Monday, December 12, 2011

Boardwalk Empire: To the Lost

How can I try to explain, when I do he turns away again. 
It's always been the same, same old story. 
From the moment I could talk I was ordered to listen. 
Now there's a way and I know that I have to go away. 
-Cat Stevens

Jimmy and Harrow fulfill one of Jimmy’s promises: They show up to a Klan meeting and get the 3 KKK members that shot up Chalky’s “boys.” Jimmy can’t deliver booze or plan an assassination, but he’s able to kill some clansmen and bring the guilty parties to Chalky’s doorstep. It makes sense when Jimmy asks Chalky to set up a meeting with Nucky. That boy will do anything for his father. Also, TO his father. See last episode.

Being screwed over, almost assassinated, and having killed two women has sent Horvitz to a weird, almost Apocalypse Now place.  He’s hiding in a basement of a synagogue. Mickey Doyle went back to Nucky. He keeps getting smarter. Horvitz wants to trade Waxy Gordon for Darmody. Nucky is making his comeback and he has a little bit of time to get his throne in order. Like Mikey said, “He ain’t in jail, yet.”

Emily has made progress. She’s walking with her braces and crutches. Margaret is at Rudolph’s office and has brought along her priest. That priest is no match for these two broads. Rudolph’s not pulling any punches and Margaret looks intense. She manages to rile up Rudolph. Margaret playing the Eva Braun card is not going to help her with Rudolph. “He hasn’t been cruel to me.” Is that like the Ginger from Casino version of “Nobody’s ever been so nice to me”? Rudolph tells Margaret that she can be a free woman. I think Margaret knows better than most that there’s no such thing as a free woman.

Eddie is cracking wise. Nucky does NOT appreciate it. Nucky’s lawyer keeps telling him what’s up. If Margaret testifies, it would be beyond independent corroboration. And then Chalky calls . . .

Nucky doesn’t hesitate to meet with Jimmy, but takes Owen just in case. He’s dismissed by Jimmy and Nucky. Good. I can’t STAND to look at that smug bastard’s face. Jimmy pours a little out for his wifey. Touching. Then Jimmy drops the bomb on Nucky about killing The Commodore. “He was your father. Nothing looms larger.” Nucky could’ve been talking about his own relationship with Jimmy. Jimmy plays the don’t-blame-me-I-had-a-hard-life card. Then he dumps it all on Eli. I really don’t see what Jimmy could do to make things okay between him and Nuck.  Of course, I’m no wartime consigliere.

Whether he’s being honest or manipulative (probably both), who knows, but Nucky lays it on the line with Margaret and proposes. He’s contrite, humble, and vulnerable. But, unlike Margaret, I don’t find it or him surprising. He’s the smartest character on television since Jeb Bartlett. Margaret needs to sleep on it, I guess, and wakes up to a lovely, but maggot riddled, home life scene: Nucky playing in the yard with her kids. Everyone loves a wedding, but I don’t think it bodes well that Owen and his former lover/Margaret’s maid are the witnesses. Kind of a weird homage to the baptism/murder scene from the Godfather, though. And, right after they’re married, Nucky lies to Margaret.  Ahhhhhhhhh, married life.

The Commodore’s official cause of death: car wreck. His will had bequeathed his property to the maid that tried to kill him. Legal hawk Jimmy tears up the will. Um, okay. I think Gillian will be lucky if she’s relegated to a mere hostess and maid. Jimmy asks his associates to turn against Eli and blame everything on him. They aren’t as keen on the idea.

But it magically happens.

I feel horrible for Randolph. She had such a great case for which she had worked so, so hard. One of the few times I haven’t liked Nucky. Poor Hallorahn is the only one that gets punished for anything. I guess he wasn’t that smart after all.

I miss Angela. My heart breaks for that little boy who has to grow up with that family. Angela wasn’t a saint, but damn.

Eli is working hard on becoming an alcoholic while sweating it out on his porch. Eli is a really good liar, but is Nucky convinced? Eli is going to have to eat it. Two year sentence, probably with time served or time off for good behavior, but Eli, a former sheriff, is going to jail.

Luciano and Rothstein are going into the heroin business together. Nucky calls and advises that Horvitz might no longer be with us. Luciano doesn’t care, so Rothstein doesn’t care. Nucky’s going to have to make a decision.

Van Alden, his Swedish nanny, and the baby are in the Midwest. What does this guy think he’s going to do?

Jimmy looks like the help in that big house. Harrow looks more like he belongs. Jimmy gets a call summoning him to Nucky. Harrow offers to go with him, but Jimmy brushes him off. He keeps getting sidelined. Lame. And a big mistake. I guess Eli did convince Nucky or blood is thicker than water. Jimmy gets set up by Nucky and the heavens weep. Jimmy was ready to die, but I can’t believe he would leave his son to Gillian.  I blame The Commodore for all of this. At least Jimmy killed him before he was offed himself.

I wish I were a better writer so I could describe how cold and intense and cruel Nucky was in that scene. I know and have always known he's a bad man, but I was horrified. 

But Nucky gets a big F-U courtesy of Margaret and the Church gets their future legal defense fund. Evil begets evil begets evil.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Cotto-Margarito 12-03-11

Oh, man, Margarito doesn’t want to touch gloves. Eeeeek! This is gonna be good!

Round 1: Cotto comes out of his corner ready to swing. Left by Cotto to Margarito’s stomach. Hard right by Cotto. Left hook to the body by Cotto. Left jab by Cotto. Margarito missing several punches. Tradeing jabs. Left to the body by Cotto. Fighters trade jabs. Combination by Cotto. Right by Margarito. Body shot by Cotto. Left to the body by Margarito. Hard left jab by Cotto. Hard right by Cotto. Left jab by Cotto. Combination by Cotto with a nasty left hook. Another combination by Cotto. Combination by Margarito. Cotto (10-9)

Round 2: Hard left hook by Cotto. Hard right by Margarito. Cotto answers with his own hard right. Combination by Cotto. Fighters trade jabs. Left hook by Cotto. Left jab by Cotto. Combination by Cotto. Hard left by Cotto. Another left hook by Cotto. Two left jabs by Cotto. Upper cut by Margarito. Fighters trade jabs at the bell. Cotto (20-18)

Round 3: Combinatino by Cotto. Left by Cotto. Fighters trade jabs. Left jab by Cotto. Right by Margarito. Right to the body by Cotto. Both fighters are punching. Right by Cotto to Margarito’s face. Right to Margarito’s body. Left hook by Cotto. Another left hook and then a right jab. Right to the body by Margarito. Cotto (30-27)

Round 4: Combination by Cotto. Right by Cotto to Margarito’s face. Left hook by Cotto. Right by Cotto. Right to the body by Cotto. Clinch with Margarito punching Cotto’s head. Left by Cotto. Right upper cut by Margarito. Combination by Cotto. Left Hook by Cotto. Small punches to Cotto’s head. Right by Cotto. Left jab by Cotto. Cotto (40-36)

Round 5: Cotto seems tired. Left, measuring jabs by Margarito. Left jab by Cotto. Right hook by Margarito. Combination by Margarito. Combination by Cotto. Combination by Margarito. Combination by Cotto. Left hook to the body by Cotto. Clinch with upper cuts by Margarito. Two lefts by Cotto. Left hook by Cotto. Left jab by Cotto. Fighters trade left jabs. Margarito (49-46)

Round 6: Cotto seems reenergized. Left jab by Cotto. Right by Cotto. Left jab and combination by Cotto. Left jab by Cotto. Clinch with Margarito punching. Two lefts with Cotto. Left uppercut by Cotto. Combination by Cotto. Left to the body by Cotto. Combo by Cotto.   Cotto (59-55)

Round 7: Left jab by Cotto. Left jab by Cotto. Clinch Margarito lands punches. Left by Cotto. Two lefts and a right by Margarito. Upper cut by Margarito. Hard right by Margarito. Combination to the head by Cotto. Left to the body by Margarito. Clinch. And some wrestling? Combination by Cotto, including after the bell. That’s not nice. Let’s not stoop that level. Cotto (69-64)

Round 8: Combo by Cotto. Left hook to the body by Cotto.  Margarito swinging wild. Clinch with Margarito getting a punch in. Time out due to Cotto’s tape becoming undone. Two lefts by Cotto. Right by Cotto. Left hook by Cotto. Combination to the body and head by Cotto. Combination to the head by Margarito. Uppercut and right by Margarito. Right by Margarito. Right then left by Cotto. Right by Cotto.  (79-73)

Round 9: Margarito almost doesn’t answer the bell because of his eye. Combination by Cotto. Left uppercut by Cotto. Left to the body by Cotto. Clinch. Margarito getting in some punches. Flurry of body shots by Cotto. Combination by Cotto. Two lefts by Cotto. Upper cut by Margarito. Left by Cotto. Left upper by Margarito. Right uppercut by Cotto. Two uppercuts by Margarito. Right by Cotto.  Cotto (89-82)

Round 10: The ringside doctor won’t let Margarito continue. Cotto wins by TKO

Cotto fought very well. He was precise, focused, and determined. His punches hit hard and the target was clearly Margarito’s rebuilt eye. Going to Margarito’s chin wouldn’t have been effective, so I understand the lack of uppercuts, but more shots to the body would’ve been nice.  If Cotto opens his own gym, he could teach a class on left hooks.


