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Tara Ariano

S05.E04: Cuanto

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I agree, but I don't think the show is using that technicality, they seem to be genuinely portraying Kennedy as relatively clean and thus (in some sense) shrewder than Nucky.

 

I was trying to say that fear of getting their asses sued off was a reason for this. It's a problem when dealing with historical figures whose families still have significant clout. 

Oh, I have my doubts that any of the Kennedy family would take legal action if the show were to portray Kennedy as a bootlegger.  I think a defense to slander/libel/defamation is truth, or reasonable belief that what you are saying is the truth.  Based on the claims made by Costello, other underworld figures, and Harvard alums there is likely enough to support a reasonable belief that Kennedy was a bootlegger if they wanted to portray it on the show.  And since its a fictional show, I think it would be unlikely to be actionable.  Think of all the inaccuracies of "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer."  This isn't a historical, documentary account of a real person, this is a fictional show.

Edited by RealityGal
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Yes he did tell her that, he never said he was going to give Margaret the money....then he said the rest of what I said he said.  He's telling her to steal it,  Best of both worlds...stealing it and shorting her (Mrs R)

The problem with that interpretation is that Margaret didn't really directly steal to the best of our knowledge. She tipped Rothstein off as to when to sell, then signed the transfers that were her bosses dips into Rothstein's account. We haven't heard that she did transfers on her own behalf.

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She signed the transfers after Rothstein was dead.  Nucky commented on it, on how she didn't even make any money on it.  She KNOWS how to do it, her boss took the money, they was on the verge of getting caught and that's why he killed himself.  Now, she will just take from someone else's account only this time, she too will profit.

Edited by TV Diva Queen
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If I am remembering correctly, there's also a lot of leeway given to fictions about famous people... obviously, think of all the movies that use real people. So long as you're not representing it as truth, I think you can get away with a lot. abraham Lincoln's not a great example as his estate would be out of luck by now, but you can even do it with living people if they're very famous. Wasn't there a movie dealing with Hearst in a fictional story a few years ago?

 

That said, TV is inclined to be nervous, checking licenses for all kinds of things they don't have to (I used to work on a popular TV show) so they're probably hedging their bets wrt Kennedy.

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Oh, I have my doubts that any of the Kennedy family would take legal action if the show were to portray Kennedy as a bootlegger.  I think a defense to slander/libel/defamation is truth, or reasonable belief that what you are saying is the truth.

 

If I remember correctly, you cannot defame the dead, nor could an Estate sue based on defamation for things said after a person was dead (though an Estate could continue with an already existing claim).  Joe Kennedy has been dead for decades.  The writers can present him however they want, depending on how historically accurate they are really aiming to be with the episode.  

Edited by txhorns79
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The offended family wouldn't need to sue, just use their political clout to make things awkward for the powers that be.  Deadwood's depiction of George Hearst was said to have riled at least some of his descendants; among the many theories about the show's premature demise, is that the Hearst family pressured HBO.  I'm not at all sure there's anything to that rumor -- people with Tanya at the Thanksgiving table probably shouldn't throw down -- but there it is.

 

On the other hand, Joe Kennedy has already been depicted in several network TV biodramas as having sought to appease Hitler, and having bought the 1960 Presidential election.  Which to many may seem even more insidious than his providing booze to a thirsty nation.  The networks still stand: or at least, that's not why they're shaky.  

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I was trying to say that fear of getting their asses sued off was a reason for this. It's a problem when dealing with historical figures whose families still have significant clout.

 

Without getting too off topic, what exactly would they sue for, and who would have the standing to sue at this point?  I don't mean to sound dismissive, but lawsuits don't really work that way, particularly when they involve a lawsuit based on the reputation of someone who has been dead since 1969.  After all that has been said about the real Joe Kennedy (not to mention Jack, Bobby and Ted) I can't imagine that the Kennedy family really cares all that much about Boardwalk Empire, particularly to the point  where the writers would legitimately worry about lawsuits.    

