Boardwalk Empire

Episode Report Card
Joe R: B+ | 3 USERS: A

Back at Babbette's, Nucky leans against the bar, looking bored amid all the flapper-ish dancing. Margaret enters the party with her parcel to deliver to Lucy. She looks around at the festivities -- the band, the dancing, the glamour ... yes, even the booze -- as smiles bigger than we've seen her so far. Big enough to catch Nucky's eye from across the room. He walks over to her, and she cheerfully wishes him a happy birthday. Babbette comes by and takes the dress to Lucy's dressing room, which is nice because now Margaret doesn't have to see her and can stay and talk to Nucky. He introduces her to Senator Edge and the mayor of Jersey City. Edge offers her a drink, which allows us a bit of awkwardness as Nucky informs him of Margaret's membership in the temperance league. Big ups to director Jeremy Podeswa for pulling back to a medium shot at this moment, so we can take in this sight of Margaret, flanked by three men with drinks in their hand, flanked by an entire party of revelers. But Margaret doesn't seem to want to make a big deal out of it. She does, however, speak up when Edge says he hopes she's not a suffragette. "I come from a country where women already have the right to vote," she says, plainly but pleasantly. "In fact, most of the civilized world affords women that privilege." Edge lays some bullshit about wanting to protect women from the unpleasant realities of life. "By denying them the right to take a meaningful part in it." Nucky's in a glass cage of emotion watching this. On the one hand, he's petrified that any slight might turn these two men against him and queer any pork-barrel deals he's got cooking. On the other hand, he's got an intellectual boner for Margaret about a mile long. Margaret continues with a winkingly delivered warning about the dangers of withholding from women what they want: "They'll surely find a way to withhold something that you desire?" Edge asks what that's supposed to be. "Alcohol," Margaret says with a laugh. She's quite winning in this scene, and showing her first glimpses of being a woman Nucky would be so smitten with.

Edith Day steps up to perform on the stage as Nucky walks Margaret towards the dressing rooms. He apologizes for the ... festive atmosphere: "Old habits die hard." "If they die at all," Margaret says, though without much judgment in her voice. She certainly seems more engaged in suffrage talk than in advocacy for temperance. Maybe for her it really is just a political tool. Nucky compliments her on taking such a "practical" view of it all, and in a most awkward segue, he asks her practical self to dance. It's very sweet, and improbably, Margaret looks like she fits right in with Nucky's world.

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Boardwalk Empire




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