Can’t Stop Watching: ‘Boardwalk Empire’s’ Dr. Narcisse Is a Conscious Nino Brown, What’s Hot/Not & More

Boardwalk Empire (Photo: HBO)


Many thoughts galloped through my head as I watched last night’s “Boardwalk Empire.” It was no doubt one of the most intense episodes we’ve seen in a while. As I noted last week, given how Jimmy Darmody went out two years ago, I wasn’t sure if Chalky White would make it out alive. I also was unsure if Dr. Valentin Narcisse would take his frustrations with Chalky out on Daughter Maitland when he visited her apartment. Turns out none of this happened and it was the Judas, Dunn Purnsley, who got the ax, or rather, the knife … in the back by Daughter Maitland. How fitting. The series did hangout on the Northside (aka the “colored” section of town) for a good chunk of the episode, offering a peek into Narcisse’s heroine set-up and the havoc it’s wrought on Chalky’s reputation (Hey, did you also peep how Chalky’s wife sensed something up between him and Daughter Maitland at the deacon’s funeral? A woman always knows if she allows herself.). Oh, and that sly, sly Dr. Narcisse. I know there’s only four episodes left, but it would be great to see his character fleshed out a bit more. We learned Daughter Maitland’s story last week  (she witnessed Narcisse murder her prostitute mother and he basically adopted her as his own) but there’s still little known about his background and the experiences that formed his personality. What we do know? He’s a man of many contradictions. He looks like W.E.B. DuBois yet spouts Garveyism (DuBois and Marcus Garvey were ideological foes), he talks about freeing the “Libyan” (black people) but sells poison to them. This is why I see him as a conscious Nino Brown. He’s really about self, his own power under the guise of caring for all. The Narcisse-Chalky conflict also brings to light other realities. Nothing, from what we’ve seen, jumped off on the Northside between its black residents and any skirmishes came from outsiders (i.e., Nelson Van Alden drowning his partner during a baptism ceremony and Gyp Rosetti coming to the Northside in search of Nucky Thompson.). Chalky, who Narcisse sees as an underling to white handlers, seemed to have kept everything relatively quiet and in line. However, when Narcisse arrives, bringing a legitimate message of empowerment and independence, there’s an asterisk present. With his arrival comes mayhem that may have only been created to disrupt Chalky’s influence and present himself as a savior, casualties be damned. Will his attempt work? My sister says they won’t kill off an important character like Chalky, so I’m going to be say no.  But, we thought the same thing about Jimmy. “Boardwalk Empire” airs at 9 p.m. EST Sunday on HBO. Catch up here.

Here’s what else is happening …

“Dracula” was pretty good. It premiered Friday and I may have to add this one to my growing list of shows. OK, Nonso Anozie, who stars as R.M. Renfield, was right. And we see gets to see British-born Anozie  and co-star Irishman Jonathan Rhys Myers, who is Dracula, use their American accents. It airs at 10 p.m. EST Fridays on NBC. See it here.

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Since we’re on Friday nights, I did watch “Grimm” via On Demand and it was cool. Baron Samedi, a Wesen species named Cracher-Mortel, turned Nick Burkhardt into a zombie. Unlike the flesh-eaters on “The Walking Dead,” this crop have better use of their motor skills and can climb ladders. Will the crew be able to rescue Nick before he kills someone? Watch here and find out.  Speaking of zombies … I missed “The Walking Dead” because I watched “Oprah’s Next Chapter” which featured Wanda Sykes and “Modern Family’s” Jesse Tyler Ferguson and “Scandal’s” Dan Bucatinsky talking about their experiences being gay and lesbian. I’m a long-time fan of Sykes so I was interested in hearing her experiences about her previous marriage to a man and her current one to a woman and her mother’s reaction to her coming out. Watch more here.

On my watchlist tonight? What I'm tuning in to see and what I'll catch up with XFINITY On Demand with…
“The Walking Dead”: I’ve been dodging spoilers all day so I will watch this soon. It airs at 9 p.m. EST Sunday on AMC. [Watch here]
“Once Upon a Time”: As you see, last night was dedicated to “Boardwalk Empire” and “Oprah’s Next Chapter” (and reading). I will watch it on XFINITY On Demand tonight, too. It airs at 8 p.m. EST  Sunday on ABC. [Watch here]
“Jimmy Kimmel Live”: Kelly Rowland will be a guest and I want to see what this glam singer’s talking about. It airs at 11:35 p.m. EST weekdays on ABC. [Watch it here]


The Hot List: Who/What’s Hot, Not
HOT: Darrell Wallace Jr. becoming the second black driver to win on NASCAR’s national level and the first since Wendell Scott’s 1963 win. (Congrats!)
NOT: Racial profiling. More accusers are coming forth after black shoppers, including a celeb, said Macy’s and Barneys practiced shop and frisk on them.

HOT: Black Girls Rock! took place Saturday (Looking forward to this taped award show airing).
NOT: The “Jimmy Kimmel Live” children’s skit where a child jokes that killing people in China would erase the debt America owes the country(I was side-eying this when I saw it last week.)

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.




The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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