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Boardwalk Empire Episode 11 Recap: Jimmy's Past is Revealed and He Kills His Dad


Last week in episode 10 of Boardwalk Empire we witnessed the most shocking death to date in the series, the death of Jimmy Darmody's wife Angela. I said it then and will say it again that it is a mistake to kill her character off. Angela (played by Aleksa Palladino) represented a woman of this period who defied societal conventions and was unlike any other character on the show. It almost seemed like a cop-out to kill her off.

This week in Episode 11, entitled "Under God's Power She Fluorishes" we dive deep into Jimmy's past. Later on we learn that he's hopped on heroin inside a hotel room in Northern Jersey and is stuck in the dreamlike stupor induced by the drug. During the series of flashbacks we learn a lot of about young Jimmy when he was at Princeton.

Episode 11 was reminiscient of the beginning of the final season of The Sopranos when we dived inside the mind of Tony, who was in a coma.

This episode has a few shocking scenes as well...then again what episode of Boardwalk hasn't had a shocking scene of some sort this season? Season 2 has really stepped up the game (in that department) compared to Season 1. Now onto the recap...

Meyer Lansky, Al Capone and Lucky Luciano Could Care Less About Jimmy

Right off the bat - Meyer, Al, and Lucky are talking about what happened to Jimmy's wife. They seem to shrug it off and could really care less. They're doing their own thing with or without Jimmy who is hopped on heroin in a hotel room in Northern Jersey.

Jimmy Wasn't the Hardass He is Now at Princeton

During the first of many flashback sequences involving Jimmy we dive into his past at Princeton. Jimmy and his fellow students are sitting around discussing a book. After class he gets called out by a student for making an off-color comment. The student then says he lost a brother on the Lusitania. Jimmy backs down and apologizes for being out of line. He was a much different man back then. Had this been today he would have bashed the student's head in with a chair regardless if he was in the wrong or not.

We also get to witness Jimmy's first encounter with Angela...his future wife, "that skinny girl" as his mom refers to her as.

Jimmy Did Do What We Thought He Did With His Mom

There always did seem to be something incestual about Jimmy's relationship with his mother Gillian Darmody (Gretchen Mol). Now we find out what really happened in their past during the flashback scenes. Jimmy finds out his drunken mother had sex with his professor. He goes up to his professor and beats the daylights out of him in front of his mom and Angela. When Jimmy goes to put his mom in bed she seduces him and they have sex.

Jimmy and Mother Boardwalk Empire

Nucky and Fallon Get the Goods on Van Alden

Finally, Agent Nelson Van Alden gets his comeuppance when the butler of Fallon (Nucky's new lawyer) reveals the identity of the murderer of Agent Sebso. He tells Nucky and Fallon that Van Alden drowned him during a baptism. Up until that point noone came forward do to the fact that white men in power would never take the word of black people during this era - especially if they had damning evidence against a Federal agent.

Van Alden Gets Busted

Van Alden is sitting in a meeting his superiors when The Deacon rolls in with Fallon. The Feds have Van Alden's ass nailed to the cross and he gets out of dodge. Van Alden shoots an agent and storms out of the office and goes on the run. Could this be the last we see of Van Alden?

Jimmy Comes Home and Flips Out on His Mom and...

Jimmy tries to strangle his mother after she breaks the news to him about the death of his wife and the circumstances surrounding it. She then tells Jimmy to move on and forget Angela and to dismiss her because of her encounters with women. Jimmy is fed up and starts to strangle his Mom. The Commodore intervenes and has the upper hand on Jimmy for a second, but is promptly stabbed in the stomach. His mother shouts, "Finish it!" and Jimmy finishes the deed.

The Commodore is dead. Now, Atlantic City is for Jimmy's taking.

Once Jimmy recovers from the madness over the past few days, just what will he do to Manny Horvitz? Even though his wife cheated on him with a woman, Jimmy still loved Angela. There will certainly be hell to pay in the season finale.

The Rating Is...

I give this episode a Macallan 12 Year ratign. It had everything and anything you could want out of a television drama. The revelations involving Jimmy and his mom, the murder of The Commodore, and Van Alden's "justice" make this the best episode of the season. Now, can the season finale top this one? We shall see. Remember last season's season finale was a little anti-climactic. And, perhaps that was necessary. But, this one can ill-afford to follow the same path.

Get ready for the season finale at 9:00 EST. Should be one for the ages!

Show scale:

5 - The Macallan - 12 Year

4 - Glenmorangie

3 - The Glenlivet

2 - Laphroaig

1 - Johnny Walker Black

Photo of Jimmy and Nucky from hbo.com

Contact Dennis Bakay at dbakay@philly2philly.com

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