Last week’s exemplary episode of Boardwalk Empire attached to the Thompson family good deal of elements that are revisited in the latest episode: Treasurer Andrew Mellon’s concordance with Nucky’s plan to take down George Remus; Margaret’s submission to her feelings for Owen; the trying qualm of whether or not to acquire a pony for Emily’s eighth birthday party. But there’s really only one major factor you’d have to keep in mind to follow the newest Boardwalk, “The Milkmaid’s Lot”: the explosion. And it seemed like they were just going to gloss over that, didn’t it?
We find Nucky keeping stead in his hotel suite with the family, suffering from incessant confusion, consistent spells of dizziness and tinnitus, and fleeting mental projections of Billie’s final smile to him before she was consumed by the blast. He’s not on top of his game — forgetting his whereabouts in the middle of conversations, not recognizing his own wife and brother, and calling back continuously to the issue of Emily’s absent pony (which was never apprehended, in light of the incident). Nucky’s losing it. But he vigorously stands by his call to arms against the explosion’s perpetrator, Gyp Rosetti, and his business associate Joe Masseria. Nucky wants them both dead, and he is rounding up the troops to see the act carried out.
Unfortunately, Nucky has fewer steadfast friends than he might have thought. The men who attend his meeting — Arnold Rothstein, Lucky Luciano, Meyer Lansky, Waxey Gordon, and a bunch of other criminal bigwigs we’ve either never or barely heard from before — reject Nucky’s request for alliance in his warfare against Rosetti and Masseria.
His losses don’t stop there: more aware that ever of the nature of his business (and about his extramarital attachments), and more vehement than ever about her feelings for Owen, Margaret anxiously wants out of this life, confirming to Owen that she will leave with him as soon as they are able — something with which Owen is also entirely on board (or so he says… it’s hard to read his unwaveringly straight-faced and even-keeled character). So to recap Nucky’s losses: Billie; his allies; his wife, right-hand man, and children (imminently); and, as he is so fervently worried, his life. But at least he finds that bird earring on his bathroom floor!
But while Nucky is likely fearful over his worthy foe, Gyp Rosetti seems to be losing his grip a little bit as well. Even after having taken complete control over Tabor Heights, New Jersey, Rosetti fails to impress his boss and this show’s entire Italian population’s father figure, Joe Masseria. Rosetti’s failure to successfully kill Nucky and Rothstein in the explosion, along with his general attitude and unpredictability, keeps Rosetti a far reach from Masseria’s respect. But these harsh words only charge Rosetti further — a war, as symbolized by his theft of and adornment with and Napoleon-esque hat he steals from Tabor Heights’ library, is definitely on its way.
A more personal story exists among the residents of Gillian’s brothel. When Richard takes off for the night to attend a legion meeting — that’s code for a party with his new girlfriend Julie — Tommy earns another dose of childhood trauma. Tommy walks in on one of the call girls (a kindhearted young lady with whom the boy seems particularly smitten) in the throes of her profession, which sends him running off hysterically, enraging Gillian… who is not particularly pleased that Tommy is beginning to show affection for someone other than her.
Before arriving home to the disaster, Richard’s night was actually going quite well. Though he begins the evening with Julie as anxiously and awkwardly as one might expect, Richard exhibits a flare on the dance floor that impresses his date as well as the slew of veteran spectators… and earns him a kiss, no less. Something the perpetually heartbroken, self-loathing soldier probably never thought he’d get again.
When Richard tends to a half-asleep Tommy after a stern talking to from Gillian, the young boy mutters that he wants to “go home,” prompting suggestion that maybe Margaret and Owen won’t be the only ones running off together. It seems that Richard’s new dream might be to start a new life with Julie and Tommy, although there are two very ferocious problems standing in the way of that: Julie’s alcoholic father and, even worse, Gillian.
The way things are setting up in this show, big changes are bound to take hold of both the Thompson household and the Darmody residence. But are we really likely to see Nucky gunned down by Gyp Rosetti? Will the treasurer be able to handle himself against the insane mobster? Or will his plan to take down Harry Daugherty (the first step of which is enacted this week, when George Remus is arrested and agrees to give up his associates Daugherty and Jess Smith) somehow come into play in Nucky's survival?
