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1-10: "The Emerald City" 2010.11.21 (recap)


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#1

TWoP Howard

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Posted Nov 21, 2010 @ 2:28 PM

From ZAP2it:

Nucky asks Margaret to toe the party line; Angela witnesses Jimmy's violent side; Capone faces a crossroads; Van Alden struggles with his emotions.


Edited by TWoP Howard, Dec 8, 2010 @ 3:15 PM.


#2

AimingforYoko

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Posted Nov 21, 2010 @ 10:06 PM

So when Van Alden goes off the wagon, he goes off the wagon. And let's get the crazy man drunk, that'll help.
Speaking of crazy, boy did we see some of it seep out of Jimmy tonight. I like that he never even considered that 'Mommy's kissing friend' was anybody but the photographer. The possibility that it was the wife was never even a flicker of a consideration.

#3

mochamajesty

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Posted Nov 21, 2010 @ 10:06 PM

Nothing says hot like a pissed off Jimmy with a gun…except Jimmy with his child. I loved every scene Jimmy was in tonight.

Is it just me, or does Nucky talk to Margaret like a child sometimes? I love their scenes, but it just occurred to me tonight that he speaks to her the way a father would with a beloved child. There is no passion between them, but a tenderness.

I'm still processing Van Alden's meltdown. The man is certifiable.


Loved Chalky's scene with the De'Lessio brothers. But Mickey Doyle needs to die. Now.

#4

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Posted Nov 21, 2010 @ 10:09 PM

I'm starting to be on the fence with Margaret. I liked her up until now, but her reaction to Jimmy's friend, at first at least, her back and forth about her role with Nucky - who definately treats her more like a wife - it's just irritating to me.

As soon as tommy said " kissing friend" I said, Uh-oh. Angela needs to leave for her own safety.

Someow i still love Jimmy though. Not sure why.

Edited by Midge, Nov 21, 2010 @ 10:10 PM.


#5

sopheeso

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Posted Nov 21, 2010 @ 10:17 PM

Add me to the list that still loves Jimmy. Paint sex? Hawt!
I thought Doyle was doing another double cross but I guess not.
I'm wondering where Margaret is going with this. And where Van Alden is going next with his obsession.
I saw way more of Michael Shannon than I ever wanted. I was afraid he was going to be our second shot at the full monty. Shudder.
He does rock the crazy though!
I'm trying to figure out where we are going with the last episodes of the season for the cliffhanger before next year. Yay for there being a second season already!

#6

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Posted Nov 21, 2010 @ 10:18 PM

I may be a sicko, but Jimmy's shooting of the D'Alessio brother just cracked my shit up. I loved his response to the brother ("You sort of talked me into shooting you") and the "What?" look he gave Nucky after he did it. I had the same response after Nucky started counting out cash to Fleming after he burned down the house. I don't know if it's intended, but this show has a fun streak of dark humor.

Speaking of the D'Alessio brothers, I don't think they collectively have the IQ of a house plant. If they can't outsmart Mickey Doyle for Pete's sake...

I think by now Lucy has had more scenes with her clothes off than her clothes on.

#7

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Posted Nov 21, 2010 @ 10:18 PM

Two D'Alessios down, how many to go? Good thing Nucky's got a sniper on his side. (Was the brunet Leo? If so, Rothstein's going to have a whole new definition of mixed emotions.)

Van Alden and Lucy -- yikes! I thought he'd end up killing her.

Capone finally found a hat fit for a man.

ETA: Upon further review, that wasn't Leo; that was the dark-haired brother who was even dumber than Leo.

Also edited because Lucky and Nucky are two different characters.

Edited by Contralto, Nov 22, 2010 @ 12:29 AM.


#8

Mikesaunt

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Posted Nov 21, 2010 @ 10:19 PM

Where to start?

Is Margaret pregnant? Her talk with Nucky before she gave her speech was very revealing. I really was glad how she invited Richard to come in while she read to the children. That made them a little more receptive to him especially when he joked about the mask being like the Tinman. The children giggled at that. It did wonders for Margaret and the kids.

Nucky Thompson, "After a while you can sell snake oil". I laughed and laughed on that one.

Van Alden is a creep. A major creep. A creep who wants to "save Margaret from the fires of hell", but, he can't save himself. That whole scene with the liquor and the sex with Lucy was so jarring, but, understandable. I can see some more sessions with the belt to the back action.

Jimmy's violence in mauling the photographer was truly frightening. If he had correctly interpreted Tommy's comment about Mommy's kissing friend to mean the photogs wife, I think, that ferocity would have been brought down on Angela. The truly scary thing is that he justified beating that man unmercifully in front of everyone including his young son.

