Pardon mine coarseness, yet “Family Limitation” was an especially coarse episode of Boardwalk Empire, inclined towards making the one point, hard and also clear, literally and also metaphorically. The title originates from a pamphlet penned by Margaret Sanger in the at an early stage ‘10s, advising women on sound bear control. (One method?Douching v Lysol.) Margaret’s stern old acquaintance at The Temperance League offers her the pamphlet, ~ Margaret confesses that she’s obtained a “financial, romantic, sexual” market from a man—from Nucky. He’ll administer for she children, and put she up in a pretty apartment, but he i will not ~ marry her. For this reason Margaret had much better see to herself, Sanger-style.

You are watching: Boardwalk empire season 1 episode 6


But we’ll come earlier to Margaret and also Nucky and their newly-not-wed bliss later, due to the fact that in this episode—unexpectedly—the best scenes take place in Chicago, wherein the commingling is much much more volatile. The relationship in between the developed Irish mob and also the ascendant Italian mob to be strained at finest even prior to Johnny Torrio’s hotheaded enforcer Al Capone started beating increase Greeks and also violating old agreements. Currently Torrio’s been compelled to host a sit-down through his irish counterpart, to with some type of mutually advantageous settlement. However it no bode well the in the micro variation of Irish/Italian relations—in the friendship in between Jimmy Darmody and Capone—the Italian breaks to his Irish wife that Jimmy will “take what I provide him.” (And that’s just sausages he’s talking about.)


I’ve been upfront end the past couple of weeks around my impatience v the “Jimmy visits the publicly city” storyline, yet in “Family Limitation,” we gain some remarkable payoffs because that our investment so far. In the wake up of Pearl’s suicide, Jimmy’s no much longer content come play the silent accomplice in the Torrio operation. He is making suggestions to the boss—including to plan a bad-ass ambush at the sit-down through the Irish, leaving the vain dead in their very own lair—and he is openly questioning Capone. When Capone comes across Jimmy play “five-finger filet” with a dagger and asks what he’s doing, Jimmy stares Capone down and pointedly expresses surprised that Capone never played the video game “over there.” (Capone fumbles because that a second, climate lies: “We were an ext interested in win the war.”) and after Jimmy’s ambush the the ireland earns him public worship from Torrio, a jealous Capone needles Jimmy, and Jimmy needles best back, make insinuations about Capone’s phony war record.


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Just around all the Chicago business worked this week, indigenous Torrio’s casual “no offense” to Jimmy when he gripes around the Irish, to the quiet, ethereal scene whereby Jimmy rebuffs the advancements of one of the bordello’s whores, climate finds a photo Pearl drew of of him inside his copy of Free Air. (He climate reaches into his drawer and also pulls the end his dog tags, in a gesture that very simply, powerfully expresses his feeling of loss, shame and regret. When he dealt with for something; and now what?)


But the finest scene in “Family Limitation” comes towards the end, when Capone involves Jimmy’s room after their public bout the one-upmanship. Jimmy’s ~ above the defensive, certain that Capone’s over there to beat the or shoot him, yet instead Capone brings him some salted steaks and makes a mix apology/statement-of-forgiveness/warning as soon as he refuses Jimmy’s offer of a drink, saying, “I acquire stupid ns drink too much, run off in ~ the mouth.” The Capone talks about his son, who Jimmy had actually previously i found it is deaf—or “punished for the shit i done,” follow to Capone. Al tells Jimmy just how he plays the mandolin and sings because that his boy, but has to hold the kid’s hand to his neck so he’ll be able to tell that dad’s do music. Jimmy softens once he hears Capone’s story, and sounds a keep in mind of hope, for every one of them. “They’re finding brand-new things everyday,” the says.


Meanwhile, ago in Atlantic City, we’re getting one more Italians vs. Ireland story, but this time from the various other side. Nucky’s hear stories around Italians robbing his operations, and also he’s do the efforts to crack down prior to the matter gets out of hand. He mistakenly blames lucky Luciano and also leans tough on that (thus inadvertently tipping turn off Arnold Rothstein the there could be exploitable problem in AC). And also Nucky doubles down on his efforts to get an ext paved roadways in his city, reasoning that’ll solidify his power. The problem? Nucky’s relying ~ above his partnership with councilor Edge, not realizing that Edge owns a paving company in Jersey City. (Again: You’d better pay closer attention to the people with whom you’re getting into bed.)

