Boardwalk Empire

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Joe R: B | Grade It Now!
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Look Out, Nucky! They're Irish!

He spills some of the opium cocktail on himself, and Pearl asks him to kiss her. Wary of her wounds -- more out of concern for her than being weirded out, though I could be wrong, and it's certainly possible Pearl interpreted his reticence differently -- he kisses her check. Her good check. But she pulls him in for a kiss on the lips, then sends him to get cleaned up. He's in the bathroom down the hall, washing his shirt, when the gunshot goes off. Now, I don't think this counts as a surprise when I was so sure Pearl would OD on the laudanum and she ends up shooting herself, right? We all still saw the end result coming a mile away. Still, it's heartbreaking to watch Jimmy find her on the floor. And to remember how over the moon I was about her only last week. One of the damned whores keeps SCREAMING like she's in her own personal James Whale movie. QUIET, YOU! Can't you see Jimmy wants to mourn in peace?

At the Celtic Dinner, Nucky is trying to smooth over Eli's hurt feelings, while Eli gets drunker and drunker. He scoffs at his brother's people-pleasing obsequiousness, but Nucky tells him these people judge you every minute of the day, and they remember. Eli, rather than take in any advice, simply slurs that "it's all a game," and it comes so easy to Nucky. I have to say, this is an awfully broad characterization of Eli so far. The petty, jealous, underachieving younger brother? You don't say! Tell me more about this rare archetype! Anyway, Eli continues to pout that maybe "One day I'll lie as good as you." Nucky: "It's lie as well as me, you dolt. Seriously, learn how to fuckin' speak." I will say, having knocked Eli's 2-D character, I get a real kick of out Nucky's intellectual streak, and of how little patience he has for morons.

At another table, Neri is telling some dirty joke or another to the Commodore and Pa Thompson when Van Alden and the Feds bust in. It's a raid! At a Celtic dinner on St. Patrick's Day? Well, no points for degree of difficulty to Van Alden. One bearded, brogue reveler approaches Van Alden, grandstanding about how this is a private event, and the mere consumption of alcohol isn't illegal, and he's an attorney, and the Volstead Act ... well, he doesn't get to continue, because Van Alden socks him right in the jaw. Which is easy to do when you've got a dozen lawmen with shotguns backing you up. Eli -- a lawman himself, NO REALLY -- stirs in his seat like he's going to do something. Okay, a) he's not going to do anything; he's both piss drunk and too scared, and b) Nucky tells his brethren to stand down. Van Alden, who has somehow managed to make his jaw even more square, instructs his men to shoot anyone who tries to run, then he marches up to the dais. We're all supposed to think he's going to arrest Nucky, but we know the score. It's episode 5. It's Neri who's going down for this. The G-men yank Neri to his feet and cuff him, while Nucky and Van Alden have a bit of a staredown. As they march out, Van Alden orders this gathering to be disbanded and everyone to leave in an orderly fashion.

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Boardwalk Empire

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