Monday, October 10, 2011

Boardwalk Empire 2.3: Frankenstein and Victrola

Nucky finally confronts Jimmy in Boardwalk Empire 4.3 - in Babbette's restaurant, where Nucky goes out to dinner with Margaret and another couple, and Jimmy is dining with the Commodore and the Governor.   The immediate cause of the confrontation - what gets Nucky to walk over to Jimmy's table, and throw the Commodore's plate of lobster thermidor on the floor - is Nucky's frustration at Margaret's ordering of the lobster, only to be told that the last dish with lobster had just been served a few minutes ago.  There ensues a great scene in which Nucky calls Jimmy on his shift in loyalties and Jimmy has to be restrained by the Commodore from getting physical.

The real source of Nucky's fury, of course, is the systematic attack on his livelihood being mounted by the Commodore and Jimmy.   Not only has he been thrown in jail and subject to investigation by the authorities, but his booze trade is in serious peril as the Coast Guard, now in the Commodore's pocket, is blocking Nucky's shipments from the sea.   Nucky even calls the Federal Attorney General - appointed by the corrupt President Harding whom Nucky helped get in office - only to be told that the Feds have no jurisdiction in state matters.

About the only bright spot for Nucky - other than Margaret - is the IRA leader's man Owen who is staying behind in America, and is eager to help Nucky.   Owen goes gun to gun with Richard, to stop a delivery of the Commodore's liquor, in another fine scene, in which neither man fires.  The two have a mutual respect, and it will be interesting to see how that plays out. 

Speaking of Richard, he's earlier referred to as "Frankenstein" by Al Capone, in town to give Nucky yet more bad news.  The reference was a bit of an anachronism - although the Mary Shelley novel was published a century before, and the character certainly famous in a literary sense, the movie that put the name of the Doctor and the face of the monster on the map was not made until 1931.  Thomas Edison had made a Frankenstein movie in 1910, and it was indeed made in his New Jersey studios, but it is highly unlike that Al Capone in the 1920s would have known anything about it.

Eddie Cantor and his rolling eyes were certainly around in the 1920s, and his visit to pregnant Lucy was a pleasure to see (and hear - great Eddie Cantor accent by Stephen DeRosa).  Lucy's story in this episode at least had something of a happy ending, as Van Alden buys her the VV-80 Victrola she's been yearning for.

And I'm yearning for the next episode of this fine period drama.

See also Boardwalk Empire 2.1: Politics in an Age Before YouTube  ... Boardwalk Empire 2.2: The Woman Behind the Throne

And see also Boardwalk Emipre on HBO ... Boardwalk Empire 1.2: Lines and Centers Power ... Boardwalk Empire 1.10: Arnold Rothstein, Media Theorist  ... Season One Finale of Boardwalk Empire



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