Boardwalk Empire

Episode Report Card
Joe R: B- | 2 USERS: C+
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Take Me to the River

So, here we go. Van Alden leads Sebso down to the river, and while he does, I'm going to register my first complaint, which is one of logic: Why is Sebso doing this? He's already got the transfer to Detroit. He's scot free. Sure, Van Alden doesn't trust him, but Van Alden doesn't trust the milkman. If the show is trying to say that Sebso cares about Van Alden's opinion of him more than he does getting safely out of Atlantic City, then I'm not sure the series to date supports that. Anyway, I think I'm just stalling because here comes the absolute nadir of the season (and thus series) so far: Van Alden once again approaches the Baptists -- who, by the way, clear the way for him like he's Abraham Lincoln -- then asks to be able to wash Sebso's Jew ass clean. Sebso doesn't want any part of that water, but between Van Alden's badgering and the Baptists' peer pressure, he reluctantly wades out. Apart from this being an awful scene, it is also a public service announcement: never let anyone convince you into getting Baptized when you don't want to. So this moment and its religious connotations are disturbing enough. We've already seen Van Alden go wild-eyed with Jesus-y fervor before. So this scene -- which turns from Baptism to interrogation (Van Alden demands Sebso confess his sins) to outright drowning (Sebso finally stops thrashing while Van Alden slobbers about forcing out the devil and the Baptists just stand there and do nothing) -- manages to be both redundant, stupid, and a wild tonal shift from the general realism of the world of Atlantic City. Van Alden, if he wasn't already, is a complete cartoon monster. One who then strikes a Jesus pose, yells up to the heavens, and stalks out to the shore holding his badge and gun out to the cowering crowd. Like they were even trying to do anything. R.I.P. Agent Sebso. As a consolation prize, you may have taken the show down with you.

Nucky returns to Margaret's apartment to find only Richard Harrow there. He explains that he showed up last night, but she sent him away. And then when he came today, he saw Margaret and the kids had packed their belongings and subsequently left. Nucky spots an emerald bracelet he gave Margaret, lying on the table.

Well, from one woman who did get out now to another who didn't, as Angela Darmody sneaks home. She sets her suitcase down and tells Tommy it's time for bed, but when she goes to retrieve the note she left on the bed, she finds it gone. "BOO!" Jimmy yells from behind. Oh, he's only playing with Tommy! It's not like he's shown a history of instability or violence! Angela awkwardly asks him about his father (turns out he'll live), and Jimmy's like, "I know what you've been up to," but this is yet ANOTHER fake-out where he's talking to Tommy. I'm not sure how he's going to twist "You've been having an affair with that photographer's wife" into cute banter with Tommy, but I eagerly await it! For now, Jimmy makes ominous talk to his son about how "In a few years, we're going to be keeping up all hours, it'll be just us boys." He then leaves the room with Angela in it, and she starts to cry.

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Boardwalk Empire

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