“Boardwalk Empire” thoughts, Season Three, Episode Eight: “The Pony”

Last week’s Boardwalk Empire today! Sorry for the delay — I had a house full of hurricane refugees and time was short.

* Nice to know that you can have half a face and no ability to modulate the pitch of your voice and you can still say something like “Jimmy deserved better than this” and make it crystal clear what you really mean.

* Hey, Hymie Weiss is being played by Meadow Soprano’s fiancé Finn!

* Poor Van Alden, with that whiskey still pumping away amid his kids. That guy is like this weird swiffer cloth, attracting venality and corruption to him wherever he goes.

* Lotta laugh lines in this one:

Nucky’s man Friday: I am so sorry for your loss.
Nucky: Don’t be an idiot.

Nucky: That’s all you’re gonna give me?
Means: Rather more than you came in with.

And of course Esther’s line about running naked through the pages of the United States Criminal Code for fun.

* My notes for this ep, which all my notes for this show are starting to resemble, are basically a series of OMGs. “Jeeeeeesus that club Mellon’s in.” “Sheesh, that low-angle shot of Gillian pouring Nucky a drink.” “Gyp and Richard. Hoo boy.” “That fucking shot of Chicago.” A series of exciting things to see and think about.

* Margaret’s DTF.

* Capone puts on his hat realizing he’s the boss now, right? He is a weirdly lovable figure on this show.

* No question whatsoever that that asshole at the iron company was getting an iron in the face. You really have to admire how far the show went into the absurd with that whole sequence. They’re really making very little effort to either make Van Alden less of a mutant or to tie him into the prevailing tone of the rest of the show.

* The Billie situation was easy enough to see coming, particularly when we start getting her “just a small-town girl, livin’ in a lonely world” backstory. Ah well. Goodbye, Nadine Beckenbauer.

3 Responses to “Boardwalk Empire” thoughts, Season Three, Episode Eight: “The Pony”

  1. Rev'd '76 says:

    Van Alden: mutant is one of my main reasons for loving this show. Shannon has crafted Kim Fowley’s antimatter twin.

  2. Good episode, but it must be said the show is rarely surprising, both due to obvious, lugubriously paced story arcs and plenty of moments of extreme violence that establish that anyone who isn’t a famous, real person is going to probably end badly. Van Alden is a good example. He’s like the Trashcan Man at this point, so badly wired that any decision he makes is the wrong one. I see the end of this series as him killing Nucky, because otherwise why is he even still on the show?

    When writers introduce some previously unseen part of someone’s life, it’s usually to make a point or to symbolize something. Clearly, “The Pony” is about supposed to be important, but all I can see is that Margaret and Billie were Nucky’s ponies that he nursed until they were ready to run on their own, and y’know, who needs that? It didn’t add any gravity to the situation. Billie’s seeming good fortune and new hair were obvious ironic misdirections, and Margaret banging Irish Spring (with her new IUD?) isn’t meaningful or sexy.

    Agree on Capone. Is Weiss Capone’s boss? With him and Shannon, Boardwalk has locked up two of the finest walleyed actors working.

  3. [...] Three, Episode Six: “Ging Gang Goolie” * Season Three, Episode Seven: “Sunday Best” * Season Three, Episode Eight: “The Pony” * Season Three, Episode Nine: “The Milkmaid’s Lot” * Season Three, Episode Ten: “A Man, a [...]

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