Out on the Boardwalk, everyone’s going about their normal business, including one of Nucky’s guys, who’s making his regular collections. As he’s crossing a name off the list (which only has one more name left on it, so he’s clearly near the end and probably toting plenty of cash), some young punk type comes up and starts insulting him. The guy tells the kid to get lost, but the kid hocks a loogie in the guy’s face and takes off, leading the guy on a merry chase down the boardwalk. He runs through an archway, and as the collector follows him, someone comes running out from behind a large poster and lays him out flat with a club to the head. The attacker grabs the dropped bag of cash and leaves our poor guy lying stunned on the boardwalk, watching the birds wheeling overhead.
And we’re back! Sorry about the delay, folks, but honeymoons don’t take themselves (thankfully) and thank you notes don’t write themselves (sadly). But now all that’s behind me and I’m ready to sink my teeth back into the glorious world of Prohibition-era Atlantic City. Let’s get to it!
In the cool light of early dawn, Margaret’s peacefully sleeping with the kids when she’s awakened by a slight ruckus outside. She gets up, goes to the window, and watches some men rolling barrels out of a truck and into a garage behind her house. One man, more well dressed than the others, takes a glass of something from one of the barrels and tastes it.
Our bloodied friend from the end of last episode has made it to the hospital, where he’s being wheeled on a gurney past Eli and some of his officers. Eli goes out to the hall to meet Nucky, who’s coming in with Jimmy, and Nucky asks how the guy can possibly still be alive after being outside in the cold for three days. Eli shrugs that the guy was fat, and insulated, although the gaping abdominal wound we just saw the poor sap sporting didn’t look like insulation to me. Jimmy lamely says that they thought they killed all the members of the Criminal Convoy, and Nucky mockingly calls him Aristotle and says Jimmy better hope the guy dies real soon.
In a fairly industrial part of town, a horse-drawn hearse is being driven slowly past some warehouses. A kid throws open the door to one of them and the hearse drives right in. Nucky and the black guy we saw impatiently waiting to see him in episode 1 (Chalky White—heh) meets it and Chalky’s guys open the hearse and start unloading the crates of Canadian Club contained therein. After Chalky threatens his men with bodily harm should a drop of liquor go missing, he and Nucky start talking business. Chalky says he should be able to mix up the liquor pretty well—get 3,000 bottles of diluted stuff from the 500 bottles of pure. Nucky offers a 80-20 split in profits wherein he’ll supply the product and Chalky will work his magic. Chalky observes that’s a lot of magic for just 20%. Nucky shoots back that that’s the same deal he gave Mickey the Moron, which turns out to be a mistake, because Chalky offers a 60-40 split, just because Nucky actually thought Chalky would take the same deal as Mickey. They agree on a 65-35 split.
Well, the poll takers have spoken, and Boardwalk Empire it is! I’ve been pretty excited about this show since it was announced—I’m obviously a sucker for historical dramas, and I feel a certain connection to this show for a couple of reasons. First off, I’m a Jersey girl myself, and it’s nice to see a depiction of my home state that does not include fake tans and claw-like fingernails (not that a show about Prohibition-era gangsters puts the Garden State in such a great light). Second—I have a family connection to this time and place. My great-grandfather had some cousins who made their living on the wrong side of the law during the Prohibition period. He went to visit them in AC once, at a restaurant they worked out of, and one of them asked him to open the kitchen door to admit some guests. One of those guests? Al Capone. According to family legend. At that point, my great-grandpa hit the road and stopped having anything to do with those cousins, at least one of whom later disappeared. Yay, family history!