Boardwalk Empire: Tete a Tete

Nucky and the boys are gathered at Eli’s bedside, examining police records and mugshots for the D’Alessio brothers. One of the cronies sighs that it’s easy to forget faces and facts in the confusion of a holdup, but Eli’s sure the guys in the picture are the ones who robbed the casino. George O’Neill, the guy whose route Eli picked up last week (and who was also the one who got robbed on the boardwalk not so long ago) picks up one of the pictures and identifies the subject as the kid who spit on him, thus precipitating said robbery. Halloran, Eli’s right-hand-man, helpfully informs Nucky that the gang they’re looking at is the D’Alessios, “Dagos out of Philly.” They’ve been busy, robbing restaurants and shooting customers and waiters. All George cares about is that the kid called him fat. Nucky gives him an identical glare to the one I’m giving him for saying something so stupid. Eli points out that these guys are pretty violent, so George got off fairly easy.

Nucky kicks the boys out so he can speak to Eli. Once they’re alone, Eli tells his brother they have to hit back before more blood is spilled. Nucky’s more interested in ink than blood—the newspapers have been covering an upstart running for mayor who’s alleging corruption in both the mayor’s and sheriff’s office. Apparently, Eli’s late visit to an illegal casino did not go unnoticed. The article mentions him by name and everything. Eli doesn’t care, but Nucky does, because it’s an election year, and they need to keep themselves and their cronies in power. Eli offers to get out and press the flesh, but Nucky tells him to rest.

Looks like summer’s come to Atlantic City—the beach is packed with people in those awful, no doubt incredibly uncomfortable old timey bathing suits (which were made of wool, you know) and women in white dresses carrying parasols. The boardwalk is similarly buzzing, and the crowds include Margaret and Nan Britton, who are out for a walk. They lean on the railing and take in the salty breeze and the scene on the beach. Nan asks Margaret if she believes in love at first sight. Margaret’s practical and demurs, but Nan’s the romantic sort (in case you hadn’t figured that out) and insists it happened to her when she met Warren Harding. Nan was only 16 at the time, and Warren was just a small-town newspaper publisher. Margaret brings up Houdini’s brother Hardeen and says when she first heard of Harding, she thought Hardeen was running for president. That seems like an incredibly stupid thing to both think and say, which is somewhat out of character for the well-read Margaret. Nan wisely ignores it and keeps blathering on about how Warren loves her and their daughter, but America needs him, so she needs to sacrifice. Margaret gives her a tight smile, and honestly, I can’t blame her. Nan seems like she’d be annoying to hang out with, what with the mooney-eyed, drippy way she talks about Warren freaking Harding all the time. This girl needs to read fewer romance novels.

As a distraction, the girls head into Mme Jeunet’s for some retail therapy, passing some election sandwichboards that advertise democratic candidates on the way. Margaret introduces Nan to Mme and tells Mme that Nan needs a few outfits for the season. Mme sharply calls out her Margaret replacement, even clapping her hands for emphasis, and a pretty homely girl comes skulking out, chewing something like a cow with a cud. Mme sends Nan off with NewMargaret and bitches about her to Margaret, calling her a cow waiting to be milked who has no grace or style, but at least she works cheap. Mme sighs dramatically for Margaret to “see what [Mme’s] reduced to.” Margaret innocently asks if business is slow, but instead of answering, Mme starts pouring on the charm, complimenting Margaret all over the place and noting that Nucky has been very generous with her. He’s not being so generous with Mme, though. She now has to pay him double, but she doesn’t have any money saved, and she’s a woman all on her own. That part, of course, hits home with Margaret. Mme asks her to speak with Nucky on her behalf, and even coaches her on what to say and how to behave. Margaret looks a little distressed by the prospect.

