Boardwalk Empire 2.11 – Under God’s Power She Flourishes
Tonight’s episode gave us a disturbing conformation into the true nature of Jimmy Darmody and his mother Gillian’s relationship. For those of you who found her creepily close nature to her son to be suspect, let’s remember that Gil was a young girl that had been preyed upon by older men in her youth. This is not an escuse for her behavior but the girl has never had any therapy or attempt to fix her damaged outlook after a situation like that. Like many young prostitutes who got turned out at a young age, Gillian’s sexual deviance and ideology on relationships are beyond jacked up. So when she lets her own son have drunken sex with her in this episode, you can say that it only surprised me that the writers didn’t let us figure it out on our own.
This was flashback after flashback after flashback as Jimmy takes Angela’s death extremely hard and resorts to liquor and heroine to dull the pain. In his drunkeness he flashes back to college when he was a poor boy funded by Nucky, taking classs alongside trust-fund babies and elitists, feeling very much the outcast within their company. It was there that he met Angela, a simple country girl who he accidentally gets pregnant within his dorm.
One homecoming his mother shows up and her sole intention seemed to make trouble for Jimmy as she insults Angela, flirts with his peers and gets Jimmy to fight his teacher after she retreats from his advances with a torn dress. The night the two get drunk and as he tries to help her to bed, Gillian forces the sex from her son then leaves without a word in the morning.
Jimmy recalls all of this and how it forced him to join the military and he snaps back to the present, pissed off and saddened at his life. I personally felt sorry for him, knowing now that all along his mother was the source of all of his problems. It doesn’t help that she lies to his son that his mom left for Paris to “draw” and then tells Jimmy that the boy would forget his mother in a month. She was a calloused bitch about Angela’s death and it was enough to make Jimmy choke her out… He would have killed her if not for the Commodore whose strength was beyond amazing as he wrestles Jimmy to the wall before feeling that wicked knife enter his stomach.
Gillian screams at Jimmy to “finish it” and he drives the knife into the old man’s heart; the bloody trio looking like the ultimate dysfunctional family. Yes it was deep and Jimmy collapses from his wounds only to wake up and see his best (only) friend Richard Harrow wiping up the Commodore’s blood and disposing of the knife. When Richard sees Jimmy awake he gives him a slight nod of “I have your back buddy” in such a simple gesture that spoke volumes of their bond.
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On the Van Alden front we learn through his admission to his maid that he has an estranged relationship with his father who was a nut that sold their property and made them live in a tent awaiting the 2nd coming. She tells him he is a good man but at the same time Nucky, who feared that Van Alden would take the stand in the case against him, learns from his black servant that Van Alden murdered his former partner. Turns out the gentleman was in attendance that day Nelson went off the deep end and drowned a man in front of his church.
In a scene that I found to be pure comedy gold, Van Alden is about to be arrested by his superiors and shoots one in the foot and beats a hasty escape out of the federal building. I guess old Nelson figured that there was no other options left for him. Oh ya and he signed his wife’s divorce papers and turned down $150,000 from a desperate Doyle.
Poor Doyle is out of the cool club with Al, Charlie and Meyer. After moving their liquor they tell Doyle to handle Jimmy’s followed by demanding that he covers the latter’s debts with his own money. After he argues, Charlie reminds him that he was there when Doyle snitched to Arnold Rothstein back when he was Nucky’s supplier and Doyle agrees to pay immediately. He had then contacted Van Alden to broker a deal which would free him from the Itallians bu Van Alden wnted nothing to do with it.
The downside of this episode was again the emo, holy-roller of convenience Margaret Schroeder who all but tells Nucky that she would testify against him to free her guilty soul. She then confesses to stealing from him and cheating on him which would have had her teeth knocked out had it been any other man. Nucky threatens her life in so many words and walks out leaving her to stew in her own bullshit. This character Schroeder just worsens with every episode…. coincidentally she has a sit down where Owen Sleater tries his best to get her to sleep with im again, unfortunately poor Katey is within earshot of the entire conversation and runs off hurt. I hope she snitches to Nucky and we can have an end to the Margaret saga… a man can hope right?