Neither one wobbled. Neither one stumbled. Only Margarito’s eye was damaged. Cotto was tagged all over his face. Cotto went after Margarito with everything he had and Frankenstein kept lurching forward. Did this fight provide enough evidence to prove Margarito had loaded wraps in his first fight with Cotto? Not in a court of law, but definitely in the court of public opinion and for fight fans.

I don’t think that Cotto will go down in Puerto Rican boxing history as great of a fighter as Trinidad. The Cotto-Margarito saga will go down as an interesting and dramatic turn in a sport known for its drama.
Cotto, the only fighter other than Pacquiao that can legitimately say the name Mayweather, earned a lot of respect from me for not mentioning Mayweather for a future matchup.   

In the post fight interview, Cotto says about Margarito, “He means nothing to me.” I think that’s the general consensus for anyone involved in boxing, including fans. A guy known for taking punishment can no longer take punishment. It doesn’t seem like he can be knocked out and, because of his eye, all of his fights will likely be stopped by a ringside doctor. That doesn’t make him a viable opponent and that doesn’t leave him a lot of options. I hope he’s had a great money manager, because it’s time to retire.

Oh, but the glory that was!  Their first fight renewed my hope in boxing.  They were two well-known fighters in a well-matched, explosive, entertaining fight. It took me back to my youth when boxers would really fight in an attempt to establish dominance. If you were king of the ring, you were a battle-tested king. When it was revealed that Margarito was using illegal wraps at the Moseley fight, it broke my heart. Boxing went back to being a shady, dirty-ass, fringe sport. I can and do still recall the greatness of the first fight, even though it makes me ache. I’m still waiting for a boxing savior, but I’m no longer hopeful.

Boardwalk Empire: Under God’s Power, She Flourishes

“You’re tearing me apart!” – Rebel Without a Cause

Flashback to when Angela and Jimmy were first dating. Ah, the lust of youth. She was a waitress and slightly homely. Seeing Jimmy as a Princeton student is not as strange as I thought it would be. His professor seemed like a nice role model, with the usual result for Jimmy. A lot of references to one being hungry and not being able to feed oneself.  Sounds like Jimmy. Unfortunately, nothing seems to work out for him. I like the imagery of the young soldiers bounding up after Jimmy . . . the war is nipping at his heels.

Gillian came back into Jimmy’s life when he was doing well at Princeton. I like that Jimmy grimaced when he had his drink, but Gillian didn’t.  Gillian does get close to Jimmy’s professor and then the professor gets too close to Gillian.  Fighting someone you feel compelled to still call Mr. So and So is not going to help you. Jimmy had a chance to walk, but he didn’t take it. And Gillian was disgustingly pleased. She really enjoys keeping him emotionally hostage. So far, it seems like every time she comes to town, it ruins Jimmy’s life. And, ugh. A drunken mother and son undressing one another in a darkened room. So, so, so creepy. I couldn’t even watch it. The inappropriateness could be a product of her being raped at the age of 13 by a 40 year old.

OH, MY EYES!!! MY EYES!!! WTF???!!! I’m surprised that Jimmy didn’t run into machine gun fire on purpose during the war. Or gas himself. Jay-sus! “I had my pleasures. That’s all that matters.” Man, that quote from Gillian now has an added layer of sociopathic meaning. Cut later to current day Jimmy getting high on his own supply after hearing about Angela. I think heroin’s his only option at this point. A biological father that’s a rapist. A surrogate father that you betrayed. A mother that likes to fuck you. Get all of the heroin you can, sweetie. Crying is good, too. Cry until the jmen in the white coats come take you away. I, for one, will not judge you.

Nucky is going over his case with his new lawyer. Nucky’s manservant just happened to be a witness to the drowning of the Jewish prohibition agent killed by Van Alden. Thank goodness Nucky’s lawyer allowed the man to speak.  Nucky’s getting a little too tense. It’s making him shortsighted. He’s forgetting that people and the information they have is the best capital. He used to be such a good listener!

Alden’s story about his parentage sheds some light on his personality. His father was one of those religious folks who followed a preacher who predicted the rapture would occur in the late nineteenth century. He sold the farm, plummeted the family into poverty, and was brokenhearted when the Jesus didn’t come on down. This somehow led to him not enjoying his son’s presence. I don’t get it, but it explains Van Alden a little better, although wouldn’t that make him less religious. And what happened his self-flagellation? It added a nice layer of terror to his creepiness.

Emily gets her leg braces. Not as fun as when Forrest Gump received his. She couldn’t even stand in the braces. Is it just me, or does the priest look like a much less attractive Ted Kennedy.  The priest tells Margaret a parable and then makes some sort of request. Any request a priest makes that’s slightly vague gives me the heebie-jeebies.

I like Nucky’s reaction to the priest’s parable. Really, why didn’t they just choke up on the spoons? We now know that Nucky is an agnostic/fatalist. Why does Margaret seem surprised? I hope that Margaret takes Nucky’s threat seriously when she suggests she’s going to answer the subpoena and testify against Nucky. For a second I thought she was going to mention her two pumps from Owen.  Thank goodness she has a sliver of her old intelligence left. Phew! However, if at any other time of the show the ADA were to go toe to toe with Margaret, I would’ve given the odds to Margaret, but right now . . . I’m worried for Nucky.

Gillian is back in true form after being relegated to non-existent after the Commodore made his recovery. She gives the hapless deputy a quick and neat story to tie up Angela’s murder. She should’ve just said that Harrow is a war buddy instead of a simpleton. Harrow’s a bit sensitive right now. I worry about him, but he came through for Jimmy at the end. I hope Jimmy doesn’t do to Harrow what he thinks Nucky did to him.

Lucky Luciano, Al Capone, and the crew finally figure out that they need to let Jimmy deal with his own problems and hang him out to dry. They then push Doyle a bit too far. Much like Hallorahn, he’s the type that, if pushed too hard, will take action. He’s a criminal Hallorahn. And he does. Doyle meets with Van Alden and proposes a plan for a fake raid by the feds. Van Alden gets half of the liquor money and Doyle gets the other half. Van Alden turns him down.

Eli is between a rock and a hard place and that ADA is doing a good job of putting the screws to the Thompson brothers.  Enough so that Eli decides to testify against Nucky. Nucky tries to talk to Margarget about his finances in case he goes to jail and in preparation of his trial. Margaret pretty much gets what she always wanted: security. Except now she makes it seem like a terrible burden.

Owen is being his usual creeper self. “Do you think about me?” Their love scene was so lacking in warmth, pleasure or anything of a sexual nature. I still don’t know why it happened? Margaret felt like a worthless whore for a moment and wanted to feel it the whole way? I’m sure Margaret’s thoughts lean toward regret, disgust, and disappointment, if she thinks of him and their encounter at all.  Sucks that Owen’s lover, Margaret’s maid, overheard.   

Ms. Randolph goes after Van Alden for the drowning of the prohibition agent with the help of Nucky’s lawyer. Van Alden decides to shoot a federal agent and flee. I think Nucky’s sucked the intelligence out of everyone else in this show.

