Boardwalk Empire, "The Age of Reason": confide in confession

Quick Take: Boardwalk Empire, “The Age of Reason”
“Not every insult requires a response.” - Jimmy (and others) 

 Boardwalk Empire

Review: Boardwalk Empire, “The Age of Reason”
(S0206) There’s a tumultuous tide tumbling into Atlantic City. The new season of Boardwalk Empire has begun cropping up new business developments and multi-faceted allegiances, and now these storylines are finally beginning to converge.

Though we hear his name at least three times an episode, the elusive and controversial Waxy Gordon has taken his sweet time making an appearance. Although they are now working together, Waxy and Nucky share a mutual animosity towards each other. Their business deal, however, may come to a quick halt now that Nucky’s case has been pushed to the Federal Court. Facing pressure from the state’s governor, Attorney General Harry Daugherty reassigns a more “serious” prosecutor to the approaching trial.

Before he’s informed of these newest legal developments, Nucky meets with Waxy, Arnold Rothstein, and Chalky White to discuss their new partnership, outlining the details of the shipment of liquor that’s about to arrive from Philadelphia. Present at this meeting is Herman, an associate of Manny Horwitz, whose is later seen by Jimmy (who happens to be wandering the boardwalk with his wife). Jimmy pays a visit to Manny to get to the bottom of his apparent treachery; they’re supposed to be working against both Nucky and Waxy, but Horwitz’s man is directly helping their operation. Jimmy and Manny violently extract the information about Nucky’s shipment from the traitor before slitting his throat.

Jimmy, Harrow, and Manny make their move to intercept the shipment, killing the better part of the entourage protecting Nucky’s liquor. The ensuing shootout comes to a standstill when Lucky Luciano recognizes Jimmy’s voice, calling everyone to hold their fire while they discuss potential business options. They agree that Nucky and Rothstein have outgrown their roles – or perhaps their roles have outgrown them. Regardless, Jimmy agrees to let Luciano, Lansky, and the liquor go unscathed in the pursuit of more ambitious goals, which may or may not include heroin.

Speaking of heroines, Lucy and Margaret also feature prominently in this episode. Lucy spends the entire episode in labor, eventually giving birth to a daughter by herself while Nelson, ironically, is where she should be – the hospital. Visiting the agent who was caught in the warehouse explosion, Van Alden becomes temporarily seized by guilt, which causes him to make a worried phone-call to his wife. He decides not to confess his knowledge of the warehouse to his superiors, though not before his wife arrives in Atlantic City, learning about his affair with Lucy.

Concerned with her own hidden guilt, Margaret must attend confession in order to set an example for her son, Teddy. She finally reveals that she has irrational feelings for Owen Slater, Nucky’s new Irish chauffeur. I’ve been watching this dynamic unfold and haven’t had the words to explain it until now, so here it goes. Due to their shared Irish heritage, Margaret contrasts herself to the new maid, Katy – she sees how her new lifestyle with Nucky, while enviable, does not reflect who she believes she really is. Margaret becomes jealous when Owen and Katy develop a relationship, and does her best to stifle it. Basically, getting with Owen will put the Irish back in her, in more ways than one.

I apologize for not covering last week’s episode, because it was a wild one. I can only assume that Eli’s absence this week can be owed to him drinking himself into a stupor following his murder of Ward Boss George O’Neill. As for Harrow, we don’t get to see much of his renewed appreciation for life yet, but there was certainly some chemistry brewing between him and Angie Darmody. I guess there are just too many storylines to fit into one episode.

By Mark D Curran

About the author

Mark is a freelance writer, student of English and Philosophy, and still has too much time on his hands. If you have any of your own, check out the blog and follow him on Twitter!

http://twitter.com/#!/MarkDCurran

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1 Comment
On: Monday, October 31, 2011
Eric - TV Geek Army "Revered Leader" said:

So many great and interesting things to discuss about this show. Reading through your review, I realized that guilt was a strong theme throughout -- with Margaret, Van Alden, etc. 

Also: great to see good old Uncle Junior getting a little more screen time this week! Loved his scene with Jimmy, representing the more sober/reasonable faction of the Commodore's old boy's club/bootlegging network. 

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