Boardwalk Empire

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Joe R: B+ | Grade It Now!
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Family Limitation

Upstairs, Sheridan and Torrio quibble a bit over what constitutes a threat. Sheridan then makes a crack about the sad fate of Jimmy's "whore," and Jimmy makes it clear it's a bit too soon for him to laugh at hilarious jokes about an 18-year-old girl who was mutilated and driven to suicide. Sheridan counters Jimmy's sentimentality with the sad predicament of that Greek shopkeeper Al stomped two weeks ago. Torrio finally takes control of this tit-for-tat, chalking everything that's happened up to "an unfortunate series of misunderstandings." Sheridan gives a half-hearted apology about the girl, but Jimmy says he wants to hear it from Liam, the thug who did the cutting. Sheridan bristles at this, but Torrio works to smooth it over.

Down to business, Sheridan offers to concede a three-block territory, which seems small, but the Irish do seem to be holding all the cards right now. Jimmy starts to zone out at this, because it's boring but mostly because he seems close to slipping into a rage fugue. He itches at his leg, which we see has his enormous fancy knife strapped to it. Soon enough, one of the Irish spots it too, and everybody springs into action. They confiscate the knife, and Sheridan is all, "I keep it now." Jimmy says he forgot, but Sheridan puts the point of the knife under Jimmy's chin, threatening to do him like he did Pearl. Jimmy keeps calm. Sheridan notices the domed nub at the base of the handle, and Jimmy says, "It's called a skull crusher. It's for cracking walnuts." Cracking jokes at knifepoint! Sheridan says he'll "crack a few" and let him know. With yet another conflict needing smoothing over, Torrio offers drinks and bygones.

Cut to after the meeting, both parties come down the stairs, still tense but everyone seems glad to at least have this over with. Torrio excuses himself to visit the head, while everyone else goes to coat check. Sheridan, seeing a different girl behind the counter, asks what happened to the blonde chick. He's told she's on a coffee break. This new girl hands Jimmy his coat, and that's when we first see her -- it's Ginger! Jimmy turns around -- gun now in hand -- and starts firing, in that awesome shot we've all seen in the previews. Still a cool moment. Al, having been handed a shotgun, gets most of Sheridan's bum-rushed thugs. Torrio briskly strides out of the men's room and orders his guys to wrap it up. Jimmy hustles Johnny and Al out, but then returns to Sheridan, who's been shot in the neck but isn't dead yet. "I think you'd agree that Greek-town belongs to us now," snarls Jimmy, before shooting him in the head and finishing the job. He then retrieves his knife -- which is really just so comically large that I can't help but make the trite observation that it's clearly a phallic symbol. So, yes, Jimmy retrieves his giant war-penis and strides off in his swank gangster wear.

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Boardwalk Empire

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