Boardwalk Empire Watch: Season 4, Episode 7 - William Wilson

By Jesse Carp 1 year ago discussion comments
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Boardwalk Empire Watch: Season 4, Episode 7 - William Wilson image
"Cut the crap..."

The first half of Boardwalk Empire's fourth season was solid, playing up Nucky's increasing isolation as well as developing several feuds in the concurrent threads, and yet it still flew by in somewhat forgettable fashion. Episodes 1 through 4 were most certainly overshadowed by the end of Breaking Bad with the final stretch of AMC's drug drama dominating the water cooler conversation (well, twitter) for most of the fall season. It's also not hard to see why since HBO's 'drug' drama is much more composed (in every sense of the word, from the measured pace to the elegantly lit frames), lacking the breakneck pacing and frequent WTF moments that helps series get talked about the following day. It's not exactly a 'gif' ready series but Boardwalk Empire does contain some of the most compelling cinematography and performances on television. Probably why its already earned its fifth season. And don't get me wrong, the bootlegging show still has its fair share of memorable or shocking moments, like the loss of Eddie Kessler at the end of "Erlkönig," just not the same kind of bang for your buck. There is a lot of banging though...

"Happiness."

Might as well start with a bang. Or at least with one of the several threads this week that contained a sex scene. I didn't think it was possible but the show is somehow getting me to feel for Gretchen Mol's Gillian Darmody. That's a big credit to the actress for her performance considering she's pretty much always been in competition to be the TV character that I hate the most. Even more than Game of Thrones' Joffrey. Ron Livingston's mysterious Roy Phillips is still by her side, helping the recently rock-bottom Gillian get off the junk. Heroin is also becoming a major player in the series and she's going to be one of the first citizens of AC to be able to say she kicked the habit. Good for her but I still don't trust this Roy fella. So far he's pretty much been the definition of too good to be true. Perhaps her dreams really did come true? Or maybe her dream from last night came true and she's dead? I don't actually believe that but there's no way he's being completely honest with Gillian. When will the other shoe fall? And since we're talking about Ms. Darmody's love-life, it's as good a time as any to mention that Lucky made a brief appearance in "William Wilson," getting called into a meeting with Masseria to 'explain' his dealings in Tampa.

"Actually, there is one thing I'd like you to do... Kill that Irish fuck."

Tonino sure has a lot to say for a guy who literally stabbed his boss in the back. I also don't like that the Boss is sending Charlie back to Florida and into potential conflict with his former partner. His relationship with Lansky was one that seemed to be about more than business. Like Richard and Jimmy. Or Al and Jimmy, for that matter. Capone's storyline this week also started with a bang but this one was the kind that includes a bullet and blood. He's killing cops because he thinks, and rightly so, that they were hired to kill his brother by his crosstown rival Dean O'Banion. And O'Banion is getting too clever for his own good (or big for his britches, whichever you prefer) not just creating enemies with his charm (think of George Mueller's feelings for his former-ish boss) but also actively trying to put one over on Johnny Torrio. Not a good idea, no matter how deep your connections go in the Chicago police. Looks like there's going to be a war and, well, no spoilers but anyone with the slightest sense of history has to know how this is going to turn out. And while the Irish and Italians are about to throw down in Chicago, an odd (and unlikely) encounter between an Irish lass and Jewish gangster occurred in New York City.

"And what does your husband do, Mrs..."

I'm not going to lie, it was a little bizarre to have Margaret Rowan (or whatever surname she's going by now or for the ruses she's doing with her boss) have an encounter with Mr. A. Redstone (also known as Arnold Rothstein). I'm not exactly complaining, since it was great to watch the two world class actors, Michael Stuhlbarg and Kelly Macdonald, have a scene together but it still felt oddly out of place. The phone call afterwards was especially memorable though, with him darkly lit in the booth and her having to reconsider the way in which she's making her money. It sure 'beats being a waitress,' however, it's not anywhere near as honorable. Not on the same level of criminality as Mr. Rothstein, or her former husband, but not in the squeaky clean category either. Oh, and sometimes, it feels good to be wrong. After Margaret finally made her first fourth season appearance last week ("The North Star"), I was quick to express my concerns that maybe they were writing Margaret out of the show and it looks like those were premature. Whew. Although perhaps Boardwalk could find more to do with her than a chance encounter. What did their 'understanding' set up?

"And what does your husband do, Mrs..."

I'm not going to lie, it was a little bizarre to have Margaret Rowan (or whatever surname she's going by now or for the ruses she's doing with her boss) have an encounter with Mr. A. Redstone (also known as Arnold Rothstein). I'm not exactly complaining, since it was great to watch the two world class actors, Michael Stuhlbarg and Kelly Macdonald, have a scene together but it still felt oddly out of place. The phone call afterwards was especially memorable though, with him darkly lit in the booth and her having to reconsider the way in which she's making her money. It sure 'beats being a waitress,' however, it's not anywhere near as honorable. Not on the same level of criminality as Mr. Rothstein, or her former husband, but not in the squeaky clean category either. Oh, and sometimes, it feels good to be wrong. After Margaret finally made her first fourth season appearance last week ("The North Star"), I was quick to express my concerns that maybe they were writing Margaret out of the show and it looks like those were premature. Whew. Although perhaps Boardwalk could find more to do with her than a chance encounter. What did their 'understanding' set up?
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