Episode Rating 1-10

Total votes: 0

Episode 1.10: The Emerald City

#1
Rothstein’s a successful gambler because he never bets on an event unless he knows the outcome of in advance, such as the 1919 World Series. Rothstein is furious that the attempted killing has now tipped his hand to Thompson; “sheer and utter incompetence,” he calls it, sending a message that they’re idiots. “Nothing says I’m sorry like money,” Rothstein tells the D’Alessios.

After the Rothstein meeting, fearing for his life, Mickey Cusick “Doyle” confesses to Nucky about his connection to the D’Alessio brothers and Rothstein’s plans to control the liquor business in Atlantic City. Doyle pins the O’Neill mugging, the lynching, and the casino robbery on the D’Alessio’s. Nucky shares this information with Chalky White. Once again, reminiscent of the Godfather, this time the scene where Luca Brasi meets with Tattaglia, Nucky sends Chalky on a ruse to meet with the D’Alessios, under the pretense that he is a disgruntled associate of Nucky. The idea is to catch as many one of the D’Alessio brothers at one time. At the meeting, Mateo D’Alessio makes the mistake of mentioning how Chalky drives a Packard. “How do you know I drive a packard?” an enraged Chalky demands, with two guns pointed in their direction.

Back in Chalky’s warehouse, Meyer Lansky (aka Michael Lewis to Chalky), Sixtus and Matteo D’Alessio, are on their knees, with their hands bound behind their back, and are being interrogated by Nucky, Chalky, and Jimmy. Meyer Lansky offers to make a deal on Nucky’s behalf with Rothstein in exchange for being spared his life. Sixtus D’Alessio, who was the brother that took a shot at Nucky, mouths off one time too many, and Jimmy puts a bullet in his head. A defiant Matteo D’Alessio swears that his brothers will avenge them, and is strangled to death by Chalky. After witnessing the murder of the D’Alessio brothers, Nucky frees a shaken Meyer Lansky, in order for him to deliver a message to Rothstein.

Since the attempted assassination, Nucky has arranged for Richard Harrow to be the baby sitter/bodyguard of Margaret and her children. “Success brings enemies,” Nucky tells Margaret. Harrow’s disfigured appearance disturbs the children, and Margaret. Margaret reads to the children a story about the Wizard of Oz, and Harrow puts the children at ease by comparing himself to the tin woodsman.

Harrow’s not the only one with two faces. It’s August 26, and the 19th amendment granting Women’s suffrage has been ratified (Margaret notes, catching the USA up with Ireland). Nucky offers Margaret a celebratory drink of champagne (she accepts) and again asks her, a former parlor maid, to give a speech at the League of Women’s Voters Luncheon about the qualifications of Edward Bader. Margaret is getting wise to how things really operate in Atlantic City, and responds, “you’ll control this mayor like you did the last one.” Bader is owner of a construction company, Republican candidate for Mayor, and a man she hardly knows. Margaret is quite a natural, and rousing, public speaker, talking about the responsibility that comes with the right to vote now that women have it. Later, she has regrets about her disingenuous, but convincing, short speech at the meeting.

Agent Sebso gives his two-faced alibi on the Billy Winslow killing to VanAlden and Supervisor Elliot. Rather than punishing Sebso for violating protocol, Elliot takes his rage out on VanAlden for bungling the case. “One more misstep, and he’ll be hunting moonshiners down in the Everglades.”

VanAlden pays a surprise visit to Margaret Schroeder. Bearing the photograph of a sixteen year old Margaret at Ellis Island, VanAlden questions Margaret” and confronts her about the choices she has made leading her double life. “I see hope, yearning, a promise for a new life. What happened to that girl?” He sits on the couch close to her, and clasping her hand, he says, “I can see into your soul at night, when I look at this picture,” which recalls the night he flagellated his back over and over in his bedroom. Margaret rejects his obvious advance, "you gained entrance on official business" and "your intentions are quite the opposite. " VanAlden offers her “salvation from the fires of hell that surely await her should she fail to repent her ways,” with Nucky.

We later see a broken VanAlden, giving into his own inner demons, savoring a couple shots of whiskey at a bar. Over at a table in the dark bar, he approaches a single woman in a red dress, Nucky’s ex-girlfriend, Lucy Danziger, and offers her a cigarette. Lucy’s picture is in his file on Nucky, so we know that he is already aware of who Lucy is, and her former relationship with Nucky. VanAlden figures he can’t get to Nucky via Margaret, so he takes the case in a new direction. After bedding Lucy, the fires of hell may await VanAlden also.

