Boardwalk Empire

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Family Limitation

In Chicago, Jimmy is impressing the ladies with that knife game (Jimmy calls it "five-finger fillet") where you lay your hand palm-down on a table, spread your fingers apart, and try to stab the spaces between them without cutting yourself. You know. The knife is this giant, ornate thing, with finger-slots at the handle, making it double as brass knuckles. For the thug on the go! Al shows up and thinks Jimmy's fucking crazy, which gives Jimmy a chance to twist the knife (so to speak) about how Al keeps saying he served in the war. Jimmy says they played it all the time in the service, and challenges Al to play a round. I like this side of Jimmy, and I always like seeing Al squirm. He gets out of having his bluff called by Torrio showing up, complaining of a cracked molar. He tells his two underlings that he's going to meet with Sheridan about getting out of Greek-town. He blames Capone for nearly getting him into a war, then belittles him as merely a doorman, a driver. He then turns to Jimmy, referencing what is surely the reputation Al fed to him, and asks, "Are you smart? Are you?" He sends Al out to clean the Buick (oooh -- hello, my new dismissive retort), then asks Jimmy for his advice. Jimmy thinks backing out would be a mistake. He also calls Torrio "Johnny," an assumption of familiarity that is quickly corrected. He says they've got a decent foothold in Greek-town, plus retreating would look really bad. He instead suggests "coming to an understanding" with the Irish. "What's that supposed to mean?" Torrio asks. The fact that we don't hear the answer all but assures us it'll be something big.

Van Alden is on pins and needles, meanwhile, thanks to a surprise field office review from Supervisor Elliot. Though "field office" continues to be stretching it, considering the bags of old mail that need to be cleared out before anyone can even sit down. Van Alden stammers that he had planned to send out such-and-such report, and Elliot shoots back, "Well you certainly had plenty of stamps!" Excellent. Elliot's also incredulous at this case Van Alden is building against Nucky Thompson as the head of a county-wide criminal organization. Where are the financial records and corroborating witnesses? Van Alden pleads for resources, but Elliot first needs numbers: casualties, damages, commandeered stills. Van Alden offers up a capital crime: the roadside raid, which he says Nucky ordered Jimmy to carry out, then blamed on Hans Schroeder. At this, Elliot perks up, "What is this obsession with this Schroeder character?" Yeah, "obsession" appears to hit the nail on the head, especially when he notes that Van Alden requisitioned the immigration file on Margaret. Van Alden says he's being "thorough." "You're a prohibition officer," Elliot deadpans, "not Bulldog Drummond." Elliot just wants the numbers.

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Boardwalk Empire

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