Boardwalk Empire: Friendless Child
October 20, 2014 2:59 PM - Season 5, Episode 7 - Subscribe

Nucky's latest move in his war against Luciano backfires, with disastrous results. Benny Siegel sings to an unappreciative audience, and Margaret calls at the wrong time. Will they be hanging an "Under New Management" sign at the Old Rumpus? Nucky finally reads that letter from Gillian, who pleads for help, alluding to the emerging truth: what exactly he did for the Commodore. Will he (or can he?) make amends for his actions from long ago?
posted by computech_apolloniajames (5 comments total)
 
I'm not going to jump into the older threads for this season. I thought the first episode of season 5 was a high point, though. Telling the 1901(?) story''s been great. I even applaud the show for finding an actor that can pull off a very convincing young adult Nucky in those later episodes. And seeing the majestic brilliance of 1931 Cuba via those digital matte paintings has been awesome, too. Just brilliant stuff.

But Gillian? I hated that last arc with her and hoped the show would have written her out completely. I don't care what happens to her, you can't redeem her by showing the molestation backstory that the viewers are well aware of. No matter how dire her predicament is in a barbaric 1931 insane asylum, I have no sympathy for her at all.

With characters dropping left and right, the finale only leaves a tired Nucky and maybe a little resolution for Dr Narciss? More gangsters going to jail? Maybe we'll see Mrs Thompson and the kids again, and she'll get rich and divorce him or something.

The show still looks great, but in wrapping up the season, and the resolution of most of the characters so far, each with their own bullet, is very, very unsatisfying.
posted by Catblack at 9:18 PM on October 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


I have no love for Gillian and I doubt the writers want us to care about her. I see her as a reference point in Nucky's character development. A living reminder of one of his earliest choices. She's the only person left that knew him when he was young, except Eli. No one else knew him before he sold his soul, so to speak.

Also, they may have shown a bit more of the hospital than needed due to the fact that the doctor is based on a real doctor at a New Jersey asylum around that time.
posted by Lil Bit of Pepper at 9:37 PM on October 20, 2014


As the show winds down I'm finding myself wishing the writers had decided to not speed up time so much and leave the show stuck in a moment during the apogee of the Roaring '20s. As it's ending, about the only thing interesting anymore is the set design and ambiance. But the suspense trope of "will the main character get killed in the end or not?" is really tiresome at this point.

Thompson is based on Nucky Johnson, of course, who lived to be 85 and enjoyed a pretty good life after his four years in prison. But given all the historical license taken, it's still up in the air if he's going to get a bullet or not (for those who have avoided the spoiler reviews of the finale), and that seems like a really cheap form of suspense--especially compared to all the artful tension the show managed to generate in previous seasons.

But I'll watch next Sunday anyway because closure is good or something.
posted by Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton at 6:12 PM on October 21, 2014


In the scene where Will meets Eli both my wife and I were riveted by the perfect tonal color match to color photography and film from the era of the scene.
posted by mwhybark at 7:49 PM on October 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


I liked the flies. You can really smell Eli in that scene.

Thompson is based on Nucky Johnson, of course, who lived to be 85 and enjoyed a pretty good life after his four years in prison. But given all the historical license taken, it's still up in the air if he's going to get a bullet or not (for those who have avoided the spoiler reviews of the finale), and that seems like a really cheap form of suspense--especially compared to all the artful tension the show managed to generate in previous seasons.

I thought Capone's references to main characters in gangster movies always biting the bullet was a little . . . I don't know. I really don't want to see them go down the same road covered by that other mob show.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:53 AM on October 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


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