Boardwalk Empire Recap: Parent/Child

Previously on Boardwalk Empire: Jimmy, for some reason, allowed himself to get peer pressured into putting out a hit on Nucky, which failed, of course, because they’re not going to kill off the show’s lead in the second season. Margaret tried to reconnect with her family, but she didn’t get a very warm welcome from her brother. She did, however, get a very warm welcome from Sleater back in AC. A tough-as-nails new prosecutor’s in town, delving into Nucky’s life, and when Nucky tries to get Van Alden to help him out with her (in return for paying off Lucy), Van Alden instead hands over his extensive files on Nucky.

Nucky’s going to have a rough day, you can tell. For starters, he’s stuck in an elevator with a whistling attendant who comments on a fight that hasn’t even happened yet. Ahh, dream sequence. Nucky gets off on a floor that’s resounding with the sound of a screaming baby. Every last member of the cast we’ve met so far is waiting for him at his office, and the baseball glove that was so important to him when he was a kid is sitting on a chair. At his desk sits a young boy, who holds up a hand to show a large wound that might be from a bullet or might be from a hot poker wielded by a terrible father. “Daddy eats first,” Nucky intones. In front of the desk, a stag struggles to get to its feet. The boy pulls out a shotgun and fires at it.

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Boardwalk Empire Recap: Confession

Previously on Boardwalk Empire: Word of the Commodore’s incapacity started leaking out, leading Eli to try to cut and run back to his big brother (unsuccessfully) and Jimmy to assert himself with some of the Old Guard (gruesomely and successfully). Two Face almost decided to pack it all in, but some woodsmen and a dog convinced him to give living another try.

Ahh, Van Alden’s back! He’s sitting in his crappy little apartment, reading the Bible as Lucy calls out for him to pick up some lemons on the way home from work. How very wifey of her. He puts the Bible aside and prepares to leave. She’s about a zillion years pregnant and complains that she can’t get comfortable. He tells her that his deputy’s in the hospital with third degree burns and can’t get comfortable either. Geez, Van Alden, just acknowledge that she’s in one of the worst stages of pregnancy, will you?

Speaking of near-marital relationships: Nucky and Margaret are meeting with the priest and Margaret’s son, who’s preparing for his First Holy Communion. The priest is grilling him and quite literally putting the fear of God in the poor kid, as well as Margaret, who looks a little nervous when she finds out she’ll have to confess along with her son, to better prepare him.

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Boardwalk Empire: Violence Is the Answer

Previously on Boardwalk Empire: The Commodore suffered a stroke, which will probably put him out of commission forever and put Jimmy in charge. Jimmy started establishing relationships in Philadelphia at exactly the same time Nucky did, so we’ll see how that goes. Two Face bonded with Angela over art and his painful past, and two of Van Alden’s boys started to suspect he was up to no good. And then one of them got himself blown up by Sleater while attempting to inspect Mickey Doyle’s warehouse.

It’s summer in AC, by the look of things. Nucky’s addressing a group of soldiers on Memorial Day; Jimmy’s amongst those in the audience, along with Angela and his son. Eli’s there too, staring daggers at his brother. Nucky even pays tribute to the Commodore, whom he says is detained by other business, and he acknowledges Attorney General Dougherty, who’s also present. To finish up, Nucky calls Jimmy up to speak, apparently without having given him any warning that he was going to be presenting. Jimmy talks tough to Nucky when he gets to the podium, but once it’s just him, he starts to visibly shake. He manages to pull himself together and tells the crowd he’s no hero. All he did was fight for democracy, and for his mother, son, and wife, just as all the other vets did. He gets a god round of applause, to Nucky’s chagrin. After the applause, Jimmy reads out the names of men who, presumably, died in combat. I assume these are just the men from Atlantic County who died, since the list sounds fairly short.

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Boardwalk Empire: If Jesus Came to Atlantic City

Previously on Boardwalk Empire: Well, quite a lot happened. The whole first season, in fact. You might just want to read the recaps, but in short: Nucky Thompson started moving illegal booze through Atlantic City, bringing in Chalky White to help him out and starting a relationship with the widowed Margaret Schroeder. Nucky’s protégé, Jimmy Darmody, was unhappy playing the role of second fiddle, so he joined forces with his father and Nucky’s mentor, the Commodore, and Nucky’s brother, Eli, for no doubt nefarious purposes. Jimmy’s also responsible for bringing sharpshooter/kickass sidekick Two Face to AC from Chicago. In Chicago, Al Capone has started his rise, and in New York, Arnold Rothstein and Lucky Luciano are running things and alternately doing business with/fighting with Nucky. Oh, and the obsessive Agent Van Alden went totally and utterly batshit crazy, drowned his partner, and knocked up Nucky’s ex. Got all that? Man, I’m tired already. Damn you, HBO, and your complex, layered stories!

