Look, we’re in Red Hook! See? We know that Red Hook is the coolest neighborhood in Brooklyn. Did we mention that we were in Red Hook? Hey did you know that On the Waterfront was set in Red Hook? Because we did.
And if that wasn’t enough to make you want to pull your hair out, guess what? George doesn’t really have stage 2 prostate cancer. It was a clerical error! His file got mixed up with another George, who lives in Queens (so he probably deserves it). Detective Ames discovered the mixup just in the nick of time. George keeps his prostate and suffers only the loss of pubic hair. But it was all totally worth it, because George really understands the value of life now and has never felt better. Ugh.
Having all of this said, there were some pretty funny bits in this episode. Jonathan drinking white wine straight from bottle; the Gray Gardens reference; Olympia Dukakis leering at Ray; Leah’s lowball ransom offer. In a genuinely surprising twist, Leah and Jonathan have a near-kiss (but it was only a lean!). Of course, Jonathan can’t contain his guilt so confesses the almost transgression to Ray. What will it take for these guys to really piss each other off? Ray feels betrayed for all of 15 seconds before offering Jonathan amnesty and understanding—as Leah “is the most beautiful woman in the world."
There were enough references to Jonathan’s latest short story and the New Yorker contest to indicate that something will come of it. If it ends up being the career boost that Jonathan has been waiting for, maybe someone besides George—whose flashy magazine job is increasingly insecure, and who is still inexplicably living at the Maritime Hotel—will have to pick up the tab for a change.
Season 1, Episode 7: “Home”
Jimmy Darmody has finally found his soul mate in Richard Harrow, the sharpshooter with half a face. The damaged combat vets blow off their Personal Inventory exams (aka ‘nutcase test’) and retire to the whorehouse where Jimmy arranges intimate company for his new friend. Richard pays him back by putting a bullet in hooker slasher Liam’s face—“an inch below the eye.” This only moments after Jimmy assures Liam he’s not going to kill him—which, technically speaking, was true. Jimmy’s monologue about leaving the German soldier trapped in barbed wire for days had an echo of Arnold Rothstein: Both men have delivered parables meant to illustrate just what chilling violence they are capable of. We get it.
Jimmy’s girlfriend, too, is enjoying an intimate friend, but it’s not who we thought it was: She’s sleeping with the photographer’s wife, not the photographer himself, as we previously thought—until a protracted lead-in to the bedroom scene went on a little too long, cueing us to expect a surprise. Which wasn’t quite as surprising as it might have been. But we learned that Nucky is bankrolling her (who isn’t he?) and that she hasn’t received any money from Jimmy in Chicago—although we saw him preparing to send money to someone. Where did it go?
We get some insight to Nucky’s background as his father is revealed to be a miserable, abusive prick. After the brothers find Ethan injured in his garbage dump of a house, Nucky swiftly decides to relocate his father and gift the house—“no strings”—to a ward boss with an expanding family. On his first solo outing with “Uncle Nucky," Margaret’s young son watches him burn down said house. Way to go, Nucky! Would-be homeowner Fleming watches in horror as it goes up in flames; but not to worry, Nucky handily has enough cash for a new house in his jacket pocket. Does Nucky always carry that big of a wad, or was the torching premeditated?
Am I the only one who is finding Margaret to be increasingly irritating and beside the point? Now that she and Nucky are actually doing it, the chemistry between them has all but disappeared. And this week she’s started to behave a little bit more like Lucy than we could have imagined a few weeks back. Here’s hoping for a return of the feisty, ball-busting Margaret we met earlier in the season.