Monday, December 12, 2011

Boardwalk Empire – To the Lost

If the creators of Boardwalk Empire were looking to end the season with a bang, they certainly succeeded. In fact, there were many “bangs” throughout the episode. The bloodshed that had been mostly absent for the last two weeks returned in a big way tonight. In fact, two people were murdered in the first minute of the show. Of course, the murders that took place in this episode were all a means to an end, as Nucky took back Atlantic City.

At the beginning of the episode, Horowitz declares that Nucky should not be as revered as he is. That he would “be nothing” in Odessa, which he considers a city of crooks. How wrong Horowitz turns out to be! The season finale certainly showed that Nucky will stop at nothing to save his own skin, and whoever crosses him is going to meet an untimely end. Nothing is sacred to him, not loyalty, not love, not even family.

First, he creates his new family by convincing Margaret to marry him, then he makes amends with his actual family by pulling Eli back under his wing. But THEN he destroys Jimmy’s struggling family (and his own humanity, I think) by killing Jimmy. Despite the fact that Jimmy was a flawed, murderous character, I was extremely disappointed to see him go. I can’t see how future seasons will play out without him. We are left to ponder the future of the next closest person to Nucky— Margaret.

At the beginning of the episode, I was starting to worry that Margaret was losing her edge. She agrees to marry Nucky, knowing that he is probably playing her, and she seems indifferent to the fact that he has a star witness in his trial murdered. She was starting to play out like a Carmela Soprano-like character, complicit in Nucky’s dealings and always at the ready to look the other way to ensure her own comfort and survival.

 Margaret, bless her, actually comes out as the master of deception. With all Nucky pulled off in this finale, he has nothing on her. He may be reassured now that she’s his wife, but he will find out next season that he has met his match. Don’t mess with a suffrage woman! Hopefully, he doesn’t try to kill her as well when he finds out that she’s signed his deed to prime New Jersey highway land over to the church. It’s not clear what her ultimate plan is, and it will be a long wait until next season to find out.

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