* Hey, it’s Al Capone! Glad to see him again. I’m a mob nerd, yes, but beyond that I find myself enjoying the show’s presentation of him as…well, you know in the commercials for Honey, I Blew Up the Baby where they have shots of the giant toddler wandering around the city like Godzilla? That’s kind of Capone on this show: an overgrown third-grader, sweet in many ways and funny in many other ways but also not at all someone you’d want to entrust with power over life and death.
* Eli’s great…? Am I really saying that? I never thought much of that character before, to be honest, but quiet, humbled, older-and-wiser is a much better look for him than resentful kid brother. Literally a better look for him, in fact: Shea Whigham’s severity is engrossing to behold. So I’m glad to see him as well.
* And I’m glad to see Owen’s girlfriend again too KNOWHATIMSAYIN
* And at least this time they gave us some attractive male nudity too! Alright, it was from a distance and out of focus, but still, beggars can’t be choosers.
* Fuck nuns, fuck Catholicism — not just annoying, but boring from a dramaturgical standpoint. That scene with Margaret and the smarmy doctor trying to get the nun to agree to use the word “vagina” was precisely the sort of self-congratulatory empty-calorie “LOL the past, aren’t you and I glad we’re so far beyond that now” progressivism porn that Mad Men is often accused of but rarely actually indulges in.
* Man, look at the chipped paint and wood rot on the doors and shutters at the thief’s place. Gorgeous. This show’s attention to detail is seamless.
* Wonderful camerawork in that house, too, from the initial scene of Nucky and Owen winding their way through the labyrinth of liquor through all the cat-and-mouse business with the prohies.
* Nucky resents Owen for not being Jimmy. Not being Jimmy didn’t do young Roland Smith any favors, either. Nuck’s not in the protégé market, not anymore.
* I’m not one for plotting the future course of the shows I watch, but I do wonder if the solution to the Gyp Rosetti situation is for Nuck to loose Richard Harrow on him, and if perhaps setting that up was the purpose of their run-in last week.
* How about the way the massacre was treated, huh? Heard from a distance as Eli sits powerless to stop it, then a god’s eye view of the aftermath? And how about those closing shots of the boardwalk, luminously artificial? I maintain my belief that the show is more than just eyecandy, because there’s nothing just about it.
* That said, Chris Allen responded to my recent enthusiasm for the show by writing one of the better rebuttals to such things I’ve come across in a long time, so, equal time. His comment made me think of three things:
* This is Margaret’s least interesting storyline yet, and that’s saying something.
* I think the simplicity of Gyp’s threat is what makes it threatening, or at least that’s how the show is presenting it. There’s nothing to be outfoxed here — just a supremely well-armed lunatic who picked the right location to make trouble.
* I’m curious if the seemingly tangential Capone and Luciano/Lansky/Siegel storylines are going to remain separate now. Game of Thrones opened that door and I wonder if more shows will step through.