Posted November 7, 2011 by Greg Dragon in TV Show - Recap

Boardwalk Empire 2.7 – Peg of Old

Ha! A full Margaret Schroeder (Kelly MacDonald) episode! Well Margaret aka Peg finally makes that trip to Brooklyn to see her immigrant family and is greeted happily by a pair of young girls. When the older man and woman appears it comes off as confusing being that the lot of them are brothers and sisters with the exception of the big brother’s wife. This brother did not seem to like Margaret one bit and treated her as if she was some sort of wild beast that would infect the other girls just by her presence. She is happy to see them but seemingly regretful at the same time as we get hints of a past transgression and a pregnant Margaret running to America and having a miscarriage mid-transit.

The main point of this episode was to drive home the fact that Margaret is far from innocent. Margaret’s a liberal woman trying to survive in a time when women were meant to be quiet, stay in the house and wait on their husbands. No, I read between the lines and it told me that Margaret was a young hottie whose (father?) Or uncle, somebody close to the mother could not keep his hands off of her and impregnated her. Once the scandal broke she was made to flee; her brother who knew the truth did nothing and the 2 siblings loathe each other for it.

One little girl reminds Margaret of herself and she returns to give her a book, a bit of advice and a promise to write her. She breaks bad with her brother once again and leaves quickly to return to Atlantic City. Now I am not sure whether the rough trip made Margaret feel suddenly lonely or if it was the reminder that she was a sexual creature but she returns to the house and runs into none other than Owen Sleater (Charlie Cox).

The Irishman had been to a bar, negating his duties with Nucky in order to exact revenge on a traitor that had fled his country during the war. The revenge was carried out via a wicked garroting that involved the man’s fingers being sliced off as he threw his hand up to block the wicked wire from getting to his throat. It was murder most savage and done in the bar’s bathroom after the men exchanged old stories and the victim excused himself to use the bathroom.

So Margaret feeling worn through from the meeting with her family and Owen recovering from the murder he had just committed are together in the house by themselves (the maids took the kids down to the beach) and of course you know what happens. Swearing him to secrecy Margaret has Owen bring her luggage up the stairs and they kiss passionately and make love on the bed. Little did both of them know that their act of passion would be at the cost of Nucky Thompson’s (Steve Buscemi) life.

* * * *

James “Jimmy” Darmody (Michael Pitt) is hosting a meeting of the new bloods and maintaining order while Al Capone and Luciano hash it out is all but a task for him while he tries the leadership role. The point of the meeting was figuring out how to remove Nucky so that they could move their liquor into Atlantic City. Jimmy suggests politics and the hope that Nucky be arrested for fixing the election but Eli suggests a shocking alternative that everyone but Jimmy agrees with. Eli suggests they murder his brother and be done with it.

Forced to agree and retreating to his mother for wisdom, Jimmy expresses that he didn’t want his true father killed. His mother smiles and does her thing but she doesn’t tell him much outside of showing off her new dress and telling him to make her proud. Jimmy decidedly takes matters into his own hands and goes to Babbet’s where Nucky was meant to be shot by one of Luciano’s boys. Gillian (Gretchen Mol) however does her own part in securing the union of New York and Atlantic City by sleeping with Charlie “Lucky” Luciano again.

When the gunman who aimed to kill Nucky appears out of the crowd it is moments after Jimmy whispers in his ear that he needs to make a choice. This makes Nucky suddenly wary and when he sees his attacker he throws his hand up and gets it shot as opposed to his head. A federal agent that had just come in to arrest Nucky puts a few bullets into the assailant and that was the end of the attempted “hit”. I would hope that this is enough of a warning to Nucky that the age of playing nice is at an end but we shall see.

Nelson Van Alden (Michael Shannon) of all people finds himself at the mercy of Nucky this episode. After admitting to Lucy (Paz De La Huerta) that he lied about having $3,000 to adopt her baby, she runs to Nucky to tell him all of the secrets that the agent had held tight. Nucky uses these secrets to blackmail Nelson and before long Van Alden is a single father (he named his cute baby girl Abigail), a somewhat demoted agent (some top brass commandeered his office to spy on Nucky) and now an informant, made to rat out his superiors to the boss of Atlantic City. His wife is gone and not telling him where she fled off to but the look in his face when he glances down at his daughter let us know that for the first time the man is truly happy.

So that was it, Margaret has a young lover, Nucky took a bullet and Jimmy is still making moves. Yet somehow it felt like a filler episode.

Greg Dragon

Cinephile and opinion writer, Greg Dragon has been a fan of movies since the 80's when Kung Fu theater was all the rage and Roger Moore was James Bond. Greg is the founder and lead critic of Spicy Movie Dogs. You can follow him on Twitter @Rafacus or on his Google+ account.