Chalky White. When he pulled out those two HUGE guns and said How do you know I drive a packard? I thought oh oh somebody is going to die real soon. I was only off by a little bit. Choking somebody to death is a up close and personal way to do it. Since they lynched his driver, he lynched him without a rope.

My heart really bled for Richard. It was so sad that he said he couldn't remember how he used to look. War is hell and it's most lasting victims are the survivors.

#9

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Posted Nov 21, 2010 @ 10:22 PM

The most frightening sight tonight was Van Alden smiling at Margaret, and far more horrific than Richard with his mask off. Speaking of which, the opening of this episode was lovely until the scream. I hope we find out more about the girl. Richard is such a charismatic character.

Chalky strangling a D'Lessio with his bare hands was not something I expected. Or wanted to see for that matter. But I'm glad nevertheless.

Jimmy copped major points for the painting scene but lost them all and then some by kicking the crap out of Robert. Angela needs to leave him, but my guess is she won't--something will happen to prevent it, whether it's Jimmy himself or some outside event.

Margaret got her first real lesson in politics tonight, aka "Everyone exists to be used". A rude awakening indeed, and I think we can expect Nucky's patronizing and condescending attitude to continue. I'd love to see her develop a non-Nucky affiliated power base of her own. She can start with Angela.

I'd say Mickey Doyle has a life expectancy of about 36 hours.

Driving toward the finish indeed.

#10

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Posted Nov 21, 2010 @ 10:23 PM

I'm in shock that Lucy and Van Alden had sex and I'm not sure who was making the weirder noises during the act. My god!

All the scenes with Richard were heartbreaking in one way or another tonight. The first scene where he tried to calm the horrified child was just a punch in the gut but the Wizard of Oz scene just killed me. I'm so glad Margaret could show the man some kindness and treat the man like a human being.

I still really wish they had given Angela a personality before they gave her a storyline. This should be an interesting storyline but I find myself nodding off when she comes on screen.

#11

mochamajesty

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Posted Nov 21, 2010 @ 10:24 PM

Can someone explain the expression on Margaret's face during the closing scene? She looked frightened to me...but why?

#12

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Posted Nov 21, 2010 @ 10:29 PM

Can someone explain the expression on Margaret's face during the closing scene? She looked frightened to me...but why?


I think she was considering what Van Alden said to her about being full of hope and promise when she came over from Kerry, and what happened to all of that.

#13

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Posted Nov 21, 2010 @ 10:29 PM

Can someone explain the expression on Margaret's face during the closing scene? She looked frightened to me...but why?


To me it looked like the same expression in her Ellis Island photo--scared and unsure. Van Alden makes her skin crawl, but I think some of what he said to her was hitting home. It was obvious she didn't buy Nucky's cover about being at a meeting, and I think she's now realizing who and what he really is, and the position she's gotten herself into by hooking up with him.

#14

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Posted Nov 21, 2010 @ 10:31 PM

That Paz de la Huerta could teach those Cinemax girls a thing or two. But even I was surprised that Van Alden's obsession with Margaret would take him to Lucy.

What I can't figure out is where it's going. Is he that obsessed with Margaret? I don't understand why - it seems to me that there are other ways to get to him.

I'm sorry that little Tommy spilled the beans, for his mother's sake. But I'm wondering what the point is - is this the deux et machina to get Jimmy free? He seems pretty free to me already. Is it just to show a storyline (two women in love) that we don't see that much, even on HBO? Angela is such a sad character.

I thought the Torrio - Capone scene was interesting, and wonder where THAT's going too. So no more practical jokes? A hat fit for a man, indeed.

Meanwhile....fascinated by Richard Harrow, and I love that Margaret was reading the L. Frank Baum books to her children. The whole Harrow-as-tin-man metaphor was a nice touch.

Why was Margaret shooting daggers at Nucky when she saw him talking during her speech? Last week I thought she understood what she'd gotten into; this week not so much.

#15

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Posted Nov 21, 2010 @ 10:31 PM

Can someone explain the expression on Margaret's face during the closing scene? She looked frightened to me...but why?



Because just like Richard she can't remember what her old face looked like. Her inside has changed and it will never go back to what it was before she met Nucky. This is her life now and she doesn't like what she sees.

#16

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Posted Nov 21, 2010 @ 10:33 PM

Oh God, Jimmy. I think Angela should be scared. Yet I also laughed when he shot the guy.

Lucy/Nelson sex was perhaps the sickest thing I've ever seen. Did she see the welts on his back, or was she too drunk?

I kind of loved the Bar Mitzvah scene. Seriously revisionist history (Capone got inspired in a synagogue!), but I liked it.

Love, love, love Richard Harrow. Love the way he eased the children's fears with a few words and a joke. It almost seems like he and Jimmy are opposites: one came back physically whole but with a piece missing, and the other came back with half a face but with his humanity intact.

