Boardwalk Empire recap: He Won't Be a Father Figure
It’s off to Chicago for Jimmy Darmody now that his disappointed father figure Nucky has banished him from Atlantic City. Nucky used to think Jimmy would own the world one day, if he’d just follow his advice: Learn all he could about the world, and do good work. Jimmy’s young mother Gillian (Gretchen Mol, pictured) had entrusted Nucky early on to make sure Jimmy stayed out of trouble. She wanted him to go to college. But things change; instead, Jimmy went to war and started working for Nucky. He’s the Anthony Soprano of Boardwalk Empire. All Jimmy owns now is a copy of Free Air and a head full of haunting audioscapes from battle.
It was easier for Jimmy to leave town after his girlfriend and the mother of his son, Andrea, confirmed his suspicions that she’d been having an affair with Robert Dittrich, the photographer, while he was away at war. “Three years is a long time,” she kept reminding him. They used to talk about books; now all he can talk about is guns. At least she got a vacuum sweeper out of the deal — that’s kind of in the middle. She finally used that thing after Jimmy left, to suck up any trace of him and his decaying Christmas tree.
Agent Van Alden — “probee with a big head,” according to Sheriff Elias — suspected Jimmy had been involved in the woods massacre, and with the last survivor gasping for breath under the supervision of expert pillow-fluffer Elias Thompson, needed to get said witness out of Atlantic City. He attempted to transport the guy to New York because he had ties to Arnold Rothstein — he was his sister-in-law’s nephew. The road-trippers detoured to a dentist’s office so that the witness could briefly regain consciousness (thanks, cocaine) long enough to curse at them in Yiddish and name “Jimmy” as one of the masked men in the woods that night. Between Van Alden twisting his hand in the witness’ open belly wound, and Lucky Luciano’s doctor inserting a scope into his gonorrhea-afflicted (and sometimes flaccid; don’t tell or he’ll kill you) penis, I think I’ve seen enough grunting and gasping in pain for the whole week. And The Biggest Loser hasn’t even aired yet!
Omar Little (Michael Kenneth Williams) had promised his Twitter and Facebook fans before this week’s show: ”Chalky coming.” And there Chalky White was, in his magnificent red coat, running the bootleg distillery for Nucky. Initially, Chalky and Nucky had agreed on a 35-65 split on the profits, but by episode’s end, that balanced out to 50-50 because Nucky needed Chalky to keep quiet about the brutal hanging of one of his men outside the distillery. “It’s an election year, Chalky. The last thing we need is a race war. You understand me?” For now, sure he does. Chalky’s as sensitive “as a baby’s ass, mother f—er.”
NEXT: A drooling baby for Nucky.
Margaret began her new job as a dresser in a fancy French boutique at Nucky’s house, the Ritz-Carlton. Naturally, she got the honor of helping Nucky’s showgirl lady friend Lucy into some lacy black lingerie, or “THE STEP-IN,” as Lucy rudely insisted. Their rivalry was as palpable as Nucky’s “soft touch for these charity cases” (said Lucy, who goes for the jugular instead of cheap merchandise). I get a Juliette Lewis vibe from Lucy, but Lucy is much more annoying. Oh, and most of the time she’s a willful idiot. She suggested she’d be a good mommy for Nucky’s child, even though she has trouble keeping food from dribbling out of her own mouth. The dumber they come, the better he likes ’em? Nucky didn’t look so sure.
Nucky likely doesn’t want a child with Lucy, but does he want one at all? He couldn’t protect Jimmy. He’s not God, you know. His footprints leave dirt on the hotel lobby floor just like everyone else.
–Nucky promised a thousand dollars to that incubator store on the boardwalk that kept him lingering in the window for so long during the series premiere.
–Lucius, one of the three men from New York who bailed Mickey Doyle out of jail and demanded his money, was Max Casella, of Doogie Howser, M.D. and The Sopranos fame. A tiny flicker in his eyes suggested that he wanted to dip Mickey Doyle’s arm in boiling tomato sauce like his Sopranos character did to Artie Bucco.
–Van Alden is so uptight and by-the-book that not only does he not approve of reading people’s private mail, but he drinks milk with his pot roast. Milk!
What did you think of last night’s Boardwalk Empire? Got any guesses as to the “dangerous” man who will enter Gillian’s life? Leave ’em in the comments.
DON’T MISS: Embedded below, listen to the first edition of EW.com’s TV Insiders podcast. Dalton Ross, Michael Slezak, Annie Barrett, Michael Ausiello (who also gives his picks for best and worst new show of the new season), and Jeff “Doc” Jensen break down the week in television and present it to you in an easily digestible audio format. Or click here to download TV Insiders to your MP3 player!