HBO: Boardwalk Empire Episode Review & Recap – 2.8 “Two Boats and A Lifeguard”

Let me take a minute at the top here to extoll the virtues of HBO GO. I usually don’t watch the first airing of Boardwalk Empire on Sunday nights because I’m watching The Walking Dead instead. Last night, instead of waiting until 11:15 for the reairing, I decided to watch it on HBO GO instead. In case you didn’t know, HBO GO is HBO’s streaming website. Every HBO program is available on it (yes, even John from Cincinnati) and episodes are available to stream immediately after they air. If you subscribe to HBO, you simply have to sign up for an account (free!) to use the service. While I watched last night, I activated a little interactive timeline feature that pops up with context specific information during the episode. At one point, it showed me a diagram of the major liquor traffickers in New York, Chicago, and Atlantic City (this is a very useful feature for me, since I still haven’t figured out who everyone is yet). Later on, it told me that Jimmy always toasts “to the Lost” as a memory of the soldiers he served with in the war who never made it home. Anyway, I just loved this feature, and it’s probably something I’ll use again next week.

As for this episode, well… I was a bit distracted because I kept pausing the stream to watch my beloved New England Patriots pound the loudmouth Jets into submission on national television. With all the pausing, it probably took me almost two hours to make it through this episode, and I’m only remembering things in a sort of disjointed, disconnected way, so I’ll just touch on a couple of points that stood out to me. Overall, a generally slow episode again, but a lot of setup for the future.

* Angela is clearly unhappy with Jimmy. I’m not sure if previous episodes showed that she had a proclivity towards women, but I probably shouldn’t be surprised that HBO threw in a dose of lesbianism.

* The party that Angela attended with her San Francisco novelist friend was just so beautifully detailed. I’ve got to imagine that’s what Jay Gatsby’s parties looked like out on West Egg.

* I love Rothstein’s advice to Nucky: “Do Nothing.” Nucky appears to surrender to Jimmy, but this is just a rope-a-dope. He’ll wait until Jimmy is lazy and drunk with power (that might not take long, based on his behavior at the party) and hit him back, hard. There are about 5 more episodes left to this season, and I expect some serious retaliation by Nucky before the end.

* It looks like Nucky wants to use some of Sleater’s contacts back in Ireland. Is this for booze purposes, or is he going to get some IRA agent to build a bomb and blow Jimmy to pieces? My money’s on the first; I’m not sure bombing assassinations are Nucky’s style.

* Not only will Jimmy have to contend with an eventual counter-attack by Nucky, but it looks like his relationship with the Jewish mobsters in Philly has soured pretty quickly. They are not folks I’d like to cross; Jimmy might find himself under attack from two sides.

* Not sure what was going on with Van Alden in this episode. Why is he hiding money behind the picture frame?

John is a TV blogger for Raked and an Entertainment and Sports contributor here at The TMR Zoo. You can follow him on Twitter at @raked_jc