Monday, October 13, 2014

Boardwalk Empire 5.6: The Skipping Record

There's not much joy left in Boardwalk Empire these final episodes.  I don't mean just in the story - which I'll get to in a second - but in the little popular culture details, the sporting events on radio, the use of telephone, the touches of 1920s life which Boardwalk Empire did so well in its earlier years. This season has increasingly little of that.  Indeed, the most memorable detail, highly effective, in last night's episode 5.6 was the skipping 78-rpm vinyl at the end of the hour.   The content of this medium was literally nothing.  McLuhan would have had a field day with this message.  The spinning signification of nothing - as in, the end of the story.

The nothing plays under the end of Chalky's life and story, but it's close to the end of the series, too. Chalky was a great character, in many ways more the soul of the series than anyone except Nucky himself.  He certainly didn't go in a good way last night.  Rather, he went like a lamb to the slaughter, accepting his fate in a way which went against what we knew of his powerful character.   His death scene at the end was more of a blow than the people literally being slaughtered like cattle last night on The Walking Dead, next door on AMC.

The other death was Van Alden.  He was a tortured, miserable person from the get-go, and got just what he deserved from Al in Chicago. Indeed, the wonder with Van Alden is why he didn't get eliminated much sooner.   Meanwhile, in the same scene, the survival of Eli doesn't make much sense.  I'm glad he survived.  But it's not plausible that he wasn't gunned down right after Van Alden.

Back in the flashback past, it's been good to see the young sheriff Nucky the past two episodes.   Boardwalk Empire managed to get an actor - Marc Pickering - who not only looks just like the adult Nucky, but has Steve Buscemi's voice and mannerisms down pat.   This arc, because of Pickering's performance, is in itself an extraordinary piece of television. Although I would have preferred to see more adult Nucky most of the times Nucky as a boy was on in the earlier episodes this season, Nucky as young adult sheriff is just outstanding.

Just two more episodes left.

See also Boardwalk Empire 5.1: Lucky Rising ... Boardwalk Empire 5.2: Joe Kennedy ... Boardwalk Empire 5.3: Veal Parmagian and Family ... Boardwalk Empire 5.4: Margaret and Nucky

And see also Boardwalk Empire 4.1: Sneak Preview Review ... Boardwalk Empire 4.2: Sneak Preview Review ... Boardwalk Empire 4.2: J. Edgar ...Boardwalk Empire Sneak Preview Review 4.3: Honey, Sunny ...Boardwalk Empire 4.3: Nucky, Sunshine, and Heroin ... Boardwalk Empire Sneak Preview Review 4.4: Downfalls ... Boardwalk Empire 4.4: Bullies and Betrayals ... Boardwalk Empire Sneak Preview 4.5: The Gift of Rage ... Boardwalk 4.5: Two Deaths ... Boardwalk Empire Sneak Preview 4.6: Good Lovin' ... Boardwalk Empire 4.6: Sally and Margaret ... Boardwalk Empire Sneak Preview 4.7: Beds, Promotions, Surprises ... Boardwalk Empire 4.7: Family and History ... Boardwalk Empire Sneak Preview 4.8: The Blues ... Boardwalk Empire 4.8: Knives in the Back ... Boardwalk Empire 4.9: The Imbecile ...Boardwalk Empire 4.10 Sneak Preview Review: Unholy Alliances ...Boardwalk Empire 4.10: Family Treachery ... Boardwalk Empire 4.11: Nucky on the Beach

And see also Boardwalk Empire 3.1: Happy News Year 1923  ... Boardwalk Empire 3.2: Gasoline and the White Rock Girl ... Boardwalk Empire 3.3: The Showgirl and The Psycho ... Boardwalk Empire 3.5: "10 L'Chaim" ... Boardwalk Empire 3.7: Deadly Gillian ... Boardwalk Empire 3.8: Andrew Mellon ... Boardwalk Empire 3.9: Impaired Nucky

And see also Boardwalk Empire 2.1: Politics in an Age Before YouTube  ... Boardwalk Empire 2.2: The Woman Behind the Throne ... Boardwalk Empire 2.3: Frankenstein and Victrola ... Boardwalk Empire 2.4: Nearly Flagrante Delicto ... Boardwalk Empire 2.5: Richard's Story ... Boardwalk Empire 2.6: Owen and Other Bad News for Nucky ... Boardwalk Empire 2.7: Shot in the Hand  ...Boardwalk Empire 2.8: Pups with Fangs ... Boardwalk Empire 2.9: Ireland, Radio, Polio ...Boardwalk Empire 2.10: Double Shot ... Boardwalk Empire 2.11: Gillian and Jimmy  ... Boardwalk Empire Season 2 Finale: Stunner!

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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