Greetings from the eye of Hurricane Sandy! NY1, New York's basic cable news channel, is providing 24-hour coverage of the storm, and they will not be stopped by the fact that there's nothing to report besides "it's raining.” Despite such riveting developments (apparently there's also wind), I managed to pull myself away for Boardwalk Empire's Easter episode. Way to be a renegade, Boardwalk: who cares if Halloween episodes were abounding on every other show this week? Paganism schmaganism - let's devote a whole show to Jesus's deathday.
The Thompsons Nucky spend Easter with the Thompsons Eli for egg hunting, tearful toasts, talent portions, and an uncomfortable master class in family happiness. Richard Harrow and Tommy leave Gillian to her own manipulative, murderous devices for the day and visit Richard's new lady acquaintance for a lunch that takes turns for the worse and then the better.The day ends less optimally for Roger-Jimmy, who ends up drowned in the world's most beautiful bathroom with Jimmy's dog tags around his neck. Plus, we finally get Gyp Rosetti's tortured backstory! It's less tortured than I'd thought.
Everyone's mom annoys them sometimes, Gyp; it doesn't mean you can go around setting local sheriffs on fire for wishing you luck. It was a largely and literally quiet episode - even Gillian's foray into murder was silent - full of great moments. My tiny black heart skipped a beat when Richard convinced Julia to get out of that wretched house, and Eli and his wife are the most Ozzie and Harriet-esque couple to ever be financed by illegally gotten bootleg cash.
Nucky & Margaret
"Why does it always need to be such a melodrama with you?"
Well, look at that: Nucky can juggle. Is this symbolic of his ability to keep all of his eggs in the air, or just an opportunity for Steve Buscemi have some hammy fun? Nucky and Margaret had an awkward time this week, observing a happy marriage at close range and for once mourning the emptiness between them, while Nucky finally admitted to not only having feelings, but that Eli hurt them. We had some smiles at the end, but Margaret might be right when she says it's too late.
It turns out that Eli and June are very much in love, and somehow run a household of eight kids with grace and harmony. "This is a fictional show!” Jon and Kate Gosselin are shouting somewhere, their voices echoing in the half-full chamber of their reality-show dreams. "IRL they'd have a corporate sponsor!” Although Eli's lost some of his prison gauntness, he still lives in fear of Nucky and it's taking a toll. Look at those red eyes; he flat-out says he's just waiting to get Fredo'd.
But in the end, Nucky declines to shoot him and gives him the promotion instead.
"How are you feeling?" "Murderous."
Oh lord, Gillian. Jesus. Gillian lures Roger-Jimmy and his anachronistically chiseled deltoids to the Artemis Club, bangs him in several rooms of the house, describes to him a failed marriage with a younger man who just disappeared one night, and then, just as I thought we'd reached the upper threshold of squickiness as she bathes Roger-Jimmy in a loving, maternal, manner, she shoots him full of heroin and drowns him in the bath.
Gillian is an opportunistic monster, but her reconstructed story reminds us that she she got that way by being pimped out as a pre-adolescent and becoming a mom at thirteen. Of course she wants to think she was married to a wealthy younger man - it beats remembering that you were actually raped by a rich dude who'd already gone gray. Kudos to Gretchen Mol for keeping me guessing - at points I genuinely thought she was going to run away with Mr. Muscles, and it took me a good minute to figure out why she killed him, or, as it says in my notes: "What?! What?! WHYYYYYYYYY oh right she's going to say it's Jimmy.” A for effort, but murder is wrong, so:
Richard got a giiiiiiirlfriend! Richard got a giiiiiiiirlfriend!
Kind of. Maybe. Not really, but good enough.
Gyp's tortured backstory is - drumroll please... that he lives with his ma and sisters. But that's not all! Please, brace yourself: they... I don't know how to say it... they tease him. Oh, sweet lord, fetch my smelling salts. How ever did he make it to adulthood? He better yell at Jesus, clock a priest for his collection cash, and start a war with New Jersey to buck up.
I couldn't quite decide why Boardwalk needed an Easter episode . "How we spend our Easter Sundays, is, of course, how we spend our lives,” no one has ever said - but upon reflection, most of our main players experienced a form of resurrection. Nucky and Margaret took a tiny step toward rebuilding their relationship, Richard saw some joy for the first time since Angela's execution, Gillian rose up toward ownership of the Artemis Club, and Eli rolled that boulder of I-Kind-Of-Tried-To-Have-Brother-Killed stigma aside to reclaim a bit of power at the warehouse.
- Murder must have been so easy in the twenties. Gillian didn't even wipe her fingerprints off the syringe.
- I saw an Off-Broadway show last week, and about ten minutes into it, who came bounding out but Roger-Jimmy! He then spent 60% of the show in his boxer-briefs, so if you're in withdrawal from R-J's abs - and who could blame you - please know they live on.
- I had no idea whether to be enraged or enchanted by Julia preparing a separate meal for Richard out in the kitchen, but I'm choosing enchanted.
- I know people think these family talent show traditions are great, but doesn't everyone secretly hate them?