Nucky steps off the elevator with Halloran, telling him to wire every police department from Philly to Pittsburgh. Further instructions are put on hold, however, because when Nucky arrives at his office he finds Jimmy waiting. Nucky scolds him for not sending notice, but Jimmy says he sent a telegram. Eddie swears they didn’t receive one, and he’ll call Western Union to complain. Jimmy mentions he came right from the train to Nucky’s, without stopping home for breakfast or a hello to his kid. Nucky lets that go and takes a seat at the desk, saying he assumes Jimmy’s accepted his offer, since he’s now in AC and all. Jimmy has some conditions, though. He wants Two Face to join him (Nucky refers to him as The Man in the Iron Mask, which is pretty spot on, considering he doesn’t even know about that sniper mask Harrow carries around with him). He asks Jimmy what the deal is with Harrow’s face, and Halloran’s shocked, after Jimmy describes the injuries, that the guy’s still alive. Jimmy uses this as an opening to mention that there are a lot of people alive who shouldn’t be. Halloran pulls out the D’Alessios’ records and hands them over as Nucky starts to tell Jimmy about them, but Jimmy interrupts with another condition: He and Nucky keep what they discuss only between them. Nucky tells Halloran to scram. Once Halloran’s gone, Jimmy finally takes a seat and goes through the records, noting that all the boys are named after popes. Jimmy sets the info aside, helps himself to a cup of coffee, and asks Nucky what he wants Jimmy to do with the D’Alessios when he finds them. Nucky’s reluctant to spell it out, and Jimmy notes Nucky’s a politician to the end, and wonders if Nucky’s just hoping to keep some semblance of plausible deniability here, or if he just doesn’t want to admit that doing business is a whole lot uglier now. Jimmy’s much colder and more confident after his sojourn in Chicago. Nucky finally admits he wants Jimmy to kill them, even the kid who spit on George. Jimmy gathers his things and heads out. Nucky watches him go, seemingly starting to realize he may have helped create a monster.

In his plush digs in NYC, Rothstein’s once again enjoying a game of pool when in come Leo and Ignatius D’Alessio and Mickey Doyle, escorted by Meyer Lansky and Lucky. Lansky takes up a position near the fireplace as Rothstein shakes the men’s hands and Lucky makes introductions. The boys start sucking up like crazy, but the minute Rothstein opens his mouth and starts innocently asking them what they’ve heard about him and his reputation, those of us who have seen him in action realize he’s starting to play one of his mind games. He also makes a totally awesome shot that neatly sinks the three balls left on the table. As Lucky re-racks the balls, Rothstein starts counting out some cash and mentions he’s heard the D’Alessio crew’s interested in getting into the liquor business. They say what they’re interested in is making lots of money. Rothstein places a $500 bet on the 8 ball and invites Lucky to break. As he does (and Meyer takes command of the bet), Rothstein explains how to make money in the illegal alcohol business: Option 1, you take cheap rotgut whiskey, dilute it, and sell it (something Mickey knows a little bit about). Rothstein calls this the stupid way, and he’s not interested in it. Option 2, supply the masses with really good alcohol, which the wealthiest people will demand because it’ll be the chic thing to have the good stuff when you have guests. I’m pretty sure it was always de rigueur to have the good stuff on hand when you had rich guests, but ok. I guess now you can now just charge a super premium for it. Rothstein’s interested in setting up a company to import Scotch from distilleries in Europe. He wants to use the AC ports to smuggle it in so it can be distributed, but Nucky stands in his way. Rothstein explains that normally he’d just cut a deal with the guy, but he finds Nucky greedy and unreasonable. Leo, smiling knowingly, says that’s nothing a bullet in the eye won’t fix. Rothstein asks Leo, Ignatius, and Mickey to sign life insurance policies that have been taken out on each of them to the tune of $500K, which will be both their acquiescence to the deal and Rothstein’s reassurance they won’t try to cheat him. They all hesitate, but eventually sign, and Meyer shows them out. When they leave, Rothstein calls them monkeys and goes back to his game of pool.

"Anyone interested in trying to swallow a q-ball?"

