Boardwalk Empire
The Pony

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Joe R: B- | 1 USERS: A
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The Pony

At the St. Theresa's women's clinic, Sister Mary Euphemism is cautioning Margaret and Dr. Mason about the upcoming section of the curriculum: the part where they talk about "the act itself." Margaret assures her that she will keep Dr. Mason "on the path." After Sister Euphemism exits, Mason makes a joke about how she's constantly flirting with him, causing Margaret to laugh. I like Dr. Mason. It will be very sad when some gangster or another beats him to death in the season finale. Anyway, who should show up after hours but our friend Mrs. Scherer, who requests to speak to Margaret alone. I guess she's been coming to the classes, per Margaret, so that's progress. But her more pressing concern, she tells Margaret, is that her husband won't keep off her. He did for a while, after the miscarriage, but now ... Margaret looks concerned, as Mrs. Scherer explains that she doesn't want to have any more children, ever. Margaret sees where this is going and says they're not allowed to speak of that here. "It's what every woman who comes in here wants to know," Mrs. Scherer says. Stuck between her mission and her mandate, Margaret offers to give her a pamphlet (presumably what she received from the Margaret Sanger people?), but Mrs. Scherer doesn't need a pamphlet, or man to tell her what she already knows. Ah, so she's not quite the dumb Dora she seemed at first. She tells Margaret about the day they met, her miscarriage. "I stored the milk ... I waited ... it wasn't an accident," she says. "You understand?" Margaret does. We do. Somebody at HBO wasn't so sure, though, because we get a blaringly obvious ADR line about how "I drank it on purpose to lose the baby." GOT IT. Anyway, she wants a diaphragm, but she doesn't know how to get one. She doesn't believe Dr. Mason will give it to her -- doctors don't listen to women like her. They listen to women like Margaret. She begs her to intervene on her behalf.

At home with the Van Aldens, the drip-drip-drip of the still in the kitchen is keeping Nelson awake. Well, that, and probably the fact that he's betraying all his long-held principles to be a stooge for some two-bit bootlegger. Sigrid tries to reassure him, "It is okay, husband," but he's not calmed. He just stares intensely forward. And, not for nothing, but the last thing this lunatic needs is a sleeping problem.

Nucky and Esther Randolph are sitting quietly in Jimmy James's New York office, making semi-awkward conversation. He offers her box seats to "Dizzy Izzy" on Broadway (is THAT the new title for The Naughty Virgin? Eeesh), but Esther would rather the freebies be kept to a minimum. He asks what she does for fun, then. "I run naked through the pages of the federal tax code," she says with the barest hint of a smirk. Look, I really like Esther Randolph, but if this show is leading up to her and Nucky in bed, I am out. Means arrives for their meeting and says that arrangements are in place. He asks Esther if she would rather not hear the details of the plan, but she says if she's in for a penny, she's in for a pound. So apparently the plan involves Nucky making a pitch to Andrew Mellon, who you will recall is both Treasury Secretary and James Cromwell. Means says Mellon will be having lunch at the exclusive Union Club in midtown, and he's arranged for Nucky to masquerade as Mr. Charles Rickson of Missouri. "You have prospered mightily in beef," Means grins at Nucky. He really seems to enjoy this double-dealing. Randolph delivers some unnecessary pointers to Nucky that are really just nuggets of exposition for us. Mellon is the Treasury Secretary, of course, and as such, he's in charge of enforcing Prohibition and collecting income tax, neither of which he's too keen on, per Means. And he despises Harry, whom he regards as a "common thief." Nucky asks if this is all enough to get him to arrest Remus. Oh, there's more! Mellon is also the majority shareholder in a distillery in Pennsylvania. This is news to Randolph, though Means assures her it's a "pointless possession in this day and age." But, he says, "it's remarkable how large small irritations can loom in the minds of great men. He doesn't really fit in as well in this universe, but Gaston Means would have made a superb Deadwood character. Nucky raises an eyebrow and asks if that's it. "The rest will be a tribute to your resourcefulness," Means replies. At this, Esther decides she in fact does not want to hear everything, and she makes her exit.

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Boardwalk Empire

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