Boardwalk Empire
New York Sour

Episode Report Card
Daniel: B+ | 58 USERS: A-
YOU GRADE IT
Are We Having Dunn Yet?

A pissed-off Johnny Torrio pokes his head out from an adjacent room and calls Al over. Al jokingly tells his other new sidekick, Ralphie, that whatever it is, they’ll blame it on him. In the office, Torrio’s pissed about something in the paper -- not about Woodrow Wilson’s death, Al suggests, tone-deaf to his boss’s demeanor -- but about being mentioned in the local paper. "The idea was we don’t have these problems," says Torrio, but Capone dismisses the reporter as one of those "Bolshie" types, and no one cares what they think. Torrio’s all, "I might!" One of Capone’s brothers, Ralphie -- played by Domenick Lombardozzi, "Herc" from The Wire -- pretends he can read so we can see the headline: "Democrats To Run Reform Ticket - Proclaim Criminal Element Shall Not Prevail." I can see why they’re worried… no politician has ever pledged to get tough on crime.

Besides, the other guy in the room is "Jumpin" Joe Klenah, who I take it is their candidate, all sewn up. And we learn that some of the needlework was done by throwing Klenah down the stairs, which he — pretending to be jovial but clearly scared out of his mind — chalks up to high spirits, prompting a hug from Al Capone, which would make me tense too.

Ralphie reads aloud about Torrio extending his fingers into gambling, prostitution and bootlegging with "the cheerful assistance of our Cicero boosters." That would be Klenah, here. But there’s more! He exerts control at the Hawthorne Inn with the rough justice of his factotum Alphonse "Capone." (Not that any character Lombardozzi will ever play will be able to read a word like "factotum" without help.) Ralphie and Frankie find the misspelling much more amusing than Al, who hits the roof.

Back at the Onyx Club, a stone-faced Nucky listens to Eddie Cantor describe his newest act, songs and jokes… except it’s in movie form. Well, a talkie, anyway. Nucky’s completely baffled by the concept, but not so much that he’s not intrigued, especially when explained by Cantor’s new partner, a woman who jokes that her gynecologist’s motto is "Be Prepared," taking the softball setup of Cantor referring to the Scouts. Cantor wants to split for a rehearsal, but Nucky assures him he’ll get her to the church on time. He’s not ready to leave the company of the dame who casually tosses out jokes to her overworked lady parts, that’s for sure.

Eddie leaves, and the woman gazes around the club, impressed that Nucky owns it. Nucky tells her Chalky White owns it, and says, "I just like the atmosphere." She asks if he knows Owney Madden, who owns the Cotton Club, and Nucky’s surprised to hear that she goes to Harlem. "Only when someone takes me," she purrs. Nucky says he expects that happens a lot. She confesses Eddie didn’t want her to meet Nucky, since he’s apparently dangerous, and she flicks her eyebrows at him, wondering if something bad will happen to her if she stays. Well, I guess it depends on what side of the ledger you place "having sex with Nucky Thompson."

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Boardwalk Empire

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