Now we are getting to the juiciness of this gangster tale. This episode begins with a sleeping (or possibly passed out) Eli, coming to his senses in a bootlegging operation in Chicago. These past few years away from his wife seem filled with alcohol and prostitutes to fill his voids. Last season Eli had to escape Atlantic City, for killing a federal agent. Capone was nice enough to Nucky, to keep him in hiding in Chicago. Eli looks as miserable as he ever was. And now, the feds are turning his bootlegging spot upside down, as he comes to, in a hidden upstairs apartment. He is no longer working for his brother. His new boss is Al Capone and Capone is not someone you should be making errors with, even if it isn’t your fault.
Before we delve into the major crap that Eli has woken up to, lets discuss a few other members of Boardwalk that everyone should be dying to hear about.
Eli’s son is back in the picture, and as a college graduate. Last season, spent an awful amount of time detailing Will’s attempt at getting the attention of a girl in school by bringing in some of his Uncle Nucky’s liquor into school. I complained a lot about this storyline because, although it brought Nucky in to save Eli’s son, it took time away from the characters I really would have rather been hearing about. Will is applying to be a prosecutor. But with a name like Thompson, his Uncle’s reputation turns up in his interview. Nucky, at this point, is a celebrity criminal and Eli is a fugitive of the law.
Will is smart enough to say that he couldn’t choose who he was related to, as if he has no relationship with his Uncle. Hopefully, that will get him the job. But, when he has dinner with Nucky discussing his plans as prosecutor, Will doesn’t tell his Uncle that his possibility of becoming a prosecutor may be effected by his Uncle’s reputation.
I originally thought Will was becoming a prosecutor on Nucky’s orders. It would do him so much good to have his nephew on the law’s side. Apparently, Will has chosen the career on his own. But, he used to be one of Nucky’s bootlegging employees, before it all went to shit. I wonder if there is anything illegal behind Will’s choice.
Gillian and a few friends are soaking in a serene spa as the radio plays. Wasn’t she sent to jail for killing an innocent man who resembled her son? I almost lost my mind wondering how she went from being sentenced for murder, to soaking her worries away. Till, the lady beside her began to twitch when the attendant wanted to change the radio. Then all the ladies in their tubs began to scream and wail their arms around. Oh, now i get it, they sent Gillian to an asylum!
Dr. Cotton, the head of the facility, arrives and tells all the ladies that she would like them to behave and they need to be good girls or whatever. Gillian is very eager to show that she is a good girl and there is this intense, erotic vibe going on between the two woman. Dr. Cotton slowly undoes the tub covering and Gillian sensually rises completely naked from the tub. Then Gillian asks If she can have what she asked for and Dr. Cotton answers, only if she can have what she asked for.
[sigh] I thought, here come the multiple lesbian sex scenes. Dr. Cotton leads Gillian to some underground area and as Gillian complements her figure, Cotton begins to undress. Gillian, however, begins mulling around some trunks and pulls out the outfit she wore on New Years. This is what all the eye contact was about. But, of course, they purposely led our minds to think that there was more to what was going on. In exchange for a dress, Dr. Cotton gives Gillian paper and a pen, to write a letter. But to whom? Jimmy and Richard are dead. She has no idea where Tommy is. Unless, Gillian is planning on writing to the very agent that put her where she is now. That would definitely be interesting.
As I guessed, Nucky’s childhood will be running parallel to the end of the show. This time we see as Young Nuck’ys parents are crying over his sisters bed, since she passed away quietly in the night. Nucky goes to work for the Commodore on the boardwalk, and besides telling him that he’s late, he mentions his sister’s passing. In an attempt to win over Nucky’s father, who he knows hates him, he joins Nucky home to say his respects. Ethan Thompson had sold some of his land to the Commodore and is still sore about it. The Commodore gives Ethan cash to bury his daughter and before Nucky can head back to the boardwalk with the Commodore, Ethan whips out a shotgun to scare the Commodore off his property.
They bury the girl in the backyard and when Nucky reminds his father that the Commodore gave them money to bury her, Ethan tells him that the dead can’t do anything with money.
And that folks, is another life lesson. What the lesson is that Nucky learned from this situation, i cannot say. Maybe, he hates his father for not burying his sister properly or having any real reverence towards the dead. But, it’s also possible that Nucky as an adult feels the same way his father does about death and how it should be dealt with.
Back to the problems Eli wakes up to, he makes his way to Capone’s headquarters. If you remember the way Nucky’s suite in Atlantic City looked in its prime, you can imagine how Al Capone’s current headquarters is flourishing. With about 20 or so henchman hanging around a huge hotel suite, while his suits are tailored, and his money is counted. He even gets interviewed by a magazine journalist in his criminal headquarter.