In AC, Nucky’s happily reading The Road to Oz, which he’s apparently been reading aloud to the kids, whom Margaret has just put to bed. They chat a little about the election, and she asks if Nucky thinks Harding will be president. He asks if she’d vote for him, and she only says she hasn’t seen him in the best light. So, no, then. Nucky tells her that if they only elected good men, they’d never have leaders. Well, except for Lincoln, I guess. And probably quite a few of the early presidents, if you’re willing to overlook the fact that many owned slaves. And Teddy Roosevelt was pretty cool, if you don’t mind all the big game hunting.

Margaret switches topics to Mme, mentioning she might end up losing the shop because she’s having trouble with the city. Nucky says she should talk to her alderman, but Margaret tightly tells him that Mme did, and it didn’t help. She suggests he do something, and Nucky finally puts his fairy tale aside and asks why Margaret cares. Margaret says Mme showed her a kindness once, so Nucky points out the fact that he forced Mme to hire Margaret in the first place. Not to be beaten so easily, Margaret throws back that he should recompense Mme for the burden she was forced to carry at his request. Nucky flinches and asks what Mme told her, exactly. Just that Mme can’t afford the price of doing business in AC anymore. Nucky snaps that this is not a suitable topic, then grabs his jacket and leaves in a snit, using the “I have an early meeting” excuse, so apparently that one’s older than I thought.

Over at Lesbian Liaison Maison, Angela’s having a little party with Mary and the photographer husband, showing husband a painting she did of a vaudeville actress. Photographer drapes his arm around Angela’s shoulders to point out a “lyrical quality reminiscent of Mary Cassatt” in one area of the painting. Looking uncomfortable, Angela squirms out from under his arm and asks if his friend the art dealer will be visiting soon. Nope, he’s abroad at the moment. Mary and Angela, who are both more than a little tipsy, struggle with the cork in a bottle of wine, and then start drinking straight from the bottle while the photographer slurs jokingly about “uncivilized artists.” Mary notes that the year of the wine (1918) is the same year they met Angela, and she gives Angela a big kiss on the lips to commemorate it, while her husband watches like this is his own live porn show. They all swill from the bottle, then the husband kisses Mary while Angela looks a bit ill at ease. Then Mary starts kissing Angela, and before you know it, this starts to turn into a strange three-way makeout session. Angela doesn’t seem too comfortable, despite the photographer’s reassurance that everyone in Paris is doing this, so she’s probably relieved when the whole thing is interrupted by Jimmy knocking on the door. Jimmy comes in and coolly notes that she seems to be having a party. Angela seems quite happy to see him, but a little unsure of how this is going to go, with Mary and her husband (whom Jimmy thought Angela was sleeping with) there. Fortunately, Mary, even while drunk, can read a room, so she hustles her husband out of there.

If Angela was uncomfortable before, it’s nothing compared to the tension she exhibits once she and Jimmy are alone. She tightly tells him he should have told her he was coming, and he insists that he did, but chalks it up to Western Union screwing up again. Is Van Alden intercepting his telegrams now? I find it hard to believe that they both would have mysteriously gone astray. Jimmy leans in for a kiss but is immediately rebuffed and scolded for not calling or getting in touch for months. Things devolve pretty quickly into, essentially, rape territory as Jimmy grabs her, lifts her onto a table, and starts pulling up her skirt, ignoring the fact that she’s pushing him away and not kissing him back. She finally just resigns herself to it, which is awful to see, but then either gets in the mood or plays her part really well, because she starts actively making out with him. Ick. I feel kind of like I need a shower now.

