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2-6: "The Age of Reason" 2011.10.30 (recap)


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#121

Lilybart27

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Posted Nov 4, 2011 @ 8:24 AM

What I find puzzling is that Van Alden didn't have some sort of contingency plan for Lucy to follow once she started to go into labor. This guy is such a control freak, and she's alone a good part of the day--so he didn't consider a plan of action for her when her labor began? It was bound to happen when he wasn't there. You'd think this would be important to him, since she's carrying his child that for all intents and purposes he was going to "adopt" with his wife. For some reason, I thought there was a phone in their boarding house suite--but maybe not.

#122

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Posted Nov 4, 2011 @ 9:36 AM

He really did hesitate about the killing in the meat locker (until giving in to Cockeye's pressure). I got the sense that he didn't think that the punishment fit the crime. And, he halted what could have been a blood bath in the woods. I think he's becoming a bit smarter, more 'politic'.


I had the opposite reaction. To me, Jimmy is losing control. Not personally, but socially. He is being controlled by his mother and by Manny. They both set the tone and the rules and he must play their tune. I don't think he'd have done that scalping had his mother not egged him on or shamed him. I agree he didn't want to kill the guy hanging in the meat locker, or have any bloodshed in the woods. But Manny showed he's calling the shots, no pun intended, when both those men wound up dead. Manny has little self control but he's very wily about pulling others in with him. They end up being punished or killed by him and he keeps going.

I was worried for Jimmy, a minor hoodlum out for profit yes but not a psychopath, until he slit that man's throat; now I don't care what happens to him. His moral center keeps getting shoved farther aside and he's letting it happen. He did regret that young man in the woods being shot, I think, but not enough to stop it, or do anything about it. He sees what Manny is and does, and he stays with him, and goes along with it all. That's probably much more how mobsters really are or were, but it isn't entertaining for me. Just disturbing.

This guy is such a control freak, and she's alone a good part of the day--so he didn't consider a plan of action for her when her labor began?


van Alden, to me, is a golem, a robot, a mindless spouter of rhetoric he had forced into him growing up. He seems unable to empathize and to anticipate someone's needs you must either have lots of experience, or be taught, or have natural empathy. He has none of those things regarding women or babies. He comes across as capable and competent but really he is just a bully. He imprisoned a woman who only wanted him to like her and he lied to another woman and basically imprisoned her in their home as well. (She isn't the type to do much without him.) I hope they both rebel against him at this point. Lucy and the child both could've died. Yet he didn't have a backup plan with a neighbor because that might crack his cover as Mr Godfearing Fed.

#123

Scaramanga

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Posted Nov 4, 2011 @ 10:03 AM

Nelson's a control freak, but I think he's generally pretty clueless about women and women's issues. He's probably one of those men who thinks a pregnancy due date is a firm commitment like a dentist's appointment. He strikes me as one of those control freaks who think it's possible to control everything.

Edited by Scaramanga, Nov 4, 2011 @ 10:03 AM.


#124

buttercupia

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Posted Nov 4, 2011 @ 10:39 AM

Van Alden isn't a control freak, IMO. He likes to give the illusion of being in control, but under the surface is this raging maelstrom of chaos. You see glimpses of it, like when he was about to crack to his supervisor. But once he realized his poor underling wasn't talking about him after all, the lid went down on the sewer, as it were. It's a very well-written, well-played characterization.

#125

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Posted Nov 4, 2011 @ 10:50 AM

He likes to give the illusion of being in control, but under the surface is this raging maelstrom of chaos.


That's a very good description of Nelson, and of a control freak, in my opinion. They obsess about control because they don't feel they have any, and must clamp down a tight lid on themselves, their emotions and other people, or lose control completely. Chaos is what they fear most. Ironically they seem to draw it to themselves at every turn.

#126

not laura

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Posted Nov 4, 2011 @ 4:25 PM

The thing about Lucy wanting Nelson to love/like her is really sad to me. Of all the men to have a baby with, she ends up with this severely emotionally repressed nutcase.