I hate that Van Alden kind of got to Margaret with his creepy speech.

Is there a Harrow/Margaret train I can board?

#17

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Posted Nov 21, 2010 @ 10:33 PM

Can someone explain the expression on Margaret's face during the closing scene? She looked frightened to me...but why?


I think she was supposed to be mentally comparing her modern self with the young Margaret from the Ellis Island photo.

#18

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Posted Nov 21, 2010 @ 10:36 PM

Yeah, Margaret's staring in the mirror scene echoes 2 previous scenes -- Van Alden showing her her photo of her 16 year old self, and Richard's remark about looking at himself in the mirror and no longer remembering what he once looked like.

#19

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Posted Nov 21, 2010 @ 10:37 PM

Is there a Harrow/Margaret train I can board?


I might board that with you.

I'm so afraid we will see Richard come to a bad end. Honestly, out of all the characters on this show I have weirdly come to care about his the most. I just hope the writers keep him around next season.

#20

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Posted Nov 21, 2010 @ 10:39 PM

Loose lips sink ships. Or at least they can get one shot in the head, choked to death or cause one mammoth street beating. Sooner or later they will also cause the demise of the extremely unlikeable Doyle. One can hope.

That was my 2nd favorite episode of the season (behind the one where Pearl's slasher is killed) and it started from the opening. Jack Huston is one handsome man and that dream felt right down to the look of the woman. Richard Harrow's scenes all worked well yet again. This had Nucky's crew really coming into focus with Jimmy, Chalky and Richard all ready for the throwdown. I like the feel of this group. The methodology of the killings by Jimmy and Chalky seemed right for both characters. Jimmy's nonchalant headshot as the one punk won't shut up being as representative of his displays of coldness as Chalky's more passionate and meaningful choking of the other punk to death.

Jimmy is a compelling character in that he can turn from being likeable one moment to being someone despicable the next. Angela's uncertainty would be understandable even if she was not in love with Mary. Many an infidelity has been found out as an adorable child points out Mom or Dad's "kissing friend". Poor Robert had the bad luck of being in that portrait with Mary. The guy's wife is in love with someone else and wants to leave him, the threesome is never happening (and it appears it never had a chance to begin with) and now he took a vicious alltime beating. I'd feel worse for him if he had not come across as a cad and a jerk in the last episode. Still Jimmy was horrifying and Angela really should leave his ass - the problem is that he would hunt her down for the kid.

While I wish Angela would leave with Mary there is the part of me that hopes she does not because she is the character I most relate too. It is such a well written, well conceived characterization and one that captures what so many women in that time were torn between - true liberation or unhappy safety (plus it always nice to see a show depict a person that is in love with two people at the same time in a believable manner). At times I relate to Margaret but that is when she is outplaying Nucky. Tonight she was somewhat taken advantage. That said, when she is on her game her scenes with Nucky have a passion that does not exist when she is being meek. I think that is on purpose as Nucky does, in those moments, cross into patronizing and Margaret crosses into passivity.

The introduction of Greasy Thumb has taken place and I love how such an intro of a person who would be one of the most powerful players in Chicago crime history is played with Al growing up some. Meanwhile Arnold got another great scene and his saying about how one can say they are sorry was priceless.

The two great performances tonight were, imo, by Shannon and Buscemi. Shannon is just a unique actor who I can't look away from and Nelson's meltdown worked perfectly from that uncomfortable scene with Margaret to that dalliance with Lucy (the most offputting coupling I can contemplate). Meanwhile Buscemi nailed every scene again from his shutting up of Doyle to his overseeing of the confrontation (down to untying Lanksy's hands). A really great episode.

Edited by Brakchi, Nov 21, 2010 @ 10:51 PM.


#21

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Posted Nov 21, 2010 @ 10:47 PM

I agree about Margaret. IMO, she is at her best - and they are at their best as a couple - when the chess game is on. When she lets him win, it's a letdown.

Tonight was the first time I noticed Torrio's lazy eye. I wonder if that was intentional casting. I had a bit of a lazy eye as a kid: I had to wear a patch and do exercises. Luckily, mine stayed put and didn't wander away permanently.

Edited by Scoutlet, Nov 21, 2010 @ 10:51 PM.


#22

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Posted Nov 21, 2010 @ 10:48 PM

The historical Mickey goes on to become the beer baron of Pennsylvania and South Jersey, and isn't killed until 1931. But then, the 6 brothers with Popes names became South Philly legends and were active until 1939, so I guess all bets are off regarding the historical record with Mickey.

#23

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Posted Nov 21, 2010 @ 11:05 PM

Why was Margaret shooting daggers at Nucky when she saw him talking during her speech? Last week I thought she understood what she'd gotten into; this week not so much.