Gillian downplays Angela’s death and Jimmy starts choking her. Totally understandable. The Commodore then goes after Jimmy. Despite his recent stroke, he’s got the old man strength going for him. Jimmy finally succeeds in killing someone. What a fucking Greek tragedy this is. And how good are Gillian’s wiles that every man in her life would kill for her? Jimmy should’ve killed her and then himself, too.  And, look, the heir to the Greek throne, little Tommy.  I wonder if Gillian gave Jimmy that same speech after she had sex with him. Blech.

This was such an intense episode. They could’ve ended the season with it. The season finale better bring it.  

Favorite quote: “The beginning’s over. The end hasn’t come yet.” - Nucky

This show really makes me feel like I live in a Norman Rockwell painting.  

Friday, December 2, 2011

Cotto-Margarito II Preview

24/7 Cotto-Margarito II

I’m so excited about this matchup!  When Cotto and Margarito first met, they were both undefeated, heavy-punching, stars. The winner would emerge as king of that division. (Mayweather was on hiatus and Manny hadn’t showed up to that division, yet.) It was a slugfest.  Both took major punishment, but every time Margarito threw a punch, it looked like Cotto was getting hit with an anvil.  Six months later, we find out a possible reason why Margarito’s punches were so devastating.  

Cotto took the loss hard and it manifested in a super early mid-life crisis. He started getting tattoos. He separated from his wife. This could be an argument for my hypothesis that every fighter should have a loss or two early in his career to help build resiliency. Or, just losing to Margarito sends one into a downward spiral.*  
Both now have losses to Pacquiao, who dismantled Margarito to such a degree that Margarito was almost denied (and probably should’ve been) denied a license by the New York Athletic Commission due to the lingering damage to one of his eyes. (Cotto said the fight is at the Garden or it doesn’t happen at all. Bob Arum probably had a few kneecaps broken to get Margarito his license.**) Margarito’s corner should’ve stopped the Pacquiao fight long before the final bell.

The 24/7 series covering Cotto’s and Margarito’s training camp could’ve been way longer. This would’ve been a great multi-episode 24/7. Margarito’s eye issues.  Some analysis from Margarito and his camp of what happened in the ring with Pacquiao.  Some more background on Cotto’s new trainer and how he adjusted to his new trainer’s style in comparison to his other trainers.

I do like Cotto’s new trainer, Diaz. Cuban athletes have an amazing work ethic. There are few distractions in Cuba. You have nothing to do, but be dedicated. Maybe I just have a soft spot for people who have to leave behind everything they know and everyone they love due to an oppressive government.

Cotto’s best friend needs to put the tweezers DOWN. That is not a good look for a big man.

I find the interviews with the wives and mothers the most interesting – for all fighters and trainers. They seem resigned at best and fearful at worst. I can’t imagine being married to someone who was so involved in boxing. It’s all day, every day, and such a dangerous sport.

Margarito’s drills at the track look like so much fun, but, man, his trainer has AGED since the Pacquiao fight. I do feel bad for Margarito having to make the unscheduled trip to New York. Every day is crucial this close to a fight, but he has to go the extra mile for all requests due to, well, you know.

This is a big fight career-wise and psychologically for both fighters. Cotto to avenge the previous loss and regain his confidence. Margarito to redeem his reputation as a hard-hitting fight, WITHOUT plaster on his hands and to quiet those that scream out he’s a criminal. This fight will, hopefully, bring closure to both fighters as well as fight fans.  So, it comes down to one thing: What’s stronger? Revenge? Or redemption?

*See: Kermit Cintron
**Not even allegedly. It’s a joke. I kid. Bob Arum is a paragon of ethics. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Alvarez-Cintron 11-26-2011

Saul "Canelo" Alvarez v.Kermit "The Killer" Cintron for the WBC Light Middleweight Title

Round 1: Both fighters go to the center of the ring quickly. Both seem focused. No hesitation or apprehension. Cintron throwing the majority of the punches. None are landing. He’s measuring the distance and gauging Alvarez’s reactions. Alvarez staring to react. Combination and shots to the body by Alvarez. Combo by Alvarez. Left and right connect to Cintron’s head. [De la Hoya is in the front row looking like an 80s Mexican drug dealer straight out of Miami vice. ]. Cintron misses a good opportunity for a counter as Alvarez throws a punch and lets down his guard.  Alvarez (10-9)

Round 2: Alvarez lands a left to Cintron’s head. [RJJ talking some nonsense and distracting me from a good exchange.] Cintron to the body. Left upper cut by Alvarez and then a right to the body. Left jab by Cintron. Alvarez answers with a combination. Two left jabs by Cintron. [These left jabs are not going to cut it.]  Alvarez (20-18)

Round 3:  Alvarez counters wild and misses. Both fighters swing wild and miss. Left jab by Alvarez. Left jab by Cintron. Combination by Alvarez connects to Cintron’s face. Left uppercut by Alvarez.  Alvarez missing several punches. Both fighters have great rhythm. They both also have great head movement. Right to Alvarez’s head. The fighters trade left jabs as the bell sounds. Alvarez (30-27)

Round 4: Right uppercut by Cintron. Left to Cintron’s body. Jab by Cintron. Fighters are trading jabs. Now trading upper cuts. Trading jabs. The boxers are mirroring each other. Alvarez to the body. Great left hook to Cintron’s head. Left jab by Cintron. Three rights to Cintron’s head. Cintron goes down and gets up. Cintron can’t put up his gloves after the standing eight so the ref does it for him. Alvarez attacks. Cintron slips. Body shot by Cintron. Left hook to Cintron. Cintron is hurt at the bell. Sits on the ropes. There is a cut on the bridge of Cintron’s nose.  Alvarez (40-35)

Round 5: Cintron legs look stiff. Not good. Hook combination by Cintron, but he’s wobbly and swinging wild. Left by Alvarez. Right by Alvarez. Hard right by Cintron to Alvarez’s head. Right hook by Alvarez. Left jabs by Cintron. Light, not really connecting.  Left hook by Alvarez. Then a combination. Cintron answers. Alvarez can take a punch. I am seriously worried about Cintron.  Combination by Alvarez. And the ref stops the fight. TKO for Alvarez

Would everyone please stop asking for Mayweather? Unless you’re ready to take the money and retire, there are other, better fighters. Stop indulging that ignorant a-hole and pissing off true boxing fans. It’s like any boxer within two weight classes of Mayweather has Tourettes and can only say “Mayweather.” Ugh.

Cintron’s descent is a little sad. He participated in one of the greatest nights of boxing for me: July 14, 2007: Paul Williams whooping on Margarito; Cintron versus Matthysse; Gatti’s last fight (I teared up); and I think it may have been Amir Khan’s HBO debut. It was such a beautiful night of boxing. I feel bad about Paul Williams’ career, too, but I’ll save that for another article.   

Now, as to whom Alvarez SHOULD (could) fight next . . . Sergio Martinez? Paul Willams? The winner of the Cotto-Margarito fight? Julio Caesar Chavez, Jr.? Yes, some of those match ups would require someone to change their weight class, and it would be a rematch with Cotto, but so what? Do it. I want to see a good (big name) fight (that doesn’t include Mayweather).

Monday, November 28, 2011


"Momma, I'm in love with a gangsta' and I know he's a killer, but I love that . . . Jew?"

What Nucky wants, Nucky gets and, now, the Atlantic City merchants of pleasure have their whiskey. I like Purnsley as a sort of second-in-command to Chalky.  Owen has gone from smarmy to creepy.

As much of a ridiculous spectacle that True Blood is, at least that show has some strong female characters, unlike Boardwalk Empire or The Walking Dead. At this juncture, Mrs. Van Alden is the only broad with any balls in either show. DIVORCE! I like Van Alden being slightly diminished. He’s like Nixon. Too much power and too much black and white thinking was his undoing. Once he was undone, people liked him more and could appreciate his strengths.

