October 8th, 2012
01:16 PM ET
[This post contains spoilers to the October 7 episode of HBO's "Boardwalk Empire."]
Just when "Boardwalk Empire" seemed to drag a bit with last week's episode, “Blue Bell Boy" picked up the pace and showed us that Nucky Thompson has made the full transition to gangster.
That’s a good thing, seeing as Gyp Rosetti continues to put Nucky’s business to the test.
Thanks to Gyp’s whole "burning the sheriff of Tabor Heights" deal, Nucky demanded that his men avoid the town en route to dropping off Rothstein’s booze.
Mickey Doyle and the crew questioned the logistics of the move and looked to Owen Sleater for an answer, which ticked off Nucky. Sorry Nuck, but spending an entire episode obsessing over Billie Kent lost you cool points with your bros in Atlantic City.
At any rate, Nucky tasked Owen with finding liquor thief Rowland Smith. Poor Eli Thompson told his brother he could handle Gyp, but Nucky basically told him he was lucky to be alive. Ouch.
Long story short, Owen and the gang found Smith and put in a call to Nucky. The rest of the episode focused on Nucky, Owen and Smith trapped in the cellar as Prohees (prohibition agents) working for Waxey Gordon offed the bodyguards and raided the house for the entire product.
While Nucky was trapped, Margaret, a.k.a. Mrs. Thompson, was putting together the finishing touches for her women’s clinic. Honestly, this whole plotline is starting to bore me, and it seems like a set up for Margaret to start getting involved with Dr. Mason. Someone (show writers) please give this character and story line a jolt - Kelly Macdonald's acting skills are being underused.
One character who seemed to be up for more screen time and action was Al Capone, thanks to an awesome performance by Stephen Graham. In the three best scenes of the episode, Al first tried to teach his deaf son how to box to defend himself against a bully; then beat to death one of Dean O’Banion’s men for essentially bullying one of Capone's men; and then played the Ukulele for his son.
That sequence showed both the ferocity and humanity behind Al Capone, and I'm excited to see this character evolve into The Al Capone. By the looks of things, that will come sooner than later.
Speaking of gangsters on the come up, there was Lucky Luciano, Meyer Lansky and a very eager Benny Siegel. I’m convinced the kid from “How to Make it in America” (Michael Zegen) is going to screw things up for Luciano and Lansky.
But we got a peek at Luciano’s forthcoming rise when he visited Joe Masseria to talk heroin. In a good ol' “Italians run this town” speech, Masseria told Luciano his Jewish partners Arnold Rothstein and Lansky will screw him over.
Will that happen? We’ll see what historical liberties the production team takes. Correct me if I’m wrong, commenters, but I thought Luciano and Lansky rose to power more or less together.
As far as Rothstein goes, he wasn’t happy. With Nucky hanging out in the Smith’s cellar, Rothstein couldn’t get in touch with him and instead had to speak with Mickey. Rothstein wanted his shipment ASAP, and Mickey decided to ignore Nucky’s “no Tabor Heights” rule to oblige.
You know things are bad when Eli is playing detective for real. The cops in Tabor Heights told Mickey they can pass through with no problem. Mickey believed them, but Eli didn’t. Eli later discovered the men along with Gyp were set to ambush Nucky’s guys when they passed through.
Even after Eli warned Mickey of the ambush, it still happened. Gyp’s men and the Tabor cops slaughtered Nucky’s crew. What made it worse was that it looked like Gyp and his guys will deliver the booze to Rothstein, cutting Nucky out completely from the only line of distribution he had left.
Back in the cellar, Owen, Nucky and Smith made it out alive ... kind of. After he pleaded with Nucky to work with him, Smith caught a bullet to the back of the head, much to Owen’s surprise. It was obvious Nucky was using the cold-blooded killing to remind Owen who has the juice now.
After the massacre, Eli found Nucky and told him what happened. We closed with Nucky and Eli’s possible reunion as a duo, and Margaret having learned the aviatrix who inspired her independent spirit crashed and died. A possible omen for her character?
What did you guys think of last night’s episode? It looks like we might soon see Nucky go up against a Rothstein/Rosetti alliance.
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