Boardwalk Empire
You'd Be Surprised

Episode Report Card
Joe R: C | 4 USERS: B+
You'd Be Surprised

In Cicero, Van Alden comes home to a most distressing sight: Agent Coughlin in his living room, chatting with a decidedly nervous Sigrid. Coughlin looks simultaneously smug and dangerous, though the latter might just be a consequence of seeing him how Van Alden sees him (ugh, life through Van Alden's eyes -- [shudder]). Sigrid excuses herself to go check on the dinner. Van Alden asks Coughlin straight-up if he intends to extort money from him, and Coughlin chuckles mirthlessly that it's more like the other way around. After he saw him in the speakeasy, he racked his brain trying to come up with where he'd seen Van Alden before. So once again Van Alden is certain he's been found out. But once again -- total fakeout. This guy isn't a federal agent with a photographic memory. He's a federal agent with a beef about the shoddy vacuum cleaner some square-jawed weirdo sold him door-to-door. He even came with the defective machine in the box. Of course, someone maybe should have told Sigrid of this plot twist, because Coughlin has no sooner opened the box that she comes flying out of the kitchen with -- well, the weapon of choice is hard to see clearly, but I'm going with a kitchen mallet (the better to pound flat schnitzels and such) -- anyway, something blunt, and she brains Coughlin on the head twice. He's on the floor in a bad way as Van Alden restrains his wife from beating him further and tells her he was only a disgruntled customer. Still, Sigrid shakes it off and is like, "I'll hold his legs," because every character on this show can turn into someone from Goodfellas at a moment's notice. So she indeed holds his legs down and instructs her husband to finish the poor bastard off. He requests that his wife avert her eyes as he places his kerchiefed hand over Coughlin's mouth and smothers him to death. Always good to see a husband and wife who make a good team. "A bad person," Sigrid declares. Mmm hmm.

At the Maison Derriere, Gillian is unhappy with the gaggle of escorts lounging about and not making any money. She's also maybe a little drunk? She tells them to get out in front of the house and start selling, even though they say she's told them not to do that before. To hell with the finer things, Mama's got money to make. Gillian then sits down to write a letter to her "dearest James," partly as a Step 1 to proving that he's actually dead and partly as a sad exercise in loneliness. "Life is nothing without you," she writes. "And there is no one who understands me." She begs him to come home, knowing he won't. Sad.

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Boardwalk Empire




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