Margaret worked and schemed so hard for her gilded cage, but there isn’t anything she or Nucky’s money can do for Emily. What a burn.  She does get a new doll, though.  A doll that would give Freddy Krueger nightmares. Yeesh. Margaret shouldn’t have been so stricken with shame after slapping Teddy when he faked having polio symptoms. That was obscenely cruel. I think this kid is beyond even Nucky’s guidance.

After the umpteenth “I’ll take care of it,” Jimmy is finally in the presence of whiskey.  Unfortunately, Jimmy is confronted with the strike situation. Time to start the “I’ll take care of it” for this situation. You can’t take care of something without a plan.  Great lesson in becoming the head of organized crime: cultivate loyalties during your ascension and secure your position with a mix of that and slight violence against those above you.  Jimmy wants to skip every step and go straight to being a superstar. Reminds me of a lot of boxers these days.

Nucky’s new (rekindled?) badass attitude is growing and it’s such a joy to watch, though I don’t like it directed at Kessler. I really enjoy the historical references in this show. Great reference to the Sacco-Vanzetti case and the greatest baseball player of all time: Ty Cobb.* Nucky fires his attorney and goes to New York to hire Rothstein’s. Nucky doesn’t have any money for bribes (really?) and he asks Rothstein if he can rely on the attorney’s trial skills. Rothstein responds, “No one likes a long shot more than a gambler.” Nucky’s not a gambler.

Jimmy has a meeting to determine how to deal with the strikers. He doesn’t come up with anything then disparages everyone else’s ideas.  It’s decided that beating the strikers is the way to go. The beating of was intense.

Eli choses this time to send a message to Halloran and it’s ugly. However, beating up a stupid person for doing something stupid is stupid. At least Eli is consistently violent in a stupid way. Stupid people are not prone to learning or understanding consequences. They do make excellent tattle tales, though. Eli is the Shane of Boardwalk Empire. All brute force and developing sociopath.  

Eli eventually gets dragged to prison for contempt, I’m guessing. The ADA’s suggestion is what Eli should’ve done in the first place. If you’re going to greenlight the killing of your brother, you can testify against him in court. Geez.

Jimmy and Chalky having a tête-à-tête. Jimmy, the character, and Michael Pitt, the actor, are outgunned. Since when does Jimmy know the governor? Where is he going to get the money? “That’s not gonna happen, Chalky.” Chalky’s amused smile is a good indication of when might have been the last time someone said that to him. Oh, man, Jimmy. If Eli is the brains of your operation, you are in big, big trouble. Lucky Luciano and Al Capone losing their tempers and starting to see through Jiimmy isn’t good at all. Not for Jimmy, at least. I think the audience would appreciate it if Jimmy suffered the consequences of his (lack of) actions. I’m guessing it’ll be at the hands of Manny Horovitz. [I am not happy that I was right about that.]

Steve Buscemi is so great at making a scene with anyone seem legit. Child actors are more character than method, but he has enough gravitas for a scene with a room full of children.

Donation = Devotion? I guess if you’re a gold digger . . . When someone is so vulnerable, religion can help, but it can also be dangerous. Margaret decides that her penance should be handing over jewelry to the Church. (I don’t understand how nobody says anything about Margaret and Nucky not being married. Yes, it’s the roaring twenties, but still.)

Michael Pitt looks pretty good in his undershirt. Jimmy and Angela have a bittersweet exchange. I like the softness between them that’s developed. “I’m going to make it up to you.” The personal version of “I’ll take care of it.” Poor Angela. But Jimmy gets to tell the truth for the first time this season: “I’m not sure of anything.” But, seriously, poor Angela.  Aaaaaaaaand, that’s how you kill somebody.

*Also, by most accounts, a terrible human being. 

THE WALKING DEAD: Pretty Much Already Dead

“Should I stay or should I go, now? If I go there will be trouble. If I stay it will be double.” – The Clash

It’s daytime, but the scene is dark. I sense impending doom. Blabbermouth Glenn finally spills beans that should’ve been spilled a while ago. The group heads to the barn where Shane and Daryl have a confrontation and things get loud. Um, hello? Walkers like noise. So, they start pushing on the door. I think being on the farm for this long has made the whole group lose touch with reality, even Daryl. Just drop a few Molotov cocktails into the barn already.

Glenn tries to talk to Maggie, but Maggie has regressed to the first grade and Glenn is left with egg all over his face. He manages to say his piece later on and Maggie really, really liked it.

Carl tells his mom he wants to stay on the farm. We all know where he gets his I-say-so-and-so-it-is expectation.

Even for an abused woman, Carol is a bit too dead inside. All she really had was her daughter and she’s choosing Daryl’s well-being over Sophia. I feel like I’m watching an episode of the Twilight Zone.  C’mon! The damned writers are making Daryl stupid, too.  Daryl and Maggie need some mood stabilizers.

Dale tries talking to Andrea about Shane, but Andrea doesn’t want to hear it. (Note: In the comics, Andrea and Dale are an item.) Dale lays an ugly guilt trip on Andrea about her rejecting him every time he tries to help her. She had a dad. He’s dead. You’re not her dad. Stop acting like it. Ugh. I am not a fan of their relationship.  Skeevy.  

Rick wants to have a discussion with Hershel about the barn. Hershel has never discussed anything. He dictates. I don’t care that it’s the zombie apocalypse. In my experience, the older a person, the harder it is to change their way of thinking. Trying to change someone using your own experience almost never works.* It’s rural Georgia. Can’t the group find another farm and some barbed wire and start their own colony?

Rick tells Shane Lori is pregnant. I’m terrified. And two scenes later, rightfully so. Shane is so sick. I finally feel bad for Lori. There’s no way to handle this situation correctly, but telling Shane that even if it is his, it’s not going to be his, was bad, bad, bad. Then Carl, just like his mommy, tells Shane what to do. Hell to the no.

Hershel makes Rick an offer he should absolutely refuse. Some walkers are stuck in the mud and Hershel wants to help them out and put them in the barn. Rick helps. Jesus wept (John 11:35).  

Dale steals the guns and tries to hide them from Shane. Shane finds him and confronts him. Dale misses a golden opportunity to kill Shane. I think the group would’ve forgiven him. Except maybe Carl, but who cares.

Shane loses it, but it does have some benefits. At least he armed everyone first. Then he opens up the barn door and it’s like a live-action video game. If I were unarmed, I would’ve started running, especially if I had a child. Daryl is just as sexy with a shotgun as he is with a crossbow.

Whoa!!! What a punch to the gut! Sophia was one of the walkers in Hershel’s barn this whole time. Totally gut-wrenching. I did not see that coming. Rick reclaimed his role as leader by putting her down.

I was too stunned to comprehend the preview for the next episode.

[Norman Reedus in the aftershow!!!  He’s so yummy!!!]

*But daddies do listen to their daughters. Maggie gave it her best shot. A Hail Maggie?

Manfredo-Chavez 11-19-2011

Peter Manfredo, Jr. v. Julio Caesar Chavez, Jr.

Middleweight Championship Fight – WBC Belt

Going into it, it seemed like an evenly matched fight. Two boxers who have something to prove. One a former reality show contestant. The other the son of a legend. Manfredo’s previous notable fights include Joe Calzaghe and Jeff Lacy. He lost to both. I was impressed by how many professional fights Manfredo has had, especially at his age (43-0-1).  It showed during the fight.