Eli shares responsibility for the bootlegging location he has with “Mueller” better known as Agent Van Alden. They are both under the jurisdiction of Mike D’Angelo, one of Capone’s men who is busy organizing and managing his property and money. D’Angelo tells Capone that $20,000 has been lost to the feds because they raided the place. Capone says Mueller and Eli better find $20,000 from somewhere, or they will be up a creek without a paddle. But, he says it in his most comical of voices, since he’s always in a good mood now, since he is loaded and calling the shots.
D’angelo scolds Mueller and tells him he has 24 hrs to find $20,000. Mueller scolds Eli and after all that, Eli is as relaxed and cool as a cucumber. He doesn’t seem to care about much since he moved to Chicago. Mueller emphasizes that Eli even smells horribly…like urine. Just when you think that nonchalant Eli is asking for a burial, he eyes Jake Guzik entering the Capone building with his usual leather bag filled with money.
In seasons past, Guzik was robbed and Capone has upped his security ever since. Mueller and Eli show up to one of Jake’s stops and end up killing his security and taking their money. They didn’t plan to kill the guys, they shot them in the legs, but Eli returns to finish them off when he hears them running their mouths about how they were going to enact revenge.
Mueller and Eli show up to Capone’s headquarters with $20,000 in cash and there were no questions asked.
Meanwhile, Eliot Ness is proclaiming an ongoing war against Capone and his mob during an interview. That’s when we see that D’angelo is busy at a desk in the federal building that is Ness’s headquarters, as a federal agent. It is unclear whether he is on Capone’s side and working as an inside man or if he’s working against Capone by infiltrating his team. Only time will tell…or did i miss something?
Last but not least, Nucky is working hard to take strides towards going legal once prohibition is banned. He sets up a meeting with his shaky senator and group of businessman in the wheat business. The Senator doesn’t show, for reasons that may be related to the fact that the businessman are quite snooty and look down upon Nucky as a criminal. Nucky tries to strike a partnership with their wheat org and his sole rights to the Bacardi Rum empire, to ensure a great profit, once liquor is legal again. These men have no intentions of doing any business with him, no matter how much experience he has with liquor.
Except, a young man named Kennedy, who becomes Nucky’s motivation. He realizes that Kennedy is profiting from LEGAL business and doesn’t have to worry about someone trying to take him out. Which brings us back to last episodes issue, who is trying to kill Nucky?
Nucky has decided that it must have been Meyer, since he lied back in Cuba. He visits a retired Johnny Torrio, who is quite happy being apart from the gangster lifestyle he once had. He took the hit on him as a hint and retired. He suggested Nucky do the same. But we all know, Nucky can’t walk away without having a steady supply of money. I feel money fuels him more then his ego. Torrio arranges a meeting between Nucky and Maranzano, the new boss since Masseria’s death, to see where Meyer stands.
Maranzano claims that Meyer is not associated with his organization and Lucky, at his faithful side, states he hasn’t seen him in years. Nucky doesn’t know what to make of the whole deal till he sees Tonino, Gyp Rossetti’s old henchman, working for Maranzano. Tonino would be his confirmation on whether he should trust Maranzano.
Tonino actually knows alot more then he should. Lucky is back at his own headquarters nervously planning with Meyers and Bugsy Siegel (FINALLY!) Yes, Meyers and Luck put a hit out on Nucky. But why? It seems that Lucky is trying to catapult himself to the front lines by already planing to take out Maranzano AND Nucky. I don’t see why Nucky is considered a threat since he is planning on going legal anyway, but Lucky probably wants to have AC under his belt in addition to New York.
Tonino has a meeting with Nucky, where he tells him Lucky and Meyers plan. Before Nucky leaves, he assures Tonino employment in exchange for knowledge on Meyers whereabouts. The waiter casually mentions that the caricature of the actress above Tonino’s head was talented, as Nucky is seen leaving. Tonino must have had nothing but sand and rocks in his head because he didnt notice that the girl in the picture, is actually Nucky’s ex-girlfriend that was killed in a bomb attempt he initiated on Gyp Rosetti’s orders. Next thing you know, there is a large commotion infront of Meyer and Lucky’s establishment, when a black cadillac drops a body at their steps. Tonino’s neck is cut through and through and there’s a knife in his back with a post card from Cuba that says “Greetings from Havana”
There’s nothing like an obvious message to Meyer Lansky and company to close this exhilarating episode.
What did you guys think about the “The Good Listener”?
Heres a teaser on whats coming up…anybody have any good predictions?
image source: HBO