Boardwalk Empire Review: Barely Breathing

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More than a few characters were caught with their pants down this week on Boardwalk Empire, some figuratively and others all too literally.

At the onset of "You'd Be Surprised," the sight of a creaking headboard should not have shocked anyone familiar with the show, but seeing Gyp Rosetti's fetish for erotic asphyxiation revealed may have caused some heads to do the confused dog head tilt. It is interesting that the man who has no doubt snuffed out the lives so many men gets off by being choked to within an inch of losing his.

At least he remembered the cardinal rule and made sure to use a spotter. 

Nucky Argues His Case

If Gillian's house of ill repute does not offer services like those Gyp's waitress was dishing out, maybe she should think about adding them to the menu. Gyp's appetite alone might bring in enough to get that roof fixed. Something needs to give if she is to keep that blissful escape from reality, which she described to Leander and is noted in this week's best Boardwalk Empire quotes, open till business picks up again in the summer.  

If Gillian won't open her eyes to the obvious truth about Jimmy's fate, though, it won't really matter.  

Denial is not a river in Egypt and Gillian was not the only one showing forbearance for the truth this week. Van Alden tried to come clean to Sigrid, but she set him straight before he could. Her willingness to consciously ignore the truth, for a fabrication instead, made me wonder if she also has run from something in her past.

I have been wondering what would reunite Nelson with the florist O'Banion and here I got my answer. Nothing brings people together like a dead body. Where is Dexter Morgan when you need him? I bet Richard Harrow could have told Nelson how to get rid of his unsatisfied customer. With the ex-fed in the Irish gangster's pocket now, I'd gather we will see him and Capone cross paths in the near future. 

Getting back to shoddy service, Arnold Rothstein delivered some of his best material while discussing his disappointment in Nucky's organization and enterprise. He was visceral while fighting with Nucky as Owen and Lucky waited outside like children, but still was not above insulting himself mildly at the sit down with Gyp where he commented on the paleness of his albeit thick skin.

I liked seeing Nucky not back down an inch and fire back the way he did after Arnold insulted the great Garden State, but I hope deep down he knows Rothstein is much more than just a good poker face. 

Owen and Lucky may have been told to "go watch the TV while Mommy and Daddy talk," but they each had some great moments of their own. The two best of which were when Owen corrected Rothstein's comments about Rosetti, "he burned the sheriff," and when Lucky added his "sticks and stones" line at the Rosetti sit down.

I had wondered what Owen was referring to when he mentioned to Nucky that he did not like "it" being out of their hands. I guess he was talking about the attempt to take out Gyp falling on the young shoulders of Bugsy. Did you notice Rothstein's eyebrows perk up when Gyp told the newsy his room number earlier in the episode? That was a nice bit of foreshadowing. 

I have gotten little enjoyment out of Margaret's storyline this season, but this week I found myself more intrigued. Perhaps it was because I felt a little heartache for her. She is alone while Nucky, Owen and her pipe smoking doctor all have someone romantically.

I did like how, despite her modesty, she really did seem to know everything Nucky was thinking. Her comment about Nucky struggling with Billie being able to take care of herself was spot on. She certainly is the less needy version of Lucy. Lets just hope she doesn't start calling Nucky "Daddy."

Chalky played a serious game of Who's Your Daddy when he and Don Purnsley got Eddie Cantor to fall in line without so much as raising their voices let alone their fists. Such a small but powerful scene those two delivered. The tension was tenable as "Milky" just played it calm and cool. 

Things are getting tense in Washington too, demanding more screen time for Mr. Means and his assortment of phrases and his oh-so-unique style of delivering them. 

Also making the most of his limited screen time was good old Eddie K., who came a knocking on Nucky's door but still felt compelled to announce that it was he who had done the rapping. 

This week ended with the state of things very far from Hunky Dory. If Nucky thought Gyp a mad dog before, wait till they get a load of him after a botched attempt on his life. He is going to make Cujo look like Odie from Garfield. 

What did you all think? 

You'd Be Surprised Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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Boardwalk Empire Season 3 Episode 5 Quotes

You think I entered into this relationship because I value your companionship?


Lucky: How bout your million dollar fu-kin highway?
Nucky: Must you swear every time you speak?
Lucky: When did you become a Quaker.