‘Boardwalk Empire’ Season 3, Episode 9 Review – Mania & Cake

Published 2 years ago by , Updated November 12th, 2012 at 4:33 pm,

Ivo Nandi and Bobby Cannavale in Boardwalk Empire The Milkmaids Lot Boardwalk Empire Season 3, Episode 9 Review – Mania & Cake

This season of Boardwalk Empire has dedicated significant time to the state of mind of one Enoch “Nucky” Thompson (Steve Buscemi), and it has come up with some interesting episodes and unfiltered looks into the mind of a man who recently decided he could no longer be half a gangster.” While that line has been put to good use in season 3, it’s becoming clear that sacrificing one’s other half in pursuit of becoming a whole gangster means finding out you no longer have friends, you simply have acquaintances who are in the same business.

‘The Milkmaid’s Lot’ deals with the after effects of the bomb Gyp Rosetti (Bobby Cannavale) planted in Babette’s, attempt to wipe out Nucky, Arnold Rothstein (Michael Stuhlbarg) and Lucky Luciano (Vincent Piazza) in one fell swoop. Of course, what Gyp managed to do was devastate the boardwalk, kill Billie Kent (Meg Steedle) and ensure that Nucky would declare war on him and Joe Masseria (Ivo Nandi). War was inevitable, as Nucky explains to Margaret (Kelly Mcdonald), saying, “…there’s no walking away. It doesn’t work like that. I do it to them or they do it to me. That’s all there is.”

Of course, those words have a slightly different meaning to Margaret, who has been propositioned by Owen (Charlie Cox) to run away with him. Owen is already thinking about his exit, and, like Margaret, is already thousands of miles away from home, so what would it matter to travel a few miles more, as long as the two of them (as well as Teddy and Emily) left Nucky Thompson and his pending war behind? It’s hard to believe Nucky would let them stay gone – if they managed to get away at all. But they are bit players in the larger plot controlled by the Nucky Thompsons, Arnold Rothsteins and Joe Masserias of the world, so carving out a small niche for themselves means taking risks. And as we see with Richard Harrow (Jack Huston) inviting Julia Sagorsky (Wrenn Schmidt) to a dance at the American Legion, those kinds of risks can actually pay off.

As such, ‘The Milkmaid’s Lot’ is entirely concerned with what the characters are feeling in this moment – which is why Nucky stumbles around most of the episode, half-remembering Billie’s last moments and existing in a near-constant state of befuddlement and anger. He confuses his wife with his late-lover, further insults his manservant and (probably) manages to put Emily off of birthday parties for the foreseeable future. Nucky’s all emotion, because he’s simply not capable of thinking clearly. He even accuses Rothstein of succumbing to his emotions, to which Arnold asks, “Have you known that to be a habit of mine?” – just before he and all the other bosses walk out, leaving Nucky to battle Masseria and Rosetti alone.

Still, it’s a good bet that with George Remus (Glenn Fleshler) being arrested – in part because of Nucky’s newly acquired relationship with Andrew Mellon (James Cromwell) – the others may want to rethink their position, lest Nucky find a way to dispose of them as he did Remus. Nucky warns Arnold that he won’t forget, but perhaps he’ll also remember he’s not as alone in this as he thinks.

Anatol Yusef Vicent Piazza Michael Stuhlbarg Boardwalk Empire The Milkmaids Lot Boardwalk Empire Season 3, Episode 9 Review – Mania & Cake

Highlights from the episode:

  • “Bible Camp’s canceled. I’m not really doing questions and answers right now.” Gyp Rosetti handles the people of Tabor Heights better than he does his own family.
  • Right off the bat, Richard gets that the rhinoceros is waiting for the train. And Boardwalk Empire seems to get Richard this season. Even though he’s not been around as much as viewers would like, the writers have found numerous ways to fill Richard’s scenes with genuine warmth, charm and humor.
  • “I’m on top of it, Bismarck.”


Boardwalk Empire continues next Sunday with ‘A Man, a Plan…’ @9pm on HBO. Check out a preview of the episode below:

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  1. Great episode, nice to see the consequences of Nucky’s activity catching up to him. I’m finding it hard to cheer for the new N.Thompson lately, though he still manages to show some heart it’s of a different kind.