Van Alden’s on the phone at the PO/Fed Field Office, thanking someone on the other end for bringing this to his attention. He hangs up the phone and Sebso chooses this inopportune moment to enter the office with a cup of coffee and a breakfast pastry. Van Alden meanly slaps the pastry out of Sebso’s hand and asks why Western Union just got a call from Eddie inquiring about a telegram from James Darmody. Western Union told Van Alden the telegram was passed on to Sebso. Sebso takes a second to absorb that, then looks horrified and runs over to his desk to find it. He hands it to Van Alden, who’s pissed, because the telegram says which train Jimmy was going to be on and everything. Jimmy really needs some training in speaking in code or something. Sebso apologizes, but Van Alden’s not taking apologies today. He demands to know why Sebso didn’t hand over the telegram, and Sebso informs him that Supervisor Elliott thinks they’re being obsessive about the Hans Schroeder case and Nucky Thompson, and Sebso didn’t want to lose his job. Van Alden reminds him that they have a witness who can place Jimmy at the scene of the murders, and Sebso admits he just wasn’t thinking. Van Alden calms down a little and tells Sebso that getting rid of Nucky Thompson is the key to cleaning up Atlantic City.

Chez Darmody, Angela’s making breakfast while Jimmy’s getting the kid dressed and telling him about his travels. Angela makes a passive aggressive crack about Jimmy’s return, and they bicker a little bit. Jimmy’s in a chipper mood, though, and tells her that Nucky’s made him a good offer that’ll allow them to move to a nicer house. Angela looks about as excited as one would about root canal and calls the kid over for breakfast while Jimmy answers the ringing telephone. He tells Angela Gillian was calling and he has to go see her after he eats. She serves him some eggs (reminiscent of the pilot episode) and then goes to make more coffee. Jimmy watches her work and then, out of nowhere, suggests they have another baby. He enlists the kid’s help in persuading Angela by asking Tommy if he’d like a little brother. Tommy’s all for it, because he’s, like, three and kids that age say yes to almost everything.

"You know what this family needs? The added stress of another kid!"

Gillian’s in bed with Lucky, post coital, presumably. They snuggle, and then she turns to get up, her face falling in a rather sad way. He asks if there’s any coffee, and she slaps on a smile and says she can manage that. She moves into an adjoining room, and Lucky lights a cigarette and admires his boner. Seriously. He leans back against the pillows, eyes closed, blissed out, but then Jimmy comes in and tosses hot coffee all over him. Yowch! Lucky reaches for his gun on the nightstand, but Gillian emerges, brandishing it. He insults her, which is fairly stupid with her gun-toting son standing right there. Jimmy holds his gun up and Lucky apologizes. Jimmy smiles, seeming to enjoy having this power over Luciano. He says he’s heard a lot abut Lucky from Gillian (I’ll bet he did) and tells him to get dressed so they can take a ride. Lucky takes a moment to glare at Gillian before turning and reaching for his clothes.

A little while later, Jimmy’s marching Lucky down the stairs as Lucky tries to talk his way out of this tight spot. He tells Jimmy they can call off the D’Alessios and cut everyone in on the deal, since there’s plenty of money to go around. Jimmy wants to know what the hell he’s talking about, but before explanations can be offered, Van Alden and Sebso surprise Jimmy around a corner and tell him to drop his gun. There’s a brief face off, then Jimmy lowers his gun and is placed under arrest. Lucky starts chuckling, earning him a cuff to the face from Jimmy, and tells Sebso he and Van Alden are a sight for sore eyes.

Nucky’s dealing with his own problems—the mayor’s bitching about how it’s only mid-July and already posters for his opponent (Derwood Fletcher) are everywhere. He’s worried he can’t compete. Nucky throws one of the posters at Halloran and tells him he wants them all removed, and any shop that posts one gets a $25 fine. Wouldn’t it be less obvious to just rig the ballot boxes? Halloran’s surprised to learn they can do that, and the exasperated mayor asks when Eli’s coming back. Halloran informs the mayor and Nucky that Eli’s stitches opened up, which could set him back another month. Things are starting to get sticky in Eli’s absence—there’s nobody to guide the other deputies or set schedules or anything. Nucky asks Halloran what he’s trying to stay, and the man screws up his courage and tells Nucky he thinks he (Halloran) should be in charge. He’s got the most experience and the boys look up to him. Nucky appoints him acting sheriff.