I disagree with people who think he's evil though. I think he was just brought up in an environment that was extremely cold. I get the feeling his parents were worse than he is.

I feel bad for everyone involved here.

Edited by not laura, Nov 4, 2011 @ 4:28 PM.


#127

CarolinaFiner

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Posted Nov 4, 2011 @ 8:06 PM

I'm really surprised that Lucy didn't attract the attention of neighbors who would have come in to help, but actually I kind of appreciated that the show did what it did. There have been, after all, many, many women over time who have done what Lucy did, and when she said, 'I did it all by myself' ... I wanted to hug her. And I wanted to hug her more when she kissed her baby instead of wanting it gone, immediately, as one might have expected.

I am really looking forward to where this storyline goes with Van Alden, Wife, Lucy and child.

REALLY interesting confession with Margaret. I am trying to parse that one out. Maybe she feels she should only be guilty for sins that aren't born out of necessity? Liked that the show had the priest probing for information. REALLY liked that the show did not have any priests abusing children. Thanks for not ruining the show with that cliche. Not that it didn't happen, but not that we need to be walloped over the head with it every single time we see a priest on TV.

I really wish there were a reason for 20s fashion to come back. Margaret really is to die for her in her clothes.

#128

chlyn

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Posted Nov 4, 2011 @ 8:36 PM

I really wish there were a reason for 20s fashion to come back.


My dream is that they will open a Boardwalk Empire theme park with a La Belle Femme shop full of 20's clothing to buy. A storefront full of babies to take home would be awesome, too!

Thankfully people are launching speakeasys.

Contemporary Boardwalk Empire pieces:
http://www.luckymag....oardwalk_empire

Edited by chlyn, Nov 4, 2011 @ 8:53 PM.


#129

TWoP Howard

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Posted Nov 4, 2011 @ 11:58 PM

I think Van Alden considers women and children a lesser species, just barely deserving of his attention. If anyone buys into the Madonna/Whore stereotype, he does. And did, since he got himself one of each.

Jimmy learned that that reason could be his friend and that killing everyone who crossed him wasnít a viable policy. Van Alden thinks he operates entirely out of reason (the baby is a financial transaction, heís attentive to his dying colleague only when he thinks he might need to do damage control), but his emotions come bursting out of him more often than not.

I was very surprised when Leander didnít hold the scalping of his yacht club buddy against Jimmy. He admonished the impetuosity of the crime, but didnít much care otherwise. I thought there would be much more brouhaha after that brutal crime. I guess Jimmy wasnít the first one the old guy had hit with his cane.

#130

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Posted Nov 5, 2011 @ 6:38 AM

I am really looking forward to where this storyline goes with Van Alden, Wife, Lucy and child.


Oh. me too! I was so relieved that Lucy's maternal instinct kicked in. She desperately wants to love and be loved. A baby will give her that. Poor Mrs. Van Alden, now she must face what her husband is. She's no fool - he can't talk his way out of this one. I wonder if the fact that the baby is Nelsons will make her feel obligated to stay and care for Lucy and child, or will she just move back home? I can't see her taking the baby from Lucy, and I believe that Lucy's love for her little girl will grow and grow.

I hope Nucky finds out about Lucy's situation. He would help her financially.

#131

little ghost

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Posted Nov 5, 2011 @ 2:13 PM

I think Van Alden considers women and children a lesser species, just barely deserving of his attention. If anyone buys into the Madonna/Whore stereotype, he does. And did, since he got himself one of each.


Yep. This is how I see it too. And to take it one step further, I really do think that Van Alden believes he is above everybody (morally and in terms of intelligence) he interacts with. So that gives him free reign to act however he pleases.

Edited by little ghost, Nov 5, 2011 @ 2:14 PM.


#132

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Posted Nov 5, 2011 @ 9:59 PM

This guy is such a control freak, and she's alone a good part of the day--so he didn't consider a plan of action for her when her labor began?


I think the baby was early -- not dangerously premature, just a few weeks ahead of schedule. He thought they had more time.

