Boardwalk Empire 206 — The Age of Reason

If this pic doesn’t entice you, what will? We’re getting more Lucy this week. Crazy, freaked out pregnant chick who is ready to pop any day now. I’m reminded of my boss who is due this Friday.

We’re also going to see our favorite butcher from Philly. And there seems to be a promise of a little blood this week.  Because there wasn’t enough last week?

And to make things perfect we get a little T&A and confession — what a combination. Come on in and see how it all goes down.

The episode begins with Agent Van Alden sitting on the edge of his bed reading a book. My vote is on the Bible and when the camera zooms in, I see I’m right. Not that it was a challenge to figure that one out. In the background, Lucy is asking him to bring home lemons after work. She’s gotta eat lemons.

He goes into the kitchen and she’s sitting on kitchen chair looking miserable. She can’t get comfortable. He mentions Agent Clarkson being in the hospital with third-degree burns over most of his body; he can’t get comfortable either. Lucy calls him “daddy” and says she’s sorry. Dear god I don’t even know what to say about that.

The camera focuses in on a crucifix and then shifts to little Teddy then Margaret and a priest. Teddy’s in danger of the fires of hell. Nucky’s in the background and I have to wonder what kind of danger he’s in. Father Brennan comments about the “cruel Jews” and what they did to Jesus. And how God is Jesus’s “angry” father. Nucky just wants to leave and I don’t blame him. But they can’t leave. They’re preparing for Teddy’s first confession. He’s seven now and has “attained the age of reason.” Really? At age seven? And what has the reasonable young Teddy learned in his lessons with the Father? That God judges us. Apologies to any Christians reading this, but this poor kid… It’s clear he’s reciting what he’s been taught but has no idea what any of it really means. Then he starts bouncing his foot against the leg of the chair. Watch it kid, you’ll burn in hell for shit like that.

Before they leave, the priest reminds Margaret that Teddy must be prepared the next day to list all of his sins at confession. Oh yeah, and she needs to be prepared to confess too because it’s all about setting an example. Well… she’s got plenty to confess should she choose to. She looks less than pleased by the prospect, however.

Our good ole attorney friend Chip is in court with some amazing shoes, seeking a transfer of Nucky’s case to federal court. The judge cuts him off to comment on the shoes. The judge is a trip. Chip is a goofball. The states’ attorney is annoyed. The judge agrees with Chip, however; and Nucky’s lawyer in the gallery is clearly pleased.

In Nucky’s office, he’s getting his own shoes (probably not green) shined while signing a book of illustrated Bible stories for “his nephew.” After the shoe shiner leaves, George Remus calls to say thanks for favors coming his way. He’s speaking of himself in the third person again. He’s clearly pleased with himself. He’s on a massage table with gym equipment in the background and getting ready to take a dip in his new pool. He’s so annoying. Nucky reminds him that while Remus is from Ohio he didn’t know Harding or anyone in his administration until Nucky introduced them.

Remus: You know what Remus doesn’t like about you? The nickeling and dimeing.

Apparently he’s annoyed that he got stuck with a phone bill from the hotel last time he was in Atlantic City. After hanging up, Nucky puts a ten dollar bill into the book for Teddy. Then he thinks for a minute and replaces it with a twenty. I’d be happy for a book with a twenty in it today, but in the 1920s? That kid’s going to end up on heroin, driving his car down the boardwalk.

On to the almost dead white guys.  Mutton chops (aka Leander Whitlock) is reading the words of Alexander the Great to Jimmy and Gillian. He man knows Nucky and they speak of his “ploy” with the attorney general. The camera shifts and we see that the Commodore is there and he tries to speak but is still unable. They have a manservant wheel him away. Leander then asks if the business with Parkhurst was necessary and Jimmy says he’d “have to ask the men responsible.” Leander wants to speak with Jimmy in private and Gillian rises to leave, giving Jimmy an awkward (for him in front of a witness) kiss on the mouth and saying, “I know you’ll tell me everything.”

Leander tells Jimmy he can’t fault him, but that not every incident requires a response. He talks of the Commodore’s lack of prudence and how Nucky was different – he always considered something bigger, what was to come. He admires that about him even if he’s not on his side. He reminds Jimmy that it’s sometimes wise to not be so quick to judge.

Back at the apartment, Lucy is in the kitchen with music playing when her water breaks. She drops a plate on the floor then collapses back into a chair and cries.