[Photo Credit: HBO]
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Happy Mother's Day! Today everyone will be celebrating the nice ladies who toiled for hours in labor to give birth to them. We'll also be celebrating the wonderful women who give us an idealized version of what motherhood is like from their portrayals on the old tube of boobs. But for every June Cleaver and Clair Huxtable, there are more and more absolutely horrible specimens of parenting. Here are some of the absolute abominations that Dr. Spock (no, not the one from Star Trek) could teach a thing or two.
Betty Draper: Mad Men's resident ice princess has done all sorts of awful and selfish things in her day, but nothing is worse than the casual way with which she ignores her children, especially young Sally who is often crying for help. This season she's left them at home with her battle axe mother-in-law while trotting off with her new husband. Even when she is around, most of her discipline can be boiled down to a terse, "Go to your room." And there was all that smoking while pregnant stuff.
Nancy Botwin: Selling drugs isn't the worst of this mom-sters worries. We've seen her go from a woman trying to sell pot to make ends meet to becoming an actual sociopath with a son who is a murderer and another one who hates her but wants to join the family business. What will Weeds do next? Have her actually kill one of them?
Susan Mayer: Thankfully, Desperate Housewives ends on this Mother's Day and takes Teri Hatcher's awful mothering with it. She spent so much time whining about her troubles to her teenage daughter that Julie fled Wisteria Lane. Then, when she had a second kid, she couldn't keep him from being kidnapped by a vengeful murderer. It got so bad we had to stop watching.
NEXT: Money can't buy you class.
Victoria Grayson: I'm shocked that Victoria's children Daniel and Charlotte haven't tried to get vengeance on their mother on Revenge. When she's not cold and calculating, she's smothering and manipulative. And that's when she's not lying to them about who their real fathers are.
Nurse Jackie: Sure, having a drug addiction, cheating on your husband, and living a double life is one thing, but not being able to stop when your children (including one with severe mental problems) are in danger is another. She can't even take a tap class with her daughter without it ending in a nasty mess.
Cersei Lannister: You might say the queen mother of Westeros was a good mother and knows how to play the Game of Thrones, but when you look at her evil offspring (sired by her own brother), you'll see that she's only been looking out for herself all along.
NEXT: Horror Stories
Lily van der Woodsen: This society dame may be at the center of Gossip Girl's world, but she was absent for many years of raising her children while she was off marrying Klaus and Claus. Even when they live with her they're partying, drugging, and letting guys die of overdoses in strange hotel rooms. Then Eric, her suicidal gay son, just drops off the face of the earth and she doesn't even wonder about him. You think with all that money she'd buy a nanny... or a clue.
Regina Mills: Once Upon a Time she poisoned her own step-daughter with a poisoned apple. Now, after an evil curse, she has an adopted son that she neglects so often that he's just running around town with his biological mother and sneaking out of her house in the middle of the night.
Everyone on American Horror Story: If you thought that Vivien Harmon was a bad mom for not noticing for a few months that her depressed daughter was dead, just wait until you meet Constance, who killed one of her sons because he was ugly, forced the other one to spend her time in a mirrored closet, and had a complicated relationship with another son who was a psychotic mass murderer. Oh, and now she's raising the child of demons. Thank god neither of them are back next season.
NEXT: Bad, bad Breaking Bad Mom.
Jenna Maroney: You don't really think of the 30 Rock ditzy diva as having children, but when she gets together a reunion of her egg donor babies, she completely shuns the one who isn't blond and pretty. That's no laughing matter. (Okay, it totally is.)
Lori Grimes: Lori, you live in a world full of zombies. How do you never know where your kid is?
Skyler White: First of all she was so stupid that she didn't know her husband was a meth cooker on Breaking Bad. Then, after she found out, she was so stupid to go spending all of his money and get him in trouble with gangsters. God, Skyler, get a clue. And let Walter Jr have his cool car already.
Gillian Darmody: There are a lot of awful parents on this list, but this Boardwalk Empire mess takes the Mother's Day brunch. Not only did she raise her son in front of showgirls and prostitutes, but when he was older she actually slept with him! The only person who is possibly worse than that is... well, no one!
TV and Movies to Avoid With Your Mom This Mother's Day