Boardwalk Empire 2.6 – The Age of Reason
For all the love that I have given to Margaret Schroeder (Kelly Macdonald) in episodes past this time she really got on my nerves. It seems that Mrs. Schroeder is never satisfied with her condition – which is fine in terms of ambition but what’s new is that she is sexually attracted to Nucky’s driver Owen Sleater (Charlie Cox) and this fact is the reason why she is so mean to her maid Katy (Heather Lind) who he is now sleeping with. Margaret admits all of this to her priest when she does the confessional with her young son Teddy (Rory McTigue).
On the other end of things we are shown that Nucky (Steve Buscemi) really isn’t taking care of business with Margaret on the bedroom. She seems to derive no pleasure from his awkward mount and thrust till climax type of sex and Owen being a player of sorts, sees right through her. This leads me to think that we may get a version of Furio from The Sopranos with this “I want to sleep with the boss’s wife” angle that the show seems to be taking and for Margaret that would be a damn shame. Nucky just can’t win.
Another Cut Across The Neck
Jimmy Darmody (Michael Pitt), enjoying a nice walk on the boardwalk with his wife happens to spot Waxey Gordon and Herman Kaufman making friendly with Nucky. Making sure to stay hidden, the soldier kisses his beautiful wife to hide from the boys then makes it home to call up boss Manny “The Butcher” Horvitz to tell him what he saw. Manny is naturally pissed at the idea of betrayal and once he gets Jimmy to verify the info he invites him over to his meat locker.
Manny works fast as Jimmy realizes when he enters the locker to find a bruised and bloodied Kaufman hanging with the rest of the meat. With Manny looking on he interrogates Kaufman, learns that Nucky planned to move a huge shipment of booze through Philly via Waxey and then uses one of Manny’s knives to cut his throat (from the back as not to mess up his clean suit). This method of killing seems to be old Jimmy’s M.O. doesn’t it?
Politically however Jimmy is struggling as Gillian’s (Gretchen Mol) ploy of playing the shadow boss through a muted and twisted version of the Commodore isn’t fooling anyone. This is shown when one of the old powers comes to see the Commodore who is unable to speak due to his condition and promptly asks to talk to Jimmy alone as not to have Gillian in attendance to their meeting. I don’t want to underestimate Gillian but she seems to be out of her league a bit with her minor coup.
This is all well and good with all the build-up but I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t say that the tension building is getting a tad worn as by now I expected there to be a full on war in Boardwalk Empire. This episode was another bridge to something greater that we really don’t know what is to come. When Lansky and Luciano make the run for Nucky, Jimmy and Manny ambush them and what should have been a bloody shootout ends up with the men making their own pact to remove the old brass… namely the Nucky Thompsons and the Arnold Rothsteins (Michael Stuhlbarg) of the world.
The highlight of this episode deals with our favorite crazy man Nelson Van Alden (Michael Shannon). When Lucy (Paz De La Huerta) sends him out for lemons her water breaks and with no help available she is forced to deliver her baby by herself. This was an amazing scene as it urged a mixture of sympathy and respect for the flapper – emotions that I would never think to have for her. Nelson delays to visit his burnt up agent in the hospital and the man in a delirious state begins to reveal to his superior that he knew what Nelson had done. Panicked and embarrassed, Nelson leaves the room and calls his wife to semi-confess, stating that he had done things that were a result of his station. He hangs up with her quickly before she could press him for an explanation and makes to confess to his commander. The delirious man utters something from his childhood and when Nelson realizes that he’s safe (the man was about to die), he rushes back to Lucy.
I would have sworn that Van Alden smiled when he saw Lucy holding his new baby girl in bed, her words “I did it all by myself” was probably unheard as he scrambled back out to get a doctor. On his return he finds the lemons neatly arranged on the table with the house tidied and in the bedroom was none other than his wife tending to Lucy. My heart literally sunk for him as his entire secret was now revealed and his loving wife, playing it cool, loses it when he utters “I did everything for you”. BADLY PLAYED NELSON!
Trying to hold her steady by her arms, Mrs. Van Alden bites Nelson on his hand and makes her escape out of his house leaving him stunned and probably wondering how he would get out of the mess that he was in.