Chip is excited about his third court appearance and how great it went for him. He figures his father would be so happy. Nucky’s lawyer has no idea who Chips’s daddy is, which leaves Chip a bit bummed out. His dad’s a lawyer too, and I guess Chip thinks he’s a big deal.

Nucky puts in a call to the Attorney General Daugherty.  It’s one of Daugherty’s men who asked about Remus last week and now he passes on his thanks for the introduction. (Which means we’ve got someone in the AG office doing business with a bootlegger. I guess that’s a good place to be if you want to protect yourself from a Department of Justice investigation.) Moving on, Nucky clarifies with the Daugherty that they’ll finally be even after his case is officially cleared. Chip wants to continue his stay at the Ritz and get’s Kessler to help him to a room.

Over at the Schroeder/Thompson home, Owen comes in carrying Teddy over his shoulders and flirts with Katie in front of Margaret. They’re just back from their meeting with the priest. After Owen leaves, Margaret asks for a word with Katie. She’s says not oblivious to the attraction and suggests there’s something going on. Katie denies and Margaret tells her not to be coy and reminds her that there are children in this house. Right… because her sleeping with their “Uncle” Nucky is somehow better. Katie may be too dense to pick up on the jealousy, but I’m not.

At the hospital, Agent Van Alden sits in a chair in the hallway as a nurse walks by with a baby. Another nurse comes out of a room and tells him he can go in now. He goes in and… it’s Agent Clarkson who he’s visiting. (I’m sparing you an image of his burned body. You can thank me later).

While he stands at the bedside Agent Zewisky comes in with an older man – Supervisor Elliot. One of them says “good Lord” and Van Alden gets upset at the blasphemy. Then he begins to pray. Out loud. Elliot and Zewisky look at each other for a moment then reluctantly remove their hats and bow their heads. As Van Alden prays, Clarkson wakes with a gasp. He looks up at Van Alden and says, “I see you. I know. I know what you did.” Van Alden says he’ll get the doctor and slips out the door. He goes into the hall and is clearly upset. A light in the ceiling is flickering and he seems to take it as a sign. Good Lord.

Back at Nucky’s there’s a big meeting about the plan for the next liquor delivery. Rothstein, Waxy Gordon, and Chalky are all there. They go over safety from the Coast Guard, getting the trucks loaded by Waxy Gordon’s men, and delivery to the border of Atlantic City. With this delivery, Chalky’s back in business.

At the apartment, Lucy’s managed to get herself into bed but it’s clear she’s having contractions. She leans up and looks out the window to see a kid across the way brushing his teeth. She asks him to get his mom and he stares at her before closing the curtains. She falls back to the bed repeating “please” and crying. I’m starting to worry about her. A home birth all by herself could go… not so well.

It’s night now. Jimmy and Angela are strolling on the boardwalk. They pass a new display of wireless radios. She talks about an article she read that immigrants are using the radio to learn English. She’s so animated and I love that something like this make her happy. Jimmy is looking ahead of them and sees some men round the corner toward them – one of them is familiar but I don’t place him in the quick glimpse we get. Jimmy turns and plants a big kiss on Angela to hide them.

As they pass, Jimmy tips his head and watches them out of the corner of his eye. Angela asks what the kiss was for and he says “Guess the music got to me.” They continue down the boardwalk, arms around each other. Love the kiss, hate the deception. Angela’s smart and she already knows some of what’s going on. Jimmy should wise up and tell her more for her own protection.

Back at the hospital Van Alden is in a phone booth. He calls Rose who comments that it’s nearly 11pm. He tells her about Clarkson being hurt and that he should have been there. He’s shaken. He says there are things she doesn’t know about him and his job, that he’s not fit. She’s clearly concerned at how distraught he seems and tries to remind him that he’s making the world a better place. He wants her to know “that everything I’ve done is because I love you… I have sinned, Rose, and a good and decent man has burned for those sins.” He says he’s not fit for her or the badge then hangs up. Part of me hopes this is the last we’ll see of him, but I know it won’t be that simple.

Whoa. Nucky and Margaret are “making love” (in Nucky’s words). But there are children in the house, Margaret. After Nucky’s finished (because it’s clearly more about his pleasure than hers in this scene), he rolls off of her to the side, catches his breath, then lights a cigarette. She just lays there.

“Do you not find me attractive?” she asks while staring straight ahead. “Of course I do. We just made love, Margaret.” They might as well actually be married. He wants to know what’s on her mind and she says Father Brenner told her she needs to make confession. Nucky asks what she plans to say and she says it’s between her and God. She trusts Father Brennan as a man of God and Nucky says she’s got a lot more faith in people than he does.

