“Bone For Tuna” sort of means “good luck” in Italian. Boardwalk Empire accomplished much in its third episode this season. I was relieved to see the ghost of Jimmy Darmody finally rearing its ugly yet refreshing young face after two episodes of ignoring his void. Also, after two episodes of action and business I was excited to have one that focused more so on emotion and relationships. Anybody else loving Gyp Rosetti’s (Bobby Cannavale) tantrums? He’s so angry yet so creative in his rage!
The episode opened with a dream sequence. We came to find that Nucky (Steve Buscemi) hasn’t been sleeping so well since murdering his protégé. Nucky sees Jimmy as his little baby self as opposed to the Michael Pitt-esque Jimmy we’re used to missing. Bacon… why did it have to be bacon? Something about the sizzling is unnerving to Nucky, who awoke with the scent stuck in his nose. He spent most of the episode attempting to get in touch with Billie Kent (Meg Steedle) a.k.a. the one we are growing to despise. If I get more enraged seeing someone harmless amidst a sea of murderous gangsters and crooks, then that’s her problem. There’s just something about fame whores, even fictional ones, in the post-Hills world of television that gets my goat.
Luckily, we have a more conniving Margaret (Kelly Macdonald) to keep us entertained. She called up Nucky to remind him of their meeting with a priest. The Bishop is in town and Nucky is supposed to be knighted and blah blah, Nucky doesn’t care in the slightest bit. It’s one thing to be angry at your ex but it’s an entirely different thing to find them incredibly annoying. “Annoying” is much harder to conquer if you ask me. There isn’t any such thing as “annoying makeup sex,” as far as I know. Good luck, you two!
More importantly, Margaret still has prenatal education on the brain. Don’t you hate it when that happens? Unfortunately for her, that awful Dr. Landau is more concerned with spending their time and money on gardening than on making sure their pregnant patients don’t die of ignorance. This is a Catholic hospital!
Gyp still has his panties in a bunch over Nucky’s snub; however, he’s still in control of the Tabor Heights gas station at this point in time. Meaning, Nucky has to play Mario to Rosetti’s Bowser. Nucky decided to cut Gyp a temporary deal. He’d give him enough alcohol to keep his head above water in New York but didn’t want to negotiate with anyone other than Rothstein in the future. After having everyone in the whole wide world turn on you over the course of a single season, you learn who your real friends are!
Nucky and Rosetti also had dinner at Babette’s to tie up lose ends and christen their newfound friendship (friendship? maybe). Gyp seemed more interested in getting to know Nucky, though. Nucky still had little Jimmy on the brain. As it turns out, Gyp has a thing for Gillian (Gretchen Mol). He invited Nucky to join him at her new whorehouse, but Nucky declined. His relationship with Gillian has quite obviously deteriorated. Buona Fortuna! Gyp needed his whore time, though.
Rosetti: “It builds up, not healthy.”
Years later on these same Jersey shores, the Real Housewives of New Jersey will follow that as a mantra. At the whorehouse, Gyp even got to hear some poetry. Wow, a prostitute who doubles as a poet is a steal.
Rosetti: “I didn’t undestand a word of that.”
Other Thug: “Doves.”
That’s about all I got from it, too! Later, Gillian made sure to beat around the bush regarding Nucky but let it slip that Eli had recently concocted a plan to kill his brother. He’s slowly collecting the dirt he needs to get in on the game. Meawhile, Richard Harrow (Jack Huston) was stocking the bar and got to chatting with one of Mickey’s delivery boys. Apparently, Mickey let it slip that he killed Manny. As we know, Richard killed Manny. Mickey was just being a jerk in an attempt to scare a customer into paying more. Richard wasn’t about to let him take credit though, as we found out later.
Also, Gillian’s whorehouse is decently decorated but a little shabby. As it turns out, Lucky (Vincent Piazza) hasn’t been investing enough cash. Speaking of Lucky, he and Meyer (Anatol Yusef) are still working on their budding heroin business and sorting out their troubles with Joe Masseria, who is getting restless regarding their disregard of his boundaries.
In Chicago, Van Alden (Michael Shannon) is still living his life of unyielding and relentless boredom as an iron salesmen and husband to his child’s nanny. Without Capone popping up in Chicago, it’s almost as though he’s off on his own mini show within a show. Only, it isn’t quite as interesting as say, the Khaleesi’s show within a show on Game of Thrones. It’s a show about salesmen who prank the new guy in the office and then invite him out for drinks to initiate him into their club. Their club looks greeeaaat… Van Alden ended up getting caught in a raid. The officer ended up recognizing him as a neighbor and let him off the hook with a fine. His life sucks, and we have to watch it.
At the church ceremony, Nucky had more flashes of little Jimmy singing in the choir and meandering around the buffet table. He even looked to Margaret for a little comfort, as he would have in the past. She wasn’t really having it. She was more concerned with trapping Dr. Landau. In a quick brush with the Bishop, Margaret pinned the idea of the clinic on the doctor. Not willing to make a scene in front of the guy in charge, Landau nodded along until the Bishop gave his blessing. “Nothing too inappropriate, though! Only give enough facts to just prevent them from horribly miscarrying.”
Margaret: “I’m afraid you’ve finally trapped me. We’ll sponsor the clinic as you wish.”
Clever girl, Margaret.
At Mickey’s distillery, Rosetti got a sendoff from Nucky in the form of a note from Owen (Charlie Cox). “Bone For Tuna.” Irish Owen obviously misspoke, but it planted a seed in Rosetti’s head, nonetheless. As he drove back up to Tabor Heights, Rosetti let it percolate. How dare Nucky Thompson wish him luck back in New York. He doesn’t need anyone’s luck to get back on top of his game. Just like that, a budding friendship went out the window in the name of tuna fish.
Mickey thought his work was done and stumbled back home drunk and with a broad. Richard, however, was waiting with a gun to make Mickey eat his words. He scared off the lady and marched Mickey straight to Nucky’s office to confess. At least, it seemed like that at first. It was actually Richard who confessed to killing Manny after scaring Mickey half to death. He did it for Angela, who was an innocent. Nucky understood, and Richard means him and his family no harm. Nucky used this as an opportunity to vent a little about Jimmy. Richard understands what it’s like having killed sixty-three goons in his time. Even for goons, you feel bad.
At the gas station, the town sheriff wished Rosetti luck on his way back up to New York, and that was that. This happened:
After lighting the man on fire, it became clear that Gyp isn’t done with Nucky Thompson.
After calling her to no avail all episode long, Nucky slipped into Billie’s empty apartment and slept on the couch. In the morning he woke up to the sound of… bacon sizzling! Is it another nightmare? Not for Nucky, but maybe for us. Billie’s back and she tried to cook.
What did you all think of the episode? How are you digging season 3? Are you liking how they’re handling the void left by Jimmy? Are you a fan of Gyp Rosetti and his wacky antics? Are you hoping for something a little more from Margaret this season? Who’s the worst? I can’t choose.