I think she was glaring at him because after the women getting the right to vote, and her speaking to a whole room full of involved women, in the end political power still comes down to the three men at the table, yukking it up on their own amongst the women. The men still control everything, and the women are just there to add to their voting numbers. Margaret perhaps had hoped she was being included in the politics, but it was clear she was being used (not with ill intention) by Nucky to further his own plans. She's still on the outside.

The sad thing is that Nucky's face when she was speaking - man, if he didn't love her already, he fell in love for good right there. Almost despite himself, he's being taken by her intelligence, her grace, her complexity. He's opening himself up to that, even as he tries to condescend to her. I think the two characters have - beyond a great attraction/chemistry - a lot in common and an equal intelligence.

And, to quote:

I agree about Margaret. IMO, she is at her best - and they are at their best as a couple - when the chess game is on. When she lets him win, it's a letdown.

I want Margaret to really stand up for herself with Nucky, to demand that he consider her as an equal and teach her instead of lecture her. Once he got over his surprise, I think he'd take to it really well. She's clearly very convincing when she wants to be. Together, they could be pretty unstoppable.

I didn't get all the love and fascination with Richard Harrow when he first showed up, but man I totally got it in this episode. That actor is so fantastic, and I actually welled up in the scene when Margaret draws him into the story and coaxes the children into feeling comfortable with him. So heartbreaking and kind.

It almost seems like he and Jimmy are opposites: one came back physically whole but with a piece missing, and the other came back with half a face but with his humanity intact.

There's definitely an interesting contrast between these two men, but I don't think it's as opposite as that. Jimmy definitely has a quick rage-trigger these days (many with PTSD often do), but his kindness with Harrow himself and with his own son and with Pearl says to me that there's still quite a bit of humanity in him, even if its now encased in a much harder shell.

And Harrow, for all of his bashful sweetness, was damn scary in that scene where he started listing weapons to Jimmy. And the cold accuracy of his shooting, and his recounting of it. There's parts of him that are damaged internally as well. He's just much more subdued about it than the brasher, louder Jimmy.

What a great episode. Van Alden is one creepyass motherfucker.

Edited by emrie, Nov 21, 2010 @ 11:08 PM.


#24

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Posted Nov 21, 2010 @ 11:10 PM

Chirper , I thought the girl in Richard's dream was Odette-the one Jimmy hooked him up with in Chicago.

#25

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Posted Nov 21, 2010 @ 11:17 PM

Is there a Harrow/Margaret train I can board?

I might board that with you.

Save a seat for me! Not that I really want yet another man on the show panting after Margaret, but I thought there was definitely a spark there.

#26

bourbon

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Posted Nov 21, 2010 @ 11:29 PM

Edited to remove my entire comment because without the reference that was trimmed by the mod, it makes no sense whatsoever.

Edited by bourbon, Nov 22, 2010 @ 12:37 PM.
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#27

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Posted Nov 21, 2010 @ 11:39 PM

It was equally creepy when Van Alden smiled at Lucy. [snip] He's a loose cannon.

Edited by TWoP Howard, Nov 21, 2010 @ 11:50 PM.
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#28

Glitterkittens

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Posted Nov 21, 2010 @ 11:57 PM

OH MY GOD. I love Jimmy. That was the funniest shooting I've ever seen in my life.

#29

jalefkowit

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Posted Nov 22, 2010 @ 12:48 AM

Paz de la Huerta's pubic hair has now appeared in so many episodes of this show that it should probably apply for its own SAG card.

#30

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Posted Nov 22, 2010 @ 1:20 AM

Just finished my rewatch and a few things stood out.

The facial reactions when Jimmy and Chalky kill the two men. After Jimmy kills his, there is a nice bit of comic interplay between Nucky and Jimmy as they look at each other (with Jimmy doing a facial reaction that reminded me of Animal House after Belushi smashes the guitar - more subtle and without the "sorry"). The other facial reactions are when Chalky kills his. Lansky closes his eyes, Jimmy looks away (as if he recognizes this as some sort of private moment) and Nucky looks on.

Deputy Halloran barely hiding his glee that he may be sheriff to Margaret followed by a completely insincere unless Eli gets better. This guy is so untrustworthy.

Angela and Mary's scene is again romantic in a way that is striking for the show. The moment, as with the one in the episode where they were revealed to be lovers, seems to lack in ulterior motives for either woman while also again showing Angela's fears (the want to be liberated vs. the want to play it safe).

The antithesis to Angela/Mary's scenes is Nelson/Lucy. I also liked their scene too - how carnal it was and how self-loathing and anger and depression fit in. Kudos to Shannon going nude. Many actors are hesitant to go nude leading to a Last Tango In Paris one sided feel.