As to why Lucy didn't try harder to get help, maybe she was afraid of blowing Nelson's cover. He needed that job so that he could keep paying her off.

So, will Rose divorce Nelson? He'll probably think he has to marry Lucy if he's free.

#133

not laura

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Posted Nov 6, 2011 @ 12:13 AM

I agree, part of Lucy's agreement was probably to not draw attention to herself. I don't think Rose will divorce Nelson, I have a feeling she's too religious for that to be an option?

She's almost certainly leaving him though. She's realizing she doesn't really know the man she's married to. I don't doubt he loves Rose but there's obviously a part of him that wants something different. Wants to be "fun", etc.

I'm really wondering whether Lucy has feelings for Nelson. She seems desperate for him to show some affection towards her, you know? He does seem like he's softening toward her, though. Who knows what will happen? There's a lot of places they could go with this storyline.

Edited by not laura, Nov 6, 2011 @ 12:20 AM.


#134

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Posted Nov 6, 2011 @ 1:33 AM

If nothing else, Iím thinking she has some feelings for him just because of Stockholm Syndrome if nothing else. Sheís been his prisoner in a way.

#135

not laura

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Posted Nov 6, 2011 @ 1:46 AM

Yeah, for sure. She's been completely dependent on him for 9 months. It's easy to see how she might develop feelings for him. I honestly have no idea about how Nelson feels towards Lucy though.

He's done nice things for her, but I'm thinking they're leaving it vague on purpose. We aren't supposed to know if he actually gives a shit about her and the baby or not. I hope he does, for the child's sake.

Edited by not laura, Nov 6, 2011 @ 1:48 AM.


#136

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Posted Nov 6, 2011 @ 4:27 AM

If nothing else, Iím thinking she has some feelings for him just because of Stockholm Syndrome if nothing else.

I think that may explain why she didn't go for help. It may have been so drilled into her that she must not leave the house ever, that she didn't think to leave.

As for why Van Alden didn't have a plan about how Lucy will give birth - he may be one of those men who just don't fully understand women's bodily functions, e.g., childbirth, menstruation, etc. Considering how religiously cloistered his upbringing was, that's pretty likely. Perhaps he imagined that the baby would pop out in some neat bundle, fully swaddled, and the whole thing takes about 10 minutes or something.

#137

not laura

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Posted Nov 6, 2011 @ 5:22 AM

Yeah, she was probably waiting for Nelson to come home, which didn't happen.

#138

Pallas429

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Posted Nov 6, 2011 @ 8:04 AM

(Control freaks) obsess about control because they don't feel they have any, and must clamp down a tight lid on themselves, their emotions and other people, or lose control completely. Chaos is what they fear most. Ironically they seem to draw it to themselves at every turn.


Very well put. To be emotionally repressed, you must have emotions to repress. Of course everyone does, and Nelson as much or more than most. The sins he perceives in himself he can abide only so long as he can project them onto easier targets in the world. The whole world becomes the sibling or "other boy" he can point at, to try to escape punishment when called to account by authority for his misdeeds: "But Bobby did it first/worst!" For Nelson, the threat of this punishment is not only lifelong but for all eternity. He has reversed the Biblical saying, "Judge not lest ye be judged" into, "Judge others, lest ye judge yourself."

He is not alone in that, not even on this show, let alone in life. Where the show has stacked the deck is in giving him an ideology to "explain" this defensive posture, an ideology meant to be perceived as repellent. As was pointed out by other posters last season, it might have been much richer to have Nelson's zeal spring from what is depicted as a real moral compass. Which still could contain, and slowly reveal, the abiding fear of judgment he shares with so many of us.

When Nelson is confronted and confounded by naked human need, horror or beauty, as he was this episode, he reverberates. "I will get the lemons (and the Victrola)." "It should be me in that bed. I have something I must tell you." His half-smile at the sight of Lucy and the baby, and her telling him she did it by herself. "I will get the doctor." Even what I believe to be absolutely true: "I did it for you!" Not the conceiving of the baby, of course, but his actions thereafter.

