BOARDWALK EMPIRE “A Dangerous Maid” Review

BOARDWALK EMPIRE “A Dangerous Maid” Season 2 Episode 3 – One of my favorite film makers is Errol Morris, a fellow known for such stellar documentaries as Gates of Heaven, The Thin Blue Line and The Fog of War. Watching an interview with him the other day, he opined something which has stuck in my head ever since. Asked about great films, he said that there were none. There is no such thing as a wholly great film, but a film is made great by “moments”, by great scenes.

I suppose it’s pretty obvious, but I’ve never heard anyone articulate it so well. And while I feel this opinion is perfectly valid in regards to film, in practice, television is a medium even more suited to those “moments” because television allows for more space for character development and interesting exposition.

After all of this rambling on, I should mention why the hell I’m making this point with regards to this episode of Boardwalk Empire in the first place. Well, it’s hard to judge a series based on an episode-by-episode structure, but if, in ten weeks time, I write up about the finale and make a final critique of the season as a whole, I seriously doubt that any moment from this episode will be mentioned.

It was the very definition of an unspectacular episode. So little of note happened that by the time Nucky upturned the Commodore’s plate of lobster, my fingers were twitching for the remote. There were no scenes which made me want to punch the air in glee – no overdose in Breaking Bad, no lawnmower in Mad Men, no Baelor in Game of Thrones. The climaxes were anti, the arcs quite uninspiring, the plots rather drab.

So we had domestic spats between Van Alden and Lucy and when abortion by stairs was…em…aborted, music healed the wounds (the team behind Boardwalk Empire really are making the most of Paz de la Huerta’s keenness for nudity and HBO’s obsession with female nudity). Al Capone made a reappearance to tell Nucky that he was moving his business elsewhere and reconnect with Jimmy. And Margaret chilled with the maids in a subplot which somehow made enigmatic, estranged dead siblings entirely dull.

The only part of the episode which actually made me grin with appreciation was when Lucy told Van Alden: “Say what you want about Nucky…at least he was fun.” Van Alden doesn’t give a shit. It was almost a great moment.

What did you think of this episode? Sound off in the comments below.

Follow me on Twitter @CiaraMoyna