In the words of Ebby Calvin Laloosh, this one was a humdinger.
We fade in on the Atlantic City Memorial Day festivities and hear Nucky’s high-pitched, nasal whine giving one of his rousing speeches that means absolutely nothing because Nucky’s never met a principle he wouldn’t compromise for a buck, then he blindsides Jimmy into giving a speech. But Jimmy wings it and ends up doing fine, which has become Jimmy’s theme for this season.
Meanwhile, Daugherty’s in town now that Nucky’s case can be bumped up to federal court and he’s still as sleazy as ever. Seeing an end in sight, Nucky gets ahead of himself and assumes he’s already there, which has become Nucky’s theme for this season. Also, hubris and anxiety is a bad combination in Nucky and he gets abusive with Eli and downright churlish with Margaret, who’s rethinking this whole “gangster’s mistress” set up. Still, she’s a practical woman with a good head on her shoulders so she manages to get in some bad-assery.
Speaking of bad asses, or good asses depending upon your point of view, Katie’s not quite as naive as she once seemed. And Charlie Cox may have wanted to consider some pruning before taking his shirt off. I know people didn’t exactly wax in the 1920s, but not everyone had shag carpeting on their chests, either.
Gillian keeps going further down that oedipal rabbit hole, only now she’s taken a turn down Lady McBeth alley, telling Jimmy he will not be disrespected. Then sharing a cigarette with him in case we weren’t creeped out enough by their inappropriately close relationship.
Eli, true to his nature, tries to jump ship from the Commodore, Jimmy and Gillian back into Nucky’s good graces, but both brothers choose to say “I love you,” by throwing punches, breaking pottery and trying to choke each other until Margaret puts an end to their tomfoolery. I don’t see them having a tearful reunion any time soon. But I do see Eli really going off the deep end after this episode. He’s crossed the crazy rubicon.
And then there’s Richard. The sweetest, kindest, most lovably deranged killer, ever. His journey this episode goes from despondent to amusing to desperate to hopeful to loved in a way to gruesome, but another million tumblrs are born because the director makes sure to feature a photo of Jack Huston’s beautiful intact face and then lovingly linger on his gorgeous profile.
Finally, an old man finds out what happens when you smack Jimmy Darmody across the face with a cane.
The show’s pacing has picked up quite a bit since last season and I know I yelped at least twice during this episode. Full recap will be up in a few days, but until then, here’s a rather entertaining interview of Michael Shannon conducted by Paul Sparks aka Mickey Doyle. Who is a surprisingly attractive man when he’s not playing Mickey, and fun fact for this week? Shannon and Sparks have worked together quite a bit in the past, are both musicians and have been friends for 10 years.