    The running away together of Owen and Margaret I feel is going to be a cliche disaster, I can already see Charlie Cox cashing in his last HBO paycheck. I hope I’m wrong. Part of me wants Margaret to get away because she hasn’t done anything but frown and softly disagree with people, Part of me wants to see her shoot Nucky, lol.

    -We’ll see how it goes.

  2. So Margaret want to leave…lol…hope the door doesn’t hit her on the way out! Margaret is the hall monitor of Boardwalk Empire, just when you’re enjoying the show here comes Marge to end the joy. Show killer

  3. I hope they don’t kill off George muller (Nelson Van Alden) in the next episode. Because I’m starting to really enjoy him. I mean season 1 and 2 he was so-so, but after all he has gone through(not mention I laughed so hard when he pressed the iron into that fat co-workers face 2 episodes backs) I’m digging the rage and I can see he is too, so keep it coming.

  4. AR isn’t stupid, he has to know full well that the bomb was meant as much for him as it was for Nucky. He also has to know that Rosetti isn’t all too smart-he couldn’t have bombed the casino without being backed by Joe Masseria, who hates AR in the first place. Historically, Masseria gets assasinated in 1931, allegedly on the orders of Meyer Lansky, who by that time had taken over for AR.

    I know the Richard Harrow character is becoming a fan favorite, but I really can’t understand why. Watching scenes with him in it is like watching “The English Patient.” They are incredibly boring and serve as a cinematic non-sequitor to flow of the main story. Please, writers, at least try to make his character relevant and stop torturing us with his long, drawn out scenes.

    Margaret’s story line is just getting plain stupid. Unlike seasons 1 and 2, the writers simply aren’t taking Margaret’s story in any sort of compelling direction. I hope she and Owen do run away together.

    • c’mon, no need to tell everyone he got assasinated in real life, i know it’s based on real characters in history but i’d prefer not to know that he was assassinated!!

      • Sorry dude, but if it’s any consolation, the entire premise of the show is breaking away from actual history. Historically, Nucky Johnson(renamed Thompson for the show) was not at all a gangster. While he did engage in racketeering, the most he would ever threaten local business people with is financial ruin. He did sell booze to Arnold Rothstein and other folks in the underworld, but there’s no proof that he ever ordered anyone to be killed, as he looked at booze merely as a way to make Atlantic City attractive to tourists.

        He also never married a woman named Margaret Schroeder, and he was actually very well liked by the people of Atlantic City who knew him as a generous guy who was always going out of his way to help people. It’s a far cry from what the show is representing him to be.

        I guess the show has to follow some major historical events, however. Figure the Elliot Ness character will be making an appearance soon, and AR has to die pretty soon as well.

  5. “Bible Camp’s canceled. I’m not really doing questions and answers right now.”


  6. Kudos to the director, Ed bianchi, and writer, Rolin Jones, on an episode well done! So much emotion in it. I sure hope Gillian meets a cruel fate as I’m starting to really hate her (I know hate is such a strong word). About Richard, might not be a big deal but I thought it was clever to shoot the “kissing” scene with Richard’s mask facing the camera as opposed to his real face. Gyp is one crazy gangster, donning the captain’s hat while his men “storm” the beach with their booze. Missed the Al Capone/Johnny Torrio storyine in this episode but I’m sure more is to come outta Chicago…

  7. The creators are unfortunately constrained by history with regard to all these mob wars. We know that eventually Luciano allies with Masseria after Rothstein is killed. However it’s all to allow Luciano to gain the power to eventually assassinate Masseria. That allows him, and Lansky, Siegel, and all the other younger mobsters to ascend. He still has to get rid of Manzano, but after that, he becomes the Boss of Bosses. I really don’t know how much Nucky’s real life version was involved in any of this stuff.
    There wasn’t any Chicago stuff in this episode. I’d rather see the Chicago stuff than the whole Richard and Gillian stuff.

    • Gillian should just die.

  8. Anyone else think Margaret was very funny in that episode? Some great lines.

    Oh, and please can the history buffs on here please stop posting about what happened in real life! They’re spoilers and none of the rest of us care.

    • Write for yourself, Raymond. I actually like the historical references.

  9. They should focus on Chalky’s family instead of showing to us boring Margarets’s children and that kind of stuff.
    But in general I think that current season is very good.