September 24th, 2012
01:45 PM ET
[This post contains spoilers for the September 23 episode of HBO's "Boardwalk Empire."]
If there’s one thing I learned after watching last night’s “Spaghetti and Coffee,” it’s that Nucky Thompson is whipped and it’s going to be bad for business.
He needs to put his game face on, because Gyp Rosetti is already playing hard ball.
But let’s start at the beginning, when we opened in the Big Apple with someone taking care of their goldfish. Make a note – we’re coming back to that fishbowl.
Meanwhile, Eli became a free man, looking worn and skinny as he walked out of the pokey to be greeted by Mickey Doyle.
“He sends you?” Eli asked, which is the same reaction I’d have if Doyle picked me up from anywhere. Eli then asked the million dollar question of Paul Sparks’ character: “How the **** are you still alive?”
Doyle rambled on about how Nucky and folks are on the hunt for who shot Manny Horvitz. Eli now works for Doyle, and I picture a forthcoming Eli/Nucky brother spat coming sooner than later.
In Tabor Heights, Gyp’s staying at a bed and breakfast and questioning the kid pumping gas nearby. (Anytime he approaches someone, I get this Anton Chigur/“No Country for Old Men” vibe going.)
Gyp wanted to know about the distances and details between Tabor Heights, Atlantic City and NYC, including who monitors the traffic and cargo. He knew alcohol would have to pass through that stop to get to Rothstein.
Nucky was busy shacking up at Billie Kent’s place in NYC, but she has other suitors. She took a call and flirted with the voice on the other end, and Nucky later found a razor in Billie’s bathroom that’s not his.
While in the city, he dropped off Daugherty’s protection money and found the fishbowl from our opening scene. Nucky wanted to see the face of the man he’s giving $40K to, and it wasn’t who it was supposed to be.
Instead, he listened as the man, Gaston Means, a special investigator for the U.S. Department of Justice, talked in riddles about how the clandestine transaction was supposed to work.
Later on, Eli and Doyle pulled up to the same gas station where Gyp and his gang were setting up shop. Doyle met with Sheriff Sickels, and paid him off for the next night’s shipment.
When Eli got home, his kids and wife greeted him with open arms, but he felt a certain way when he found out that his eldest son has been working to support the family in his absence. Looks like he’ll suck it up and work for Doyle after all.
While Gyp and his partner stopped at a diner for some spaghetti and coffee, Sheriff Sickels confronted them and let them know he knows they’re from NYC and that they’re up to no good.
Speaking of loverboy Nucky, he and Rothstein went over his protection deal. Rothstein asked about the death of Manny, and if there were any suspects. The two discussed the shipment going out and couldn’t agree on the date, and Rothstein suggested that Nucky spend less time worrying about Billie and more time on his business. True, indeed.
Nucky was also forgetting about his duties at home. Margaret was still on her mission, talking about prenatal care at the hospital and bothering Dr. Mason to do something about it.
Owen Sleater, meanwhile, was still trying to get back in her pants. He stopped by her place to drop off money, and Margaret asked him to ask Nucky to show up for the St. Gregory Awards ceremony.
Given the independent streak she’s been on, when Margaret learned that Nucky wasn’t going to attend the awards ceremony, she fired back, “I believe he’s mistaken.”
But Nucky’s off with Billie and a friend having dinner. He saw Billie flirt with another man, and his jealousy was hard to hide.
Owen was at Doyle’s warehouse prepping the men for their big shipment. First stop? The oil station in Tabor Heights, a.k.a. Gyp’s new HQ. Uh oh. Eli asked Owen for a gun.
Over in Chalky White’s world, Mr. Piano Purnsley was playing the jams when Samuel Crawford showed up looking for Maybelle White’s hand in marriage.
After putting the young man to the test, Chalky approved, and he met with Maybelle to talk about Samuel’s proposal. But Maybelle wasn't interested in marrying Samuel; she wants someone “interesting” like her father. Girls always did like the bad boys.
When Eli and crew stopped in Tabor Heights for gas, the pumps were locked. Sheriff Sickles and his men refused to let them fuel up, and in the confusion, Gyp appeared and proceeded to pour out the gas and inform the men that they weren't going to NYC.
When Owen threatened with “Mr. Thompson” quips, Gyp shrugged them off. It’s official, Gyp has proclaimed himself the bad guy and Bobby Cannavale is killing it!
Back at Billie’s, Nucky was making her food. Precious. He told Billie he’d stay in NYC permanently, and asked about the frequent phone calls. The phone rang, but they ignored it – it was Owen Sleater on the other end trying to give Nucky the bad news. Owen and Eli decided they wouldn’t match up against Gyp’s men and that they should head back to Atlantic City.
So will Billie Kent end up being Nucky’s kryptonite? How dangerous is Gyp Rosetti? Where will Margaret’s independence take her? Tell us what you think of season 3 so far ...
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