Monday, September 27, 2010

Boardwalk Empire 1.2: Lines and Centers Power

Boardwalk Empire was back for its second episode on HBO last night, continuing the fine atmospheric 1920s Atlantic City narrative begun last week.   I especially liked the light orange shirt Nucky had on, and I'll look for something like it at Syms, which unfortunately didn't exist back then.

What did exist was a land-line telephone system much like our current cell phone networks, always in danger of degenerating into a call with lapsed voices.   Al Capone in Chicago makes good use of this feature, ending a talk by phone from back East that he doesn't want to have, with the pretense that he can no longer hear the caller. 

Deafness, deliberate and unintended, to what's really going on is something of an underlying theme on Boardwalk Empire.   Nucky and Jimmy have each underestimated the other, and Nucky tries to set this straight by gambling away the money that he has put Jimmy through his paces to collect.  Nucky wants to show Jimmy that Jimmy's Nucky's to boss around as Nucky pleases - a dangerous proposition that bears watching.   Meanwhile, Margaret struggles to understand just why Nucky is helping her, and only gets more caught in his web.

At this point in the story, there at least three centers of power interacting - Rothstein and Lucky in New York, Capone and company in Chicago, and of course the roiling center of power in Atlantic City.  They all came into play when Jimmy and Al took Nucky's booze intended for Rothstein last week, and the consequences continue to spill out, most prominently with Rothstein demanding payment from Nucky for Rothstein's lost bottles.

And, at the end of the episode there's this: a witness to the Jimmy and Al attack, someone thought dead, who survived it.   Should rock the boat some more next week ...

See also Boardwalk Emipre on HBO

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The Plot to Save Socrates

"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly

"a Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

"Sierra Waters is sexy as hell" - curled up with a good book
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