"Boardwalk Empire" – Episode 8, “Hold me in Paradise” Television Review

11/15/2010 Posted by Admin

"Boardwalk Empire" – Episode 8, “Hold me in Paradise”

Television Review

By our guest blogger, Matthew Schimkowitz

In "Boardwalk"’s pilot episode, Nucky makes it very clear to Arnold Rothstein not to attack Atlantic City. However, on this show, when the cat’s away, Nucky's brother got shot.

Last Sunday’s episode featured Nuckly leaving behind his city for that of another.  As such, by putting his brother in charge, he left enough danger and intensity to leave us begging for more.

Things started with a pensive Eli as he arranged his desk and waited for people to come to him. He’s in charge while Nucky visits Chicago and when someone finally asks a favor of him (a day off from cash collecting), he obliges, presuming this is how Nucky does it.

Eli’s wrong in his assumption, though. In Chicago at the Republican National Convention, Nucky’s ruthlessly in charge. He moves his way up political totem pole through heavy tipping and meeting with Harry Dougherty (Michael McDonald), a political advisor for presidential front-runner Warren G. Harding, who wants Nucky’s endorsement as much as Nucky wants his roads.

He also runs into Jimmy, who is more interested in showing Nucky his $70 suit than he is in showing him respect. As expected, Nucky is unimpressed. He leaves abruptly after putting Jimmy in his place.

Back in Atlantic City, Margaret shows more comfort than last week and lives a "Sex and the City"-type lifestyle with her friends. That is until Lucy shows up to give another verbal lashing. No longer bound by employment, Margaret slaps her across the face and leaves the restaurant – the scene is every bit as satisfying as it sounds.

A common thread throughout this episode is respect – mainly that those who are vying for it, don’t get any.

Looking to be the good boss, Eli takes over a collection run and finds a bullet in his stomach for his troubles. Likewise, Van Neff – in a beautifully staged dinner scene – explains to his wife his opposition to her fertility surgery. He believes it to be an abomination of God, and when she finally receives his word, it may cost him her love.

On the other hand, those who command respect, move up the ladder. Nucky’s abilities are well-documented, but Margaret’s continued her dominance over Lucy moves her further along the food chain. She even sits in Nucky’s chair and watches over his important account ledger, an item that can land Nucky in jail. She’s earned Nucky’s trust, and therefore, respect.

This is one of the season’s most beautifully shot, acted and revealing episodes yet. Atlantic City may be under siege, but it’s unlikely to go down without a fight.

Grade: B+

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