Stab me in the heart why don’t ya. Nucky’s summer job is over and the commodore is sending him back to school. Nucky and Eli wander around a bit while Nucky complains about the injustice of it all– and distracts Eli from their father’s fornication with another woman in their own house. They trespass in the hotel where Nucky shows Eli the wonders of a flushing toilet and a bathtub that fills itself when the Sheriff catches them. Instead of arresting them, he takes them home for dinner with his family.
Eli is too young to get it, but Nucky is moved to tears by a loving family where there is plenty to eat, and no one is acting like animals. I think a lot of kids who have abusive or poverty stricken backgrounds have a moment like this– a moment when they realize that not everyone lives like this, and that they don’t have to stay in that life if they don’t want to. Nucky managed to not only pull himself out, but to pull his brother out as well. This is why even after everything Eli has done, Nucky couldn’t kill him last season and instead sent him into exile. It would have been nice to know this, say first season or so, but as with True Blood, why nitpick over things like “understanding?”
Nucky and Margaret
Like a bad penny, Margaret just keeps turning up no matter how much I wish she would disappear. Some reviews have blamed Margaret for Nucky not making his flight to Cuba. Much as I detest Margaret, they clearly said Nucky’s flight was grounded because of the weather. Anyway– Oh looky look, there’s ol’ Joe Kennedy again, and this time he’s offering Margaret a ride on his private train car with oysters. Did anyone else think Nucky might be a little jelly? Joe recognized Margaret as an asset, and it got Nucky’s interest in her as an asset as well– remember, safety in numbers, as Joe said. After they spend the rest of the day together, he tells Margaret to offer Mrs. Rothstein 25 cents on the dollar, and is confident that she will pull it off.
Al Capone and Company
I knew when Al opened that Empire State statue someone was going to be killed with it by the end of the episode. This show has a tendency to focus on the Chekhov’s guns for a little too long, thus giving away their importance. They’re talking about cutting Nucky out, but when Lucky Luciano figures out Van Alden was a probee who once arrested him, the focus shifts to getting the agent on the run upstairs for execution. I have to say, I didn’t think Van Alden had it in him to talk his way out of an execution, but he did it. This will probably turn out to be the funniest moment of the season, and only Michael Shannon could pull that off. Now all he has to do is stay away from the real federal agent who recognized him from a mugshot. However, now Capone is unhappy that Luciano just wants to make him part of a larger crime syndicate. How much of this is logical and how much of this is a result of Capone’s syphilis and penchant for cocaine? Unfortunately I don’t think we’ll ever know.
Poor Sally got stuck making Nucky’s collection for him in Cuba, and got caught being out after curfew. The local police were not amused when she tried to wiggle out of it, and when she tried to escape she got shot and killed for her trouble. Between the money and the booze here being gone, the late night call for help from Capone, and the trouble with Rothstein’s widow, it’s hard to see how Nucky is going to come out clean on the other side with only four episodes left in the series.
Here’s a look at Episode 5, and don’t forget to leave your thoughts in the comments!