Boardwalk Empire

Episode Report Card
Joe R: B+ | 4 USERS: A+
Pay It Upward
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

Previously: Jimmy went behind Nucky's back and teamed up with Al Capone to steal the whiskey shipment Nucky sold to Arnold Rothstein. After killing Rothstein's bootleggers, Jimmy gave Nucky a wad of cash, while Capone took the booze back to Johnny Torrio, who when offed his Chicago mob contemporary "Big Jim" Colosimo. It was all a bit confusing, but if they keep killing off major players like that, we'll be down to a manageable number soon enough.

The opening shot, of snow falling down over Colosimo's funeral procession outside a giant Chicago cathedral is so beautiful, you almost want to turn off the episode right here. There are giant crowds of onlookers and gawkers, but also press, who badger Torrio with questions about his possible involvement. Both Torrio and Capone give the reporters the brush-off. Also, when we see Colosimo's coffin loaded into the hearse, there's a wreath of flowers with a signed note from Nucky Thompson.

Back in AC, Nucky is unsettled as he reads about Colosimo's murder in the paper. You can tell he's unsettled because he's short with Harlan, the black man currently shining his shoes. Eddie enters the office and announces that Agent Van Alden is here to see Nucky, and before Nucky can even say "Who?" Van Alden strides through the door, presenting himself as the "Senior Prohibition Agent" for the Bureau of Internal Revenue. He expresses his frustration at having to wait since 9 AM. Nucky says he doesn't keep regular hours, as he -- much like Atlantic City -- "march[es] to the beat of [his] own drummer." The ensuing conversation is full of Van Alden stone-facedly asking (in a manner that's more like accusation) about the massacre on the road out of town the other night, and Nucky playing the smooth, fakely affable public servant. Nucky remarks on Hans Schroeder, the "guilty" party, and how it's no wonder a "Hun" is the guilty party, given the level of brutality.

Van Alden isn't buying Schroeder -- a petty drunk, by all records -- as the guy behind the heist. "Innocent people don't wind up dead in fishing nets," Nucky offers, insincerely but also completely truthful in this case, though only he would know that. "Not even in Atlantic City?" Van Alden fires back. Nucky changes course, then. Asks if Van Alden is a fan of the Hottentot. When Van Alden says he doesn't go much for theater, Nucky, his impatience showing, asks what exactly Van Alden does go for. Van Alden ignores that and says he went to the Schroeder home but found Mrs. Schroeder wasn't there -- any idea where she might be? Nucky non-answers by wondering if Van Alden should be straying from his assigned "bailiwick" of booze-patrolling. Managing as much of a smirk as his heavy face will allow, Van Alden says he marches to the beat of his own drummer too. As soon as he walks out the door, Nucky's smooth fa├žade bubbles over into irritation, and he orders Eddie to get Eli on the phone.

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Boardwalk Empire




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