bill bodkin looks at an oddly named episode…
The Low Down: Nucky clashes with the Attorney General (Christopher MacDonald) and ends up locked up. He’s brought to court where he encounters his old foe from last season, Esther Randolph. Gillian Darmody rebukes Luciano’s influence of heroin in her brothel; she then runs into a man that looks exactly like Jimmy and then brings her into his life to fill the void of her dead son. Richard Harrow looks after a scarred veteran and starts to have feelings for his daughter. A fire is set in the Thompson’s greenhouse which reignites the flames between Margaret and Owen but the threat of Gyp Rossetti also looms in the background.
The Body Count: Zero.
Our Favorite New Jersey Reference: A reference to the father of Stormin’ Norman Schwarzkopf Jr. Stormin’ Senior was the superintendent of the NJ State Police and famously investigated the Lindbergh kidnapping.
Favorite Performance: I’ve always enjoyed the work of Stephen Root. As Gaston Means, I just love his turn as the oily, snake-in-the-grass political mover and shaker. His smoother than silk “genteel” Southern accent is just music to the ears and I love the way Root has taken such small scenes and turned them into gold. “Ging Gang Gooly” I believe is the turning point for his character to become a major player.
The Supporting Scene Stealer: Julianne Nicholson as U.S. Assistant Attorney General Esther Randolph. I was hoping they’d bring her back as she was a really strong character that fearlessly fought against Nucky.
The Best Part of the Episode: Harrow, sans facial prosthesis, looks lovingly upon a photo of he and his sister. I love everything about this character as Jack Huston pours so much emotion and heart into the role of this killing machine.
The Part We Could’ve Done Without: I just can’t stand the George Remus character who constantly refers to himself in the third person.
The Little Thing We Loved: Not sure if you’d consider it little, but the conversations between Margaret and Owen were really charming. I think that it really adds to the star-crossed lovers aspect of their relationship.
Final Thoughts: “Ging Gang Gooly” was probably the weakest episode of Season 3. All-and-all it’s still a solid episode, but it was just sorta ‘there.’ The episode really suffered from a lack of Bobby Cannavale’s charismatic Gyp Rossetti. Also the season continues to skimp on Chalky White and has not capitalized on the momentum of the Eli Thompson, Al Capone and Van Alden storylines. Instead we’re getting stuck in the kinda vague political storylines that, while it worked really well in previous seasons, just seems to be stuck in neutral. I’m hoping next week is better.