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October 24, 2014

'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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