 

 

Yes he did tell her that, he never said he was going to give Margaret the money....then he said the rest of what I said he said.  He's telling her to steal it,  Best of both worlds...stealing it and shorting her (Mrs R)

 

Is that what he was saying?  He lost me during that conversation with Margaret.  I was like her, I would have had to ask him what he meant five or six times. 

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They don't have real standing to sue, but networks are nervous. But as I said I'm fairly certain there's a lot of leeway in fiction. Isn't "My Night with Marilyn" fiction?

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Is that what he was saying?  He lost me during that conversation with Margaret.  I was like her, I would have had to ask him what he meant five or six times. 

Right?  I hadn't actually thought about Nucky killing Mrs. AR, until Margaret had brought it up.  And then of course, I was annoyed because it seem like she knew and sort of wanted the widow Rothstein to die so it could make all of her problems go away, but she didn't want to get her own hands dirty, and wanted to be able to keep her conscience clear ("what, I just asked for a permanent solution to my problem of this lady who is demanding a lot of money I don't have.  I'll need your help Nucky, for a permanent solution to the problem of Mrs. AR.  And I mean permanent Nucky, like I really don't want this woman bothering me again.  What? Murder?  Thats not at all what I was getting at, how dare you!")

 

And then I had thought when Nucky was clearing it up for her, that she was supposed to convince Mrs. AR to accept $0.25 on the dollar and Nucky would pay it.  He just didn't want to pay over $100,000, because he didn't have that much on hand.  I had no idea that he wanted Margaret to steal any money.  But if thats what he was getting at, good for him!  I'm glad she wasn't able to just show up and drop the problem on his doorstep and he took care of it. 

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It was a very vague exchange between the two of them, I agree. What I took away from it was that Nucky will instruct Margaret how to present the offer of 25 cents on the dollar to the Widow Rothstein and get her to accept it without coming back for more, and Nucky will finance it.

 

I guess I wasn't paying attention, because I didn't pick up on the "you steal the money for this, Margaret; you've done it before" undercurrent from Nucky that many here have, although he might have been suggesting that for her future needs.

Edited by A Boston Gal
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It was a very vague exchange between the two of them, I agree. What I took away from it was that Nucky will instruct Margaret how to present the offer of 25 cents on the dollar to the Widow Rothstein and get her to accept it without coming back for more, and Nucky will finance it.

 

I guess I wasn't paying attention, because I didn't pick up on the "you steal the money for this, Margaret; you've done it before" undercurrent from Nucky that many here have, although he might have been suggesting that for her future needs.

 

 

That was my interpretation and I thought I was paying attention.  I suspect, however, that the point will be moot.  We'll never get to the payoff point of this story line.

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I think they were Lewis Carroll photos, because I saw this one, of Alice Liddell: http://www.alice-in-...e-liddell-2.jpg

I also thought I saw that famous photo in the Commodore's book.  (And yes, it's taken by Lewis Carroll, of Alice Pleasance Liddell, the inspiration for his "Alice in Wonderland" books.)  

 

It's hard to categorize those photos.  Lewis Carroll (an Oxford teacher and Anglican deacon) took them of several pre-pubescent girls.  He was particularly fixated on Alice Liddell, and pressured her and her family to allow this photo with as little clothing, and as much skin as possible.  If memory serves, when she grew to adulthood, Alice Liddell was mortified by it.  Alice's mother also cut off all connections between the two, while Alice was still young.   http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/lewis-carrolls-shifting-reputation-9432378/?no-ist

 

But there was never any hint of untoward advances, on the part of Lewis Carroll.  And he was not unique in taking precisely those types of photos.  They were considered a respectable aesthetic pursuit, in a very new art form.  

 

But then again, Lewis Carroll was rumored to have no significant social relationships with adult women, at all.

 

I think modern thinking is that there was something psychologically amiss with those Lewis Carroll photos.  But the type was popular, and the Commodore would have been able to obtain them from "respectable" sources. 

   

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- This was a nice reminder that Nucky and Margaret ever had any chemistry at all. Was nucky attempting to be chivalrous by not taking advantage of a drunken Margaret who was obviously throwing herself at him?  Or is he kinda over it now?  Is it Sally?

