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1-1: "Boardwalk Empire" 2010.09.19 (recap)


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#1

TWoP Howard

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Posted Sep 16, 2010 @ 12:02 AM

From Zap2it:

Atlantic City's treasurer condemns alcohol; a housewife approaches Nucky about getting her husband a job; Nucky tells his ward bosses about the opportunity to profit from selling bootleg liquor; Jimmy makes an alliance.


Edited by TWoP Howard, Dec 8, 2010 @ 3:04 PM.


#2

AimingforYoko

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Posted Sep 19, 2010 @ 9:17 PM

I love ya, Buscemi, but if I never have to see your 'O' face again, that would be just fine by me.
So what's the deal with Mrs. Schroeder? Just a soft spot for abused wives, or actual feelings?

#3

jmz

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Posted Sep 19, 2010 @ 9:17 PM

I don't usually expect much out of the first episode of any new series but that was pretty damn outstanding.

#4

mochamajesty

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Posted Sep 19, 2010 @ 9:19 PM

I am on the fence about this show - it comes across like The Sopranos Prohibition Style. I do love Kelly McDonald, so I will give it a few more episodes.

Perhaps my attention wandered, but who was the guy that was shot in front of the phonograph?

So what's the deal with Mrs. Schroeder? Just a soft spot for abused wives, or actual feelings?


I am wondering about that, too. You have the husband of a woman you barely know killed..for what? He doesn't know her long enough to develop feelings.

And what was the deal with watching the premature babies? I am going to re-watch this, because I missed something.

Edited to correct Kelly's name.

Edited by mochamajesty, Sep 19, 2010 @ 9:24 PM.


#5

sopheeso

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Posted Sep 19, 2010 @ 9:20 PM

I have to agree with you, Yoko. I told Mr. Sopheeso that I never needed to see Buscemi in the act again!
Loved it. Who was the man in the restaurant that got knocked off at the end?

#6

colleen17

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Posted Sep 19, 2010 @ 9:21 PM

I thought it was great. I'm from the Atlantic City area so people in this area where pretty excited for this show. They did a great job of getting the boardwalk to look like the pictures from the area. They did stray from the book according to people who read the book.

#7

AimingforYoko

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Posted Sep 19, 2010 @ 9:23 PM

Perhaps my attention wandered, but who was the guy that was shot in front of the phonograph?

James "Big Jim" Colosimo.

#8

Whisperia

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Posted Sep 19, 2010 @ 9:32 PM

Well, thumbs up from me. I thought the episode started off a bit slow, but pilots are often a bit awkward with all the exposition and setting up of characters. Things started to pick up in the second half. I'm intrigued and I'm in. I like Nucky and Jimmy. I'm curious how Nucky will take care of Mrs. Schroeder now that he's had her husband killed.

I hope I never have to see those creepy incubator babies again. I think babies are creepy on a good day. Those things were clearly the devil's work.

And being from Windsor, Ontario, I nearly cheered when it was mentioned that the liquor shipment was "Canadian Club straight from the distillery." Hometown shout out! The Hiram Walker distillery that makes Canadian Club is right on the bank of the Detroit River.

I am wondering about that, too. You have the husband of a woman you barely know killed..for what? He doesn't know her long enough to develop feelings.

And what was the deal with watching the premature babies? I am going to re-watch this, because I missed something.


When Nucky was talking to the old guy, he said "It's seven years today... Mabel." I'm going to go ahead and guess that Mabel was his wife and she maybe died during childbirth?

Edited by Whisperia, Sep 19, 2010 @ 9:33 PM.


#9

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Posted Sep 19, 2010 @ 9:33 PM

You have the husband of a woman you barely know killed..for what?


To provide a fall guy for the liquor heist.

#10

samsnee

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Posted Sep 19, 2010 @ 9:34 PM

I like Steve Buscemi. I really do. But he doesn't seem to have the charisma of a Gandolfini or Hamm to pull off a lead role like this. He doesn't come off as threatening to me, even if the scene where he attacked the wife abuser was supposed to prove that. But I'll still give this series a shot. I like the era and costumes, and seems interesting enough so far. Just don't turn into Sopranos: Prohibition Era as someone else mentioned.

