Previously on Boardwalk Empire: Nucky’s first move against Gyp and Masseria went really badly, especially for Owen. Gyp acted crazy a bit more, and Two Face had an awesome date.
The Thompson suite’s looking pretty trashed, with toys strewn everywhere and cronies asleep or gathering in groups. Two men wrestle Owen’s box through the door. Eddie watches for a moment, then reports to Nucky that it’s being taken care of. Nucky asks if Margaret and the kids are gone and Eddie confirms that they were sent out of town on the first available train. Nucky asks if Eddie knew about Owen and Margaret and Eddie rather helplessly says he only really tends to Nucky. Sticking his nose in Margaret’s business isn’t really part of his job. Nucky tells him he’d better leave soon, because it’s not safe for anyone, but Eddie refuses. So, Nucky tells him to get on the phone and call Eli and Chalky and anyone else they can think of. Eddie picks up the phone, but the line’s dead.
the elevator dings and out come a whole crew of Gyp’s guys. Or maybe Masseria’s. So, Nucky’s suite’s in lockdown but they didn’t block the elevator? Ok. The goons blow away the bodyguard standing in the hall and head into Nucky’s office, which they find empty, Nucky and Eddie having beaten a hasty retreat. Goons hear that damn dog barking in the bedroom and follow the sound, only to have one of them meet Nucky and wind up with a bullet in his head. Nucky coolly helps himself to a shotgun and blows away at the other goon through the bedroom door, eventually killing him, after a struggle. Nucky and Eddie hurry outside, passing slaughtered bodyguards along the way. Ok, hang on a sec–I know AC was pretty corrupt and all, but did they have no police at all? How can these guys just walk around shooting people and nobody even takes notice?
Eddie and Nucky debate whether or not to take Nucky’s highly recognisable car, but luckily some sap comes along on his way to work, and Nucky offers him $500 for his car. The guy takes one look at all the bodies and tosses him the keys before getting out of there. The two men drive off, but before long Eddie crashes, getting all lightheaded from the bullet wound in his side. Oh no.
Gyp takes a look at the carnage at the Ritz–these guys just killed a bunch of people and they can just hang around at the scene of the crime? Are there no police officers left in this city? One of the goons tells Gyp they have guys out looking for Nucky and Gyp reels off all the places they can look and offers a price on his head. One of the goons offers to have the switchboard hooked back up so he can call Masseria. He goes on to say that he doubts anyone’s going to make a fuss about the half dozen dead bodies lying around and Gyp tells him to shut up before rifling through Nucky’s desk and finding a book inscribed to Nucky from his mother, on his 12th birthday. That sufficiently disturbs Gyp to make him choose to leave the Ritz.
Nucky takes Eddie to the hospital and runs into Dr. Landau, the dickish guy Margaret strongarmed into opening the women’s clinic. Nucky tells him Eddie’s injured and orders him to help, but before Landau can do anything, two of Gyp’s guys come out of nowhere and just start firing. Nucky peels out.
In NYC, Lucky meets a couple of guys in some crappy part of town to make a heroin deal. They agree to take five pounds at $1500. Not bad.
At the House of T&A, Two Face finds Gillian poking around in his room. She immediately guesses that he’s in love and tells him that’s great, but he needs to keep his head straight and not dream of things that could never come to pass. Bitch. She leaves and TF takes a moment to look at the picture of him, Julia, and Tommy from Easter.
Nucky has made his way to the part of town where the poorer black residents live. Eddie’s in bad shape; he’s barely even coherent anymore. Nucky pulls out his handgun, paranoid, and goes around the side of the house, looking for help, and finds himself on the wrong end of Dunn Purnsley’s rifle. Dunn recognises him, fortunately, and lets him into the house, where Chalky’s holding court. He doesn’t exactly welcome Nucky with open arms and is not receptive at all when Nucky demands Chalky lend him some men. I can’t blame him, after the way Nucky dismissed him the last time they met, which was, what, yesterday in show-time? Nucky tells him that Owen’s dead, Eli’s in Chicago, and Eddie needs a doctor and Nucky’s come asking for help. Chalky sends one of the guys to bring Eddie in and tells Nucky he’s safe, for the nonce.
Gyp has upped sticks and settled down at the House of T&A. Gillian’s about as pleased to see him as Chalky was to see Nucky, though she hides it a bit better. Gillian notices some of the goons bringing in Nucky’s desk and asks what happened to him. Gyp makes it sound like Nucky’s dead and tells her to just go on running her business like he and his guys aren’t even there. She slaps on a smile and tells them to make themselves at home. Out of Gyp’s earshot, she tells TF to make sure Tommy stays in his room.
Nucky’s on the phone trying to get Torrio on the line so he can find Eli, but the guy on the other end isn’t helpful. After the frustrating conversation comes to an end, Samuel, Chalky’s future son-in-law, is shown in to tend to Eddie. Welcome to the family, kid! He takes a look and tells them Eddie needs a hospital. He’s informed that’s not an option, so he agrees to see what he can do, though he’s concerned this could ruin him. Chalky reassures him they all take care of each other. Samuel calls for boiling water, alcohol, and Nucky to assist.
Back in NYC, Lucky’s trying to talk Meyer into the heroin deal, but Meyer’s a bit gun-shy about doing any deals with strangers these days. He advises patience but Lucky’s not the patient type. Meyer orders him to let this go and Lucky reluctantly agrees.
Samuel’s all ready to go to work. He asks Eddie if he can hear him and Eddie goes back to babbling. Samuel tells Nucky and Chalky to hold Eddie down while he gets to work. Eddie screams pitifully as Sam searches for the bullet, which is pretty far down there. They all pause and tense up, however, when they hear a car pull up, and a minute later Gyp calls for Chalky to come out. Chalky eyes Eddie and tells Nucky to keep him quiet. Sam asks if he should keep going and Chalky puts a cloth over Eddie’s mouth, clamps down, and nods.
