Boardwalk Empire

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Look Out, Nucky! They're Irish!

Back in Chicago, Jimmy and Capone are hanging in the speakeasy portion of the brothel, and Al is complaining about the too-little-too-lateness of their frisking policy, mangling the phrase about horses and the barn door in the process. He also wants to retaliate against "those mick bastards" while their defenses are down on St. Paddy's Day. Jimmy quietly asks if that's what Torrio wants, but it's becoming increasingly clear that Capone's not interested in what Torrio wants. Across the room, Pearl wobbles across the threshold, barely conscious from the laudanum and without her bandages. "Which one of you boys wants to buy me a drink?" she asks, while her wicked facial scar freaks everybody out. Jimmy goes to her, as she says she's trying to work. The madam calls to her and says she doesn't have to work today, while Capone more bluntly yells at Jimmy to get her outta here. Typically sensitive comment from the jerkoff whose actions led to her getting slashed up in the first place. As Jimmy walks her back to her room, she can hear laughter in the room behind her. Jimmy says someone must've told a joke. Pearl asks for more of her juice.

At the Darmody shack in A.C., we see young Tommy is assed out on the floor, the apparent recipient of Gillian's tried-and-true cocktail of whiskey and milk. Angela seems aloof at best when it comes to Gillian's parenting quirks, while Gillian at least pretends not to notice and instead asks if the actress on the magazine cover is attractive. Angela -- who never seemed quite so dull before she started sharing scenes with Gillian -- says she doesn't have time for movies, which Gillian relates to. 'Course, she always had "the girls" to watch Jimmy for her. Angela's heading out to meet "a friend." Gillian, with just a hint of snarkiness, suggests they go see a movie. Angela's like, "Nah, we're just gonna get some air on the Boardwalk." Gillian, not picking her head up from her magazine, warns of the "lower element" out on the night before St. Patrick's, but Angela says they'll be careful.

Gillian finally turns toward Angela and tells her, "You could be free, you know." Attractive, single girl with artistic leanings, waiting for a man she's not married to who may never come home. Angela brings up the fact that she does, in fact, have a kid, but Gillian's got an answer for that too: "I'll raise him." Like she's offering to feed the cat. Angela is shocked at such a notion, but Gillian tells her to think about it. "Talk it over with your friend." The first time this scene played, I failed to notice everything that was going on behind Gillian's eyes. She's been around the block. She knows some things. Anyway, Angela sharply turns down the "bohemian" arrangement Gillian's offering, then looks down at the slumbering Tommy and feels ... guilt? For maybe wanting to? Whatever it is, Gillian hasn't averted her hawk's gaze from Angela for a minute. The voice is sweet and friendly, but the eyes have something to say. They're keeping quiet for now. What is it about cable shows that turn heretofore bland actresses like Jeanne Tripplehorn and Elizabeth Perkins into total dynamos? Gretchen Mol, welcome to the club.

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Boardwalk Empire

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