Interesting side note, the exterior of Nucky's casino is actually the rectory of the Brooklyn church I got married in. It's the grey building next to the "casino". The inside of the casino is actually The Montauk Club which is a few blocks away.

So is Al Capone supposed to be a regular? And wasn't he already somewhat established by the 20s or am I mistaken?

Edited by samsnee, Sep 19, 2010 @ 9:35 PM.


#11

sopheeso

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Posted Sep 19, 2010 @ 9:36 PM

I think Nucky had him killed as well because he was so horrible to his wife. Killed two birds with one stone since they needed a fall guy.
Nucky told Mrs. Schroeder that his wife died of consumption. According to Wikipedia, Nucky Johnson's wife, Mabel, died in 1912 and they didn't say why.

ETA: those incubator babies weren't real, thankfully. I thought something looked wrong with them with the tiny heads and I wondered how they got actual newborns.
ETA again: changing McGregor to Schroeder because I have no idea *what* I was thinking.

Edited by sopheeso, Sep 19, 2010 @ 10:16 PM.


#12

AimingforYoko

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Posted Sep 19, 2010 @ 9:36 PM

When Nucky was talking to the old guy

Speaking of the old guy, if I hadnt known Dabney Coleman was in this, I wouldn't have recognized him.

#13

mochamajesty

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Posted Sep 19, 2010 @ 9:39 PM

To provide a fall guy for the liquor heist.


It seems that would bring more trouble for dead guy's wife, though. You would think that just having him disappear would be in her best interest.

We only saw a glimpse of him, but the African American guy waiting outside for Nucky seemed a tad unrealistic for the times. Unless I need to brush up on my history, would he really be allowed to sit in the waiting area with everyone else? And with such rudeness be tolerated? Or are my Southern roots showing?

Edited by mochamajesty, Sep 19, 2010 @ 10:11 PM.


#14

cwaldo

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Posted Sep 19, 2010 @ 9:39 PM

I liked it so far. Felt like you were stepping into the past. I really want to know more about the storefront incubator shop. There must be some kind of historical reference to it. It's just too weird to be anything other than some kind of historical fact. I went to the HBO site looking for something about it, and they had nothing. There must be some Atlantic City history buffs that could provide some historical information?

#15

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Posted Sep 19, 2010 @ 9:39 PM

Speaking of the old guy, if I hadnt known Dabney Coleman was in this, I wouldn't have recognized him.


That was Dabney Coleman?!?

Oh, and exec produced by Mark Wahlberg. Who knew?

#16

TigerKitty

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Posted Sep 19, 2010 @ 9:40 PM

So is Al Capone supposed to be a regular? And wasn't he already somewhat established by the 20s or am I mistaken?


This show takes place in 1920, the start of the decade. He was still only 21.

#17

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Posted Sep 19, 2010 @ 9:40 PM

I think that was Molly Parker (Alma from Deadwood) in the picture: Nucky's wife Mabel.

I really, really enjoyed the pilot.

#18

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Posted Sep 19, 2010 @ 9:42 PM

Nucky told Mrs. Macgregor that his wife died of consumption.


D'oh! I missed that. I'm still guessing there was a baby somehow involved, thus giving him a soft spot for Mrs. Schroeder. Or maybe Nucky himself was premature. Maybe they'll give us that back story in a future episode. Either way, the pregnancy and loss of the baby seem to have gotten to him.

Speaking of the old guy, if I hadnt known Dabney Coleman was in this, I wouldn't have recognized him.


That was Dabney Coleman? Shit. I saw his name go by in the opening credits, but forgot to look for him during the episode. It didn't occur to me that that was him. Wow, does he look different.

I think that was Molly Parker (Alma from Deadwood) in the picture: Nucky's wife Mabel.


