'Boardwalk Empire' 4.8: Knives In The Back
October 28th, 2013 8:34am EDT
I think my favorite scene in Boardwalk Empire 4.8 is when tears well up in Chalky's eyes as Maitland sings to him. Those tears would be the turning point in their relationship so far, a turning point that would save Chalky's life.
It was those tears that no doubt got Maitland to realize that she cared too much about Chalky to let him be killed by Narcisse's man Purnsley. First she tries to get Chalky to leave. Then, in the pivotal instant, she stabs Purnsley in the back, which saves Chalky's life.
That stab in the back was a work of art. Purnsley has in effect stabbed Chalky in the back with his treachery, and Maitland was on the path of doing the same to her lover. So it's completely appropriate that Maitland turns on Paisley with a knife in his back.
It's also satisfying to see a human reaction to tears - Maitland's reaction to Chalky's - having such profound consequences. What's not clear is what Chalky's reaction will be, after he gets over the trauma of what just happened and almost happened to him. He knows that Maitland set him up - that's why we see him ask Purnsley how he knew that Chalky was at Maitland's place - and how he will mix that in with Maitland deciding at the last minute to go with Chalky will be interesting to see.
The other treachery afoot in this powerful episode is, once again, Eli's to Nucky. This time, Eli's actions are at least motivated not by greed and pride but by wanting to protect his family - specifically, Willie. Still, it's hard to imagine just how far Eli will go with this. He's not about to commit suicide, as Eddie did, so what will he do as the Feds pull the noose tighter around him?
The human drama simmers in Boardwalk Empire.
See also Boardwalk Empire 4.1: Sneak Preview Review ... Boardwalk Empire 4.2: Sneak Preview Review ... Boardwalk Empire 4.2: J. Edgar ...Boardwalk Empire Sneak Preview Review 4.3: Honey, Sunny ...Boardwalk Empire 4.3: Nucky, Sunshine, and Heroin ... Boardwalk Empire Sneak Preview Review 4.4: Downfalls ... Boardwalk Empire 4.4: Bullies and Betrayals ... Boardwalk Empire Sneak Preview 4.5: The Gift of Rage ... Boardwalk 4.5: Two Deaths ... Boardwalk Empire Sneak Preview 4.6: Good Lovin' ... Boardwalk Empire 4.6: Sally and Margaret ... Boardwalk Empire Sneak Preview 4.7: Beds, Promotions, Surprises ... Boardwalk Empire 4.7: Family and History ... Boardwalk Empire Sneak Preview 4.8: The Blues
And see also Boardwalk Empire 3.1: Happy News Year 1923 ... Boardwalk Empire 3.2: Gasoline and the White Rock Girl ... Boardwalk Empire 3.3: The Showgirl and The Psycho ... Boardwalk Empire 3.5: "10 L'Chaim" ... Boardwalk Empire 3.7: Deadly Gillian ... Boardwalk Empire 3.8: Andrew Mellon ... Boardwalk Empire 3.9: Impaired Nucky
And see also Boardwalk Empire 2.1: Politics in an Age Before YouTube ... Boardwalk Empire 2.2: The Woman Behind the Throne ... Boardwalk Empire 2.3: Frankenstein and Victrola ... Boardwalk Empire 2.4: Nearly Flagrante Delicto ... Boardwalk Empire 2.5: Richard's Story ... Boardwalk Empire 2.6: Owen and Other Bad News for Nucky ... Boardwalk Empire 2.7: Shot in the Hand ...Boardwalk Empire 2.8: Pups with Fangs ... Boardwalk Empire 2.9: Ireland, Radio, Polio ...Boardwalk Empire 2.10: Double Shot ... Boardwalk Empire 2.11: Gillian and Jimmy ... Boardwalk Empire Season 2 Finale: Stunner!
And see also Boardwalk Emipre on HBO ... Boardwalk Empire 1.2: Lines and Centers Power ...Boardwalk Empire 1.10: Arnold Rothstein, Media Theorist ... Season One Finale of Boardwalk Empire
Paul Levinson's books ... Paul Levinson's music
Photo Credits: HBO