‘Boardwalk Empire’ Recap: ‘Two Boats And A Lifeguard’

Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi) started out the latest episode of HBO’s ‘Boardwalk Empire’ with one disturbing dream involving a deer, a shotgun and a whole lot of blood. He walks out of his Ritz Carlton elevator into the staircase from the Titanic, except there is no Leonardo Dicaprio waiting for him. This is not a dream, it’s a nightmare.

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Jimmy (Michael Pitt) accidentally mentions out loud that he is sending mercenaries to kill Nucky in front of his wife and son. He may have included a few F-bombs also. He wouldn’t be a true gangster if he didn’t cuss in a bath towel by the Jersey shore.

Jon Torio warns Al Capone to keep him out of the loop on his dealings with Jimmy. Nucky gets desperate and decides to hold an emergency meeting with the big boys, Rothstein and Torio. He wants to make a move but Rothstein, like the ultimate boss, advises him to do nothing and wait until he finds the perfect moment to strike.

Margaret breaks the news to Nucky that his father has passed away. Cause of death? Eli being a total douche.

Van Alden hires a new Norwegian baby mommy. While out with his new partner he is offered free lunch. At first, we assume that he will be his usual brand of religious crazy and refuse, but after a confusing lecture about the Latin phrase ‘Malum in se’ meaning, “Evil in and of itself” he takes the freebie. Van Alden continues to be unpredictable and insane, which is exactly what audiences are addicted to, whether they want to admit it or not.

‘Success has many fathers. Failure is not one of them,’ says Gillian.

Jimmy’s mother is a fascinating character because she is so easy to criticize. But when you think about it, her behavior and arrogance is not bothersome because it’s inappropriate, it’s bothersome because she is a woman. It’s very hypocritical for anyone to criticize Gillian for acting like the men do every day in this business. But it shows exactly how limited and threatened women were at this time in any position of power. Gillian’s only tactic for control is to stay behind the scenes and influence the men the best way she knows how, by batting her eyelashes and quoting esoteric phrases.

Angela meets a sassy friend on the beach whose skirt is too short. She is finally waking up and is hitting her limits. The solution to any housewife’s problem is a sweet lesbian hookup. Angela finally confronts Jimmy and demands honestly. In a surprise move and wonderfully played out seen, Jimmy tells Angela the truth. She then attends a hipster party that may have been thrown in the 1920’s but could easily be witnessed in modern day Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Nucky finally asks Teddy to call him Daddy. He and Eli have a talk at their father’s funeral showing yet again that Eli is a softy and does not know how to lead on his own. Nucky is a born leader whereas Eli is reliable and loyal when he is properly taken care of. The guy has seven kids for heaven’s sake.

Nucky goes to Jimmy and his cronies, telling them that he is stepping down. Later on, the crew celebrates Jimmy’s illustrious future. Jimmy seems conflicted with this as he sits on his new throne. He makes sure to approach Richard Harrow right away to let him know that he deserves the victory as much as anyone else.

‘If wishes were horses than beggars would ride,’ says Harrow.

Jimmy has become the new Nucky, doing just as Enoch Thompson once did to the Commodore. He has turned his back on his ‘father’, his teacher and the builder of the town to now resume the heavy responsibility as prime decision maker. When Micky Doyle shows up Jimmy’s first order of business is to throw him off a balcony just to show everyone that he can.

Nucky meets with Chalky White before sailing off into the sunset to inform him that he is free to guide his people as he chooses. Then he talks to Owen Slater, mentioning a secret about someone from Ireland. Kudos to Charlie Cox for being able to accurately portray someone shitting themselves from sheer panic.

Luckily, our favorite bootlegger was not referring to Owen and Margaret’s fantastic lay, but to the dude he strangled in the pub bathroom. Nucky suggests that they cross the pond and get the fighting Irish on their side. You can always count on Owen to be game for just about anything, especially housemaids.