Boardwalk Empire season 3 episode 4 recap
The season starts to pick up as seemingly every bootlegging crew in the US seems to be on the cusp of war. Thank God.
The theme of this season seems to be that the good times are quickly behind us. Competition is on the rise for a smaller supply of alcohol and the smallest slip ups can lead to colossal problems.
Exhibit A: Nucky’s attempting to get business back in order after the previous week’s fricasseed sheriff at the hands of Gyp Rosetti. But his path to getting things running smoothly involves buckets full of disdain for Owen Slater, Mickey Doyle, and especially his newly unjailed brother Eli.
The crap is also hitting the fan in Chicago. Al’s having a hard time keeping his composure, inducing his deaf son into crying while trying to teach him how to fight off bullies. When the blowback from the booze game is affecting even deaf children, you know there’s a problem.
But a beatdown doled out fellow Torio stooge Jake by a rival crew during a collection run at a bar pushes Capone over the edge. The parallels to Capone’s own defenseless son are too much for Al to handle, leading him to beat the guy responsible for the assault on Jake seemingly to death in the middle of a crowded bar. With the clarity that only a vicious murder can provide, Capone comes home and plays a song for his sleeping son on a ukelele. Capone’s voice is much sweeter than you’d expect.
Nucky and Slater find themselves working through a situation with a kid who stole booze from both Nucky and Philadelphia’s Waxy Gordon. But just when you think that Nucky is about to provide some leniency and maybe a job for the kid — whom he just so happened to give a turkey to when he was younger — Nucky shoots him in the back of the head for daring to cross him the first place. When Slater shows visible surprise, Nucky puts on his best big boy face to show that he’s not half-stepping any more, haunted dreams not withstanding.
Lucky Luciano finds himself being pulled in two directions as his crime family and bootlegging associates are both applying pressure. Luciano’s Italian associates warn him that Meyer Lansky and Arnold Rothstein will stab him in the back. No Italian food is consumed, a first in a mob conversation scene taking place in a restaurant.
Rothstein has bigger fish to fry. The Rosetti derailment of the New York alcohol shipment has left Rothstein without the booze he needs to do business. And Rothstein takes it out on Mickey Doyle, telling him there can be no more screw-ups or there will be hell to pay for Doyle and the rest of Nucky’s crew. Shockingly, Rothstein does not play pool during the phone call.
Things go back south immediately after Nucky commits the second murder of his life. Rosetti’s play for the town on Nucky’s bootlegging route turns to have been a relatively brilliant masterstroke to lead the cars into a trap. But Eli’s attempts to warn the convoy of an ambush don’t seem to pay off.
The chess pieces are moving around. Given that next week is the last episode we got a screener for, I’m assuming that fireworks may be coming up soon.
Key takeaway: I would absolutely watch a sitcom spin-off that focuses on Al Capone’s life as a father raising a deaf son and doesn’t cover any of his criminal activities. Maybe a guy working at his vault can be the equivalent of Home Improvement‘s Wilson. Just spitballin’ here.
Nucky’s Current Gangster Rating: A big leap up to 68% of a gangster. When you shoot a kid in the head after lulling him into a fall sense of confidence, it’s well-deserved.