The Dangers of Gambling and Homemade Laxatives

This week. . . “Boardwalk Empire” tackles Rothstein’s gambling addiction, lots of people party with the Capones, and Willie stars in a remake of “Revenge of the Nerds”.

Ain’t no party like a Capone party, cause a Capone party don’t stop!
The Capone brothers definitely have a talent for turning lemons into lemonade. That’s how they end up taking our ex-prohibition agent Van Alden on an epic bender!

Gif from Huffington Post. 


We start the episode in Chicago with Al’s fat friend Jake (Note: I’m not body-shaming Jake. His weight is a frequent plot point. The other mobsters pick on him, but Al stands up for him. Their friendship is sweet in a twisted sort of way), struggling with a flight of stairs. After collecting money from a snarky fellow, Jake suffers from a cardiac incident.

As O’Bannion runs a flower shop, he gets an order to send flowers to Jake’s sick bed.

A better bouquet than O'Banion sends

What type of flowers do you send the flunkie of your mortal enemy after a heart attack?  Image from here. 


O’Bannion is busy playing jokes with firearms (to the chagrin of the guy who gets part of his face burnt), so he orders Van Alden to get some day-old daisies to Jake’s bedside.

Al and Frank Capone are nothing, if not, good friends, so they’re visiting Jake when Van Alden shows up with the paltry bouquet.

20 Signs You're The Gretchen Weiners Of Your Friend Group

Gif from Buzzfeed.

They question Van Alden about O’Bannion a bit, then they decide to include him in their plans for the evening. It turns out to be an eventful night.

First stop is the snarky fellow from whom Jake was collecting. They talk their way into the apartment by making nice with a lady in the building. Then, the snarky fellow exits the building. .. through the window.  Let me repeat that.  They throw a man out of a third floor window because their friend had a heart attack at his doorstep.



Next up, Van Alden introduces the Capone boys to Aquavit, the Norwegian drink of choice! They are impressed.
On their way to their car (because what’s a little drunk driving compared to tossing someone out a window), Al spies one of O’Bannion’s trucks, filled with beer. He feels the evening needs to be a bit more lively, so he decides to hijack the truck.

Frank takes their car, Al drives, and Van Alden looks on nervously. It should be noted that Al likes to sharpen his driving skills by snorting a large amount of cocaine.

(Cocaine: you really shouldn’t use this to improve your driving.)

Al offers to take Van Alden away from O’Bannion, but they’re interrupted by a banging. Turns out the poor fellow whose face was burnt by O’Bannion was in the back of the truck.

He recognizes Van Alden. The Capone brothers give him to the count of 10 to run away. Van Alden starts to shoot on count 3, and his gun jams. Al goes all cocaine-fueled crazy busts out a Tommy Gun (one of the first we’ve seen), putting several bullets in the guy. Al really seemed to enjoy it.

John Stewart gifs from Huffington Post. 

They drop Van Alden home in the morning. They offer him a better house if he works for them. Sigrid comes out, and while she doesn’t say anything you get the sense that she’s annoyed.

Ain’t no party like a Capone party in the AC!

Eddie and Nucky are having trouble adjusting to their new roles. I think, Nucky misses having Eddie take care of him.

Gif from here. 

However, Nucky accepts the new status quo and gives Eddie the task of exchanging $10,000 at the train station. He’s supposed to just hand over the money and leave. Simple enough.

Unfortunately, Nucky and Eddie didn’t expect the charm of a Capone. This time it’s Ralph a.k.a. “Buttons” Capone.
Buttons asks Eddie for a restaurant recommendation. (Too bad, Yelp hadn’t been invented, yet.) Eddie can’t resist a gangster in need of creature comforts, so he ends up having dinner with Buttons. They bond.

Eventually, the two make it to a German bar, where Eddie is a regular. Buttons tells a dirty joke, “Trains are like whores. If you miss one, you can just hop on the next.” (I only mention it because my 79 year old grandmother tells a very similar joke about men and trolley cars.)

My grandmother led a rather colorful life.   Image from trolley tours.

My grandmother led a rather colorful life.
Image from trolley tours.

More importantly, in this scene, we find out that Eddie can sing!!! Like really well! The rest of the bar joins in, which is less pleasant. But, this means my dreams of a Nucky/Eddie musical number (something along these lines) may become a reality!

Unfortunately for Buttons, Eddie, and Nucky, J Edgar Hoover and Knox are looking for the “weak link” in the Thompson empire. Due to his wild times with Buttons, Eddie is now the “weak link”

Revenge of the Nerds

Willie Thompson is still feeling angsty over his feeler-up-tus interruptus, but he doesn’t want to talk about it. Eli, being a good father, recognizes that his son is super-hormonal and tries to talk him out of it by explaining that he’s not in college to be “happy”, but to get a degree and help out the family.

In his dorm room, Willie is angstily planning another party with his buddy and roommate Screech. Screech explains that he was super-drunk, otherwise he totally would have stood up to those college jocks when they interrupted Willie. For his part, Willie claims he totally would have beaten up Biff if he weren’t worried that Eli would be mad.


Screech and Willie come up with a plan to drop some homemade milk of magnesia into Biff’s drink to induce diarrhea. The rebels that they are, they are hanging out in the chemistry lab and lighting cigarettes off of Bunsen burners.

