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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Boardwalk Empire 2.5: Richard's Story

Lot of beating and worse afoot on Boardwalk Empire 2.5 Sunday evening, along with a tender, sadly beautiful story about Richard.

Let’s talk about Richard first – last night was his best episode.  He goes off into the woods on Memorial Day with lunch, a knife, and a rifle, well dressed to the point of putting on a cap.  It’s all preparation for him to take his own life – which he almost does, except for the intervention of a dog.  Richard has taken off his mask, left it next to him, and the dog takes it and runs away with it, the way dogs are wont to do.  This breaks Richard’s suicide rhythm.  He runs after the dog, finds not only his mask and the dog, but two men in the woods.  They’re both sage, and one of them tells Richard the woods are to live in, not to do something else.  Richard takes this to heart.

Meanwhile, Jimmy is smacked in the forehead by an arrogant Indian war veteran, one of the party of elders who have been backing the Commodore, and are concerned that he’s out of commission.  They have no faith in Jimmy, and the smack in the forehead is to teach Jimmy a lesson about respect.   Jimmy gets a lesson alright, but not the one the cane-wielder intended.   Before the night is over, Richard (back from the woods) and Jimmy (lectured about being strong by his mother) scalp the obnoxious Indian killer. Good riddance.

And in another great sequence of scenes, Eli comes to Nucky’s house to apologize.  Nucky is so furious at Eli he can’t even bring himself to pretend to accept the apology – who can blame him – and the two are soon at each other’s throats, literally.  Eli, being stronger, has the upper hand, but exits when Margaret points a rifle at him.  He apparently didn’t notice that it wasn’t loaded, though Nucky did, and counsels Margaret to make sure it’s loaded next time she points it at someone, with no praise for saving his life.  Why not?  He's likely too embarrassed and shaken up.

But the evening isn’t quite yet finished for Eli.  Back home – out in the shed – he receives a visit from yet another player in the anti-Nucky brigade, also concerned about the Commodore’s condition.  That encounter ends with Eli bashing in his caller’s face – at last he’ll no longer have to worry about the Commodore – and Eli burying the body in an unmarked grave.

All of this conspiracy is reminiscent of what the Roman Senators did to Julius Caesar, and the internecine, destructive aftermath.  But I have a feeling Nucky’s going to come out of this a little better than did Caesar.

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