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'Boardwalk Empire' Gangster Index, Week 11: Oedipus, Meet Heroin

by Alex Moaba, posted Dec 5th 2011 5:30PM
Jimmy Darmody's wife paid the ultimate price for her husband's rookie mistakes on last week's 'Boardwalk Empire.' In 'Under God's Power She Flourishes,' Atlantic City's chief bootlegger and crime boss dealt with his wife's death by numbing himself on Luciano's heroin, and in the midst of his drugged-out flashbacks, we learned a whole lot about his bizarre relationship with his mother. When the Oedipal drama finally played out, it left the Commodore dead in his tracks.

The past also refused to stay buried for Nucky Thompson and Nelson Van Alden, as their own murderous secrets from Season One re-surfaced and threatened to put them both behind bars. Maybe they can be cell-mates.

To keep track of the deals, deception and death, AOL TV is continuing our 'Boardwalk Empire' gangster index, a guide to who's up and who's down among HBO's organized criminals.

Check out the index to find out how your favorite liquor-slinging sociopath fared this week ...

Stock up: Jimmy Darmody. Devastated by the news of Angie's murder, Jimmy sought comfort from the heroin Luciano gave him, and went on a bender, complete with flashbacks to his Princeton days. And my oh my, did some weirdness go down there. At least 'Boardwalk' finally came out and said it -- Jimmy slept with his mom! And the next day, he joined the army to fight in World War I. It all came to a head when he nearly strangled Gillian to death in a fit of rage, only to be interrupted by a surprisingly healthy Commodore stabbing him in the shoulder with a spear. In turn, Jimmy stabbed him in the stomach and finished the job at his mother's behest, stabbing his formerly-absentee father through the heart. Oedipus, eat your heart out.

Stock down: Nelson Van Alden. It was about time Van Alden's drowning of Agent Sebso caught up with him. In Season One, Van Alden drowned his Jewish colleague in a river as an entire church congregation looked on in horror. But they stayed silent until one of Nucky's servants came forward after hearing that Van Alden was set to testify against his employer. When Van Alden was confronted with the truth, he hilariously shot Ester Randolph's assistant in the leg and ran out of the post office. He came to Atlantic City as a zealous religious man on a mission against sin, and now he's wanted for the murder of a federal agent.

Stock down: Nucky Thompson. Even with Van Alden eliminated as a viable witness in his trial, it's become clear that the government has a solid case against him. After his lawyer gave him the sobering advice to "get his affairs in order," Nucky is finally grappling with the reality that he could wind up in the electric chair for ordering Hans Schroeder's murder. He offered to transfer his real estate holdings over to Margaret, but when she hinted she was considering coming clean as part of her quest to get right with God, he threatened her life.

Stock down: Eli Thompson. If Eli thought he'd get a sweet deal for testifying against his brother, he was sorely mistaken. All the federal prosecutor offered him in exchange for his testimony was a chance to avoid the death penalty. Still, he'll probably take it.

Stock down: Mickey Doyle. After getting thrown off a balcony and made fun of mercilessly, Mickey finally realized he doesn't have his own bootlegging crew's respect. But when he tried to rat them out and tip their next shipment to the feds, Van Alden (before he got busted) told him he wasn't interested in playing ball. Will he try to reach out to Ester Randolph next? He's weaslley enough to take their whole operation down.

Stock up: Gillian Darmody. Could Gillian be the most domineering, twisted TV mother since Livia Soprano? In this episode alone, we learned she seduced her son Jimmy in college, offered to raise his son after Angela was killed, and urged him to finish the job after he'd stabbed his father. After all of that, she told him to just forget about nearly strangling her to death. And here we thought Jimmy's mommy issues were a result of Gillian sleeping with Luciano! It's a shame psychiatry wasn't widely accepted in the '20s, because the Darmodys could really use a good couch session.

Whose 'Boardwalk' gangster stock do you think rose and fell in this week's episode? Sound off in the comments.

You can contact Alex directly on Twitter.

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Dj Rashad Hayes

It's truly ridiculous that a show like this could be on tv. Really, sex with your mother? This is what passes for approved tv shows? It's just ridiculous. And no one is in an uproar about this. It's all, "Man she's twisted!!" How about someone sick enough to write it? Outlandish murders in broad daylight? Grimey stuff was going on but none of this **** was happening. They're adding all this crazy **** when the era was entertaining enough on it's own with actual events. SMH. I was appalled at the episode. I'm no longer watching it.

December 08 2011 at 10:58 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Dj Rashad Hayes's comment

Have you ever heard of the Greek Tragedy "Oedipus the King", read the Shakespearean play "Hamlet" or heard of the psychoanalytic theory, the Oedipus complex? Or how about the term "mother f*cker"?

This has been happening since the dawn of time so it's not really "sick" that a writer might create this storyline. Human nature can be appalling and repulsive as well as attractive and appealing. If anything the writers show real bravery in bringing some of our less desirable defects into the light.

December 10 2011 at 1:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Jimmy Darmody is a real ************!

December 08 2011 at 8:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I knew there was something weird going on between Jimmy and his Mom from the first episode she was in. Jimmy went to go see her and she jumped on him and wrapped her legs around him (she was half naked too)and kissed him. I thought she was a girlfriend he had on the side at first, and was a bit shocked to learn she was his Mom. Then ,in an episode earlier this season, she mentions how she used to "kiss his winky" when she was changing his diaper.

December 07 2011 at 6:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It amazes me how strong the commodore is in almost taking this young lad....gosh he was a feeble old man drooling on himself not very believable. sorry.

December 06 2011 at 6:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Reverend Puck

He didn't get stabbed with a bed post, he was stabbed by a spear which was one of the Commodore's war trophies.

December 06 2011 at 12:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Reverend Puck's comment
Alex Moaba

thanks for that...updated the post with the correct weapon!

December 06 2011 at 6:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Last week Liszt, this week Chopin! (Great highlight!)

The Dec. 4, episode was 'Under God's Power She Flourishes.' Its like that was suppose to be the title of another episode because last night's should have been '...To Hell In A Hand-Basket!' A night of absolute and total 'across the board insanity!' As a fan of 'Game Of Thrones', I thought nothing would ever leave me staring blankly at the screen with mouth wide open ever again, right? Wrong!

December 05 2011 at 11:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Nate White

Oedipus anyone?

December 05 2011 at 10:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dexter Morgan

Gillian/Mol is 9 yrs older than Darmody /Pitt...in real ife....... i thought at least she was his STEP Mother...but BIRTH mother? ....that is ridiculous casting.....

December 05 2011 at 6:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Dexter Morgan's comment

You obviously haven't seen every Boardwalk Empire episode,because it was revealed Gillian was raped by the commodore when she was 13. And Pitt is 30 in real life but playing a 25 year old,so it does work

December 05 2011 at 6:20 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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