Note: Bill Nye does not advocate poisoning people with your homemade milk of magnesia.

Science=Fun! (Note: Bill Nye does not advocate poisoning people with your homemade milk of magnesia.)
Image from here.

At the party, Doris approaches Willie. She tries to flirt with him, and he rebuffs her. She explains that she didn’t have anything to do with their make-out session being interrupted, but Willie decides he’d rather poison someone than make up with the cute girl and lose his virginity.

20 Signs You're The Gretchen Weiners Of Your Friend Group

Gif from Buzzfeed. 

Willie slips Biff the milk of magnesia, and he and Screech lock the bathrooms to await the results. Biff has a satisfactory moment where he poops his pants in front of the entire party.


Of course, that’s not the end of this story. Because this isn’t an installment of the “American Pie” franchise, there are consequences to poisoning another person. Biff had spent the night in the bathroom pooping and vomiting blood. In the morning, Biff is a dead mass of blood and fecal matter, and Willie realizes that he maybe took things too far.


17 Signs You're The Karen Smith Of Your Friend Group

Gif from Buzzfeed. 

Employee dissatisfaction
Chalkie is finding that managing employees is more trouble than he expected. Our first glimpse into the Onyx this episode involves Daughter Maitland singing “Ain’t Nobody’s Business But My Own”.

(I tried to find a version similar to the show’s, but all of them were far more up tempo.  Take my word for it that Daughter Maitland’s version was slow, sultry, and bluesy.)

Chalkie’s trying very hard to deny his attraction to her. However, she, like many other prima donnas, is trying very hard to get him to tell her how awesome she sounds. He doesn’t oblige.
Dunn Purnsley is also miffed at Chalkie, though he engages in more passive aggressive behavior. He claims a sick relative to get a few days off work. Chalkie agrees.

Instead of going to someone’s sick bed, he goes to Harlem. Dr. Narcisse is less than pleased to see one of his heroin dealers at the Society for the Advancement of the Negro, etc.. He sends Dunn away.

Dunn waits for Dr. Narcisse on the street. Dr. Narcisse gives Dunn a lecture that could be part of an African American Studies course at a third-tier school. At the end of their walk, Dr. Narcisse indicates that he finds a fellow repugnant. Dunn, in an effort to get an A in the class, promptly beats the man to a bloody pulp.

Admitting you have a problem is the first step- Of course, you do have to admit you have a problem

Nucky is looking for another investor in Florida who has big pockets. His first choice is AR Rothstein.

Fear and grudging respect are a solid bases for a business relationship. Image from Boardwalk Empire Wiki.

Fear and grudging respect are a solid bases for a business relationship.
Image from Boardwalk Empire Wiki.

Rothstein and Meyer come down to the AC to listen to the pitch. Rothstein holds off on agreeing to the deal, but he does decide to play some poker at the Onyx.

Nucky is planning his future with Eli. Immediately, he needs Eli to take Rothstein’s$0.5 million to Florida. Eli has some reservations due to the moody and murderous teenager, but they both figure it’s only a few days. Nucky also indicates that he, like other old men, might move down to Florida, in which case, he’d need Eli to run the AC.

Nucky gets summoned to Rothstein’s poker table because Rothstein has a thing about not “really knowing” another man until you play cards. Nucky thinks this is stupid, but puts up with it.


They play. Nucky wins. An obnoxious anti-Semite at the table makes stupid remarks. Very frequently. Most importantly, Nucky begins to realize that Rothstein’s love of cards goes beyond eccentricity and into serious addiction.

Nucky recognizes that Rothstein needs to take care of himself before taking care of Tampa, FL, and he informs Meyer that he’s withdrawing the deal. Meyer sees an opportunity, and proposes that he and Luciano become Nucky’s partners in this deal. Nucky demands a personal tidbit before agreeing.
Meyer tells about his childhood trauma where Luciano was a young hoodlum who used to beat him up for his lunch money, but they managed to become friends and juvenile delinquents together. Somehow, Nucky finds this reassuring.

After everyone leaves, Meyer returns to deal with the obnoxious anti-Semite. He takes the man out back, explains that discrimination on the basis of religion is wrong, and then writes a beautiful op-ed piece for the New York Times.

Gif from here. 

Just kidding. Meyer beats the obnoxious anti-Semite to a bloody pulp in an alley!

Rating- B (Aside from Daughter Maitland’s brief scene, almost nothing for the ladies this week. And Margaret is still MIA. Next week’s preview heavily features the Gillian-Julia custody battle, though, so we should have a mite more estrogen!)
Gratuitous Violence- A (There weren’t a lot of specific instances, but the ones that were there really worked hard. Al Capone got to gun someone down and throw a fellow out a window. Meyer got to beat someone up. Willie committed his very first murder!)
Gratuitous Nudity- F (None! Really? Yep. None!)
Bromance Rating- A+ (Nucky misses Eddie! He’s finally learned to appreciate him! Plus, Buttons introduces a third into this love triangle. As a bonus, we get a little bit of the Meyer Lanksy/Rothstein love and the budding bromance between the Capones and Van Alden.)

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