“Boardwalk Empire” Season 4, Episode 7- The best predictors

The plot this episode was particularly non-cohesive. The writers decided to briefly check in with most of the main characters. Don’t blame me for this being disjointed. Blame the writers.
When life gives you lemons, shoot up the Chicago PD

The episode opens dramatically with a Chicago cop reading the paper. Without warning, he’s shot on the street!

Later, Al is arguing with Johnny Torrio. Al wants revenge on both Dean O’Bannion and the Chicago PD for the death of his brother Frank. Torrio wants to continue to make money without too much violent. Al responds by throwing things around the room.

http://lizandkit.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/season-4-jersey-shore-gif-snooki-throwing-stuff-at-mike.gifGif from here.


Torrio is meeting with O’Bannion. He’s buying O’Bannion’s brewery, but O’Bannion wants more. Neither is particularly happy.


Gif from here.

At the brewery, the Chicago gangsters argue about the proper temperature to drink beer while Torrio and O’Bannion sign the final papers transferring ownership. Then. . . . The cops come in and arrest everyone!
Torrio is released, and rejoins his men. He is surprised by the news that O’Bannion’s charges were all dropped. He’s tired and wants to go home to his wife. His parting words to Al, “Kill that Irish Fuck!” Al seems happy to take him at his word.

Dealing heroin is more fun than getting murdered by your boss

Luciano meets up with Masseria and a few of the other Italians for tea and cake.

Just kidding! They meet up for coffee and cake!

Image from here.

Luciano thinks he’s about to get into trouble, but it turns out that Masseria wants him to go back to Florida and work with Petrocelli on importing heroin. So, in a way, he is being punished.

Margaret’s adventures in seedy investment banking

We find out more about Margaret’s mysterious job! Turns out she works for a shady investment firm.


“What? A shady investment firm? Unthinkable!”

Gif from here.

Part of her job description involves telling a sad tale about how she talked her husband out of investing, and they lost everything!


Like this. Image from here.

Later, after a somewhat out-of-place discussion with her co-worker about their menstrual cycles, the boss hands Margaret a large wad of cash. Her commission.

Margaret, wanting more of the same, jumps when her boss needs her to sell “Abe Redstone” on the investment. “Abe Restone” is none other than Arnold Rothstein!

Margaret is understandably shaken by this discovery, and Rothstein toys with her slightly, suggesting she met him at a department store, selling gloves.

Margaret’s boss is angry with her, but overlooks it considering Rothstein invested $150,000. Seconds later, Rothstein calls Margaret. They agree to keep each other’s secrets.

Heroin withdrawal makes a great third date

Gillian is going through heroin withdrawal. Berger, or, um, Roy Phillips, is helping her through all of this.

Later, they’re discussing their flaws. He goes with “Ambition” as his flaw. Funny. I would have picked “Attraction to crazy addicts” as his biggest flaw.

Anyway, this being their third date and all. . . they have sex.

Their pillow talk involves having a snack and Roy revealing that he didn’t start his divorce proceedings until he met Gillian. Then, they have sex again.

A show about a handkerchief

Eli is suspicious of Knox. Finally! Somebody is a bit savvy! Eli picked up on things that I did not in the last episode. (Knox handed him a handkerchief which had the initials JTM)

Eli? Sherlock Holmes? Practically the same person! Image from here.

Meanwhile, the Agent Knox and J Edgar are interviewing Remus in the presence of Ester Randolph. J Edgar is super annoyed by Remus’ habit of referring himself in the third person.


Gif from here. 

Yep, I’m with J Edgar.  Remus is still annoying.

Remus’ love of hotcakes isn’t enough to convince J Edgar that it’s worthwhile to pursue organized crime. Agent Knox, who’s real name is Jim Tolliver, gets dismissed. Randolph points out that the new Attorney General is keen on prosecuting organized crime. This is far more convincing.

Nucky later meets with Gaston Means who assures him that Knox is what he seems.

Later, the feds are having a big fancy dinner. Andrew Mellon is there, as is Esther Randolph, and Knox/Tolliver. The dinner is to honor the appointment of J Edgard. J Edgar announces a switch in tactics, embracing the pursuit of organized crime! Knox/Tolliver is like:


Gif from here.

Knox/Tolliver is bitter that J Edgar stole his idea. He’s getting drunk while venting to. . . Gaston Means! Means points out that perhaps he’d do better not to carry monogrammed handkerchiefs while acting under cover. Knox/Tolliver ignores him and complains about how J Edgar acted in law school.


Gif from here.  

Means replies with a valuable bit of wisdom, “The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.” Deep.

Sometimes losing your virginity isn’t enough to make you happy

Willie and Doris are reading the paper after sex. We see both of her boobs. The story in the paper brings up a discussion of Neitzche, and Willie’s having second thoughts about dating a girl with Nihilistic tendencies.