This makes Halloran really bold and he goes on to say that some more permanent changes might be good to consider, with the corruption allegations floating around, the election, and Eli being out of commission for God knows how long. Halloran tells Nucky he’s at his service, whatever Nucky needs.

Van Alden’s interrogating Jimmy, who lies easily that he was at the movies (Wagon Tracks) when the shooting went down. The lie doesn’t totally work, because he claims he was there from 7 to 11 p.m. but the movie’s only 78 minutes long. Jimmy says he fell asleep. Van Alden lights a cigarette and dickishly blows a cloud of smoke in Jimmy’s face before inappropriately bringing up Jimmy’s out-of-wedlock son and asking if Angela isn’t fit to marry. Jimmy fobs him off so Van Alden starts asking for details from the movie. I bet Jimmy’s really wishing IMDB existed in 1920.

Instead of pursuing this line of questioning, Van Alden starts to go a little off the deep end, asking who Hans Schroeder and Margaret are. Jimmy says he has no idea who the hell they are, and then Van Alden asks who Lucy is. Jimmy only knows she’s Nucky’s girlfriend (so I guess he’s not too up on the news of Nucky’s love life). Van Alden, starting to look slightly crazed, asks what the relationship is between Nucky and Margaret, even though Jimmy just told him he has no idea who Margaret even is. And I’m pretty sure that’s actually true. He drove her home that one time, but did he even really know who she was? Even if Nucky mentioned her name, I doubt Jimmy would have bothered to remember it, it was just a one-off incident to him. Jimmy suggests Van Alden ask Nucky who Nucky’s sleeping with.

Van Alden finally gets back on track and asks how Jimmy knows Al. Jimmy says he doesn’t know any Al from Chicago. Van Alden asks if Nucky had Hans Schroeder murdered because he was in love with Margaret. Seriously, I’m not telling this out of order or anything, he really is jumping around this crazily. Jimmy doesn’t even bother to answer anymore. Van Alden asks how many men Jimmy shot in the forest and Jimmy just repeats that he went to the movies, fell asleep, walked home, and went to bed. Van Alden threatens Jimmy with death, essentially, but Jimmy stays cool and tells Van Alden he’s got nothing.

Question time over, Sebso is escorting Jimmy to a cell in the basement somewhere, as another agent escorts Billy, the kid who fingered Jimmy in the shooting, upstairs for questioning, I guess. Jimmy recognizes the kid, who begs for forgiveness and explains he was going to be sent to prison in Rahway.

Nucky’s in bed with Margaret, yearning for the old days, when you could rely on people to vote the party line. But then the democrats came along with their promises and it all went to hell. Margaret recognizes that Nucky’s a bit concerned and wishes she could help. Nucky tells her she could help him get the women’s vote. They don’t have it yet, but Nucky’s optimistic and urges her to talk to her friends and compatriots in the Temperance League and other organizations. She tries to fob him off by saying she’s not much of an orator, but Nucky’s seen her in action (remember her at his birthday party?). Margaret’s pleased at the fact he trusts her to handle this way and agrees to consider it.

But first, she needs to put some of Mme Jeunet’s suggestions into action. She asks Nucky if he doesn’t want her to dress well, which understandably throws him. She points out that dressing well is going to be difficult if Mme Jeunet goes out of business, since Mme knows what suits Margaret. She wriggles and coos and wins the day, smiling triumphantly as Nucky goes to answer the phone.

Seems the phone call was from Sebso, because suddenly Nucky’s in the basement and the young agent’s opening Jimmy’s cell door so Nucky can have ten minutes with his protégé. Jimmy asks if Nucky talked to Angela and Nucky assures him she knows what’s going on. Jimmy tells Nucky that the D’Alessios are in bed with Rothstein before asking if Nucky can bail him out. But not even Nucky can arrange bail for someone with five counts of murder against him. He doesn’t even think bringing in a lawyer would be useful. Intriguingly, Jimmy suggests they call his father and see if he can help. Is his father…Edge or something? I can’t think of too many other people higher than or more able to help than Nucky, and even he’s thrown up his hands. Jimmy reminds Nucky that he promised to take care of things with Van Alden, and Nucky coolly says he will, but the legal system is not Jimmy’s ticket to freedom.

