Boardwalk Empire Watch: Season 4, Episode 7 - William Wilson
"The murder of Wilson's doppelgänger is also what? His own suicide."
And now the thread from which the title was culled. "William Wilson" is a short story by Edgar Allen Poe about a school boys and murder and that obviously resonates with the young Mr. Thompson. Willy's college experience doesn't just involve the English professor's lectures that constantly remind him of his own experience but also his girl's morbid fascination with Nietzsche and Leopold and Loeb. Of course, he wasn't ready to walk out on her until after they had sex and we got to see the character whose name I can't remember topless. All the female characters save Margaret, Esther, Julia and June are required to show some skin and this week got around to checking a bunch of the new cast members off the list. Oh, and Willy's younger sister hasn't had a sex scene yet but with her looking to attend college next, I'm sure it's only a matter of time. Willy, however, is done with school which obviously doesn't sit well with Eli and Shea Whigham own this episode. He played a great drunk. Intense and still funny at times. It's also been a while since we saw Eli fully unload on his brother because the two have been in recovery mode ever since he was released from jail. Nucky and Willy's budding relationship will only continue to cause problems between the Thompson brothers and I've been saying all season that the writers are setting up Eli's death. Sorry. And I hope I'm wrong again.
"The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior."
While the family is causing enough problems for Nucky and Eli, they also have the law to worry about and the creeping danger of Bureau of Investigation Head J. Edgar Hoover. Oh, and Agent James Tolliver, they guy we know better as Agent Knox. Tolliver also had a little to do with the discovery of the nationwide network of organized crime. Just a little. Of course, he also slipped up when passing the crying Eli his monogrammed hanky last week and J.M.T. doesn't match up with Warren Knox. "William Wilson" also saw the return of Remus, who is helping the B.I. with their investigation, and Esther Randolph, the Assistant U.S. Attorney who went after Nucky in the past. I loved how J. Edgar was able to break Remus' habit of speaking in the third person and it still wasn't as exciting as having Juliette Nicholson's character back in the narrative. It's nice to have a true moral compass around, not to mention a formidable adversary for our outlaws. The episode also had a cameo from James Cromwell as the 'honorable' Andrew W. Mellon, someone who we haven't seen since he worked with Nuck in "Margate Sands' and I imagine might be an upcoming target for Hoover on his quest to quell corruption. I'm also interested to see what Tolliver will do after the Bureau Chief took credit for all his hard work? Could he break bad? He's already buddy buddy with the ultimate smooth criminal in Gaston Means.
"Don't peep. Don't peek."
Okay. Maybe not the ultimate smooth criminal. There are a bunch on Boardwalk and none perhaps as smooth as Dr. Valentin Narcisse, who seems to cast a spell on everyone he encounters. Except for Chalky. But Mr. White is so blinded by his love for Daughter Maitland (who once again had a great musical number) that he can't see how he's being played. And who can blame him? She is spellbinding. A true femme fetale. Actually, there was one other person who was able to see through the rhetoric and figure out who was flooding their streets with H but Dunn was quick to dispose of that threat. That's what you get for being a good man. With Chalky under Daughter's spell, Dr. Narcisse seems to be in a pretty powerful position but it's only a matter of time before the two come to a head with Declan, a prominent member of the community, being killed. Chalky is going to have to defend his position but, in his favor, if we've learned anything from the series so far it's that all secrets eventually come to light. Especially freaky ones that involve horrible chest scars, murdered mothers and eternal suffering. That's some weird manipulation the doctor's got going on there, like a cult leader. Trouble is coming for everyone.
"A guilty man will say anything to save his skin."
Boardwalk Empire returns with Episode 8, "The Old Ship of Zion," next Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on HBO. Created by Terence Winter, the series stars Steve Buscemi, Kelly Macdonald, Michael Shannon, Shea Whigham, Vincent Piazza, Anatol Yusef and Michael Stuhlbarg.
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