Boardwalk Empire

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Look Out, Nucky! They're Irish!

Eddie lingers in Nucky's doorway until he's forced to ask him what he wants. Eddie says Carl Healy's here to see him. "Who?" Nucky asks. Eddie places his hand palm-downward about three feet off the ground. HA! Oh, Eddie, you can stay. Carl comes in right behind him and starts off with some pleasantries for Nucky. But Nucky's especially busy today, so he tells Carl he'd be doing him a favor if he'd just get to the part about what he wants. Carl relays the little folks' grievances with the leprechaun stuff, to which Nucky isn't exactly sympathetic. And he completely refuses the $10 fee. Instead he proposes that he give Carl $12 to go back to the midgets and offer $7, giving Carl himself $2 more than he asked for but letting Nucky pay $12 less than what Carl was demanding. Sure, Carl is selling out his own people but hey, he keeps in good with the top dog in the county. Boy, what a corrupt and bygone era this was!

Carl shuffles out and passes Dana Ivey and Margaret. Nucky greets them with excessive courtesy, as is the case when he deals with Temperance folk. Margaret asks him if he enjoyed the soda bread, because Margaret Schroeder ain't playin' no games this week! It takes a moment before Nucky remembers, then he lies that he did. And Margaret officially goes all eye of the tiger. She tells him about the unloading of beer barrels behind her house. She says she saw "a man who looked familiar... though I couldn't really place him," making sure her eyes are telling Nucky that if he makes her really displeased, she might finally click to his identity. Then there's the following rapid-fire and utterly deadpan exchange:

Nucky: "Why that's outrageous."
Margaret: "I saw it with my own two eyes."
Nucky: "I'm sure you must've been appalled."
Margaret: "I was. Quite."
Nucky: "Are you as turned on as I am right now?"
Margaret: "More!"

Anyway, before they start pawing at each other atop Nucky's desk, Nucky smoothly and deliberately mentions seeing Margaret at his birthday party. At Babette's night club. Amid all those boozers. Obviously, this is meant to scandalize Dana Ivey as to what Margaret's been up to, but since a) Margaret clarifies that she was there on a work errand, and b) Dana Ivey is certain that Nucky's "class of people" only drink in moderation, it doesn't come to much. Though it does make me think that the Temperance movement, like most anti-drug crusades in this country, is more about class conflicts than the public good. Anyway, Nucky assures the women he'll take care of it, but when Margaret thanks him, he makes sure she knows this is not a "personal favor." In other words, don't come around my speakeasy no more.

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Boardwalk Empire

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