Boardwalk Empire
The Pony

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

In the Norwegian part of Chicago, Sigrid's plan to sell hooch to the Scandinavians proves wise and lucrative. "Unlike steam irons," Van Alden says admiringly, "aquavit sells itself."

Up in Johnny Torrio's office, he's hanging up a painting of Pompeii, listening to opera, and pouring himself a glass of whiskey. Trying to maintain that easy Naples living. Capone shows up with a stack of cash from Greektown, which he says is short, but he's got a guy on it. Torrio tells him to take it easy, that their guy in Greektown is good for it. Al asks if that's everything, kind of expecting more business talk or marching orders or something. But Torrio just says that Al has everything under control and to send his love to Mae and the boy. He's got his feet up on the desk and everything. In his mind, he's gone to Carolina, so to speak. Al looks at him for a billion years, obviously comprehending that the old man is checking out of the business and leaving it in his hands. Here's hoping he's smart enough to realize that this is a good situation for him and not fuck it up like he always does.

It's night on the Boardwalk, and Billie walks a few paces behind Nucky, Rothstein, and Luciano, like a good little mistress. Lucky's in the middle of presenting a business plan for heroin distribution when they're accosted by George Baxter, who we haven't seen since Season 1. He's still as garrulous and obnoxious as ever, and he barrels over Nucky and asks to be introduced to his companions. Nucky does, begrudgingly, but then pulls Billie aside and tells her she can run ahead -- no reason for them both to suffer. Similarly, Rothstein and Luciano walk in the opposite direction, anything to get away from this braying glad-hander. Nucky's left to suffer Baxter alone, though he mostly ignores his ramblings, looking over at Billie, all angelic in the doorway of Babbette's. The music and the camera and the editing get incredibly still now, so you know something awful is about to happen. And Nucky seems to anticipate it a half second before it does. With his eyes fixed on his beloved showgirl, the building around her erupts into a giant fireball. The explosion is big enough to knock Nucky, Rothstein, and Luciano to the ground and cover them in debris. Nothing in the immediate vicinity of Babbette's could have survived it. Everybody is screaming. Nucky's ears are ringing. Luciano is helping Rothstein to his feet. Nucky raises his head to look for signs of life where Billie once stood. There's nothing. He falls back down to the boardwalk.

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Boardwalk Empire

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