“Boardwalk Empire”: The Milkmaid’s Lot Review

After an explosive (pun intended) end last episode, “The Milkmaid’s Lot” employed clever concussion-like shots to produce another step in the road towards the inevitable Nucky vs. Gyp climax Season 3 is certainly heading towards.  While the Nucky-Billie relationship may not have been explored as thoroughly as some would’ve wanted, seeing him struggle with her death likely got the viewers back towards Nucky’s side.  It’s just amazing how awesome Gyp is (as a character) and I almost hate to see him go…if of course that’s what happens.  In all, another sufficient “Boardwalk Empire” episode as we dive into the back quarter of the season next week.

Rattled by the explosion, Nucky spends the episode dealing with the physical and psychological aftermath of the assassination attempt.  He plays it off as a gas explosion, but he knows who is to blame.  If Gyp didn’t have his full attention before, that’s definitely changed.  However, Nucky knows he can’t do it alone…

“Boardwalk Empire” sprinkled in some humor in the process, too.  I love how the show can be so oddly funny, and Steve Buscemi is to thank for that.  Basically everything involving the birthday party (and the lack of pony) was hilarious, but it also served as a reminder of Nucky’s fragile mindset.

Gyp, meanwhile, tries to regain control of Tabor Heights.  Knowing Nucky is out for awhile, it’s his turn to keep the production going.  Sheriff Ramsey is the unfortunate whipping boy, as Gyp uses his brutality to send a message.  Gyp doesn’t give a shit about anybody but himself…and maybe that’s not even right.  He only cares about being on top.  Nobody can get in his way.

How awesome was the shot of him walking up George Washington-style to the beach?  I wish I had a screenshot of that.

When Nucky finally gets his meeting, he doesn’t mince words with Margaret: everything Nucky touches is doomed.  It’s the sad truth a lot of TV shows deal with but actually hearing Nucky admit it to himself was shocking.  In the back of his mind, he will always know that everyone’s endangerment is his fault.

At the meeting, Rothstein and co. decide they aren’t on Nucky’s side.  Whether they are scared of Gyp or whatnot, Nucky appears to be as alone as ever (or at least as alone as he was at the beginning of Season 2).  But this time around, he’s got a psychotic nemesis like no other.

The good news, though, is that George Reamus (and Harry) are out of the picture.  So, it looks like his number one enemy will be the bootlegging business.

“The Milkmaid’s Lot” had some powerful moments – particularly the scenes with Nucky and Margaret – that remind us why we should be invest in “Boardwalk Empire.”  It wasn’t an action-packed episode, but that’d be too soon I think.  There are a few more episodes to come and I think we’re in for a great finale.  Now, let’s see if they can find a way to keep Nucky and Gyp in the story.  Good luck!

Rating: B+

Notables

*The outlier arc involved Richard as he attended a service ball.  He is having a bit of a falling out with Gillian, but I’m not sure how this connects with Nucky.  I’d hardly think it’s a deal-breaker in the relationship, so I think Richard’s path won’t become relevant until next season.

*It was good seeing Chalky…even if it wasn’t for long.

One comment

  1. The preview segments of the next episode on the BE web page suggest a logical source of help for Nucky. The Chicago connection of Capone and Torrio. They certainly don’t have a turf war with Joe the Boss, as the easterners do, and they also relied heavily for bootleg supply on George Remus who is now out of business.

    But there might be another source of help for Nucky. Esther Randolf. She seems to becoming a reluctant ally…but maybe it runs deeper. I still remember her comment from last season that she “rather likes him.” Nucky has a knack for sleeping with the enemy…

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