In the past, we’ve flashed forward from 1884 to 1897, where we find a young adult Nucky as a deputy sheriff in Atlantic City. In the past… we’ve moved forward…to the future in the past. OK I’ve gone crosseyed. All you need to know is that grown up Nucky is trying to win favor with the Commodore as well as with first wife Mabel’s father. Oh, and he found a body under the boardwalk. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Gillian makes a plea to Dr. Cotton for her release, but he’s not convinced that she should be free. Doubly terrifying is the unnecessary surgery happening to the patients in the hospital. (Check out this week’s Inside the Episode for more info on the hospital.) Gillian, I’m afraid your only way out is going to be to make like Chalky and run for the border– any border will do. Steal a nurse’s uniform, wait for picnic day and slip through the bushes or something. Or you can just wait until he gives you a lobotomy. I hear those are all the rage. Just ask Nucky’s pal Joe Kennedy.
Eli and Van Alden
The writers did it again with an in-your-face Chekhov’s Gun, this time in the form of a cockroach crawling around on an entomophobic accountant’s desk in Al Capone’s headquarters. However, checking in with Chicago this week is more about checking in with Eli and Van Alden, who kind of deserve each other. I think I said in a review last season that Val Alden needed to keep Sigrid happy– you know, happy wife, happy life and all that. Remember, that woman killed for him along with a bunch of other stuff. Well she hasn’t been very happy for a while so she’s been riding Eli’s bologna pony behind Van Alden’s back for some time now. Sigrid decides to reveal all during a family dinner with Eli and his seven months pregnant wife.
Before anyone has time to react, the feds come in to arrest both Eli and Van Alden to offer them deals in exchange for Al Capone’s accounting books. All comedy moments belong to Van Alden. First he says he won’t live in fear, but immediately becomes a mouse squeaking “Yes Dear” when Sigrid tells him to move. Then he makes the “Land ho” comment in the interrogation room, and they both drink from Eli’s flask because they know they’re both screwed. They agree to cooperate, but Van Alden points out that the ledgers the feds want them to steal are in code. That’s OK. The feds poured sugary syrup all over the accountant and covered him in dozens of Chekhov’s Guns, so he’s agreed to translate. I can almost hear the theme to Benny Hill in the background as these two prepare to pull one on Capone in the final three episodes.
As a bonus for those of you who like to play the theme and symbolism game, remember how Joe Kennedy was expecting his ninth child? Eli and June are also expecting their ninth child. “Safety in numbers,” Joe said. Was it just a random musing, or will those kids be Nucky’s legacy when Eli goes back to prison or gets killed? Son Willie is already working at the Attorney General’s office after his prank that left another student dead. That’s awfully Kennedy-like.
Nucky goes to Johnny Torrio for help, so Torrio sets up a meeting for him with Salvatore Maranzano in Brooklyn. Torrio is still with Luciano and Lansky, who want Nucky gone. So while Nucky and Sal have dinner, some goons do a drive-by shooting, trying to kill both of them. They only hit a couple of people, not the targets, and they just managed to break a bunch of stuff. Epic hit failure. On top of this, Nucky gets the news about Sally and finds out no one will be held accountable, so he is about an angry as anyone can get. He calls Torrio and tells him he won’t stop until he sees all three of them in their graves. This doesn’t sound like a guy who is trying to go straight.
Chalky has finally found his way back to Atlantic City, but he won’t get any help from Nucky getting revenge on Narcisse. Nucky does however offer him a place to stay and some cash out of friendship, and even that dirtbag Micky Doyle helps cover for Chalky when agents come looking for him. His wife and remaining children have moved to St. Louis, and even if he could go find them, he’s going to get Narcisse first. When he goes looking in Narcisse’s brothel, he finds a little girl in another room about 7 years old– and she’s calling his former lover Daughter Maitland Mama. Whether he is the father or not, I think this is going to end in a shoot em up.
If you blinked, you missed it
Margaret twisted Mrs. Rothstein into taking Nucky’s deal, and in return for Nucky’s favor, her Wall Street firm will open an account for Nucky under an assumed name– as part of Nucky’s plan to go straight… IF he can go straight.
Do you think Nucky can go straight with only 3 episodes left? Check out the scenes from the next episode and tell us what you think will happen in the comments!