Round 1: Right away, I dislike Manfredo’s trunks. I’m of the Mike Tyson school of boxing wear: less flash, more punching people in the face. Chavez is the aggressive. He gets in a good shot at the body. Chavez showing great head movement and great timing early on. He’s quick, but not overeager. Not at all like Freddy’s other protégé, Amir “King of Nothing” Khan.  Chavez easily bats away Manfredo’s jabs. Chavez connects with two jabs. Manfredo swings wild to end the round going for a good showing at the end, but fails. Chavez (9-10)

Round 2: Chavez connects with a jab. Then a left hook.  There are a lot of punches being thrown, but not a lot are landing. Both have good defensive styles. Hard right by Chavez. Some more exchanges that are defended. Hard counter right by Chavez. Manfredo to the body. Manfredo needs to pace himself. He is going to get tired. Left upper cut by Manfredo. Jab by Manfredo.  Chavez (18-20)

Round 3: Hard right by Chavez. Another hard right by Chavez. Exchange of jabs. Manfredo is losing his patience and moving in with his hands down. He’s lucky he didn’t get knocked out. Chavez to the head. Manfredo to the body. Chavez with a right to the head. Manfredo with a left to the head. Manfredo’s tape around his glove becoming undone. Time out by the referee to fix it. Hard left and then the bell and then a hard right by Manfredo. Even (28-30)

Round 4: Missed the first 30 seconds (long trip to the refriderator). Chavez charges in. Exchange of jabs. Crowd is chanting Chavez. Hard right to the head by Chavez. Manfredo swinging wild. Chavez swinging focused. Body/head combo by Manfredo. Chavez taunting Manfredo.  Right roundhouse by Chavez. Very exciting round. Chavez brawling a bit. A risky endeavor that pays off. Chavez can mix it up. Hard left jab by Manfredo. Right to the head by Chavez. Chavez (37-40)

Round 5: Left jab by manfredo. Manfredo blocks a combo, but his counter misses. Manfredo has a great left jab. He just needs to follow up like his corner suggested. Left jab by Chavez. Left to the body by Manfredo. Hard Right by Chavez and Manfredo wobbles. Manfredo against the ropes. Chavez is going to town. Manfredo moving side to side along the ropes. He’s not throwing punches. He’s not protecting himself. Manfredo tries to clinch at the same time the Ref jumps in to stop the fight. If it had been later in the round, I would’ve called it a bad stoppage, but there was still over a minute left in the round.  TKO for Chavez

Punch stats show that Manfredo threw much more, but landed much less.

Chavez has great timing. He can box and he can brawl. He’s focused and calm in the ring. Seems like a much mature fighter. I would think that the son of a legend would be flashier than someone with Amir Khan’s background. You can’t tell at all that they have the same trainer.

Manfredo’s corner told him to work his combinations off of his jabs. Excellent advice.  Classic boxing. Too bad he didn’t take it. I think Manfredo is going to be one of those boxers that up and comers fight and beat on their way to the top. And “Pride of Providence” has to be one of the worst nicknames ever.

Roy Jones: “I saw a very, very good young fighter.”  It’s nice that he’s expanded his vocabulary.  I think he’s heard all of the taunting of his “really, really bad” comments from my friends Chris and Preston. It’s nice to know that you can make a difference as a fan.

I love that Julio Caesar Chavez, Sr. eschews the uniform of his son’s corner for a tux. Now that’s really, really classy.

BOARDWALK EMPIRE - Last Week's Episode

Battle of the Century: Sunday, Bloody Sunday!

Welcome to Belfast!

Nucky has arrived in Ireland under the guise of burying his father in the motherland. God save his majesty (George V)? God save those who have crossed Enoch Thompson.

Poor Emily can’t move her legs. It’s polio. Though tragic, maybe this ailment will bring back Margaret’s fighting side and lessen her shrill side. That giant needle made me a bit woosy, I must admit.  It doesn’t help that I’ve heard spinal taps are more painful than childbirth.  One of the maids bailed.  Maybe if Margaret hadn’t become so stingy with the wages, that wouldn’t have happened. Nucky is the one better at cultivating loyalty, it seems.

George Remus makes an appearance. (Side note: Don’t trust anyone who talks about themselves in the third person.) Yet another plan (#726?) by Jimmy “I’ll take care of it” Darmody. One that requires more money than he has.  The plan mostly consists of “Let’s do this right.” Al Capone’s response of “So, we don’t do things wrong” does not bode well for the plan. Why are Al Capone and Lucky Luciano still following Jimmy and his “I’ll take care of it” broken record?

Dempsey. Beckett. Carpentier. Yummy! Boxing talk can really get a girl going. I like that once upon a time, calling someone a bum was considered “casting dispersions.” Nucky opens up his father’s coffin and it’s full of Tommy guns. Hell, yes, bright Jesus! Look at all of those guns. That’s way more gangster than a violin case.  Nucky is going to trade lots and lots of guns for lots and lots of whiskey.

There is a kink in the plans. The Brits have offered the Irish freedom fighters a free state, so the guns might not be needed. (Take the deal!!!) Oh, well. Nucky can’t even get whiskey from a place where it’s legal. “Every battle ends.” True, but you never know how long it’ll take. When they shot McGarrigle, it broke my heart. It reminded me of when Rabin was killed. If you want to live to a ripe old age, don’t be a peacemaker.
Cut to Nucky’s father’s actual funeral being staked out by one of the ADA’s deputies.

Purnsley is out of jail and back at work in a hotel kitchen where he has to “work 12 hours a day. Six days a week.” “I’ve been in jails that don’t work you this hard. Feed you better, too.”  No raises, either, apparently. Tensions are increasing. What’s a black man in that era in Atlantic City to do? Why, go see Chalky White, of course.

Great back and forth between Chalky and Purnsley.  Chalky gives the go ahead to strike. People have more power than they think and those kitchen workers exerted theirs with quiet, building intensity. Guess what, boss man? Strike! Strike! Strike!

Esther Randolph, the ADA, is in bed with one of her deputies. Damn it! Why? Why? Why? Why does she have to be bedding one of her subordinates? At least it wasn’t like I called it: her sleeping with someone she was investigating.  At least the writers allowed them to discuss business in a serious manner. That “good girl” at the end undid most of it, though. 

That poor, deputy bastard. Halloran had no chance between the ADA and her lover. At least he kept his temper longer than Eli, but not before backtracking and changing his story about Mr. Schroeder. This never would’ve happened if Nucky were still (obviously) in charge.

The thing about Nucky is, if you beat him with fists, he comes back with a bat. You beat him with a knife, he comes back with a gun. And if you beat him with a gun, you better kill him, because he'll keep comin' back and back until one of you is dead.  Actually, that’s not Nucky at all. If you come at Nucky with anything, he’ll side step and plant his very smart foot in your very dumb ass and add to your dumbass forward momentum. Nucky will figure out a way to get what he wants. For such a controlled man to show so much displeasure is not good for those that have crossed him.

I don’t like Harrow veering into pathetic, paranoid territory. He should be paranoid, but for business, not personal reasons. It’s a little early in the game to be selling out comrades, but, once again, Jimmy is not the thinking man his fathers are. There’s no way it’s going to be wrapped up so neatly, with someone else bumping off the guy holding Jimmy’s chit. And it wasn’t. Jimmy should never be a part of an assassination plot, attempt, or even suggestion. It’s like inviting a Kardashian to your wedding. Bad juju.  Manny Horvitz lives and it’s going to be bad news for Jimmy.

“Everyone knows who the new king is.” How? I guess if you ever need information, you have to go to the street . . . walker. They’re up on the latest. Jimmy still hasn’t done anything, though, except for make some bad deals and botched assassination attempts.

Definitely an episode where people get pushed to their limits. Margaret because of Emily. She became determined, but still managed to be vulnerable. Nucky because of not getting what he wants, but still keeping his cool. And eventually getting it anyways, but in a sad way.  And he didn’t miss a beat with his Irish bodyguard’s questionable loyalty.

Okay, so people once paid to sit in a theater and listen to a fight. Doctors and nun nurses were gathered around a radio, too. Query: if there were a bar dedicated to boxing, how far would you go to watch fights there? 