I noticed that, too. And it was indeed her. From an interview with Terence Winter...

MR: And speaking of female characters -- in a photo, we see Nucky's wife, who is deceased. Am I correct in saying that you used ['Deadwood' actress] Molly Parker's photo for those scenes where Nucky's looking at the picture?

TW: That is correct.


Edited by Whisperia, Sep 19, 2010 @ 9:47 PM.


#19

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Posted Sep 19, 2010 @ 9:44 PM

ETA: those incubator babies weren't real, thankfully. I thought something looked wrong with them with the tiny heads and I wondered how they got actual newborns.


I am re-watching this scene now, and they do look creepy. And I am a preemie. I do think that it's cool to see what incubators looked like back then.

On the outside of the shop there is a sign "25 cents. See babies that weigh less than 3 pounds!" It sounds like the babies are put on display as a freak show. I hope that I am wrong, because that would be disgusting.

#20

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Posted Sep 19, 2010 @ 9:46 PM

I sure didn't need to see Buscemi's pasty self having sex nor did I care for the battered wife story. Still, the series got off to a respectable, albeit less than spectacular start. I would have preferred Jimmy joining the feds but I am intrigued how this Thompson will flout the law in upcoming episodes. The characters aren't that interesting to me so the story better make up for them in future episodes.

#21

cwaldo

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Posted Sep 19, 2010 @ 9:48 PM

I found an answer about the incubators! Posting in the historical section.

#22

Titus

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Posted Sep 19, 2010 @ 9:48 PM

I agree with the TIME review that Boardwalk Empire seems to be more like Rome or Deadwood than The Sopranos. Nucky's ancestors were likely Al Swearengen and Julius Caesar.

Pilots are rarely outstanding and I wouldn't say BE's was either. Still, it laid the foundation and I'll tune in next week. The production design is phenomenal, as I would expect from HBO.

#23

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Posted Sep 19, 2010 @ 9:51 PM

On the outside of the shop there is a sign "25 cents. See babies that weigh less than 3 pounds!" It sounds like the babies are put on display as a freak show. I hope that I am wrong, because that would be disgusting.


Incubator babies were very commonly on exhibit in fairs and amusement parks right up to the 1940's. Before that they had been left to die at home, so these exhibits were actually accomplishing good.

It wasn't until the 40's that hospitals started providing incubators.

Edited by clack, Sep 19, 2010 @ 9:53 PM.


#24

valny

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Posted Sep 19, 2010 @ 9:51 PM

We only saw a glimpse of him, but the African American guy waiting outside for Nucky

That was Omar from The Wire right?

That was Dabney Coleman? Shit. I saw his name go by in the opening credits, but forgot to look for him during the episode. It didn't occur to me that that was him. Wow, does he look different.


I know! It took me at least a minute to realize it was him!

So is Jimmy going to be playing both sides? That's what I was thinking but I'm not sure. It seems like he's still sticking by Nucky.

I'm glad they knocked off the abusive husband!

Edited by valny, Sep 19, 2010 @ 9:55 PM.


#25

TWoP Howard

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Posted Sep 19, 2010 @ 10:02 PM

I know they displayed babies in incubators or multiple babies at fairs, including the Worldís Fair, so I can believe they did it in big tourist towns.

Perhaps my attention wandered, but who was the guy that was shot in front of the phonograph?

James "Big Jim" Colosimo.

He was the guy with the heaviest Italian accent, who wanted the Caruso played at dinner and didnít quite get the joke about money = clams. He set up the meeting with Rothstein and Luciano, so when their liquor was hijacked they blamed him, since thatís where the liquor ended up.

We only saw a glimpse of him, but the African American guy waiting outside for Nucky seemed a tad unrealistic for the times. Unless I need to brush up on my history, would he really be allowed to sit in the waiting area with everyone else? And with such rudeness be tolerated? Or are my Southern roots showing?


But that was Omar! He goes anywhere he wants. I have to admit I cheered when he showed up, even if it was only for a minute. I wondered how long he sat there.

