Boardwalk Empire

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Many Happy Returns

At the Casa Commodore, Gillian is sweetly giving the old man milk to drink, so he can start rebuilding his stomach lining. Isn't it just the cutest thing? Jimmy, because he's in a mood, bitches about the "happy family" thing they've got going. Gillian fixes him with a look and says, "You don't have to be so fretful all the time." That is the sweetest way to say "Stop being such a bitch" I have ever heard. She then exits, leaving the Commodore room to maneuver with his son. Jimmy gives the old man the (ill-advised) bourbon he's been clamoring for, then the 'Dore starts grousing about Nucky letting Louanne go, which transitions to grousing about Nucky being the reason he went to jail -- for election-rigging, it turns out. Apparently, Woodrow Wilson (the then-governor) struck a deal that would send only one of the Commodore and Nucky to jail. The plan was for the 'Dore to take the fall, have Nucky run things, and then "square things up" when he got out. But we all know how things turned out. Of course, there's no doubt that the Commodore raised Nucky in his own image. Jimmy talks about being afraid to come to the mansion when he was a kid, and Nucky telling him it was his duty, to be there for his mom. "Manipulative son of a bitch!" Commodore hacks. Again, it's kind of hilarious to watch these two twist their petty grudges into proof of operatic machinations on Nucky's part. They'd fit in well with Eli. Which is probably for the best, because when the Commodore finally pitches Jimmy on the idea of wresting control of AC back from Nucky -- playing on Jimmy's resentment that he's got to be the murdering muscle behind Nucky's fancy suits and decorum -- it's Eli who he brings out as their silent partner. Jimmy and Eli have never gotten along, it's true; but it looks like common enemies are making some strange bedfellows.

At Babbette's, Eddie Cantor presides over a raucous election-night celebration. Nucky sees that Anabelle has latched herself onto a new man: George Baxter, he of the Scary Roadside Handjob. Seems Anabelle hasn't upped her standards in the looks department since Sweaty O'Ponzi-scheme. Giving us a break from all that desperate awfulness is Margaret, who walks into the party wearing a gorgeous gold flapper dress and immediately catches Nucky's eye. He's pleased to see her, obviously, and she congratulates him on Bader's win. Even asks for a glass of champagne -- "Good news just isn't the same without it." Nucky obliges, through raised eyebrows, and asks about the children. "They miss their Uncle Nucky," she says, kindness radiating from her face. She can be a right bitch when it's called for, but I can understand how Nucky is so drawn to her when she's like this. In the middle of Atlantic City, she must seem like an oasis. Nucky is obviously moved that the children miss him.

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Boardwalk Empire




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