HBO Review – Boardwalk Empire: Season 2 Episode 1 “21”

Boardwalk Empire Season 2 is back and everyone seems to be doing well. Jimmy and his half faced associate Richard Harrow are moving the liquor in and out of Atlantic City like clockwork. Eli is still healing from his wounds and the Commodore is…. looking fit and healthy with his trusty spear. Nucky is still living the life fantastic at night while still retaining Margaret Schroeder during the days. Agent Van Alden and his wife seem to be in good standing as she has now come to visit Atlantic City. The only one not doing so great is Chalky White, who as an African-American in the 1920’s can’t really get a fair shake in Atlantic City. And that’s an understatement.

After having his bootlegging warehouse turned into swiss cheese by some douche bag Klansmen, Chalky gets into some major hot water for shooting one of them. Doesn’t make too much sense but it’s a part of a scheme cooked up by Jimmy’s father, the Commodore. At the end of last season we got to see the triumvirate of Jimmy, his father and Eli Thompson plotting the downfall of Enoch Thompson whom each has experienced a betrayal (in their opinions) by the county treasurer. Nucky doesn’t seem to suspect much of anything other than Jimmy may be acting a little weird and holding something back. I’m excited to see how things shake out after Nucky does realize what’s really going on. My hope is that Jimmy will eventually see that he is in the wrong and maybe turn on Eli and his dear ol’ dad.

We were able to see the duplicitous Van Alden in action as he wines and dines his wife on one hand and then after she leaves Atlantic City he is looking after Lucy whom he has gotten preggers. I wonder if Agent Van Alden has considered what a whore Lucy is and that the kid may indeed not be his. Mr. Shannon has definitely created a rather brilliant character in Van Alden as he appears to have the most flat affect I’ve seen in a person. But once the law is in play and violence is necessary, Van Alden bursts to life in full fury. The scene in the restaurant in particular was awesome.

Another character we get to see a little more insight to is Richard Harrow. The disfigured veteran definitely tips the social awkwardness scale whenever he isn’t sniping people or planting a shotgun in their face. It was both intriguing and heart wrenching seeing how much he longs for a normal life with a wife and children. I think it’s safe to say he’s a tad bit envious of Jimmy and his life where he “has everything.” I can almost see Richard betraying Jimmy if it came to Nucky enticing him that life somehow.

Overall the episode seemed like it only lasted a half hour because I was so into it. Not a whole lot went down, but it was like the actors and actresses hadn’t even missed a beat between seasons and I love it. Things have picked up right where they left off and between the teasers and show creators promising many more new characters to come in the season. I’m giving this episode a solid four out of five grizzlies. Boardwalk is back and carrying on with the same prohibition-gangster drama that I fell in love with last year! Bring it on next week!

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