Episode 5 - Nights in Ballygran
6 March 2012
Another good episode but this one I particularly liked because it zeroed in more on who Nucky and Jimmy are.
For the first time we see a genuinely likeable side of Jimmy as takes care of Pearl. Her death is now on his hands and you can imagine that is not going to sit well on his heart. He doesn't seem bent on murderous revenge in this episode. Instead he seems to be taking it fairly well and focussing on caring for her. But now he heads to an opium den to dull the pain.
Meanwhile Nucky shows us that his passion for Margaret can overwhelm the risk that comes with the affair. In the last episode we saw Nucky thinks he can have everything he wants. Here we see him demanding money from people as he collects his cut from local businessmen or bribing little people just to save a few bucks. He is starting to really flesh out as a character, he has a genuine kindness and softness about him to go along with his ruthless acquisition of any business going down in his town. There is also a strict discipline which he practises, seen here as he refuses to become too drunk to present himself well in front of powerful men at the Celtic dinner.
Jimmy's story about Mr Lancaster made me wonder if he was talking about Nucky. I'm not sure he was but you get the impression a similar relationship happened between Jillian and Nucky and that the only thing which lasted from that was the father-son bond the two have.
Margaret showed herself once more to be a match for Nucky on a basic level, one of the reasons he is so attracted to her. After he brushes her off she hits him where she knows it will get his attention by tipping off Agent Van Alden about the green beer being imported. Van Alden, the bad ass then beats his way into the Celtic dinner. Usually I don't like random acts of violence which seem like they are just for show. But somehow I found Van Alden punching the lawyer at the Celtic dinner to be a rational act on the part of a man who is on a crusade against alcohol. The scene where Van Alden showed Margaret the extent of booze penetration in Atlantic City was excellent at explaining to the viewer why nothing was being done about the flagrant abuse of the law.
Eli, Nucky's brother has been well characterised so far and this episode exposed his true feelings about his older brother. Eli doesn't have the mind for the relentless activity which Nucky engages in and is jealous that he isn't treated with the same respect and affection. Clearly that jealousy eats away at him and one day his loyalty will be put to the test.
Finally we learn that Jimmy's girlfriend Angela was sleeping with the photographer as he suspected. I'm not sure what to make of Jillian's strange offer to raise Jimmy's son for Angela.
As with the rest of the show, we shall see...
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