Boardwalk Empire

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Look Out, Nucky! They're Irish!
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

It's twilight in Atlantic City, and Margaret Schroeder's little house could use thicker curtains, because the light is all up in there. Also she can hear the bootleggers unloading barrels full of hooch like they were right in the kitchen. She looks dismayed, then sets about her morning routine. Are those ... are those pancakes she's making. Destitute my ass.

Nucky and Eli are taking the elevator down to the lobby of the Ritz, and Nucky is complaining about the upcoming St. Patrick's day. Which, yes, is rather odd since he's getting rich off of the same public drunkenness he hates in the holiday. Eli says their dad thinks this attitude is because Nucky hates being Irish. Nucky denies it and says it's more that he hates the "crying and arguing" that always happens. "Centuries of loss," Eli intones gravely. "We're a sorrowful people." Ah, so it's sorrow that's led them to dropping a shot of Jameson's into a pint of Guinness and calling it a "car bomb." Eli takes a break from rhapsodizing about Kilarney to bristle at the waiter asking Nucky (but not Eli) if he'd like any breakfast. Gee, Eli doesn't do much to hide his bald-faced envy of Nucky's position in town. He tells Nucky he was thinking about saying a few words at the Celtic Dinner tonight, boost his reelection cause. Nucky really doesn't like this idea, for one because Eli is a terrible public speaker, and also because he'll have their dad to worry about tonight, he doesn't want to have to worry about Eli too. Eli is adamant, though, about wanting to say his peace. He's even been taking public speaking lessons. He produces a book by "Dale Carnagey," the famous orator. Note the non-traditional spelling of his name -- this was before he changed it to "Carnegie" in order to co-opt the wealth and social standing of Andrew Carnegie. Eli could tell him even being born with the name doesn't always help. Anyway, Nucky grumpily acquiesces: "Daniel fucking Webster."

Across the room, Eli spots "the widow Schroeder" coming towards them. Smiling, she's brought Nucky some homemade soda bread (which is what she must've been making rather than the pancakes I originally thought). But for whatever reason -- self-conscious around Eli; too much on his mind -- Nucky is super cold to Margaret, telling her she can leave the bread with a bellhop, then says he's late for a meeting. As Margaret retreats, dejected, Eli gives Nucky a look. "Life's complicated enough," Nucky says. And I have to say ... I don't buy this. I mean yes, obviously he's only saying that when he means something completely different, but I don't think anything that happened between last week (when they danced) and this week tracks with Nucky's current attitude. If anything, it's Margaret who should be blowing off Nucky, because of the whole Lucy/cake thing. Anyway, Margaret watches him pass from afar, then dumps the bread in the trash.

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Boardwalk Empire

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