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64
/100

Boardwalk Empire

HBO

66
/100

Episode 6 - Family Limitation

6 March 2012

There's no turning back now Jimmy (Credit HBO)

Yet another strong episode pretty much establishes a base line in my mind. I still don't care very deeply about Nucky and Jimmy but I admit to being thoroughly absorbed in the world of Boardwalk Empire every time I sit down with it.

As I suspected Jimmy turned to murderous revenge and took another step to becoming Johnny Torio's go-to guy. It's difficult to watch someone kill a bunch of people effortlessly and understand how they feel. I can understand the character Jimmy, hardened by life in the trenches can compartmentalise and slip back and forth between his gentle side and his brutal side. But it's difficult to empathise with.

By having Al Capone as part of the story there is built in tension every time Jimmy irritates him. And that's to take nothing away from Stephen Graham's performance which portrays beautifully someone with chips on both shoulders, a short fuse and a fearsome potential for violence. Jimmy's brain is a threat to Capone. For now they may work well together but just like Eli and Nucky, a confrontation is coming down the road when someone tires of being seen as second best.

The sudden gun attack on Sheridan and his men was beautiful. I was taken completely by surprise and it did everything that other TV shows won't and demonstrated the kind of brutal, swift and harsh action that feels real and not staged.

Meanwhile Margaret Shroeder learns that she may have to start thinking of herself as a "concubine" or a "whore" because that is how she is treated. Her situation is far more relatable as she does what's best for her children and own comfort but then grows uncomfortable with how she now sees herself. I liked her asking Eddie if Nucky was a nice man. It was an understandable last minute effort to reassure herself and cut beautifully to Nucky calling Lucky Luciano a "greasy c*cksucker.

Finally Agent Van Alden shows us the alternative to concubines and call girls by whipping himself with his belt. It was suitably creepy and extreme to help add to our picture of his growing obsession with this situation.

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