Boardwalk Empire

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Look Out, Nucky! They're Irish!

Across town, we're once again treated to the stern, lecturing intonations of Dana Ivey at another Temperance League rally. Sadly, no poetry this time. You'll notice, too, that since the passage of the Volstead Act, the attendance at these meetings has gone way down. Dana Ivey makes a point of welcoming Margaret, one of those "haven't seen you around much" greetings that don't feel very welcome at all. The women start passing around stories from around town about how the prohibition laws are being flouted pretty much everywhere. One woman reads a letter from someone out in the Midwest who heard tale around town of a widow mixing bathtub gin to make ends meet, only she left it unattended and her toddler got into it and poisoned herself dead. Which, okay, first of all, Nancy Botwin wasn't even alive in the 1920s, so I'm not sure who this lady reading the letter is fooling. Second, it's impressive to note that nosy gossip and apocryphal horror stories about drugs traveled pretty well in the pre-internet age.

Anyway, everybody's got a story about how bad it is -- Dana wants to hear some suggestions about how they can stop the flow of liquor. At this, Margaret pipes up and tells about the barrel-unloading behind her house. She suggests they maybe talk to Mr. Thompson about it. The fact that they all assume she's talking about Eli is one thing -- he's the sheriff after all. But when she corrects them and says she means "Enoch," and they all look at her sideways -- come on, show. This very Temperance League had Nucky speaking in support of their cause not five episodes ago. But the real story is how all the hens turn around and start clucking when she reveals that she and Mr. Thompson are "close." She endures the judgy stares and pledges to try and arrange a meeting.

In New York, Arnold Rothstein is getting a haircut while he reads a newspaper article alleging that the World Series may have been fixed at the behest of a "well-known New York gambler." His lawyer, Fallon, sits across from him and tries to soothe his nerves, saying the article doesn't mention him by name. Arnold grouses that it might as well have. Fallon calmly calls it a "steaming pile of horseshit," though Rothstein tells him that the incriminating meeting took place over a very public dinner at the Astor Hotel. Regardless, Fallon tells him the smart play is to do nothing right now. "You get a little mud on your trousers --" (or horseshit, as Arnold notes) -- "You don't rub it off right. You let it dry. Let it settle. Then, you just brush it off, nice and easy." Arnold doesn't mention that in the interim, he's going to smell like shit. Shit and corruption.

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Boardwalk Empire

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