Pacquiao-Marquez III

"Highly open to interpretation." – Jim Lampley

Round 1: Pacquiao moves to the center of the ring quickly. The boxers trade jabs. Both are hesitant and just feeling each other out, as most boxers are wont to do in the first round, but it’s a bit unusual for these two fighters. Pacquiao’s left makes an effective appearance.  Flurry of punches traded. Both fighters just as interested in avoiding getting hit as hitting in this round. Both throwing wild lefts. Marquez gets in some excellent body shots right before the bell rings.  Even (10-10)

Round 2: Marquez and Pacquiao miss a few shots. Great head and body movement by both fighters.  Another body shot, then an upper cut by Marquez. Pacquiao lands a left. Marquez’s movements are a little crisper and more deliberate than usual.  Marquez (19-20)

Round 3: Both fighters looking for an opening. Pacquiao lands a left. What a surprise. Where’s the right I’ve been hearing so much about? Both fighters still a little hesitant, but starting to warm up. Manny taking the more aggressive stance as usual. Marquez falling back on his counterpunching ways. Finally, a right by Pacquiao.  Marquez seems to have forgotten his new found ability to move. The fighters trade punches as the bell rings. Pacquiao (29-29)

Round 4: Pacquiao getting aggressive and moving forward with combinations. The commentators are saying this is the fastest they’ve seen Pacquiao. I disagree. Another combination by Pacquiao. Marquez goes to the body. Marquez getting aggressive.  Marquez gets in a right. Marquez throwing great combinations. Pacquiao defends himself well and throws a great right. Pacquiao (39-38)

Round 5: Pacquiao defends a few shots by Marquez. Marquez connects to the body. Pacquiao moves forward. Right hand from Marquez. The fighters are trading combinations, none of which land. Jab by Marquez. Pacquiao answers with a combo. Marquez losing his lateral movements. Hard right by Marquez. Pacquiao tags Marquez. Marquez tags him back. Hard right by Marquez. Marquez (48-48)

Round 6: Jab by Marquez. Pacquiao lands a left, but Marquez blocks the next left and answers with a shot to the body. Pacquiao backs up Marquez. Marquez counters with a hard right. Left and then a right by Pacquiao. Right by Marquez. Pacquiao with a right. Marquez with a left. Fighters are trading punches. Marquez gets in some body shots at bell. Marquez (57-58)

Round 7: Hard right by Marquez. Pacquiao throwing punches and moving forward aggressively. Marquez is a dangerous fighter to have against the ropes, though. Left to Pacquiao’s chin by Marquez. Left to Marquez’s chin. Right by Pacquiao. Right by Marquez. Marquez’s rights look just as quick as Manny’s lefts.  Right by Pacquiao. Pacquiao can move. Marquez tags Pacquiao at the end. Even (67-68)

Round 8: Right by Pacquiao. Right by Marquez. Upper cut and right by Marquez. Right by Pacquiao. Right by Marquez. Jab by Marquez. Marquez (76-78)

Round 9: Marquez throws a combination, which is blocked by Pacquiao. Another combination by Marquez. Right by Marquez. Left by Pacquiao. Marquez is controlling the fight. Fighters trade lefts. Fighters look tired. Combination by Pacquiao. Right by Marquez. Body shot and uppercut by Marquez. Right by Pacquiao. Left upper cut by Marquez. Pacquiao answers. Left by Pacquiao. Pacquiao (86-87)

Round 10:  Right by Marquez. Another right by Marquez. Marquez slips. The fighters trade a flurry of punches. Right by Pacquiao. Right by Marquez. Right by Pacquiao. Left by Pacquiao. Nasty head butt during the round. Pacquiao is bleeding. Pacquiao (96-96)

Round 11:  Body shot by Marquez. Body shot by Pacquiao. Left by Pacquiao. Right by Marquez. Right uppercut by Marquez. Left by Pacquiao. Hard right by Pacquiao. Right and left by Marquez. Right by Pacquiao. Left by Marquez. Left by Pacquiao. Hard right by Marquez. Even (106-106)

Seriously, why the EFF was Nacho telling Marquez he was winning? Amateur mistake.

Round 12: Right by Pacquiao. Left by Pacquiao. Right by Marquez. Pacquiao’s mouthpiece magically falls out of the side of his mouth. Looks like he spit it out. I guess someone needed a breather. Blocked right and combinations by Marquez. Right by Pacquiao. Right to the body by Pacquiao. Left by Pacquiao. Pacquiao (116-115)

Actual Scores and Decision: 114-114 Even; 115-113 Pacquiao; 116-112; Pacquiao wins by majority decision. Deafening booing from the crowd.

It wasn’t a great fight, but it was a good fight demonstrating that the best fighters can and should adjust their fighting styles depending on their opponent.

Marquez fought intelligently. If he had showed this much patience with Mayweather, he would’ve still lost that fight, but lost by less. Maybe he realized he needed to adjust after the Mayweather fight. Maybe it was just the upcoming rubber match that sparked the change. Either way, it made him a much better fighter. Mayweather should take note. This is how you fight a defensive, yet still entertaining fight. Ortiz should take note. This is how you protect yourself at all times. My only complaint about Marquez in this fight is that he should’ve gone more to the body.

Pacquiao did just fine in this fight. He did win by one point, according to me. It’s not that Pacquiao has fallen off. It’s just that the hype surrounding this fight reflected the mythic status he has acquired and understandably so. He has won titles in more divisions than anyone else. He was also more cautious than usual in this fight and rightfully so. Marquez is his kryptonite and just knows how to fight Pacquiao. I think the Pac-Man will recover just fine. The decision was as lopsided as it was, because a defeat for Pacquiao would’ve killed the .000000001% chance for a fight with Mayweather.

A note on Pacquiao-Mayweather: It should happen. Who cares how Pacquiao-Marquez went down. Mayweather fought Victor Ortiz for Pete’s sake. Quality of opponent is not high on Mayweather’s list.* I think it’s unlikely that Manny will win, but I do think it’s possible. Pacquiao has incredible timing. If he is able to be patient and suppress the desire to give boxing fans a good fight (hey, Mayweather can do it), he has a shot.

*Reasons to Fight an Opponent: $

A note on Pacquiao/Marquez 24-7:

Where’s the drama? Don’t get me wrong. I don’t like the Mayweather, fake-ass rivalry, WWF theatrics, either, but once upon a time, 24-7 provided a real glimpse into a boxer’s training camp. Judging by this 24/7, there was nothing going on in either training camps. HBO could’ve showed so much: the dissention in the Pacquiao team ranks (Michael Koncz v. Everyone; Freddy Roach’s and Alex Ariza’s disapproval of Manny’s many appearances; Ariza’s issues with Manny’s flagrant ignoring of his conditioning regimen; etc.). True, not all training camps have drama. However, fighters at that level have bloated entourages and I’m pretty sure not everyone gets along. Post fight, I read an article hinting at rumors of infidelity, disagreements with trainers, and various other distractions all of which occurred during training camp. So, where was the footage of that? I thought the “documentary” series was an infomercial for the fight, not for the individual fighters. Maybe instead of 24/7, HBO should call it Keeping Up with the Cotto/Margarito/Marquez/Pacquiao/Mayweather/Etc. Kamp. It’s about as real as that other K show. 

Friday, November 25, 2011


Secrets: I know it was you, Shane. But you didn't break my heart?

I enjoy a good, spooky opening. One of the women from the farm feeds chickens to the zombies and they attack. Glen, understandably, is keeping a close eye on the barn full of zombies.  I love that it’s Glen that found out. He seems the least likely to be able to keep a secret, especially when he is already keeping Lori’s pregnancy a secret. What’s Lori trying to do by keeping it a secret, anyway? Is she going to throw herself down some stairs? It doesn’t take Glen long to spill his secrets.

Daryl easily forgives Andrea for shooting him in the head, because she was protecting their group. I would like to immediately have Daryl’s babies. Or at least start trying.

 Again with the miraculous recoveries. Carl is up and walking around and wanting to learn how to shoot. Shane’s interaction with Carl seems indicative of Shane having changed his mind about leaving.  Lori is upset and surprised that Carl wants a gun. She has now taken Shane’s place as the most ridiculous, character on the show. She is beyond unrealistic.

I really enjoyed thug-life, cowboy’s shooting style.  The excess of target practice seems like a waste of bullets and what happened to loud noises attracting walkers?  Each person should have their own cache of non-boom weapons they can use against the walkers.  Putting together that cache seems more important than target practice.

Dale confronts Hershel about the walkers in the barn. Hershel confesses that his wife and stepson are in the barn. Hershel and his people being so isolated helps explain the lingering sentimentality. If they had been confronted with an uncertain gypsy lifestyle and repeated attacks and other interactions with walkers, Hershel probably wouldn’t be so hopeful. See: Andrea putting a bullet in her sister’s head.  

Lori is hurt when she thanks Hershel and he replies by suggesting they need to leave soon. That’s the first time I realized that Lori is really just a spoiled brat. A lot of things make more sense. Her indulgence with Shane. Her demanding ways.  Lori tells Rick who already know. Her reaction: “How can you keep something this big from me?” Primary traits of spoiled brats: lack of self awareness and inability to empathize.

