Boardwalk Empire Season 3 “The Milkmaid’s Lot” Review – Nucky Unfiltered

The huge explosion courtesy of Gyp Rosetti somehow left Nucky wavering between amusingly loopy and scarily acute. It was like the Boardwalk Empire version of the Parks & Rec episode, “The Flu,” where Leslie is dazed and confused from the virus but wins over supporters (and Ben’s heart) when she gives a stellar pitch for the Harvest Festival.

The loopy moments were jaw-dropping at times: referring to Margaret by his first wife’s name (Mabel), accusing Chalky of being “uppity” when he confused him for the shoeshine boy, forgetting Emily’s birthday, confusing Eddie with Eli, offering Margaret the earring that Billie lost last week and not being aware of whether he was sitting or standing at times. These moments were all set to the frequent image of a smiling Billie with embers from the bombing raining down her face as she perished.

As a side note, I really wanted to hear Chalky’s proposal for Babette’s. Season 4 story line? Here’s hoping. Chalky has been grossly underutilized this season.

Much like Leslie Knope, who went from talking to pictures on the wall to passionately speaking about the Harvest Festival, Nucky displayed an awe-inspiring amount of clarity between those loopy moments. Let’s review:

– He came up with an invitation list for his confab about going to war with Masseria and Rossetti.

– He offered a pretty solid reason for the Babette’s explosion that would not stir fear among the local residents.

– He gave a stirring speech about the benefits of joining his war against Masseria and company that, unfortunately, fell on deaf ears.

At times, it also seemed that Nucky was aware of what was happening between Margaret and Owen but I don’t think he’s clairvoyant. Granted, her close quarters at the Ritz with her husband’s right hand man seem to have made her a little less cautious about her behavior around Owen. Nucky’s ominous words to Margaret about no one walking away from him gave me shivers.

That line, Nucky’s previous tension with Owen and generally bad disposition to young ambitious men do not give me a lot of comfort about Owen’s fate as this season draws to a close. As much as I love Charlie Cox and Kelly MacDonald, I would be thrilled to see Margaret and Owen make good on their plans to leave the Boardwalk Empire. This is like Furio and Carmella Soprano all over again. At least Margaret slept with Owen but I think she’s in for some heartbreak like Carmella. Margaret would be well advised not to underestimate her husband and think that she’ll be free of her problems as soon as Masseria and Gyp kill Nucky. Thompson has gotten out of much stickier situations.

Speaking of eluding sticky situations, looks like Remus is looking to Randolph for a get out of jail free card thanks to his crafty record keeping skills. I love Randolph’s sense of humor in any situation. It will be interesting to see if Nucky’s behind the scenes politicking with Randolph and Mellon leads his business associates to reconsider their decision to abandon him.

Although Gyp will never rank among my favorite Boardwalk Empire characters, he has has moments that I’ve genuinely enjoyed this season. I loved the sheer look of glee he exuded as he rebuffed Nucky’s attempt to hang up on him by calling him back and offering condolences on behalf of himself and Joe Masseria for Billie’s death. I also loved that in response to a question about Bible camp at his impromptu Tabor Heights town hall meeting: “Bible Camp’s cancelled and I’m not really doing questions and answers right now, dear.”

As for the characters that I do rank among my favorites on the show, the romance between Julia and Richard Harrow has been such a great vehicle for revealing more about my favorite gravely-voiced veteran. Richard got Julia’s colors right and showed off some pretty sweet moves on the dance floor.

Unfortunately, Richard’s romantic evening came at a price. Because Gillian only knows how to sleep with children and not raise them, an unattended Tommy wandered into Josephine’s room during the middle of a “transaction.” Rather than take accountability for raising her grandson in a whore house, failing to watch after him herself and just being the rotten human being that she is, Gillian placed the blame for Tommy’s interruption of Josephine’s “business” squarely upon Richard. Don’t even get me started on the rum and milk cocktail Gillian gave Tommy, which clearly didn’t work.

Tommy wants to go home and I want him to get his wish. I loved that Richard immediately understood Tommy’s drawing without needing any explanation. Those two have such a great rapport. With so many things going his way, I hope this is not the calm before the storm for Richard. Although I don’t think Gillian would ever willingly let Tommy go, I also think she’s mistaking Richard’s meek behavior for weakness and stupidity. Richard isn’t some gullible wanderer like the recently departed faux-Jimmy. Tread lightly, Gillian.

Any episode in which Richard Harrow gets a kiss is going down as a favorite for me. What did you think of this week’s episode of Boardwalk Empire? Sound off below!