- Given that Kennedy is supposedly the guy that Nucky wishes he had become, it must've been a real blow to his ego to see Margaret take to Kennedy like she did.  She was ready to hop on a train with a stranger and eat his oysters,and she wasn't even drunk!  Oh, Nucky...ouch.  

- I love that Mueller had this likely adrenaline-induced out-of-body experience where his pure desire to continue to exist pulled just the right words out of his ass to save him....and then he didn't remember a thing afterward.  Boardwalk isn't normally so on-the-nose funny.  Loved this moment! Scary and hilarious.  

- Nucky tells Kennedy that he wants to leave something behind.  Is saying this because he thinks this is what Kennedy wants to hear?  Or because he means it?  And if he means it, then leave it behind for who?  Margaret?  Her kids?  I was embarassed for Nucky when he kept changing his orders to suit Kennedy.  He's rarely portrayed as this weak.  And I think I'm referencing the episode prior to this one. oops. 

Edited by Michell3
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Was nucky attempting to be chivalrous by not taking advantage of a drunken Margaret who was obviously throwing herself at him?  Or is he kinda over it now?  Is it Sally?

 

I'm not entirely certain how romantic Nucky and Sally's relationship was (I think they like each other, but they seemed more about business than the personal side of things), but I would agree that he's probably just over Margaret.  I mean, it's been what, seven or eight years since she left him?  I do think he cares about her, but the romantic aspect of their relationship is probably dead at this point.   

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Another question:  why would Mrs. Rothstein accept $0.25 on the dollar? Why not sue for the entire amount?  I can only guess that at least with Nucky's solution, she would get her money relatively quickly; if she went to court, it could take months (?) and she'd be paying lawyers presumably large sums of money in the meantime.  Is that it?

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a couple more questions:

 

 

Nucky wasn't going to give her the money.  He told Margaret to get it.  He said something like "you shook down AR, you know what to do".  She's going to embezzle from more trading accounts.

How would she do this though?  Does she even have a job anymore?  I'm sure whatever privileges she had at the firm have been taken away now that she's being sued.  Guess I'm not sure I full understand Nucky's plan.  

 

...and what is Eli doing?  What happened to him at the end of season 4?  I vaguely recall him being undercover for the feds at some point...they threatened his family somehow, so he had to do something....?? 

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Another question:  why would Mrs. Rothstein accept $0.25 on the dollar? Why not sue for the entire amount?  I can only guess that at least with Nucky's solution, she would get her money relatively quickly; if she went to court, it could take months (?) and she'd be paying lawyers presumably large sums of money in the meantime.  Is that it?

I don't know, I mean I would think that potentially discovery would show that AR obtained the money he put into the account by illegal means and so any recovery may end up going to the state and not to her if she were to sue.  But its just a thought.

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In finance, you pretty often see debtors negotiating xx cents to the dollar. Granted, it happens more often with country or corporate debtors than individuals, and it usually means this-is-what-I-can-afford-without-going-bankrupt, so take it or risk losing it all. As a former banker, I'd say it it a pretty shrewd move by Nucky.

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- I love that Mueller had this likely adrenaline-induced out-of-body experience where his pure desire to continue to exist pulled just the right words out of his ass to save him....and then he didn't remember a thing afterward.  Boardwalk isn't normally so on-the-nose funny.  Loved this moment! Scary and hilarious.  

 

 

It struck me this week that Mueller/Van Alden is a MUCH better man as a criminal than he was in his past life as an officer of the law.  He's more stable emotionally, is much more reliable at home and at work, and doesn't manipulate people around him via religion anymore.  Who knew it took at obvious life of crime to straighten him out so much?

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It was a very vague exchange between the two of them, I agree. What I took away from it was that Nucky will instruct Margaret how to present the offer of 25 cents on the dollar to the Widow Rothstein and get her to accept it without coming back for more, and Nucky will finance it.

