Boardwalk Empire

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Joe R: B+ | 4 USERS: A+
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Van Alden is in the local Fed office, giving his boss the Nucky Thompson rundown. "He lives like a pharaoh," Van Alden says, as we see Nucky getting a massage from Eddie's manly, industrious hands, driving away in his Rolls Royce, and other signifiers that hey, Van Alden ain't lyin' He's got a piece of every business -- the while town basically lines up to pay him off (again, we see this happen while Van Alden talks about it). One interesting tidbit: he keeps getting elected at least in part because of his popularity with the "darkies" (Van Alden's word), who totally worship Nucky, or at least what he can do for them. Van Alden's boss interrupts and reminds Van Alden that they came to town building a case against Rothstein -- what about him. "Frankly," Van Alden says, "I'm beginning to think Thompson is the bigger fish."

Down at the jailhouse, Nucky gives Eli shit for dumping Hans's body at sea. He needed the guy identified -- which, Eli notes, he was -- but that was basically only because they got lucky and a fish net picked him up. It's a valid point, but it looks like Nucky's looking to take out his frustrations -- at Van Alden's visit; at not being able to see Margaret -- on someone else. Eli takes it quietly, though. After he leaves, Nucky proceeds down the hall to where Mickey Doyle is in his cell. Mickey thinks he's getting sprung, but no such luck: Nucky tells him he's out ... as in out of business. Chalky White (Omar from The Wire) is going to be taking over his territory. Nucky explains it in dispassionate terms -- the Feds know who Mickey is now, he's toxic -- but obviously he not at all broken up about having to do it. Nor about having his hands "tied" an unable to even bail Mickey out of jail. Mickey wails about being stuck with his "slanty-eyed" cellmate. Nucky: "Think of it as a way to broaden your horizons." I like that Nucky seems so offended by Mickey's ignorance.

Jimmy's at home, brooding out the window, but when Angela and Tommy return home, he suddenly lights up and scoops Tommy up, announcing "Merry Christmas!" Despite it being over a month after the holiday, Jimmy bought a tree, lights, and presents, obviously not having been able to on the holiday proper. "Nucky gave me a bonus," he lies to Angela, before presenting her with a jewelry gift box. It's not however, the ornate necklace he was peeping earlier, but a more muted bracelet. Hrm... He also gets her one of them newfangled "vacuum sweeper" machines, but when Ange turns it on, Tommy gets frightened by the sound, and she carries him off to calm him down. So much for Christmas, at least according to Jimmy's crestfallen face.

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Boardwalk Empire

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