At the Fed Field (Post) Office, Van Alden’s on the phone with Elliott, happily telling him they’ve arrested Darmody and all roads appear to lead to Nucky. Elliott compliments Van Alden on the good work and says this’ll be a real shot in the arm for the bureau. After he hangs up the phone, Sebso congratulates him, and apologizes again for forgetting the telegram. Van Alden’s in a good mood today, and forgives him as he pages through a file that includes a Ziegfield Follies program with Lucy on the front (how old is that? Or did she go back now that the Bank of Nucky is closed?), some newspaper clippings, and, of course, Margaret’s immigration papers. He focuses on the last bit, making slightly creepy “hmm, hmm” noises that make me wonder if he’s going to take the rest of the day off to beat himself with a belt again. Sebso wonders if it’s safe to keep Jimmy and the witness at the post office, or wherever they’re holding them (what post office has jail cells in the basement?)  and suggests they move them north pending trial, perhaps to the federal jail in Manhattan. Van Alden seems to like the idea.

Nucky arrives at the Commodore’s place just in time to witness one of the old man’s massive coughing fits. Ohhh! Maybe the Commodore is Jimmy’s father! Nucky urges the Commodore to see a doctor, but he won’t, of course. The man looks awful but still has enough life in him to complain about the democrats and Eli’s prolonged convalescence. There’s some back and forth about the five years the Commodore spent in jail, which he brings up every time he’s on camera. Nucky, thankfully, tells him to let it go already, because one of them had to go, and they made a deal.

Nucky moves on to more pressing matters—he tells the Commodore that they’re in trouble. The mayor’s weak and losing ground fast. Commodore asks Nucky what kind of dirt they have on Fletcher, but there’s none. He’s clean, and all he wants is to be mayor. The Commodore suggests Nucky ditch the current mayor and run someone else in his place. If the people want change, just give it to them, or, at least, make them think you’re giving it to them. He also tells Nucky to replace Eli. We’ll see about that.

Nan and Margaret are back at Mme’s, where Nan’s trying on a dress, whining about how she can’t decide. Mme pours on the charm thick as treacle, and Nan whines a little more about how all the dresses are so plain and she’ll need something really special to wear to the inauguration (or the inaugural ball, it’s not clear what she’s referring to here). This girl’s dumb as a brick, isn’t she? She couldn’t even get into some little cocktail party in Chicago and she thinks she’ll go to the inauguration? Margaret suggests, practically, that she think a little less far in the future and just get something for kicking around AC. Nan admires one of the dresses hanging up, but when she learns the price ($480), goes to try something else on instead. Mme and Margaret retire to chat.

Outside the dressing room, Mme kisses Margaret on both cheeks and thanks her profusely for intervening on her behalf. She claims that, the first day Margaret stepped into the shop, Mme told herself that Margaret was a lady of taste and judgment. Shame she didn’t say that out loud at the time, it might have been less mean than implying that Margaret was dirty. Margaret reminds her of that, and Mme desperately tries to backpedal and offers Margaret a beautiful lace dress for her daughter. Margaret gives her a look that says: “And…?” Mme also produces an ivory brush for the little girl, and Margaret points out that her daughter didn’t help Mme, Margaret did. Mme’s face hardens just a little.

Nan comes swirling out of the dressing room in the blue lace dress and says she just had to try it on. Margaret leans up against the counter and says that the dress really is quite beautiful. Shakedown time. And Mme knows it. Our girl’s learning fast.

Sebso’s been tasked with delivering Billy to Manhattan. He chatters inanely about wanting to live by the sea someday and then pulls over to take a leak. He lets Billy out to stretch his legs, and Billy climbs up to the top of a dune to look out at the ocean. Sebso finishes up, then tells Billy he really shouldn’t have lunged for Sebso’s weapon. Billy is, of course, confused, but before he can clear it up, Sebso shoots him dead. Sebso removes Billy’s handcuffs, pockets them, then finds a good-sized rock and whacks himself on the head with it, to make the struggle look more real. He stumbles over to Billy, reloads him into the car, and drives off, passing a sign welcoming visitors to Atlantic City, America’s playground.

