Boardwalk Empire
Gimcrack & Bunkum

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Gimcrack & Bunkum

...What, sorry? There's more? Nucky Columbos Eli with one more thing: "I need you to get on your knees. Bend down to the ground and kiss my fucking shoes, you piece of shit!" Eli is so taken aback, he doesn't even fight back when Nucky starts slapping him around. "Fuck that little cocksucker you call a partner," Nucky seethes, "fuck his conniving cunt of a mother, fuck that old man, I'll see his corpse in a ditch, and fuck you, brother!" ...Okay, that was pretty satisfying. Nucky bowls Eli into the greenhouse and they begin brawling among the potted plants. It goes on for a good bit too, each man getting the upper hand, until Eli, his hands wrapped around his brother's throat, gets a rifle in his face. (Nice symmetry with the Harrow scene, as the rifle creeps into the frame, nose-first.) Margaret's the one holding the gun, and she orders Eli to leave. "Pop..." Eli begins, a last resort if ever there was one, but Nucky doesn't give a fuck. Eli manages to sulk out, even at the business end of a rifle. As she walks him out, the look on Margaret's face goes from stone-cold to utter terror. After Eli's gone, Nucky furiously grabs the gun from Margaret and tells her that next time, she might try loading the gun before pointing it at anyone. Um, she just saved your life, dick! The fuck you mad at her for? "Is this to be our lives?!" Margaret calls after Nucky as he stalks off. No answer.

Faceless and winded, Richard has slumped down against a tree. (Again, I like how Nucky and Eli's panting blended into Richard's.) He's come upon by a hunter -- who doesn't remark upon his exposed face, I should mention. He asks him to follow along and leads Richard back to a campfire, where the dog sits, along with a fellow hunter. Taciturn, but not unfriendly, they invite Richard to sit down and give him his mask back. They're cooking "tree rats" (squirrels) on the fire and offer him some, and after they confirm that he's not an IRS agent, they also offer him some booze. These guys seem friendly, and they banter with one another while not pressing Richard for more information than he's willing to give. They don't seem to entirely buy that he was hunting, though.

Nucky returns to the Ritz, where Daugherty introduces him to the prosecutor on his case, one "Chip" Thorogood. ...Okay, I see how this is going. Nucky wants to know how this will work. Nucky's lawyer (who I guess from last week is called "Icky") and Chip take turns explaining: Chip will present a motion to transfer to federal court, under the Mann Act. Then, Icky says, "we go before our judge" and argue their case, to which the judge will grant the motion. Then, the Department of Justice will decide that it's not worth the time or manpower to prosecute the case. "We're swamped with Volstead as it is," Daugherty says, as he raises a glass of spirits. This is all good news, but Nucky isn't totally happy. He wants a guarantee that nothing will go wrong, but they can't give him one. Hrm, that seems like it could be foreshadow-y. Nucky looks at his lawyer and says wearily, "Just remember this was your idea." Icky takes his leave -- he's got an early train to catch -- but Daugherty looks at Nucky expectantly and says they're free ... all evening.

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Boardwalk Empire

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