She gets up to go to the bathroom and Nucky stops her by asking, “How Catholic are you?” which cracks me up. But he’s concerned she’s going to divulge information from the history between them. She tells him if he’s feeling guilty he’ll have to take that up with the priest himself. Damn, girl. She has come so far from that timid woman in the series premiere.

At the Darmody house, Angela is serving breakfast when the phone rings. It’s a man calling Jimmy – Manny Horvitz. Jimmy has him hold on for a moment while he gets Angela to take Tommy into another room. “What the fuck are you trying to pull, Manny?” The man Jimmy saw on the boardwalk was Manny’s boy Herman and he was coming out of the Ritz with Nucky and Waxy. (So that’s what I didn’t quite see earlier.) Horvitz asks if he’s sure and Jimmy says he’s positive. Manny says he’ll call him back and hangs up. Manny is not happy.

Margaret is cleaning up some spilled cornflakes in the sunroom when Owen comes in. Katie took the kids to the market and Owen jokes about her “selling them.” Margaret is not amused and reminds him that she’s “Mrs. Schroeder” (he had addressed her as “Mrs. Thompson” when he came in). He says Katie told him that she’d been reprimanded and he apologizes. Margaret asks him if he’s in the habit of toying with women. He says he wouldn’t call it a habit (I love this guy’s quick wit) and then takes the broom to help her. Their hands touch. Sweet, sweet tension. Nucky comes in for a moment. Before leaving after him, Owen steps behind Margaret, puts his hands on her upper arms, and says, “Always happy to help, Mrs. Schroeder.” She is clearly unnerved by the moment and no doubt turned on.

Lucy is out of the bed, standing at the chest of drawers, brushing her hair and then pulling it up. My heart breaks a little when I see her seeing herself in the mirror there. She does her best to make the bed then puts a towel down on top and settles herself over it. I think she’s resigned herself to having this baby on her own. Van Alden apparently never came home last night.

Daugherty is in his office when Senator Walter Edge of the great state of New Jersey arrives. Edge is not happily in Nucky’s pocket. He wants a minute of Daugherty’s time. He says he ran into Charlie Forbes who said Daugherty has “Harding’s ear” on a Veterans Affairs department. Walter is a bit obnoxious when he says the plan might even benefit veterans. It turns out he’s got a constituent (read some old white men, I’m sure) who wants the deal investigated (and wants Nucky taken care of as well). He wants an attorney who will take Nucky’s case seriously or VA department.

Jimmy’s in Philly meeting with Manny Horvitz. They’re in a cellar with huge sides of beef hanging down and Herman hanging upside down in the middle of it all. Horvitz has known him since he was a kid, but now Herman’s got his own ideas — to work for Waxy Gordon and spy on Manny. Jimmy asks Herman what was happening at the Ritz. Herman confesses to the ships coming in at 2am that night to Hawk Island boat yard in Philly. We get to hear the swishing sound of Manny sharpening his knife, as if we didn’t know where this was going already.

Jimmy asks what Nucky needs Gordon for and he says “Protection.” Manny wants Jimmy to do the butchering. He can’t do it himself because Herman’s already injured. He’s treif and Manny’s got to live by rules. I love that his rules for life are kashrut (Jewish dietary laws). I guess we all have our guiding principles, huh?

Jimmy has Manny hold his hat then steps behind Herman and slits his throat. We get to watch the blood pour out. It’s lovely. Jimmy clearly isn’t happy to have done it.

It’s confession time. Margaret and Teddy wait on a pew with a line of other parents and children. A child comes out of the confessional and Margaret goes in. It’s been four years since her last confession because of the “children” and “life.” She says “Forgive me Father, but I have nothing to say.” When he challenges that, she admits that of course she has sins. She just doesn’t want to tell him what they are. Finally she confesses that there’s a man in her life who she knows is bad, but that she’s drawn to him, that she has impure thoughts. Father clearly knows who he’s talking to and what her relationship with Nucky is. He asks if this man provides for her and her children and she says no, she hardly knows him, he works for the family. Oh, Owen, how you charm the ladies.

Nucky’s on the phone with Daugherty asking and complaining about a “no-name senator” and his proposed investigation. Nucky wants to know who the new prosecutor will be. He wants someone he can work with. They remind each other that both their asses are on the line.