At the photographer’s studio on the boardwalk, the photographer (sorry, I can’t remember this guy’s name. If anyone can, feel free to fill me in and I’ll be grateful) tells Angela his art dealer friend isn’t interested in her stuff, and no, he didn’t say why. He’s actually rather cold to her, and I’m not sure what his deal is. He tells Angela that her style is a rather cheap imitation of Mary Cassatt’s, which is true but unnecessarily harsh. Angela turns to Mary, who’s been hanging photographs in the background, but Mary can offer no comfort.

A cheerier crowd is gathered at Babette’s, being entertained by a female stand-up comedienne who’s not telling jokes any more original than the male comedian from the pilot. The crowd still loves it, though. At a choice table, Nucky, accompanied by Margaret, is giving the hard sell to a potential mayoral candidate, who’s there with his wife. The man can’t quite believe his luck, and knows there must be a catch. Nucky suggests Margaret take the wife on a tour, and as she gets up to go, he compliments the dress she’s wearing. She says only that it was a gift from Mme Jeunet. I think it might be that blue dress Nan was trying on. Ha!

When the ladies are gone, Nucky and the man (Edward Bader) he’s meeting with get down to business. Nucky wants the man to run for mayor, with Nucky as boss. Nucky tells him he’ll have more time to run his construction business (I’m not sure if that’s a euphemism or not), and that he’s a solid republican, making him a perfect choice for Nucky and his crew. Bader (Spoiler alert! He won.) says he’ll have to discuss it with his wife, but Nucky tells him to be decisive. He and Nucky can do great things together, like build roads and a convention center (which did get started under Bader’s rule). He and Nucky shake on the deal.

Dinner over, Nucky and Margaret head out onto the boardwalk, where one of the carnival hawkers from the pilot is showing off a “savage” from the wilds of Africa—a tribally painted and decked out black man who hisses menacingly at the crowd. Nucky and Margaret stroll along, enjoying the evening. Someone calls Nucky’s name, and he turns to see a man approaching him, hand extended for a shake. Margaret smiles politely, while Nucky looks confused, and nobody notices another man approaching from the other side with a gun leveled right at Nucky. Nobody but Eddie, who lunges and pushes the man’s hand aside. He fires anyway, shooting a woman standing nearby. She screams and lands dramatically in Margaret’s arms, staining her new dress with blood. Eh, you know what? That was a cliché that I thought this show might have been above, so I wound up being less distressed and more annoyed by this scene. Eddie gives chase and manages to shoot the guy who tried to shake Nucky’s hand. At this point, the boardwalk erupts into complete chaos. The only people not screaming and running are Margaret, who’s sitting beside the now-dead bystander, shaking and looking at her in shock, and Nucky, who’s cradling her and wondering just what the hell is going on.

So, what did everyone think? Are we looking at all-out war on the boardwalk? Is Jimmy going to do us all a favor and kill Mickey Doyle first? Is the Commodore really his bio-dad? Is Lucky going to get revenge on Gillian for her betrayal? And what the hell is the photographer’s name again (and does it really matter)? Let’s start talking!


9 thoughts on “Boardwalk Empire: Tete a Tete

  1. everything seems right except one……..since I am HOH and have CC on my TV they didn’t say the woman was dead, they said ” is she dead” ………after all she was shot in the rt upper shoulder on center chest.
    Maybe she is dead but let’s see next week!

    1. Hmm. I’ll have to go back and rewatch that. I may have just been getting ahead of myself–since the bullet went right through her, and there’s quite a lot of important stuff in the chest, I think I figured she was a goner. But, then again, we thought all the guys on the Criminal Convoy were dead for at least a couple of weeks, so you never know!

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