Dale confronts Lori about her pregnancy.  Lori tells Dale that Shane happened because she “wanted to feel something. Anything.” That’s legit. What I don’t understand is why there isn’t more humping around. Andrea and Daryl or Shane or Glenn. Carol and Daryl or Dale. (But then it happens towards the end!!! As much as I hate Shane, I’m glad someone is getting some! Post-walker slaughter rush.)

For once, I enjoyed and agreed with one of Dale’s sermons. That they can still find joy and happiness from one another.  

Maggie is pissed at Glenn for spilling the beans, but it’s a pretty big secret. He tries to make amends by subtly revealing Lori’s secret. Which seems to be that not only is she pregnant, but she’s going to try for a medical abortion. This all goes down in the pharmacy where Maggie is awesomely attacked by a zombie and Glenn turns into a quick thinking warrior with a shelf and then a knife.  What’s up, Glenn? How you doin’?

Maggie is pissed at Lori*, but throws some love Glenn’s way. And she’s right. Glenn is brave and smart and a leader and the group does treat him like an expendable errand boy. She forgot sweet. Glenn brought back prenatal vitamins for Lori, too.

Shane takes Andrea with him to look for Sophia.  They find a house full of dead people and then they’re surrounded by walkers.  Shane uses it as a lesson and comes through. Straight up Michael Corleone with the steady hands. I think Andrea has a taste for blowing out walker brains. Nice!

Is Dale a psychic? Even for the classic wizened, old man, it’s beyond realistic. Although, he’s showing a bit of naiveté when pushing Shane, if he really knows what kind of man Shane is.

Rick finds the “abortion” pills and confronts Lori. Rick is understandably pissed and grows a spine in reaction to Lori, finally. They have a pretty good discussion on the pros and cons of keeping the baby. Lori admits to her dalliance with Shane and Rick is all like, “I know.” What the hell? He knew? Or even suspected? Could’ve fooled me. Rick is definitely the type to put the group’s interests and the interests of humanity above his ego, but I need Rick to be a little more upset and make Shane do a little penance. Killing Otis to get Carl medicine was not it.

The scare and gore factor were at a great level in this episode.  Better than last week’s episode, which was the best episode since the season opener.  So now, this is the best episode since the season opener.

*Why did the abortion pill case say “morning after.” Morning after pills don’t cause abortions or miscarriages and are only effective up to a few days after one has unprotected sex. I know this isn’t an educational show (unless you believe in an impending zombie apocalypse, then it’s a great what-not-to-do show), but come on. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Suspended With Pay. That'll Show Him!

The daughter of this judge posted a video to YouTube of him beating her. The video has now had over a million hits. The daughter stated that she posted the video so that her father might seek help.  This beating took place several years ago. It was never reported then and, therefore, never investigated. No allegations of any recent beatings have been made. This judge has now been suspended with pay. 

Look, people. I don't condone hitting children. I was horribly abused as a child and it's something that I carry with me in my everyday life. Allegations of abuse should be thoroughly investigated and then addressed in a court of law. However, if my abuser had just been fired from their job because of it, it wouldn't have made things any easier at my  house and would not have ended the abuse. 

The allegations of abuse in the judges case have not been investigated. The judge has not been tried and convicted. And, honestly, with states facing terrifying budget gaps, what does suspending a judge with pay do? Does it really show people that the state of Texas is serious about child abuse? No. Is it a slap in the face to taxpayers and those who wait up to a year to get their day in court before a judge and now that state is down one judge? Yes.

Law enforcement and the district attorney's office need to conduct an investigation. If the judge is charged with a crime, then he should be suspended (without pay) until a jury reaches a verdict/judge hands down a ruling. If guilty, then he should be relieved of his position.

[This reasoning does not apply to Sandusky or his unwitting accomplices. See the excellent four-part coverage of that atrocity at Angry Black Lady Chronicles.]

[To my attorney friends/former law school classmates, please remember that I have never practiced and wasn't a part of any learn-about-how-the-legal-system-actually-works activities at school. If I've gotten any legal terminologies/procedures incorrect, don't judge. Just let me know in the comments and I will make the corrections. Thanks!]

Sunday, November 20, 2011

When Did the Hilton Get so Cheap?

In WA for a friend's wedding. No HBO or AMC at the hotel. Boardwalk Empire and The Walking Dead reviews will be delayed, as well as the Chavez-Manfredo analysis.

Monday, November 14, 2011


Chupacabra: C’mon, little brother . . .

The episode starts off showing a little more of the backstory and a glimpse into the start of how Rick’s wife ended up with Shane for a bit. Apparently, the military just started bombing the city to kill the walkers.  It’s a miracle that Rick survived that as well.

So, there’s more of let’s find the little girl that I’ve already forgotten about. Everyone’s standing around listening to Rick’s plan.  Something odd, though. Has Shane always had that thick Southern accent? I don’t remember it from previous episodes. It sounds so fake, it’s just off-putting. Maybe the actor was directed to take that approach to show us that Shane himself doesn’t know who he is.  Anyways, Shane and Rick take off to their assigned grid. They have an inane and light conversation about women. It was a nice glimpse into their pre-zombie bromance. Then, a serious conversation, because God forbid there’s a moment in a WD episode that’s not overwrought and eye-roll inducing.  However, it provided a refreshing moment when Shane made a quick reference to their previous future plans (Fort Benning), temporarily relieving us of the aimlessness of this season. And where did Shane’s accent go? And why did it come back? “You best let us handle this”????? Shane. STFU.

Daryl, unlikely second in command and current owner of my heart, gets himself hurt in the first realistic someone-getting-hurt scene. (T-Dog rips open his forearm on a car door AND doesn’t die? Carl gets shot when a bullet goes through a doe/buck and hits him?  And HE doesn’t die? The cliché sprained ankle while being chased by zombies.) The way Daryl was hurt was realistic. The arrow that is in his kidneys, which doesn’t kill him was not. His subsequent journey and near death state, which he miraculously overcomes, are more in line with the ridiculousness of the should be fatal, but aren’t, injuries in this show.  I could be wrong. Damn it, Jim, I’m a lawyer, not a doctor.  But then he pulls out the arrow. I’m 99% sure you’re not supposed to do that.

Merle!!! The last person, even in hallucination form, you’d think would help a brother out. Nasty, but honest, even as a vision. I hoped Daryl wouldn’t take Merle’s words to be the Truth, but we all have someone that can get into our heads.  Even with his injury, I love that Daryl shows us how much he wants to live. He seems to be the only one who has a goal – to survive. Not out of a sense of sentimentality, with hope that things will someday return to normal, and not of out of a need to help the greater good, but out of basic human instinct and the belief that he can, while maintaining the appropriate amount of compassion and team-player mentality. I envy Daryl. He will never need therapy or Prozac. 

Back at the creepy farmhouse, Rick shows some vulnerability and Lori responds with compassion and support. That’s the first drop of warmth that woman’s given to anyone. Such a nice change of pace. It was the first time in this whole series that she didn’t annoy me.

This episode also brought a thankful reprieve from Dale’s sermonizing. If I were Andrea, I would’ve punched him in the face by now. I don’t care if you saved my life old man. This ain’t Rome and you ain’t Marcus Aurelius.

Interesting character development: Hershel’s cult-leader like controlling behavior revealing itself a bit more. 

Due to the above, I would strongly suggest that Glen, shuts his pie-hole. No one likes a guy who kisses and tells. Even in a post-apocalyptic world. Especially in a post-apocalyptic world, where a bad reputation can ruin your position in the tribe.  Especially, when it was your slightly sinister host’s daughter that you, um, “kissed.”

And then, my heart stopped and didn’t start back up for a whole commercial break. Andrea liberates herself from washing clothes and decides to be the lookout. The ARMED lookout, because one lesson from Shane and one day having her gun back qualifies her for one of the most important jobs. (Although, wasn’t she all right with a gun in the first season? She killed her reanimated sister with one. The only reason her gun was taken away was because Dale thought she was suicidal. Whatevs.)

