Boardwalk Empire

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Warren G. Harding: An American Compromise

The next morning, Jimmy's on the phone with Gillian -- she's dressed in a robe and an Indian headdress, naturally. He says he saw Nucky, and she asks if he's heard about Eli getting shot, which he has. She thinks he sounds lonesome and wonders if he's eating. Even when they're impossibly young, they're still moms, you know? She asks if he shouldn't come home, and Jimmy sounds noncommittal. But he does want to know what she knows about Luciano. Knowing Gillian, she's probably going to tell him, down to every last horse-cocked detail. One other thing I found interesting about this conversation: Gillian doesn't ask about the money that Angela isn't getting from Jimmy. Gillian and Angela discussed this previously, we know it's an issue, but she doesn't bring it up once? Do we assume that Gillian thinks Angela is pocketing the money for her Sapphic dalliances? Food for thought.

Nucky's checking out of the hotel while Eddie leads Nan and her baby to the car. On his way out, he's waylaid by Edge, who is incredulous that he's leaving before the delegates have even voted. His cards all having been played, Nucky doesn't have to pretend anymore. He tells Edge he knows about the deal he struck with Hague, and that's chief among the reasons why Edge will never even sniff the White House. He doesn't add a "Ya burnt!" to the end, but I'll give him a pass because it hasn't been invented yet.

Back at Torrio's place, Jimmy watched Capone and the guys play a game of cards, laughing and back-slapping, all while speaking Italian. As ways of illustrating Nucky's earlier point to Jimmy about being an outsider, it could've been more subtle (Capone shooting a cannon full of meatballs marinara into Jimmy's face would have been more subtle), but it gets the job done quickly.

Back at the A.C. post office, Van Alden is now violating his wife privacy by opening her mail. It's a clipping of a magazine ad for fertility surgery (or however they referred to it back in old-timey days -- "feminine revivification" or whatnot). Van Alden considers it soberly for a moment before opening up his drawer full of Darmody cash and rustling up all the money he can find.

And now for something completely ... kind of hilarious, we've got our new friend Nan, reading to Nucky and Eddie a poem that Harding wrote to her. And after listening to only a few verses, I think we can say that as lousy a President as Harding was, he'd have made an even worse Poet Laureate. "He's got quite a way with words," Nucky tells her. Eddie is holding the baby. Not sure how much more of this I can take. One of the train conductors pops in to tell them they'll be making a coal stop soon. Nucky asks for word out of Chicago. The conductor says Harding won after 10 ballots. Bleary-eyed bastards indeed. Nucky looks at Eddie, smirks, and as the camera pushes in, says, "That imbecile is going to be the next President of the United States." I love the push-in, like we needed the effect to know that this is one of those moments Ripped From The (80-Year-Old) Headlines! Calm down a little, Boardwalk Empire You did your research. We know.

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Boardwalk Empire

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