The fault in even those examples is that it seems Nelson is so closed off from humanity in general, he can be reached by no one who does not directly affect him. In fact, implicate him, to himself. His pregnant paramour, his child, his agent, his wife. He may feel for them all, but is that mostly because he knows he has wronged them all?

Yet is there anyone on this show who is susceptible to the human condition in general, and not exclusively his or her own interests?

#139

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Posted Nov 6, 2011 @ 3:14 PM

Sometime within the past couple of weeks I read a theory on these boards that every episode had an over-arching theme.

I think this episode's theme was "Hypocrisy." We had Margaret and Nucky taking the boy for his first communion, all the while committing various ongoing sins that they don't repent.

We had Margaret telling Katie not to have sex because of the children in the house, yet we see her and Nucky going at it.

We have a kosher butcher refusing to kill a man because he is treyf--not because killing is a sin unto itself.

We have the government showing multiple examples of hypocrisy in this episode.

We have the ultra religious Nelson seeing the light about his sins, based on an accusation of a dying man. Only to completely disregard his need to confess when he realized that he had not been seen after all.

Interestingly enough we had direct examples of hypocrisy by people self proclaimed as following Protestantism (Nelson) Catholicism (Margaret, Nucky) and Judaism (butcher).

#140

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Posted Nov 6, 2011 @ 4:31 PM

I think Rose will technically forgive Nelson, even if she doesn't forgive him in her heart.

I got to thinking about his "I did it for you" - there are Biblical precedents of a sort, although in the cases of Sarah, Rachael, and Leah, the wives knew and approved in advance.

#141

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Posted Nov 6, 2011 @ 7:27 PM

I can't stress how much I don't want Margaret to get the satisfaction of banging Owen and screwing over the cuter, nicer maid. And to think, as of the second episode of this season, I thought, 'maybe I won't hate you anymore!' about her. She's as annoying as ever.

I was worried for Jimmy, a minor hoodlum out for profit yes but not a psychopath, until he slit that man's throat; now I don't care what happens to him. His moral center keeps getting shoved farther aside and he's letting it happen. He did regret that young man in the woods being shot, I think, but not enough to stop it, or do anything about it. He sees what Manny is and does, and he stays with him, and goes along with it all. That's probably much more how mobsters really are or were, but it isn't entertaining for me. Just disturbing.


Wow, I read this scene really differently. I saw it as Jimmy realizing the kind of person he was now in business with: a psychopath first, mobster second. And there was no out in the butcher shop. The underlying message was: see what happens when you fuck me. Not just words. Either Jimmy had to kill that guy, or no one was going to walk out of there happy. And Jimmy's into self preservation.

Not to mention, now that he started to get a handle on Manny's true nature, probably slitting Herman's throat was a lot more merciful than anything Manny had planned for him.

Edited by Glitterkittens, Nov 6, 2011 @ 7:32 PM.


#142

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Posted Nov 10, 2011 @ 2:06 AM

Arthur Jensen wrote :

My favourite bit this week was the discreet reveal that Nucky's shoeshine boy is a very regular attendee at the same Baptist church that Nelson gatecrashed for his impromptu waterboarding session last year. I still think he's going to be an important factor in the civil war that's going on, and perhaps this is the way he'll be drawn into Team Nucky after all.


I had to come back to this ep after 'Peg of Old'. Nucky's attempts to blackmail Van Alden because he has an out of wedlock child failed. I sense that something will happen and the Bootblack will tell Nucky about Van Alden's 'baptism' of Agent Sebso, which will provide Nucky with more ammunition against Van Alden.

#143

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Posted Dec 31, 2011 @ 3:40 PM

I think 'Then Remus can go fuck himself' was the best line of the night.


I know the real Remus did it but everytime the guy talks in the 3rd person I am reminded of George from Seinfeld. Especially since Remus on the show is a stalky bald dude. Whenever he talks I constantly wonder if Remus likes his chicken spicy.