What looks like a walker meanders out of the trees and Andrea points her rifle at it. Rick, Shane, and co. start running toward the walker and scream at Andrea, “NO!” As in, no, we’re four big guys with a heads up and weapons running to a single walker.  We can take care of it without a big boom attracting 100 more.  So, what does liberated Andrea do? She points and shoots, of course. It looks like the walker is hit in the head. Once the group gets closer, they realize it’s my boyfriend, Daryl.  Oh, COME ON!!!! Andrea, you finally assert yourself and gain some power and autonomy and then you do some stupid shit like that. Really??? However, it seems that people can survive anything in the great state of post-apocalyptic Georgia, including being shot in the head. Just a graze.  By a bullet. To the head. That’s all.  

So, Lori and Shane have another tête-à-tête. She reality checks Shane and basically tells him to get gone. I hope it goes better than the last time she rejected him. Nobody likes rape and Shane is now capable of a lot worse. There’s not much left but dismemberment on the sociopathic checklist.

And, man oh man, what a great way to end the episode. Glen goes to the barn for a rendezvous. Alas, his girl can’t be found, but a barn full of zombies welcome him with open arms. It was a bit of a shock, but a stranded group coming upon an idyllic, quiet farmhouse in the middle of nowhere has always ended badly in horror movies. Why should it be any different on television?

This is the first episode I’ve liked since the season premiere, despite thinking my TV boyfriend had died for a whole commercial break.  Can’t wait for the reveal!

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Two Boats and a Lifeguard:  Oh Captain, My Captain

Last week’s episode finally brought some much needed forward momentum to the story. This week’s kept us moving along quite well.  (7 episodes to come up with a plan? I don’t think you know how to play this game, Jimmy, but we’ll see . . .) Every once in a while, this show parallels The Sopranos a bit too much. The foreign bodyguard who has a complicated relationship with the boss’ wife.  Junior. (Playing his own ancestor?) And, now, the weird dream/hallucination sequence and the boss and the foreign bodyguard going abroad.  

We start at Eli’s house on a nice morning.  What I assume to be a U.S. Marshall arrives at the house to serve Eli with a subpoena.  Eli does what a protected, spoiled brat not used to being living within the bounds of the law would do. Shoves the Marshall out of his house. I think after killing the mayor, you might want to rein it in a bit. If Eli were smarter, he’d welcome testifying against his brother and figure out a way to do it without incriminating himself too much.  I don’t think Nucky would have much leverage as anything he said would seriously incriminate himself. However, Eli is too shortsighted and, given what else happens in the episode, not that bright.  And then Eli’s and Nucky’s dad dies at the breakfast table. The father-son issues in this series makes me wonder about the writers’ childhoods.

Jimmy’s been trying to get Al on the phone since the botched assassination attempt. When you’re business partners aren’t calling you back right away about an emergency, that’s a red flag, although fraternizing after such an event might look bad since one side is trying to hide the dealings from their boss. 

Jimmy complains about the hit man Al sent and Al advises Jimmy it’s something JIMMY should’ve taken care of a while back. Al’s right on about that, but Jimmy hasn’t been too adept at making plans or decisions. Talk about a tragic, indecisive Hamlet figure. And Jimmy has two fathers. No wonder the poor bastard was paralyzed and couldn’t get it together. That assassination attempt was definitely amateur hour, though, and definitely shows the conspirators might be lacking a bit in experience.

The new ADA is in Nucky’s office wanting to have an informal discussion. Informal discussion? Um, Nucky’s lawyer needs to sack up and remember some of the things he learned in law school. This is not a woman that has informal discussions. Nucky’s back on the ball, though. Maybe getting shot reminded him of what he does for a living and what it requires: a little more aggression and a little less accommodation.

I swear, if the new ADA ends up in bed with someone on the wrong side, I’m going to be pissed. The women in this show are portrayed nasty enough as it is, even for a period piece taking place during a time when women were legally second class citizens.

Speaking of women, Angela meets a lovely, rebellious woman from San Francisco. A woman from San Francisco, you say? Didn’t Jimmy’s wife learn from her last artsy, Sapphic adventure and haven’t we exhausted this storyline? Please give her something new to do. Maybe fight with Jimmy some more to make a place for herself.  And did anyone else catch the “dear”? Oh, hehhhhhhhlllll to the no. Though Angela could use some toughening up, she might pick a better role model than Jimmy’s sociopathic mother.

After a few episodes of them not really connecting, Nucky and Margaret sit and have a conversation about what’s been going on. I really like Nucky’s and Margaret’s relationship when she’s not being passive-aggressive and scheming, at least just for herself. It’s rare to see a marriage/relationship between two equals on television.  They’re a less honest version of Tami and Eric from “Friday Night Lights.”

Then comes Jimmy and Angela having their first real conversation. Jimmy could have such a beter relationship with Angela if he would let her into his life more and acknowledge the fact that she’s her own person and it would be to his benefit.  It might seem like I’m injecting a ridiculous, modern, feminist perspective here, but, “In the American colonies, wealthy merchants entrusted business matters to their landlocked wives while off at sea, just as sailors, vulnerable to the unpredictability of seasonal employment, relied on their wives’ steady income as domestics in elite households.”  Jimmy could strengthen his position in his crime organization if he trusted Angela more and went to her for advice every once in a while. She can’t be any worse than his mother. Once he makes it, Angela can be relegated to being a lady of the house. (Seriously, though, what did she think he was doing? Butchering hogs at a midnight slaughterhouse?)

Rothstein, Luciano and the boys are having a little meeting.  An informal discussion, if you will. Where Luciano, whose brains have apparently been consumed by his multiple bouts with VD, shows his hand. Rothstein is the smartest character and he doesn’t miss a thing.  Rothstein advises Nucky of what’s going on and tells him that since he can’t do anything, then he shouldn’t do anything. It seems like bad advice for their occupation and advice that Rothstein wouldn’t take himself. Thankfully, Nucky didn’t take it, either.

Nucky shows up early at his dad’s wake, hoping to avoid Eli, but Eli’s there, too. That scene at the funeral home was brilliant. I’m not a good enough writer to be able to describe it with any justice. I can write that I feel so bad for Eli. “I turned out all right and didn’t you?” Oh, Eli. If it weren’t for him warning Jimmy at the end, I would’ve thought he had mashed potato for brains and that Nucky had actually been covering up his mental disabilities.

So, Nucky shows up at the Commodore’s house while the Commodore, Gillian, and Junior receive him quite well. Nucky then declares the Commodore can have Atlantic City back and that he would retire. If the commodore and Jimmy can’t feel the smoke being blown up their asses, they’re dumber than Eli. The Commodore schooled Nucky and Nucky schooled Jimmy. They know more about each other than they do about themselves, but Jimmy just accepts like it’s Christmas gift. I’m sure in his mind he thought, “Awww, thanks, dad!”  

Jimmy then tells his camp that “[t]alk is cheap” and it’s all going to be action from here out. Talk is all he’s done this whole season, regarding taking over the Atlantic City bootlegging business. If Nucky hadn’t fake abdicated, he’d still just be talking. Or the butcher would’ve been using his head as a puppet in his shop.  That loss of control at the end . . . Jimmy’s more Santino than he is Michael, which definitely makes Eli Fredo. However, Eli came through and warned Jimmy that Nucky’s up to something. Probably because Eli killed Mayor Bader and Nucky said he’d just advised Bader of the changing of the guard. Still, I’m surprised Eli caught that much considering his display of dumbassery in this episode. I think Nucky’s going to show us how it came to be that some skinny guy who looks like a young Mr. Furley came to rule Atlantic City. I’m so excited!

It was great to see a softer side of Van Alden. He started out so black and white and he’s softened enough to take a free meal at a food stand in front of one of his deputies. He even espouses that there are different types of morality. Maybe murdering a Jew in the first season for not accepting Christ, committing adultery, and having a child out of wedlock made him realize that even the most righteous people are fallible, just a bit, and should be given some slack.  

Now, if they kill off Emily, that’ll be some old-school, puritanical, Hayes code tripe.  Children bear the sins of their father, not their mother.


On a side note: I want that red bathing suit.

I’m very much looking forward to the trip to Ireland.