When Mrs. Schroeder asked Nucky if he had any children, he paused, so I took that, as well as his stop to look at the premies, to mean that that was one of the griefs he had from losing his wife. If his wife looked like Molly Parker, then Mrs. Schroeder may have reminded him of her a bit.

I really enjoyed this. It sucked me right in from the start.

Iím putting on my mod hat for a minute to remind you all that any talk of previews, or speculation about where the show is going, needs to be in the Speculation thread. None of that is on topic in here. Thanks.

#26

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Posted Sep 19, 2010 @ 10:02 PM

I think Jimmy was playing the Feds by giving them the mortician's bootleg org (plus getting a little revenge on the side) and then showing Nucky that he can be his right hand man, hence the line about not being able to be a part time gangster. It would have been to easy for them to have him be a turncoat, he is a much darker character. As for Capone ( in addition to Luciano) this is prior to them becoming what we historically know them as. At this point Capone was still living in New York..he didn't move to Chicago till 1923 (at the invitation of Johnny Torrio who took over Colosimo's empire...which is what we just saw the start of.) The show is taking liberties with Nucky, just basing his character on the actual Thompson, which makes sense from a story telling perspective.

I really enjoyed it, expected a slowish start, but darnit if that wasn't a whole lot of pretty on the screen (obviously not the "O" face-the scenery & whatnot)

We will be tuning in. I expect good things from this show.

Edited by gik910, Sep 19, 2010 @ 10:03 PM.


#27

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Posted Sep 19, 2010 @ 10:05 PM

We only saw a glimpse of him, but the African American guy waiting outside for Nucky seemed a tad unrealistic for the times. Unless I need to brush up on my history, would he really be allowed to sit in the waiting area with everyone else? And with such rudeness be tolerated? Or are my Southern roots showing?


I have HBO ON Demand and they did a preview special where they discuss this very scene. I forget who the African American guy is portraying, but the actor said in the special that he was very concerned that he was being too rude for the time, and the writers and director told him that considering who he is (ie very important), and that it is Atlantic City, his behavior is appropriate. I think they plan to elaborate on his character in the future.

#28

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Posted Sep 19, 2010 @ 10:08 PM

I have HBO ON Demand and they did a preview special where they discuss this very scene. I forget who the African American guy is portraying, but the actor said in the special that he was very concerned that he was being too rude for the time, and the writers and director told him that considering who he is (ie very important), and that it is Atlantic City, his behavior is appropriate. I think they plan to elaborate on his character in the future.


Thanks, Bostonbelle. I figured that location had something to do with it.

Did anyone else feel a spark between Nucky's brother and Jimmy's wife?

Edited by mochamajesty, Sep 19, 2010 @ 10:18 PM.


#29

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Posted Sep 19, 2010 @ 10:11 PM

At this point Capone was still living in New York..he didn't move to Chicago till 1923 (at the invitation of Johnny Torrio who took over Colosimo's empire...which is what we just saw the start of.)


Jimmy and Capone talked about how Capone liked living in Chicago (the cold, the steaks), plus we saw Al driving into Chicago. (Historically, Capone probably arrived in Chicago from Brooklyn sometime in 1919).

#30

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Posted Sep 19, 2010 @ 10:38 PM

Amazing pilot episode. The scenery was gorgeous. The acting was superb. Count me as the minority but, I want to see full frontal Buscemi. Since this is HBO home of OZ I can't see a reason against this. I am jealous of Nucky's girl. I want to tell him to giddy-up... I mean eh-hem...

I want to see more of the storylines. More of both sides of the law. Micheal Shannon as a Fed is an amazing idea. He is such an intense actor. I want to see him interact with Pitt and Buscemi.

Also let's hear it for Tracey Middendorf for her brief apperance as Babbette. I knew there was a reason why the girl popping the bubbly in the promos caught my attention. Who knew it was the bad-ass babysitter from Wes Craven's New Nightmare?