In Episode 3, Margaret makes a real journey from widow to...something else. What is driving her?
It's gone beyond just looking after her family at this point. It's something else. She's had this different idea of who Nucky is and then when he rebuffs her soda bread offer she thinks, "That's it. I'm going to get noticed." She's playing a bit of a game. She can give as good as Lucy, I think.
Terence Winter refers to Episode 5 as a chess match between Margaret and Nucky -- is she learning to play?
I think she's got a bit of a history. But she's seen something that she wants. You know, "a woman scorned..." -- she's going to get noticed no matter what.
It's interesting that she's gone from battered wife to accomplished chess player.
But we also know that she travelled a long way to bigger things in Atlantic City. She must have had some gumption to get to America in the first place because it wasn't an easy trip in those days. So I think you can tell something about her already, that she's wanted a better life for herself. And she ended up in quite an abusive relationship and has seen a glimmer of this other life that's just so tantalizing and within her grasp. I think she's desperate, really, to see out her possibilities.
Is that why she steals the lingerie in the Episode 4?
She wants a little bit of that life. And like I said, I think she's got a history. I think possibly it's not the first time she's stolen anything. I think she's been the good wife and living an honest life for awhile and she just needs something. It's like with chocolate -- you can be really good with your diet for quite awhile and then it's like "I need chocolate!" You just need a taste of something delicious.
At the temperance meeting, she offers to talk to Nucky for help with their cause. Do you think her motives are purely prohibitionist?
No, not at all. I mean, not "not at all," but she's showing off to these women that she knows the man in charge and she'll be able to sort it out. She's feeling a little bit giddy with a tiny bit of power. In the end she's totally mortified that it doesn't work out. He lets her down in more than one way.
She then ups the ante and goes to Van Alden. Do you think she intended to rat Nucky out when she went there?
Oh absolutely. She's going to get noticed no matter what. She definitely goes into his makeshift office with that in mind. She's furious. She's not in a calm state at that point. She's acting without thinking. I don't think she realizes quite how dangerous both of these men are. She's playing with fire.
Outside Dante's Hall after the raid, Nucky and Margaret exchange a look...
She's sending him a message. He looks at her and that was the goal. She was trying to show to these women she had a little bit of power and control with Nucky to get him to sort things out and he robbed her of that little moment of glory. This is her making a definite point. And it could totally backfire. But it's too late. She's going down a certain path.