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Boardwalk Empire Season 1, Episode 11

Season 1, Episode 11

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Most gangster tales that begin with a red-faced man hanging upside-down, struggling in chains, would be showing us a hit in progress. The penultimate episode of “Boardwalk Empire’s” first season opens on Hardeen — “Brother of Houdini!” — performing his escape-artist routine at an Atlantic City performance. Nucky has finally lived up to his promise to take Margaret to see Hardeen, having canceled a previous date in order to keep the city’s machinations well-greased. Despite Nucky’s earlier claims that Hardeen was “just as good” as Houdini, his escape-artistry takes forever and leaves Nucky openly bored.

This episode, titled “Paris Green,” presents several of the regulars as potential escapists — will they be more graceful than the performer? The show’s second scene segues from Hardeen to Angela, who’s “off somewhere,” seeking sanctuary from Jimmy in her thoughts. She’s contemplating a literal getaway to France with Mary, the photographer’s wife. Mary seems all hot to go and looks guilty when her husband makes a remark about her “little games.”