Outside, Chalky’s heavily armed guys are in a standoff with Gyp’s heavily armed guys while the neighbours watch nonchalantly. Chalky comes out and Gyp introduces himself, explaining that he’s going to be running things in AC and he’s come to pay his respects. The guys stash their guns.
Inside, Samuel finally manages to get the bullet out.
Outside, Gyp says he’s not looking to get in Chalky’s way or put his hand in Chalky’s pocket. He promises to treat Chalky well and offers to shake. Chalky does, but then Gyp ruins things by offering Chalky $25K to walk inside and drag Nucky out.
Inside, Sam starts stitching up Eddie.
Outside, Chalky swears he hasn’t seen Nucky in weeks and what happens to him is none of Chalky’s business. Gyp offers to come inside and take a look but Chalky blocks his way and says he’s got a bit of a private thing going on, if you know what I mean. Gyp yells to the neighbourhood in general that he’ll pay $25,000 for Nucky on delivery. With that, he gathers his goons and leaves.
Inside, Samuel finishes up, but he’s not sure Eddie will make it. Chalky comes in and tells Nucky about the bounty on his head, which is a hell of a lot of money to these people. Nucky asks for help getting out of town and Chalky says he’ll give it if he gets the club. Nucky says he doesn’t own it anymore, so it’s not his to give. Chalky asks what they should do with Eddie, wondering if he has any family. Nucky admits he doesn’t know.
House of T&A. The goons have moved in full force, and nobody seems happy about it. One of them is screwing one of the girls right in the sitting room and Gillian slacks him a few times on the behind with a broom to get him to stop. She threatens to tell Gyp and the goons all chuckle.
Gillian heads upstairs, where she finds TF getting Tommy dressed to go out. He claims it’s just a quick walk, but at Gillian’s prodding, Tommy admits they’re going to Julia’s. Gillian insults Two Face by saying, with some surprise, that Julia didn’t look blind in the photograph. Yes, that’s right, Gillian, piss off the only guy standing between you and a houseful of murderers and at least one violent sociopath. Gillian turns back to Tommy and tells him we all have to put up with unpleasant things from time to time. He’s staying put. She fetches a couple of the goons and tells them Gyp wants TF gone. She tells TF that Tommy belongs in his home, not in some fantasy world of Two Face’s making. She pouts and tells him how much it hurts that he lied to her. Two Face obediently goes, probably at least a little relieved to be getting away from Gillian’s special brand of crazy.
Night falls. Nucky looks out a small crack in the window, watching some of the men gathered around a bonfire, talking about the bounty. Eddie comes around and is pretty delirious still. Nucky soothes him and tells him to relax. He asks about Eddie’s family and Eddie tells him about his wife and two boys, but he can’t clearly say where they live. Eddie starts trying to recite Rudyard Kipling’s ‘If,’ and Nucky listens sympathetically, then tells Eddie to rest.
Chalky returns and calls for Nucky, because they’re taking him somewhere safer, if he wants. Nucky tells them to start out on the White Horse Pike and stop when he tells them.
Lucky, unsurprisingly, is doing the heroin deal behind Meyer’s back. He meets with the two buyers, who hand over a wad of cash, and Lucky shows them where he’s got the heroin stashed in a nearby chimney. Lucky seems to sense that all is not quite right here and tries to run, but he’s quickly overcome and placed under arrest. Sting! Nice one, Lucky.
Nucky’s packed into the back of a truck, looking hot and dirty and miserable and about as far from his usual dapper self as possible. The truck sets off and he fidgets all through the long, long journey, dropping off to sleep every now and then, until finally the truck comes to a stop. He peeks out and sees the tiniest bit of a billboard. He can’t see much, but he can definitely hear someone asking Chalky if he’s seen Nucky around. Chalky plays dumb, while Nucky freaks out and pulls his pistol out. Questioner is sent around to the back of the truck to check it out, but before he finds anything, Chalky, Dunn, and Nucky shoot them all dead. Nucky hops out of the truck and observes that both he and Chalky are going to be worth a pretty price now. Nucky’s apparently found his spine in the back of the truck and tells them that he’s not leaving after all. AC is his town, and no Gyp is going to chase him out, you hear? Chalky tells them to pack up and head back to round up the boys.
They’re not the only ones preparing for battle. Two Face is laying out his goddamn arsenal in whatever room he’s staying in, clearly ready for some kind of fight. Man, that guy has a lot of guns.
The three amigos arrive at one of Nucky’s warehouses, I think, where Eli’s eldest is working. The kid scares up some day-old bread and coffee, both of which are like mother’s milk to Nucky right now. Chalky smiles and says that doing without can really help you focus on what you need. Nucky asks the kid for some privacy so he and Chalky can talk and the kid gets lost, but not before Nucky tells him he handles himself well. Once they’re alone, Nucky promises to give Chalky the club if they get AC back. Damn, Nucky, if he helps you take Gyp out he’d better get the whole damn Boardwalk. Chalky asks what’ll happen if Nucky loses and Nucky tells him he’ll have to make new friends. Chalky grins and says he’s too old for that. The two men shake, now buddies again. But the bromance is interrupted by the arrival of a convoy of cars, which gets Nucky nervous for his nephew. He hurries outside and tells him to hide himself. Chalky joins him outside, but it turns out these are all friendlies: Chalky’s men, Eli (!), and Al (!!!!) who says he’ll have a bath, and then they’ll start talking about killin’. Hell yeah!