Boardwalk Empire, "Peg of Old": identity crisis

Quick Take: Boardwalk Empire, "Peg of Old"
"I’m not how you see me at all.” – Margaret 

peg of old

Review: Boardwalk Empire, "Peg of Old"
(S0207) Boardwalk Empire has more than enough hints at deep subplots to keep us tuning in for many more seasons to come. Though "Peg of Old" is a little less edge-of-your-seat than the previous two episodes, it’s the mysterious character backgrounds that make this show so rich and this episode centers on leading lady Margaret, who we now know as Peg.

Peg heads to Brooklyn to see the siblings she left in Ireland nine years ago. We not only learn her maiden name but also that she left to avoid being sent to an asylum for getting knocked up by the barrister’s boy. Her brother Eamon makes it all too clear that she no longer fits in with the family and it’s a little too amazing how he sees right through her. Despite his statement that “There’s no one here who knows you,” Peg seemed to really hit it off with her littlest sister Eilish, who would have been too young to remember her at all.

Back on the boardwalk, Jimmy struggles to settle into his new role as head honcho of his gangster faction. He goes against his better instincts by ordering a hit on Nucky – the hit itself instigated by Eli, who has apparently lost all pride in his previous identity as both brother and right hand to Atlantic City’s most powerful man.

As power comes closer within reach, Gill steps out of her role as coddling mother showing little to no sympathy for Jimmy as he expresses his guilt over the hit. Instead she goes straight back to curing Lucky Luciano of the clap. The morality and decisiveness that made Jimmy such a serious (and sexy) contender in Season 1 seems to be fading as he gets nearer to the top.

Hitting rock bottom however, turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to Lucy (played better and better by crazy Paz de la Huerta). She’s learned quite a lot about herself and what she’s capable of as a woman. We can only hope that the vinyl dirty diaper message was her way of saying “F--k you, I’ll bring home the bacon” and not “Good luck with the kid, girls just wanna have fun.”

Yet another seemingly careless character wrestles with self-reflection this episode. Owen Sleater, after killing his traitorous ghost of the past in a men’s bathroom, admits to Peg that he feels less like himself in America. But, in what turns out to be quite the eventful day for Owen, he and Peg seem to know each other better than any other two people on the show when they go at it as “strangers.”

Burning Question: Will Van Alden go double agent?

Cheap Shot: Peek into the bedroom -- nope not Van Alden’s wife this time.

Oh Yes: Chopped fingers in a urinal!

By Brittany Ryan

About the author

Brittany Ryan is a corporate copywriter with passions outside the 9-5. When she’s not jetting around the world working for the man, you can find her on the couch indulging her fiction addiction. As a modern working woman and ‘80s baby, she enjoys a variety of boob tube offerings from the complex commentary of Mad Men to the shameless fun of Flavor of Love.

More From Brittany Ryan

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1 Comment
On: Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Eric - TV Geek Army "Revered Leader" said:

I too have greatly enjoyed learning more about these characters and going deeper into backgrounds during this second season. It's one of the richest shows in television both visually and in terms of characters and relationships. I also think the balance of action, intrigue, and character moments has been brilliantly handled for the most part. 

"Oh yes" indeed with that bathroom scene! Rivals some of the most intense close-quarters struggles we've seen on film. 

Great review, Brittany !

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