Along with the worst opening title sequence ever, Boardwalk Empire has returned. The computer-generated bottles have returned. The computer-generated sky has returned. The theme music by The Brian Jonestown Massacre and Steve Buscemi’s reality-generated melting death mask have returned.
What better way to indicate starting afresh than opening on an actual bottle on an actual beach? Maybe explain who The Commodore is and why he’s lumbering around his taxidermist wet dream of a den stabbing the air with medieval weaponry? Certainly not, instead, let’s have a few establishing scenes of Eli itching his gunshot wound and Jimmy ensuring that everyone knows that he had the “I saw things in the war, Nuck” haircut before the Arcade Fire guy did and especially before nosebleed villain in The Fifth Element did.
But this is America, and every show (Pan Am included) has to begin its season with an appeasement of our population’s innate lust for the senseless murder of black people. During Prohibition times, this meant the KKK opens up fire with a gattling gun on a factory full of guess what. Luckily, everyone dies, except the one black person we’ve been instructed to care about, so all’s well that ends well. Plus, Chalkie shoots a clansman in the face while they’re escaping=best of both worlds. We truly have entered the post-racial utopia.
Nucky returns home from the titty bar. He’s the color of tilapia that’s been left to fester. Mags Shroeder takes one look at him and is like, woot have I doon with mah life? Jimmy’s wife got a new haircut which in subtextual speak means she’s done munching muff for the time being. Jimmy’s eighteen-year-old Mom is there and very offhandedly states that she would suck Jimmy’s baby dick?
To verify: “I would kiss his little winkie.” To analyze: Text Sigmund Freud for everyone.
Having established that Jimmy’s Mom is an infant rapist, we can shift our focus to Chi-Town, where Al Capone remains a bumbling fool and whoever those people are decide to “cut out the Nuck.” Nucky and a caricature of a British person point at a map of New Jersey, and nod, and then the caricature gives Nucky a stack of play money. “Good sir, tis nary the day I’ve partook in a transaction of such pointed favorability!”-British caricature.
Michael Shannon’s Gargantuan Head is having his wife to visit. This woman is the wet blanket to end wet blankets, and I venture to say that she is such a wet blanket that she has transcended wet blanketness and become A Tepid Puddle. For some reason, Michael Shannon’s Gargantuan Head forgets to mention that he’s knocked up a prostitute, instead opting to display his moral fortitude by kicking the shit out of waiters.
Turns out John Legend is Chalkie’s son, and Chalkie and Nucky talk about how every black garbageman in Atlantic City is up in arms. “I’ll take care of this by being a soulless liar”-Nucky Thompson on everything. The Commodore monolues a bear. During one of Nucky’s Liar Conventions, a drunk storms in and announces that the injured KKK member has died. White people be pissed! Nucky employs classic white rationale and orders that Eli “arrest Chalkie for his own safety.” Is this show really set in Prohibition Era Atlantic City or is it set in Last Week Era anywhere South of Virginia? Michael Shannon’s Gargantuan Head raids Carmine’s with his cop friends and then doesn’t fuck his wife because the bed is too squeaky and Jesus.
A nun drapers Marg Shroed. Apparently, Nucky burning his childhood house to the ground has had a lasting effect on Marg’s kid! Can’t imagine why! He’s a pyromaniac now, everyone’s good at something. Two-Face has brunch at Jimmy’s. As per usual, the deformed person with no ties to anything is the only person I actually care about on this show. “I have witnessed the actual horrors of war, horrors that physically took a part of me and will shade the remainder of my decidedly shortened life, and I sit here in awe of the simple, quietly beautiful life that you possess Jimmy, how does that make you feel?” “Take some biscuits for later.”-Jimmy. Crushed, Two-Face begins to write a graphic novel.
The prequel to The Great Dictator is playing in AC, and Nucky invites Marg and the kids to come along with him because every whore in town has plans. Thing is: COPS PUT THE CUFFS ON NUCK. Marg sees the show alone, no popcorn. Jimmy opens Nucky’s wedding gift and it’s what everyone wants: an envelope full of play money and a creepy statue of a child molester showing a young boy how to hunt. Nucky, your invitation to my wedding is in the mail!