Tonight’s episode took it a little steady in the killing department (no one died), but it did re-introduce two characters who were absent in the premiere episode. It also gave viewers another reason to absolutely despise Gyp Rossetti, who is so wonderfully played by Bobby Cannavle.
Missing from this episode are Nelson Van Alden, Richard Harrow, Gillian Darmody, and Al Capone. However, we do see the return of Chalky White (Michael K. Williams) and Eli Thompson (Shea Whigham).
Eli is released from jail, after spending two years for taking the fall for Nucky’s election fraud. He is picked up by Mickey Doyle, and their exchange is not a pretty one. Eli doesn’t appreciate Nucky for sending Mickey, especially when Mickey tries to be a funnyman.
Margaret continues to fight for women being treated better at hospitals, when Owen Sleater (Charlie Cox) makes an appearance, which becomes a bit awkward. Owen says that Nucky should come to the church to receive an award. Owen gives Margaret some money and tries to make small talk, but Margaret ignores him. Margaret does decide that Nucky is going to the church and asks the maid to clean his suit. The maid says Nucky won’t be able to make it, but Margaret tells her he must be mistaken.
Her battle for better treatment encounters a struggle, when she visits the woman who miscarried in last week’s episode. As she tries to see if the woman would like more information about her health, the woman brushes her off – saying that she’s already given birth to nine kids. After talking to a doctor, who despises the way women are treated at hospitals, Margaret discusses how she wants to come up with a solution.
Nucky and Margaret’s marital problems are on the rise, but it looks like Nucky’s mistress troubles might be increasing, too. Nucky is still seeing Billie Kent, but he’s become very suspicious about her. Someone calls her place constantly, and Nucky discovers a man’s razor in her bathroom. Nucky also noticed how she was “talking” to someone at a dinner they attended.
Chalky White and his family make a comeback in this episode, too. Chalky’s daughter, Maybelle, is seeing a young boy named Sam, who plans to be a doctor in two-and-a-half years. After further discussion with Sam, Chalky takes a liking to him, but Maybelle is still undecided. She doesn’t find him to be as interesting as her father.
At a dance, Sam and Maybelle are discussing their future together. As Sam tries to tell her that she shouldn’t hide her feelings, a couple constantly bumps into their table. Sam tries to ask them to be aware of their surroundings, but the man doesn’t like his attitude and slices Sam’s left cheek. The man gets jumped and nearly beaten to death. Chalky asks Maybelle and Sam to leave and for Maybelle to think again about the definition of “interesting.”
Nucky enters a room, where an empty fish bowl sits on a table with some money in it. Confused, Nucky calls out to see if anyone is there. A voice tells Nucky to place the money he has in the fishbowl, but Nucky refuses. The voice turns out to be Gaston Means, a special investigator and “admirer” of Nucky’s. Another person enters the room, when the two are talking. It turns out to be George Remus. Gaston tells Nucky to leave another way, once Remus is gone. Something tells me this isn’t the last we’ll see of Gaston.
Nucky tells Rothstein that he isn’t too impressed with putting money in the fishbowl. As a shipment gets ready to leave, Mickey gets assigned to be the leader. Right before the crew takes off, one person shows up late. It turns out that Eli is also a part of the crew, but Nucky and Rothstein are most likely unaware of it – they never talked prior to this scene.
In the beginning of this episode, we see Gyp leaving a hotel in Tabor Heights, a town between Atlantic City and New York. He confronts another innocent bystander – this time, a gas station attendant. But no killing takes place like last week.
At that same location near the episode’s end, the crew stops to fill up before heading to New York. As they try to fill up, two police officers approach them, asking what they’re carrying. If it was alcohol, they would all be in trouble. Gyp comes out and says there is no gasoline. The cops don’t react to his presence. It looks like they’re in on this ambush as well. Suddenly, more men with guns come out of the shadows, surrounding the crew. With nowhere to go, the crew has no choice but to turn around and head back.
With Rothstein not getting his alcohol, it’s official that a battle will ensue between Nucky and Gyp. This season is increasing the intensity with every dialogue exchange and every character development. I like where it is going, but my one quibble is that Nucky’s killing of Jimmy hasn’t really had too much of an emotional effect on him yet. The writers might be slowly building up to it, but it also seems like it should have been covered by now. Other than that, it’s a good season so far.
“Boardwalk Empire” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.
David also writes as the Chico Events Examiner and the Chico Movie Examiner.
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