Boardwalk Empire
Spaghetti & Coffee

Episode Report Card
Joe R: B | 2 USERS: A+
New York State of Mind

Round 2 sees Margaret in far better shape. She starts by saying that he gave her quite the lecture the other day, and she's here to see what she can do about it, and if he's serious about helping women and not simply scoring verbal points off of people he finds to be wealthy and stupid, he'll work with her on this. "It's a Catholic hospital," he says, which I guess is in reference to the roadblocks he expects Dr. Landau to put up when the subject of women's health (i.e. contraception -- if you recall, Margaret Sanger was referenced, albeit obliquely, in Season 1, so that social issue is very much in the ether at this time in history). He asks how she proposes to persuade Landau, and she says she doesn't propose to persuade him at all. Mason follows up, but she declines to elaborate. She also tells him to quit smoking that pipe of his, or else get better tobacco, because whatever he's smoking now is "appalling."

Elsewhere, Mickey and Eli have made it to Tabor Heights. Eli is grouchy, but when isn't he? Okay, fine, he hasn't been home yet, since being sprung from jail, I guess he's justified. Also, it's Mickey Doyle, and no one is going to blame him for being pissed at Mickey. Mickey spots the local sheriff across the street and approaches him with an envelope fat with money. "We've got a convoy coming through tomorrow night," Mickey tells him, so I guess that's what the payoff is for. The sheriff grumps that he expects Mickey's guys to head on through and not linger in town. He sees Eli staring at him and asks what his problem is. "You don't remember me?" Eli asks. "You were up and down the shore ten years ago, looking for any job with a badge." The sheriff shrugs this off, then reiterates to Mickey that his men are to fill up and move right through. As Mickey and Eli leave, he calls out, "You take care now, Sheriff Thompson!" Eli kind of stares back at him but doesn't say anything in response.

Back at Chalky's house, Maybelle and Lester are talking about this gin joint where it seems he's been playing piano. He makes a joke affecting his ... I guess mother's voice, saying "Jazz is the devil's music!" and they laugh together. Lester gets noticeably straight-backed when Chalky comes in and asks to speak to Maybelle alone. He tells her about Samuel's visit today, and she says he called afterwards, which I guess means he's popped the question. She calls him sweet and respectful and says he will be a good doctor. Chalky says a good husband too. She non-answers by asking how old he was when he married her mother. Chalky tells a story about how her mama didn't give him the time of day because her father despised him for being a no-account guy who used to work in a storefront in Texas. So what changed the old man's mind? "He went into some problems," he tells Maybelle, purposefully nonspecific, "so I helped him out." She asks how but he says it don't matter how -- the point is, Maybelle's grandfather saw he could trust Chalky, that he would be of good support to the family. "This man of yours is going to be a doctor," Chalky says, resolute as ever. "That's good for US. For this family." Maybelle doesn't just want to move from one man's house to another's. She says she's not ready to be a wife and mother, and certainly not with Samuel. Chalky scolds her, saying her mother raised her all her days for this very thing. "But she married you!" Maybelle says -- an "interesting" person. (She means "dangerous.") She asks again how Chalky helped her grandfather. Did he get rid of someone? Chalky scoffs that she thinks they're having a conversation like that. He wants to know just what kind of life she sees for herself -- in the backseat of a car with a "swagger buck with a pistol and a wife two counties over." "Why not?" she asks, defiantly. "I'll write a poem about it." Before he can properly holler at her for that, they get called down to dinner. He tells her she's marrying that boy.

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Boardwalk Empire




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