Boardwalk Empire Watch: Season 3, Episode 4 - Blue Bell Boy
"Drive fast. Flash the pistol. I mean, who wants to get killed over a few crates of booze?"
The previews for this week's episode of Boardwalk Empire were a little bit misleading. While the brief snippets of assembled footage made it seem like "Blue Bell Boy" was going to be an explosive showdown of sorts, it was actually another relatively slow-paced installment. However, it did feature a few really fantastic scenes (some surprisingly emotional, some oddly humorous), even if they only inched the story forward through mostly less bloodless conversations. Mostly. Come on, what would an episode of Boardwalk Empire be without racking up at least a few bodies? A few favorites didn't get any screen time (Richard!) this week but "Blue Bell Boy" still made the rounds, visiting Atlantic City (and the outskirts), Tabor Heights, New York and Chicago.
"Hit me, tough guy. Come on. Come on, hit me!."
Chicago. A good a place to start as any and the location of a few of those surprisingly emotional sequences. I guess it should come as no surprise that things with Al Capone get a little emotional, he has never been one to keep them in check, but I didn't think tears (as in mine) were ever in the cards for one of his storylines. The writers did a great job creating parallels within the one location - his hearing impaired son and Smelly Jake both being bullied - even though were only there for a handful of scenes. Near the beginning of the episode, Al's wife tries to conceal a fresh bruise on their son's face courtesy of one of the school's bullies. Boys will be boys and his has to toughen up.
Meanwhile, another one of his boys doesn't need to toughen up (although that wouldn't hurt) but clean up because his hygiene is not only starting to cause Capone some concern but it's even starting fights with the O'Banion thugs. Well, that's not exactly fair, especially since the man can't help himself, but in any case it doesn't take long for the already emotional Al to go exact revenge. At least he pays for the guy's funeral, right? The two scenes on either side of the bar beat down were the ones provoking those tears I was talking about, with the attempt to toughen up his son ending instead in reassuring hugs and a song to put him to sleep. Calling back to how his son has to hold onto his throat to 'hear' was a great final touch.
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