Gif from here.

Actually, he’s mostly miffed that she keeps discussing murders. Particularly, the one he committed.
Willie isn’t that committed to his classes either. A particularly enthusiastic English Professor wants class participation, but Willie is having none of that!

Willie, like James Franco, would rather sleep in class. Image from here.

So, Willie leaves.

After dinner, at the Eli and June Thompson residence, Eli and his oldest daughter are arguing. She wants to go to college, and he doesn’t see the point of girls going to college. Willie decides this is the perfect time to announce that he’s dropped out of school. Eli goes apeshit!


Gif from here. 

After Willie is a huge brat, he and Eli get into a physical fight, which Nucky and June end up having to break up. Both leave.

Eli comes home drunk. He and Nucky have a spat that they’ve had about a million times. Eli is jealous of Nucky’s power and business success, but Nucky’s jealous of Eli’s family life. Nucky, the sober one, leaves like an adult.
Willie is waiting for Nucky on the front steps of his hotel. Nucky’s annoyed, but Willie rightfully points out that Eli’s likely to be drunk at his home. Nucky agrees to let him stay, but makes it clear that he will be getting a stern lecture in the morning.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-UFpZCODZh7Y/Tgk07d7caXI/AAAAAAAAAX4/2klPvYI6ywQ/s1600/picture+4036.gifGif from here.

Suitable punishment for getting away with murder.

Cheating leads to poor business decisions

Our first Onyx scene this episode is a glorious production number in which we learn that Daughter Maitland can dance, too! The lady’s a triple threat! No wonder Chalkie fell for her!

Chalkie then meets with Dr. Narcisse to extend Daughter Maitland’s run at the Onyx. Despite another engagement in St. Louis, Dr. Narcisse is willing if Chalkie lets him open up a chapter of the Universal Negro Improvement Society in the AC. Besotted by Daughter Maitland’s vagina, Chalkie’s totally on board.

Dr. Narcisse and Dunn Purnsley are holding a meeting at the church. The respectable black citizens of the AC are not digging the introduction heroin, alcohol, and jazz music. The church deacon is particularly concerned, citing two deaths from overdoses within a few weeks. Dr. Narcisse says “apathy” is the real problem, and announces his plans for the new center.

We cut to a scene of Daughter Maitland and Chalkie having energetic sex and pillow talk. (Side note: not to objectify him, but I’d never realized that Michael Kenneth Williams had such a nice body! The man works out!)

(I tried to find you guys a picture of shirtless Chalkie, but no luck.  Sorry.) 

Anyway, we find out about Daughter Maitland’s childhood. Her mother was a prostitute and used to shove her in a closet when she had business. She was choked to death when a customer got unruly, though she tried to take the man down with her. Daughter Maitland was found by Dr. Narcisse, who has taken care of her ever since. She assures Chalkie that they’ve never gotten freaky with each other, and that she is fond of Chalkie.

Just like Cosette and Jean Val Jean! Image from here.

She has to go rehearse.

Not generally the church-going type, Dunn is at the church.  The deacon informs him that he knows who is responsible for the influx of heroin, and he’s going to talk to Chalkie.  So, Dunn knifes him in the gut.

Just a note to potential murder victims:  Don’t tell the drug dealer/gangster that you’re going to rat him out.  Especially, don’t tell him before you actually go to rat him out.
Daughter Maitland is praying in her dressing room. Dr. Narcisse is there with her. She unbuttons his shirt, revealing scars. They discuss her pillow talk with Chalkie and talk of old times. Turns out Dr. Narcisse was the john who killed her mother. He has also managed to brainwash Daughter Maitland with his particularly creepy brand of evangelicalism.

He sends her off to perform (a reprise of her first club number “Somebody Loves Me”), while he contemplates himself in her mirror. Jeffrey Wright and Margot Bingham deserve credit for the eerie quality of their relationship. This last minute reveal, while a bit predictable, helped this overall lackluster episode finish strongly.

Rating- B- (The plot was all over the place this week, which caused things to suffer. The Gillian scenes were particularly pointless. However, a glorious production number, the return of Ester Randolph, and the strong ending helped. A lot.)
Gratuitous Violence- A (Only two murders, the Chicago cop and the Deacon, but both are positions of authority. As a bonus, we get the father/son fist fight.)
Gratuitous Nudity- A (We’re back! HBO is back in the game of showing us actors’ naked bits! Bonus points for them being highly attractive people, too!)

Dysfunctional Parent Child Relationship Rating- A + (Despite his generally good parenting skills, we see what happens when Eli is faced with teenage rebellion.  Also, we get the creeptastic father/daughter relationship between Daughter Maitland and Dr. Narcisse.) 


“Boardwalk Empire” airs Sundays at 9 PM on HBO.