I found it interesting that none of the main characters really interacted in this episode, but the ones featured each had their own path they went down (although now that I see the episode title, kind of obvious). That was a nice little turn and a good move for the second episode of a season. The stuff with Chalky was incredibly intense and Jimmy’s big moment was unspeakably badass. I also think Margaret Schroeder is the best written female character on television right now. All of that being said, I’d be lying if I said the absence of my two favorite characters wasn’t deeply felt.
A fantastic end to a fantastic season. The season did a solid job of wrapping up the storylines while teasing a bit into the drama of the next season, mostly this whole revolt against Nucky thing. I did think that the finale was a little too anti-climatic, given the wicked intense episodes preceding it, but it was still a fine finish. Mostly though my favorite moments came from the couple of episodes before it. Nelson’s complete descent into madness (the scene where he killed Sebso gave me fucking CHILLS), Jimmy lashing out all of his PTSD and insecurities, Margaret becoming her own woman and standing up for herself while having to look in the mirror at the woman she’s become. And the whole realization of pretty much everyone that Nucky seems to be a very selfish man who just uses everyone for whatever he can gain from them.
It’s a really fantastically written and arched show, they did a wonderful job of not getting too far ahead of themselves. Shows like True Blood end up introducing too many characters and too many subplots that they lose sight of themselves and it all becomes this mess with plots that have nothing to do with anything and characters that it’s impossible to care about anymore. Boardwalk Empire crafted everything with precision, there isn’t a scene that’s not important to the story and every character gets their fair shake.
My only real complaints with the season as a whole were that it started off way too slow, the finale was a little soft and I thought the whole Nelson having sex with Lucy thing was kind of ridiculous, especially with the obvious move of having her be pregnant. It’s great in giving Michael Shannon more material for him to nail (guy was consistently the MVP of the cast) but from a plot standpoint it was obvious and absurd. Oh, and it was really nice having a lot more Chalkie in the last few episodes, I was sad that there wasn’t as much Michael K. as I was expecting.
For a show that started off as dull as this one did, it’s incredibly shocking how unbearably intense each episode is at this point. With each new episode comes at least three new scenes that had my pulse racing and my heart in my throat. Jimmy getting arrested, the attempt on Nucky’s life, everything is just so damn intense, there really isn’t another word for it. One of the greatest qualities the show has is how well it’s set up arcs for it’s main characters. I feel safe in saying that none of these characters right now are at points that I imagined them being when I watched the first episode. Nucky watching his empire fall apart around him in chaos, Jimmy going on his own and coming back as a tough, intelligent gangster, Nelson finally getting the praise he so desperately craved from his superiors only to have his achievement stripped away. The most surprising though has to be the arc that Margaret has had, starting as this meager woman begging Nucky to give her husband a job, at this point entirely corrupt by the power she has gained by being on his arm. I definitely wouldn’t have expected her character to go anywhere near that path, but the writers are selling every move they make tremendously. At this point it really feels like no one is safe, and the actors are all on fire in every single scene. I never expected to love this show as much as I do right now, and I’m sure I’ll only be loving it more and more as I finish the season off. Brilliant stuff.
Really starting to dig this show now. I thought the first four episodes were pretty boring, but the fifth really kicked it up a few notches and the sixth kept that high going. The action is really intense, making it so sparse has just made every scene tense, I’m always expecting someone to get shot now. The directing of each episode is superb. And of course the acting is starting to get fantastic. I’m actually liking Michael Pitt for the first time ever, Buscemi is doing some of the best stuff he’s done in years and Kelly Macdonald is excellent as well. The standout for me, unsurprisingly, is Michael Shannon. I’ve been such a huge fan of his for a long time now and this role is so meaty (no pun intended) and he just perfects it in every scene. All of that repression and rage building up inside of him. I can’t wait for it to just explode, which I’m sure is going to be happening soon. He’s easily my favorite part of the show right now, Nelson Van Alden is such a fascinating character.