One of the best standout new shows of the season by FAR is HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. It started off a bit slow but as the story lines began to reveal themselves, there was no doubt this was going to quickly become an addiction!
This past Sunday, Federal Prohibition agent Nelson Van Alden (Michael Shannon) took matters into his own hands and washed away the sins of his partner Agent Sebso (Erik Weiner). Van Alden knew his partner was up to no good after the only witness that could pin Jimmy Darmody (Michael Pitt) to the shooting in the woods, ends up dead by his gun under mysterious circumstances.
Van Alden took Sebso to the river where he hoped the double agent would confess his sins and deliver himself to Jesus Christ and become a Christian through the sacrament of baptism. But things got out of hand when Sebso, a Jewish man refused.
Michael Shannon spoke to New York Magazine about how he feels about his characters actions.
I don’t think he wanted to kill him, I just think he wanted to baptize him. The kid, he wouldn’t say yes and, you know, Van Alden’s a very angry person and I think when he drowns Sebso, he’s drowning everybody.
He’s drowning Nucky, he’s drowning this whole situation. Because I think he resents the fact that he’s been put in the middle of so much sin and depravity. I think Van Alden really wants to be a good person, but there’s a lot of resentment and frustration built up inside of him because he can’t — it’s impossible.
In this environment, he can’t maintain his character and his ideals. And so he’s disgusted with himself as much as anybody else … I think the word is he snapped.
Who is Van Alden to judge his partner when he has resorted to boozing it up himself and having sex with his arch nemesis Nucky Thompson’s (Steve Buscemi) former lady love Lucy Danziger (Paz de la Huerta)?
Your falling into the rabbit hole Van Alden, and you too shall pay for your sins.
Watch the final two episodes of Boardwalk Empire, Sunday nights on HBO.