The Moth Chase

Elevating the Art of Procrastanalysis – Academics wasting time on pop culture

It’s a new world…

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“I prefer to make my living honestly.”

— Rothstein


Hello friends,


Wow…what an awesome episode. Although it beat you over the head with the show’s theme, I thought this episode was almost flawless. I’ll discuss a few points which I think unify around one issue: America.

1. The overt imagery of a “new world” and “America” was just fantastic. The image of a “back-room” deal (actually out in the open), in front of an American flag (i.e. this is how American politics works) was impeccable and poignant. Similarly, Rothstein’s fixing of baseball–that “wholesome American” past-time just drives the point home: money runs America and there’s nothing wholesome about it. (Our own steroid scandals show how little anything has changed in this regard.)

2. We have Nucky letting down his guard and relying on Margaret. Her question to him, “Are you all right?” was stunning. His response of: “I don’t know,” obviously carried with it a wealth of suggestiveness: from him finally emotionally exposing himself to the uncertainty that such a proposition carries–both for him, and as we find out at the very end of the episode, for her.

3. Eli’s getting shot. Again,an interesting move: we know that Nucky never makes the collections himself. It’s not his job and he wouldn’t stoop to doing it. Nucky doesn’t get his hards dirty in that way. That is what Eli fundamentally doesn’t understand about his brother, nor about how things operate at that level of society.

4. Which leads to Nucky inviting Jimmy back. We knew this was bound to happen (and it’ll be interesting to see how all of the sub-plots around his family unfold)…I’m also curious to see if Harrow will accompany him. In this regard, we also have the suggestiveness of the lack of integration in America: the Irish stay the Irish, the Italian, the Italian. The only thing that brings them together–potentially and obviously only temporarily–is money.

5. Finally, of course, we have Nucky’s desire to put “that imbecile” into the Presidential office, which again, is sort of the topping on the cake w/ this week’s theme.

So obviously “America” and its steps and missteps–which has been an implicit theme all along–is now brought the fore…almost heavy-handedly so…but all to good effect. It paints a convincing, albeit depressing picture that is just as relevant now as it was to Prohibition era America…the only great question remaining is where things will go from here.

We already know the answer…but it’ll be interesting to see how we get there.

Until next week,



Written by Martin

November 14, 2010 at 9:30 pm

Posted in Boardwalk Empire

Tagged with , , ,

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