Tonight's "Boardwalk Empire," scripted by Steve Kornacki, had two absolute knockout scenes. (If you haven't watched yet, beware of reading on.)
My favorite, with Angela (Aleksa Palladino) and Richard (Jack Huston), was written so beautifully and yet with such understatement. It was a scene, to be sure, that was set up by the character development that has taken place over the short life of the series, but the execution of it was just so marvelous. My only complaint would almost be that they made it look too easy.
So far, I can't get enough of Huston, whom the producers of "Boardwalk" seemed to stumble into when he first appeared midway through last season.
Then came the angrier but still memorable scene with the Commordore (Dabney Coleman) and Gillian (Gretchen Mol), which starts off seemingly one way before taking a decided and powerful U-turn. As repeated slapping goes, was this the best we've seen since "Chinatown"?
As I watch "Boardwalk," I still find myself sometimes giving it a hard time for what it isn't as opposed to what it is, but there are so many good performances in this show, leading to moments like these, that I'm slapped into remembering it's a really good ride.