Boardwalk Empire

Episode Report Card
Joe R: B+ | 1 USERS: A-
YOU GRADE IT
Check Your Lease, Man. You're Living in Nuck City

As Nucky walks Margaret out, he hands her off to Jimmy and insists she accept a ride home. Jimmy pulls Nucky aside and tells him that his "friends" from Chicago and New York have arrived. He also wants to speak to Nucky about something else, but Nucky brushes him off and says to meet him at the pier later.

The next scene is the most bizarre and perhaps my favorite, as Nucky walks down the boardwalk -- past the photo shop and the salt water taffy -- and comes across a storefront where gawkers are encouraged to "See Babies That Weigh Less Than 3 Pounds!" And indeed, inside, a nurse is tending to a preemie, weighing it and placing it in inside a cabinet. Just going about her regular nurse duties, only there's a big glass window where tourists can pay to see these freakishly tiny babies. Nucky is clearly entranced by the sight -- you get the feeling this isn't the first time he's stared into this storefront.

Jimmy drops Margaret off on her shabby little street of row-houses. She tells him to leave her a few houses down from her own, but that doesn't stop her husband from taking notice. Jimmy watches as he harshly tells her to get inside the house, before chasing the local kids off his bumper and driving away.

Down at the docks, we see that in Atlantic City, even the fisherman have become showmen, as they sort through their haul while barker's voice calls out the various fish they've brought in ("For Neptune yields the treasure from his watery kingdom!"). Overseeing this fascinating haul is Nucky, who's joined by one Bill McCoy. They make winking small talk about McCoy's "trip up north," and then Scorsese gives us a quick flash to the opener that confirms that McCoy is our friend Cap'n Pocketwatch from the boat. They haggle over the price for this shipment of Canadian Club that's coming in (sound familiar?), and it all seems friendly between these two. Or as friendly as mutually-beneficial illegal dealings can be. As they leave the dock, Jimmy again pesters Nucky for a conversation, but Nucky again puts him off.

Next stop is Berns' Funeral Home, before which Nucky takes a quick nip from his flask. Which is kind of brazen considering the wake inside is full up with temperance-type old ladies, who Nucky nevertheless charms with his usual smooth talk. He even assures the widow he was a good friend to the deceased who spoke to him just last month. This is news to the widow, who says something or other about a laryngectomy, but she's still awfully flattered. Nucky then proceeds to the basement, where we come across the real reason for his visit: the illegal distillery happening quite literally underground. The stills are presided over by one Mickey Doyle, who I'm pretty sure is going to love out West at the end of this series, settle down in Utah, and end up the great-grandfather of Albie Grant. Like, picture Albie crossed with South Park's Tweak and you've got Mickey. Naturally, everybody just barely tolerates him.

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Boardwalk Empire

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