chalky White after his no show in the premiere. While the family matters we witnessed weren't as dynamic as the scenes we are used to seeing this dynamic character in, they were worth watching because we were treated to a glimpse of his past and eventual rise to power, something I hope we learn more about.
There is no shame in his game, but Chalky wants more for his children, which is why he does what he does. So when his daughter continued to back talk him and question his judgement, I too felt his ire. What is so bad about her beau anyhow? I liked the cut of that young Sam's jib. Guy takes a blade to the face and still tries to help the transgressor out.
Another series regular making his Boardwalk Empire Season 3 debut was Eli, as we saw his release from prison. Mickey Doyle can definitely get on my nerves, but he also has had his moments and this week was no exception. His attempts to joke with Eli were hilarious. On the other side of the car, Eli did well to ask the question I'm sure most fans of the show have asked at some point: "how the fu-k are you still alive?"
On a more serious tip, Eli's homecoming was a nice moment. As the reality of just how much he had missed while away set in though, I found myself feeling sorry for the former lawman.
I continue to like the tense scenes between Owen and Margaret, but I wish she would just get over this hospital fascination. Two episodes in now and we have heard her talk of nothing more than church business and prenatal care. Getting back to my earlier comment about Richard, I don't think it is necessary for her to be featured each week at all. In fact, the only character who probably should be in every episode is Nucky.
Ah love, all Nucky wants is for his mistress Billy and him to be open with each other. I mean, if you can't trust the woman you're cheating on your wife with... who can you trust? While shooting pool, Rothstein commented on what a vivacious woman Nucky was consorting with and then he sends a ball around the table banking off each bumper before sinking a ball in the corner pocket. It seemed to me like he was pointing out how Billy has been around the block a few times, or in the case of New York, the park. Then again, maybe he was just showing off.
Regardless, the walls seem to be closing in on Nucky and he seems to be searching for some distance from it all. The political issues, Gyp now interfering, not to mention the issue of Margaret giving away the land to her parish which has yet to come up, all will serve to make Nucky start asking for a little less starch in his collars I feel. Like the fish in the opening scene, Nucky's pond is shrinking and the water isn't getting any safer.
Let us know what you thought and be sure to rank your favorite Boardwalk Empire quotes from this week.