Boardwalk Empire

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Lady Lola: B+ | Grade It Now!
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Liars and Tight-asses and Baders, Oh My!

Margaret takes issue that Nucky is asking her to lie about Bader's qualifications. Nucky rejiggers his approach and says, "I'm asking you to be realistic." He patronizes, "This isn't some fantasy world, like in one of those children's books. This is a real place with real people. And sometimes, to make it run properly, we need to tell those people what they want to hear." He strokes her hair and tells her she's at an important crossroads -- not just for the Republican party, but for herself. She finds it all rather hard to swallow and washes it down with some of the champagne those important, progressive Republicans don't want her drinking.

The next day, the Darmodies take a family stroll down the boardwalk. Tommy breaks free and runs to the Dittrichs' photography studio. When Jimmy scoops him up, Tommy points to a picture of the Dittrichs and announces, "That's Mommy's kissing friend." Twice. Angela walks up as Jimmy, who assumes Tommy was pointing to Robert when actually he was pointing to Mary, stalks into Dittrich's shop full of rage. He busts up a sitting and drags Robert out to the main shop. He throws Robert through the front window, then takes off his coat before pummeling Dittrich in front of a growing crowd and his crying son. "This man had relations with my wife when I was away in the war," Jimmy tells the bystanders. He seals the deal by beating the piss out of Dittrich with one of his own tripods. How's that for losing your grip on beauty in times of war?

Schroeder Sanctum. Margaret answers the door to find Van Alden on her stoop. He invites himself in and tells Harrow he needs to speak privately with Margaret. Harrow excuses himself to look after the children. Van Alden holds up his wank bank photo of Margaret, saying sanctimoniously, "I would like to know if you recognize this girl." With little patience for his antics, Margaret acknowledges that the picture is of her at Ellis Island. He fills in that it was on the end of her journey from Kerry, thus tipping his hand that he knows and thinks entirely too much about one Margaret Schroeder. He proselytizes, "When I look at this girl, I see hope, yearning, a promise for a new life, the promise of America. What happened to that girl, Mrs. Schroeder?" She wonders if she'll be deported and affirms her American citizenship. He gets to the point, warning her against consorting with a panderer and a criminal like Nucky. He tells her Nucky killed the father of her children, but she refuses to believe him. Even as she edges away from him, he swoops in like a hawk, saying he knows her. He says, "I can see into your soul, Margaret -- at night, when I look into this picture." In case she missed his hyper-creepy subtext, he gives her a broad, leering smile. She angrily tries to snatch the photo away from him, but he holds onto it viciously. She springs off of the couch and dresses him down for lying his way into her house, then moralizing at her despite his blatantly base intentions. Like any abuser or would-be rapist who has underestimated his victim, Van Alden brings out the big guns. He promises Margaret salvation and, when she holds strong, threatens her with the very fires of Hell. He walks out in a blue-balled huff, leaving Margaret shaken and in desperate need of a thorough scrubbing.

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Boardwalk Empire

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