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John Adams: Peacefield

Previously on John Adams: John got to be president, which ended up being an exhausting, endless fight, so he more or less willingly handed the position off to Jefferson and headed home, a private citizen once more.

It’s 1803, and John’s at his bucolic home, Peacefield. Dr. Rush arrives and is happily greeted by John, who thanks him for coming as he shows him upstairs to Nabby’s room. Seems the daughter of the house is having a health crisis. Rush sits down with his new patient and John and Abigail excuse themselves, closing the door behind them. Once they’re alone, Rush asks Nabby to tell him what’s bothering her. She informs him she feels a lump in one breast that pains her. Oh, dear God. Early 19th century breast cancer?! Yikes!

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John Adams: Unite or Die

Previously on John Adams: John and Abigail reunited and spent a few years in Europe, then returned home to find their oldest son in a relationship they don’t approve of and their second son well on his way to having a drinking problem. And then John got elected Vice President.

John is with the congress, trying to decide how Washington will be addressed. He thinks just calling him ‘president’ isn’t impressive enough. The congress is impatient but John won’t yield the floor. He proposes several methods of addressing Washington, almost all of them royalty related, aside from the last, “his excellency, the supreme commander in chief.” One of the congressmen (actually, I guess they’re senators and John’s acting in his capacity as president of the senate) reminds John that their constitution explicitly forbids the granting of titles of nobility. John says this is no such thing, it’s just a title that goes along with an elected position. They call for a vote, and only one guy is in favor of the president being referred to as “his highness.” Motion failed. One of the senators rudely pokes fun at John as they get up to leave and he just looks frustrated and defeated. Vice president is such a thankless job, isn’t it?

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John Adams: Reunion

Previously on John Adams: John was sent abroad to try and get money and support for the war, which he failed pretty spectacularly at, though he put in a good effort. Then, while he was in the Netherlands, the war ended.

John’s still in his sickbed, but he’s well enough to stumble to the door when someone knocks. His visitor happily tells him the British have surrendered, which amazes John, though he doesn’t seem to have the energy to get excited about it. After the news sinks in, he starts to cry and kisses the messenger’s hand.

Once he’s up and about, he meets with two of the businessmen from the last episode, who are now happy to lend $2 million to the new United States, at a 5% interest rate. John’s pleased with that and thanks them excitedly. One of the men exposits that John will be leaving soon, and he picks up the thread and explains he’ll be heading back to Paris to oversee the wording of their treaty with the British.

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John Adams: Don’t Tread on Me

Previously on John Adams: The colonies banded together and started to produce a real army, under Washington’s charge. John decided it was time to cut the cord with the mother country and declare independence, and with Franklin’s and Jefferson’s help, he managed to convince the other delegates to go along with him. On the homefront, in an attempt to protect the kids from smallpox, Abigail…nearly killed one of them with smallpox.

The Adams farm is buried under snow. John and Abigail stroll through, chatting. She exposits that the British have taken Philadelphia and that they’ve been married 14 years, only half of which they’ve actually spent living together. That sucks. Or maybe it’s the key to a successful marriage, who knows? It definitely led to some great extent letters between these two.

It’s now 1777. That night, John gently breaks the news to Abby that he’s leaving, meeting with the congress in New York. Well, that’s a little closer to Massachusetts than Philadelphia, isn’t it? You know what isn’t closer? France, which is where he’s likely to go next, to help Franklin secure French aid in the American cause. Abigail is not on board with that idea at all. She forcefully tells him he’s needed at home, because his kids need a dad and she needs a husband. Fair enough. But she knows there are bigger issues at stake, so after a tearful interlude, she asks him how long he’ll be gone. He has no idea. Bad sign.

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John Adams: Independence

I realize I should have had this up yesterday, but the thing is, my husband and I just spent the weekend moving from New Jersey to Georgia, and I was just too knackered to sit down and fight with our new cable setup and get a recap up. I’m sorry. I’ll try to be less lazy in the future.

Anyway, previously on John Adams: Boston lawyer John Adams just wanted to run his law practice and enjoy his family, but then the British started making trouble and treating the colonies like an endless ATM, so he reluctantly agreed to join the Continental Congress gathering in Philadelphia.

We open with the congress in Philadelphia, and…it’s about as boring as anything you see on CSPAN today, so it’s good to see that some things never change. One of the reps is blathering on while everyone else, John included, struggles to stay awake. The speaker proposes the colonies stop importing or exporting anything from or to Britain and that they prepare a nice little note for the king to read. John and Sam snark away about the futility of these steps and the speaker glares at them before stepping down. The congress is adjourned and John takes a minute to complain to Sam that the congress has achieved nothing, which is pretty much what he anticipated when he joined up, isn’t it?

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