While on a family stroll on the boardwalk, Jimmy’s boy, Tommy runs off and stops at Dittrich’s photography shop. Tommy sees a photo of the Robert and Mary Dittrich in the window and points to it and says “that’s Mommy’s kissing friend.” Thinking he meant Robert, Jimmy goes inside, and throws Robert through the window of the shop’s door. On the boardwalk, he continues his brutal beating, resulting in Robert suffering five broken ribs to go along with a broken nose and jaw. As passerby’s look on, Jimmy tells them it’s because of (what he believed to be) Robert’s adulterous affair with Angela. That evening, Angela visits Mary and the two lovers make plans to escape to Paris, along with Jimmy and Angela’s son, Tommy.

In Chicago, Torrio is concerned that he isn’t making more money from prostitution and bootleg liquor. The northside of Chicago is wide open for the taking. Capone picks the wrong time to launch a practical joke at Torrio’s expense. "what are you? Twelve/" He attends the Bar Mizvah of thirteen year-old Charles Guzik, the son of one of Torrio’s associates, Jake Guzik, who runs a local brewery. Hat in hand, Capone goes back to Torrio promising to be responsible for his actions and to straighten up (and grow up).
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Re: Episode 1.10: The Emerald City

#3
Glad i looked onto the BE thread. I didn't see this recap of the best episode of the series. As i mentioned elsewhere, this is a 10. The scene with Chalky is right up there with anything i've ever watched in terms of intensity and sheer terror conveyed by the characters involved. That cut to Lansky as Chalky was sending his message was brilliant. And Nucky's "you are free to go" comment has officially made a Buscemi a leading man. As also mentioned in the article i linked, jimmy's "you talked me into it" will become a classic.

In fact, the writing and performance of this whole episode is as close as I expect to see approach Sopranos quality. I was just blown away by the show I was beginning to think I was trying to hard to like. The only thing that was starting to annoy me is Margaret's constant look of concern about what she's got herself into. I suspect that will be dealt with post haste though.

Finally, as you watch the scene where Nucky walks back into his bedroom after his night of "working" and matter of factly converses with his wife, you couldn't help but remember the countless similar scenes. Yet it didn't come across as a ripoff

Re: Episode 1.10: The Emerald City

#4
Another solid episode. Just a step down from last week IMO, but it still gets a "9" from me.

- We get our first dream sequence this episode. I'm still hoping we get a flash-backs before the season's over, either of Nucky's childhood, his relationship with his wife Mabel or of Jimmy's experience in the trenches.

- The scene where Margaret delivered her speech was pitch perfect. I loved it when the sound was drowned out and Margaret eyed down Nucky and the ward bosses talking business, it reminded me of several similar scenes from the Sopranos.

- I wasn't particularly impressed with the Chicago storyline this week. I felt they hammered home the point about Al growing up too much. I did enjoy seeing a little more of Torrio's personality, the moment when he blows his top with Capone was well-played.

- Before I couldn't stand him, but after this episode I'm finding Doyle hilarious. I loved him putting his hat on Nucky's statue, only to have it thrown back into his lap. And the rivalry between him and Jimmy - the funniest scene of the night for me was when Jimmy came up with the excuse that he "slammed his hand in the ice box" and everyone turned around in disgust at Doyle's off-screen sniggering.

- Can't wait to see Hardeen next episode. He's just as good as his brother, after all...

Re: Episode 1.10: The Emerald City

#7
I'm absolutely convinced that certain characters in BWE are intended to parallel characters from the Wizard of Oz, a theme which is most clearly addressed this episode.

Richard Harrow - The Tin Man, of course. this is the episode when we start to see that Harrow, like the Tin Man, actually has a heart.

Van Alden - The Lion. This episode, Van Alden found the courage to confront Margaret with his half-creepy, half-benevolent feelings for her. He then found the courage to engage in a night of debauchery with Lucy Danziger, and actually show her a good time.

Mickey Doyle - The Scarecrow. Mickey is a buffoon, but this episode we see that, like the scarecrow, he has a brain. He's quite cunning, and able to worm his way out of a seemingly hopeless situation with quick thinking.

Margaret - Dorothy. A girl of humble origins who finds herself far from home, in a crazy city full of color and bizarre doings.

The D'Alessio Brothers - The Flying Monkeys. They've been terrorizing the protagonists the way a flying monkey might do so, dropping in suddenly with a violent attack. In "Belle Femme", Arnold Rothstein indirectly referred to the brothers as "monkeys". This episode, we see two D'Alessios tied down and executed.

Gillian - The Wicked Witch. Not really epitomized this episode, but the signs are there - notably in Season 3 when she uses heroin (poppies) as a weapon.
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