Boardwalk EmpireI got a gun. He got a gun. He got a gun. Ev-a-ry-a-body got guns!" Spaghetti and coffee - what a culinary experience. If I were searching for metaphor, I'd say that this meal indicates that Gyp just might not fit into Atlantic City bootlegging culture. This week, Chalky expands his family, Eli returns home, Margaret goes back to the hospital, Nucky doesn't do a ton of anything, and Gyp declares war.
"I want everything to run, all by itself."
Nucky's apparently moved into Billie's flophouse and is having some issues with her girl-about-town ways. He has feelings for Billie, you see, very deep feelings that have emerged since last week. As hard as Buscemi was selling this scene, I don't buy the relationship (to her credit, Billie doesn't appear to, either). I think Nucky is just tired, not just of his marriage, but of his life in general. He is not going to enjoy dealing with this Rothstein liquor shipment SNAFU.
A Someone should tell Gaston that his goldfish is going to run out of oxygen if he keeps it in that tiny cup much longer. In any case, Nucky's new government intermediary is delightfully strange and played by the fabulous Stephen Root, aka Milton from Office Space. Predictions for other things that will show up in the hopefully Chekhovian fish bowl: potted ferns, nightlock berries, a note reading "Ya Burnt!” But probably a dead fish.
A Margaret has her requisite Loaded Moment with Owen™ and then heads off to the hospital, where she finds her do-gooding efforts warily received and rips into the simultaneously attractive and repellent Dr. Righteousness for ignoring her overtures to help. Getting Things Done Margaret is the best Margaret. I've missed her.
B I kind of lost my shit when Gyp asked the Tabor Heights sherriff, "How yoo know we're from Noo Yawk?” Oh, I don't know, Gyp. You and your friend have just been fitting into this tiny shore town so seamlessly, skulking around in your gangster suits, harassing the local fuel boy with a map of Nucky's bootleg routes, and asking the local diner waitress about their spaghetti and meatballs in a manner that made me think you would cut her should the pasta come out anything but al dente; I don't know how anyone could've noticed you. But hey, he managed to stop Nucky's liquor convoy, and didn't even kill anyone.
A Eli's out of prison, looking gaunt and haunted, and quickly asks Mickey Doyle the question we've all been dying to know: "how the fuck are you still alive?” Eli's prioritized his family in the clink: he's clearly thrilled to see his giant brood of children (I guess his wife got the memo on pasteurized milk), and tries to get his oldest son out of the lumberyard and back in school. This is a distinctly less whiny Eli, willing to shut up and do his job. By the episode's end, he's reasserted some power in Nucky's organization. Hope Mickey enjoyed that brief turn in the driver's seat.
A The Whites get the best scenes this week. Chalky has come around on his family's upward mobility, insisting that Maybelle marry the excruciatingly proper soon-to-be-Dr. Samuel. Dr. Samuel proved himself, by the way, by diagnosing Chalky with a mineral deficiency and recommending leafy greens. Maybelle responds like a twenty-first century Millenial, whining that she needs to experience the dark side of life, you know, for her poetry. This romanticizing does not sit well with her dad. She and Samuel the Snore end up at a speakeasy, where he gets his face slashed and his attacker beaten bloody, but, even bleeding out of his cheek, Samuel stands up to Chalky and insists on tending to the man who slashed him. Methinks Maybelle will be walking down the aisle quite soon.
"Spaghetti & Coffee”
B The self-contained Chalky plotline made this episode. Inside of an hour, we see his own struggle between the violence that got him where he is and the better life he wants for his children; the idle, naive daydreaming that leads bored rich kids to make stupid choices; and that first taste of actual grit that sends the privileged back to their bubble. If Nucky's development moved as quickly, we wouldn't have a show with half a main character. Thoughts? What can Nucky learn from Chalky here? Not literally; they didn't talk this week, but you know what I mean.
- Seriously, how the fuck is Mickey Doyle still alive?
- Billie's ridiculous ideas for her stage show are pretty entertaining.
- No Richard, no Gillian, and no Van Alden - just as he was starting to get interesting.
- I enjoyed the weird little scene with Gaston and Nucky, but the last thing this show needs is another character.