I'm leaning towards this, although Nucky never used the word "WE," as in, "This is what we're going to do…"  It's my understanding that the firm Margaret works for is just this side of bankruptcy, thus not flush with opportunities for Margaret to use what she's learned to satisfy the widow Rothstein.

 

Also, by virtue of the fact that Margaret and Nucky are still, after seven years, married, legally, this problem is Nucky's as well as Margaret's despite who is to blame, which is the trump card played effectively by AR's widow.  In effect, it required that Nucky become involved.  To my mind, Margaret was smart enough to do all that Nucky listed during their tete-a-tete, raise the kids, survive in NYC, negotiate terms with AR, etc., all without taking money from Nucky, it stands to reason that she's smart enough to realize that she did not have means to solve this particular dilemma without his help, and couldn't fleece the firm because there is little left to fleece.  Her agreement with AR was Money for Survival and specifically not Money for Wealth, which is what confused Nucky.  Why take the risk if not for wealth and position?  If she wanted wealth, she would have stayed with Nucky in the first place, no?  He may have felt it was stupid for her not to have taken a cut, but he nevertheless grudgingly admires her for it.  Ultimately, it benefits them both for him to guide her on negotiating with the widow Rothstein and pay her off because not to do so has no upside whatsoever.

 

I'm not entirely certain how romantic Nucky and Sally's relationship was (I think they like each other, but they seemed more about business than the personal side of things), but I would agree that he's probably just over Margaret.  I mean, it's been what, seven or eight years since she left him?  I do think he cares about her, but the romantic aspect of their relationship is probably dead at this point.

Gotta disagree, and it's times like this where i rather miss the TWOP forums (sorry) because there were threads dedicated to the mirrored aspects of Nucky/Margaret….more alike that different which is what drew them together in the first place.  I think it's also important that Nucky admitted that, initially, helping her years ago was a act he recognized as motivated by wanting to feel "clean" in his kingdom of dirt, but also necessary.  Her admission that she thought that even with all he had then, he was lonely in his kingdom is a big tell because I think Nucky expected her to say something more superficial and grasping….but she said lonely.  These are huge confessions because they cut through all the bullshit right to the quick.   She needed help, he recognized it, wanted the spiritual shower so to speak, gave it, and then confessed it years later.  He was lonely, she recognized it, was both intrigued and saddened by it, and confessed it years later.  It's after this that they kiss, and while she initiated it, he wrapped his arms around her in response, the result of rather baring themselves to each other moments before.

 

They are so not over, is all I'm saying.

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Lovely post, Big Mama Thornton.  A beautiful analysis of the undercurrents in the Nucky/Margaret relationship, and reunion.  

 

I agree that Nucky was impliyng he was "in" to finance a 25-cents-on-the-dollar deal, and they both seemed to understand that: Margaret's question was not how she'd pay it, but how she'd get the Widow Rothstein to agree.  That's where Nucky reminded her that she'd already finessed a mutually beneficial arrangement with AR.  What worked with the goose should work with the grieving gander.

 

The kiss and embrace you cite struck me as being what passes for forgiveness among tough, bruised combatants like those two.  And after that, Margaret gave Nucky to understand she was amenable to "sex-with-the-ex," while Nucky seemed to me to turn down the one-night-sure-thing in favor of a possible long game.  To sleep with Margaret then and there could have felt to both like putting a period on the marriage; Nucky may have wanted to leave it as a question mark.  

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Aside from the maniacal stabbing of Al's underling in the face with a small replica of the Empire State Building, this was a very good episode.

 

I'll just echo everyone else's remarks. Great chemistry between Nucky and Margaret still. It was so cool seeing Margaret in a festive mood -- no time for sad-sack Peg of Old anymore .  The conversation about the situation with Mrs. Rothstein remains ambiguous to me. Nucky is willing to help Margaret, all she has to do is SAY IT. Margaret is willing to do what Nucky says, but she wants HIM to SAY IT.

 

The little Thompson brothers broke my heart but I was so glad to see someone treating them well, in a good (better) environment.

