Boardwalk Empire, Season 5, Episode 3, “What Jesus Said
The theme of today’s episode is brought to you by - “every character is trapped in a hell of their own making.” Chalky, man, he’s in some serious trouble. Obviously, when Milton essentially took Chalky hostage, things were going to get dicey. But, I didn’t think Boardwalk would get so dark with just how dicey things could be. As they descend upon a house, to break open a safe, they come across a mother and daughter living in the house. The daughter is 15. You can see where this is going. He’s certainly a man without scruples, and one of those men, like Rosetti - unpredictable and like a wind-up toy, he could go off at any minute.
Young Nucky is in his prison, a hotel, as he runs around catering to the rich, known figures of the past, being addressed only as “boy”. He is an unnamed prisoner, trapped in poverty, desperately trying to make a name for himself.
Adult Nucky, has obviously made that name for himself, but now he’s trapped in the prison of trying to hold onto it, and stay alive in the process. Nucky spends this week trying to woo Joe Kennedy. Taking him to a stripclub where we’re treated to a wonderfully lewd striptease (I’m trapped in the prison of having to view endless misogyny against women… well, it’s the era for it). Nucky, so desperate to win this man over, even talks family, something I don’t think I’ve ever seen him do. Grinning through his teeth to even mention his brother in Chicago, this still doesn’t seem to do the trick.
Margaret’s prison of her own making, is obviously the Rothstein scam we all knew from the first episode was going to come back to bite her in the ass. Another prison is the prison of her gender. As strong a woman as she is for the times, she still has to rely on men to bail her out of everything. Nucky saved her from her marriage, provided for her and gave her a home, a job, and a surrogate father for her children. Owen provided her with love and physical satisfaction (RIP), Rothstein provided her with accommodation and all the money she could handle in an illegal manner. Now, coming full-circle, Margaret has come back to Nucky, needing him yet again.
NARCISSE! I was waiting for him. Narcisse’s prison is the prison of his race. Even though he has risen above what the times held his race back from during that time, he’s still at their beck and call, which becomes apparent when Siegel and Luciano gun down an entire brothel to teach him a lesson.
- Until the end of this series I would love the comic relief of Mickey.
Each character is falling deeper into their own self-made prisons almost halfway into the final season of Boardwalk