But the dominant Atlantic City storyline this week involved Margaret, and also after a few consecutive main of nuance and intrigue on the Schroeder side of Boardwalk Empire, ns confess I uncovered her components of “Family Limitation” a small uninspired, aside from one solid scene. In ~ the lingerie boutique, Lucy return to humiliate Margaret part more, demanding the the pathetic tiny shop girl try on the frilly tiny number that Lucy’s planning to buy and also wear for Nucky. “I’ve done worse,” Margaret claims defiantly. “I bet you have,” Lucy sniffs. Climate Lucy evaluates Margaret’s body and also finds it wanting. Margaret, getting tired of talking roughly the subject, says, “He no seem to mind.” Then, as soon as Lucy says that she has ways of managing Nucky’s neuroses, Margaret tells a story from she childhood about a one-trick rooster that the local youngsters got worn down of seeing, and finishes v the line of the episode: “Maybe her cunny isn’t fairly the draw you think the is.”


The rest of the scenes v Margaret were a little an ext pat. She quits she job, and moves her children into their fancy brand-new digs, just to uncover out that her new neighbors largely consist of the various other “concubines” that Atlantic City’s power elite. And despite her cockiness the she has something to market Nucky that Lucy doesn’t, at the finish of the episode we see Nucky break his day with Margaret and canoodling v a prostitute. Ns don’t have actually a problem with truth of this plot-development, but I assumed it was tackled too quickly and too obviously, with little of the grace of the Chicago scenes.

Then again, sometimes underplaying is overrated. The one point to hear native Lucy that Nucky’s a an excellent Catholic boy who gets disgusted v his own ethical weakness. It’s quite an additional to watch Agent van Alden, much additional down the corruption continuum: therefore resistant come temptation that once he feeling a twinge of desire for Margaret, he dutifully transforms his wife’s snapshot down, lays a towel under on the bed, and also proceeds to flagellate himself v a belt. This men. They try to be good. They really do.


Grade: B+

Stray observations:

-So ~ Chalky’s monologue in “Anastasia,” Jimmy’s in “Nights In Ballygran,” and Capone’s and also Mararet’s this week, i think we’ve uncovered Boardwalk Empire’s favourite storytelling mode: the parable.


-Strong opened to “Family Limitation,” with steeds galloping under the beach complied with by a young Irish boy running up to a ar leader, calling the “Fat Chops” and stealing his money-pouch. And also then: a beautifully filmed slow-motion chase that i think offered us ours longest and also most awe-inspiring look yet at the boardwalk in every its splendor.

-Nucky needs that Eddie “knock choose a man” prior to he start a room, then complains as soon as Eddie knocks too loudly. That may tell united state all we must know around Nucky.


-Van Alden gets referred to as on the carpet for overstepping his limit in do the efforts to know the deeper moral rot beneath the illegal liquor trade. (“You’re a prohibition agent, not Bulldog Drummond!”)

-In Capone’s family-friendly variation of the Pearl incident, Pearl to be Jimmy’s “friend” that was a “waitress” at “the restaurant” prior to she obtained “hit through a streetcar.”


-Why buy underwear? Some women wish to hide, rather to reveal

-Nucky has tickets to go see Houdini’s brother. “He’s simply as good!” he speak everybody.


-Loved Margaret’s former neighbor in this episode, derisively telling Van Alden the Margaret “works for the French,” and also saying that Margaret’s drunken abusive husband, “He was a beloved man… constantly brought us the day-old cruellers.” Well, we all have different standards the “lovely.”

-Is the me, or was Kelly Macdonald’s ireland accent more pronounced this week? Or was ns just influenced by the scene where Nucky is horrified by she fake American accent? (And speak of fake, i’m assuming that was a body-double in Margaret’s naked scene, offered the azer cuts back and soon to a headless torso. I wish directors didn’t usage body doubles. If the actress doesn’t desire to do the naked scene, they should uncover another method to shooting it. Otherwise, it’s distracting. The not like Margaret’s ceiling breasts were necessary to the content of the scene.)


-Nucky’s no at every shocked that Gillian’s sleeping with Lucky; he just wants come make sure that lucky treats Gillian with respect. Meanwhile, happy finds out from A.R. That Gillian’s no Jimmy’s girl; she’s his mother. Another case of a character hopping into the bag without sufficient information.

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-A nice piece of acting from Michael Shannon when he researches Margaret’s immigrant records and also sees that she miscarried in 1909, ~ above her method over to the states. Climate he watch longingly at her picture, until he realizes that the picture was taken once she was 16, in ~ which allude he recoils a little.


-Current Temperance/Suffrage interrelationship status: follow to the head of AC’s Temperance League, the tight. And that may be the last i say on the matter, because every time I carry it up, ns seem to acquire misconstrued. (It’s my very own fault, for no making the plain sufficient in previous mainly that i was restating Margaret’s point—and badly, together it transforms out.)