 

I'm also not the biggest P. Arquette fan but she was really good in this series. RIP, Sally.

 

So, Van Alden's cover has truly been blown.  It's decision time - again. As much as it pains me to say this, I don't see NVA making it out alive. But he's really no better than Capone or any other thug. Michael Shannon has made this character a joy to watch, and the writers have managed to endear this loathsome creature to me beyond any expectation that I never had.

 

 

 

 

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So, Van Alden's cover has truly been blown.

 

Isn't the guy that found out also a fed? It's not a done deal that Van Alden is doomed.

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Yes, but Van Alden was a fed on the run from other feds for murder, so there'd be no safe haven with the undercover fed in Al Capone's employ.

Edited by A Boston Gal
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[W]hat is Eli doing?  What happened to him at the end of season 4?  I vaguely recall him being undercover for the feds at some point...they threatened his family somehow, so he had to do something....?? 

 

In the season 4 finale, Eli killed the FBI agent. Nucky would've killed Eli for his betrayal (working with the feds), but Willie asked him to spare Eli's life. Nucky then exiled Eli to Chicago (via Van Alden's car) to work as Capone's dogsbody (flunky). Estranged from his family lo these seven years, Eli's been hitting the bottle pretty hard.

 

The episode title was "Farewell Daddy Blues," and Nucky took Eli's place as Willie's father figure.

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Thanks editorlgrrl, I was also hazy about this but your info was helpful.

Edited by NutMeg
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Yes, but Van Alden was a fed on the run from other feds for murder, so there'd be no safe haven with the undercover fed in Al Capone's employ.

 

The real fed stepped to VA's defense when he was going to get shot by Capone. I don't think he's going to rat VA out. He can use his knowledge of the 'real' VA as an asset. I don't think Van Alden's fate is quite sealed yet. The undercover fed may enlist VA against Capone as a way to 'earn' himself back. This isn't so cut and dry. 

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That was my thinking as well; Mueller/Van Alden will no doubt have some tough choices put to him by the feds at some point, not unlike what happened to Eli last season.  But it's not like the fed who's undercover is going to walk up and say "Hey, you're the wanted federal agent, eh?", or tip off Capone, because that would out himself.

 

And honestly, for all their lack of marital bliss at this point, even if I was Al Capone himself I would not want to be the one standing between Mr. and Mrs. Mueller and their vision of a stable family and home life! :)

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We also have the hindsight that Capone does go down for tax evasion, so VA could easily aid to that end.

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I think that's the point. He's been able to survive, but he's going to be under someone else's thumb after Capone.

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You all are right; VA does have some wiggle room, but not much. The poor guy will never be in charge of his own fate, will he?

 

 

I think that's the point. He's been able to survive, but he's going to be under someone else's thumb after Capone.

 

I think he may be the only one to come out of this show happier and in a good place

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I don't know about the real Nucky's history, but if he's positioning himself to be the USA Bacardi distributor, when repeal hits, he stands to be pretty fucking rich. That would be a happier place for me. 

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I don't know about the real Nucky's history, but if he's positioning himself to be the USA Bacardi distributor, when repeal hits, he stands to be pretty fucking rich. That would be a happier place for me. 

I believe at some point in history he ends up in jail.  

 

ETA: apparently the repeal of prohibition took away a lot of Nucky's income, and he went to jail for tax evasion, and took a "pauper's oath" to keep from having to pay back the money - but this is real Enoch Thompson

Edited by RealityGal

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I don't know about the real Nucky's history, but if he's positioning himself to be the USA Bacardi distributor, when repeal hits, he stands to be pretty fucking rich. That would be a happier place for me.

 

Disregarding the outcome of the character he's based on, our Nucky could well become fucking rich, but that doesn't mean he'd be happy. He was more than well off when we first met him, but I never thought he was happy. He's a tragic character and happiness does not look like it's in the cards for him. Hope I'm wrong, but not holding my breath. I think it's more likely that we see him dead than happy. But I think we'll see him rich or on the verge of becoming mega rich. 

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