Kelly Macdonald's continuing Boardwalk Empire credit is not just a contractual obligation; it's a clue!
Some viewers of Boardwalk Empire will have noticed something curious about the show's fourth season: this screen in the opening credits.
Through the season's first four episodes, you may have asked yourself, "If Kelly Macdonald is still in the credits, where the hell is Margaret?" That is, you may have asked yourself that if you aren't very observant. Here are a few of her scenes from last night's episode.
As the Nelson Van Alden/George Mueller (Michael Shannon) storyline makes clear, nothing was easier in the 1920s than abandoning your identity and adopting a new one. After fleeing Nucky (Steve Buscemi) to, we may presume, get an illegal abortion, Margaret embarked on an Emily Thorne-esque revenge plan. Here she is, helping to steer the BI's investigation into organized crime, in her drag king persona, Hans Cuffs.
From our perspective, blackface is in poor taste. But back then it wouldn't have been such a big deal for Margaret to dress up as a busboy to keep an eye on Nucky's daytime meetings with Chalky (Michael K. Williams).
Margaret was actually just hanging out in the office of Dr. Narcisse (Jeffrey Wright), getting a handle on current civil-rights scholarship by reading a volume in his library, when the doctor himself came in, and Margaret had to hide herself behind his American flag. Fortunately, she's short.
Margaret's standing just behind Kessler (Anthony Laciura). She's going to blow her whole plan being so obvious!
This was just the production designer having fun by putting a portrait of Margaret in the shot. Easter egg alert!
Margaret's under the table with a stethoscope, a notebook, and a tiny flashlight. And if someone drops a chip, cha-ching.
Margaret also has eyes on Willie (Ben Rosenfield), the apparent heir to Nucky's fortune. She had to escape in a quick hurry when Willie's harmless college prank turned into accidental homicide, but you can just make her out, clinging to the ceiling, reflected in the puddle of blood.