It’s tits and ass time. Our buddy Chip is in bed with two women when Kessler comes in and says, “Mr. Thompson wishes you to leave immediately.” He’s got five minutes to pack his stuff and be gone. The hotel manager tosses him his green shoes, saying “Nice shoes” in a not so convincing voice.








Lucy’s on her own and she’s pushing with all she’s got. The sound editing here is fabulous – we have her groaning then that fades out to music while we just see her face as she’s clearly yelling, then the music fades out back to her crying and then a baby’s cry.

Van Alden is still at the hospital. He spent the night in the chapel. Supervisor Elliot is at Clarkson’s bedside. Van Alden insists it should be him in the bed and Elliot tells him to stop it. Van Alden says he has something to tell him but is interrupted by Clarkson waking up again. He looks up at the nurse and says, “I see you. I know what you did.” The nurse says he’s been saying it to everyone. “It’s not fair… I’ll tell Mom,” he continues. It sounds like he’s reliving a moment from his childhood.

Van Alden is clearly shaken by this and says he needs to leave. Elliot reminds him he had something to say but he just insists he has to go and walks out the door. In the next scene he’s entering the apartment. He’s got Lucy’s bag of lemons. He goes to the kitchen and finds the broken plate on the floor. He calls out her name and then moves down the hallway. It’s eerily silent in the apartment. He stops in the hall outside his room then moves inside. She’s asleep with the baby in her arms.

            VA: I… I brought lemons.
            Lucky: I did it all myself.

It’s a girl. And Lucy’s smiling. “I’ll get a doctor,” he says and leaves. Lucy snuggles the baby closer and kisses her forehead. I’m not so sure she’s going to give up the baby now.

There’s a train of vehicles driving in the night and the lead vehicle gets a blowout. I’m thinking less nail, more bullet. And then it’s confirmed when they start taking fire from the woods. Richard’s aim has always been impeccable.

A gunfight goes on for a bit and we see that Meyer and Lucky are there. Finally the shooting stops and we hear Jimmy tell them to drop their weapons and no one will get hurt. Lucky recognizes his voice. Jimmy’s clearly annoyed that Luciano is out there. Jimmy says he’s not going to shoot him if he comes out. So Lucky and Meyer come around the car, but guns are still drawn.

Jimmy: What the fuck are you doing?
Lucky: We’re making a delivery.
Jimmy: For Nucky Thompson?
Lucky: He made a deal with Rothstein.

It’s a great standoff across the road. Lucky confirms that Chalky’s back in business. Meyer says this could be an opportunity; he reminds Jimmy they’d wanted to do business in heroin. Manny’s there and he’s not impressed. He doesn’t like anyone who does business with Waxy Gordon. Jimmy quotes Leander from earlier, saying not every insult requires a response. He tells Manny they can’t kill everyone, “It’s not good business.” The kid’s learning.

Jimmy’s going to take over the order and still deliver it. They’ll meet later. They say that Nucky and Rothstein’s days are over and then a guy who was hiding behind the car steps out and says “Waxy Gordon’s ain’t.” Manny, who is fed up at this point, shoots him in the head.

Lucky tells Meyer to leave the car with the dead Waxy fan, a bunch of bullet holes, and a blown tire. Meyer can ride with him and they’ll make the delivery. The plan is set.

Van Alden returns home with a doctor. He sends the doc to the bedroom and goes to the kitchen which he sees has been cleaned up. The broken plate is gone, the floor swept, the lemons are in a basket on the table, and Lucy’s bloody linens are soaking in the sink. Van Alden walks down the hall to find Rose sitting on the side of the bed attending Lucy. The doctor is looking over the baby.

Rose says Lucy has a fever. She lets the doctor work and walks out of the room. Van Alden tries to say he did this for her, that the baby is for her. She’s not having any of it. She flips out and beats against his chest. When he tries to restrain her, she bites him then runs out the door. I’m left wondering how she found his place to begin with. When last she visited they stayed in a hotel and he’s not in the boarding house she had thought he was in.

Teddy’s getting his photo taken in his church clothes with a Bible in one hand, a candle in the other. Nucky and Margaret are at the side and Nucky asks what she said at confession. Owen comes in and says he’ll pull the car around. He leaves and Margaret looks up and says, “Nothing that need concern you.” She’s a ballsy woman.

Teddy looks so pure and innocent in his white suit. You’d never know he’s a little terror.

Next week: Capone! Lots of tense faces. And possible someone getting shot (although you can never tell what’s really happening the way they cut the previews).