Sunday, November 21, 2010

Review - Boardwalk Empire Season 1 Episode 10 The Emerald City

Early on in "The Emerald City," Margaret reads Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz to her children, and a comparison is easily drawn from Atlantic City to the Emerald City. It's a city filled with grandeur, which is all but an illusion. Every character thinks they have a clear grasp on the situation, but in reality, there is a tenuous string keeping the city from blowing up.

"The Emerald City" takes these characters and slowly pulls back the curtain, allowing certain characters to see that things just aren't what they appear to be. Nucky believes himself only as a benevolent facilitator who gets things moving, and drags Margaret into his scheming, while she sees exactly how Nucky and the city operate. Van Alden, as crazy as ever, looks at Margaret's Ellis Island pictures and marches right up to her in an attempt to convert her, failing however. After seeing Jimmy pummel Mary's husband, Angela realizes Jimmy isn't the safest guy to be around. But at the same time, Mary has an even bigger plan, believing that she and Angela can get away and raise Tommy in Paris.

By the end of the episode, some of the delusion is broken. Capone stops acting like a child and realizes he could become a man and get serious. Van Alden forgoes his crusade, falling onto liquor and having rather ungainly sex with Lucy. And lastly, Margaret, like Richard, stares at the mirror, seeing who she's become.

Still, there's Chalky, Nucky, and the rest of his guys who still think they can minimize the situation and keep things under control. Will they succeed? There are only two episodes left this season, so something has to happen.

In the lead up to the season finale, "The Emerald City" is mostly exposition, expanding everything a bit, before moving to what looks to be a huge confrontation. It's another strong episode, but certainly not the most exciting episode.

Score: 8.8/10
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