“The Milkmaid’s Lot” was perhaps the best full episode Boardwalk Empire has put up this season! Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi) found himself dealing with a concussion post-explosion. Crazy Nucky is more fun than season one silly Nucky, if you ask me. Who needs to hire Big Bird or a Power Ranger for a kid’s birthday when you have Crazy Uncle Nucky to work the crowd! In other news, Richard Harrow’s (Jack Huston) got a gal!
The episode opened with Nucky being treated by a doctor as the a crew worked to clean all of that Babette’s rubbish and ruin off of the boardwalk. Right off the bat, Nucky’s memory appeared to be out of whack. I knew we’d be in for a fun ride. “Nucky out for blood” is always a hoot but “Nucky out for blood and semi-insane” was bound to be a wild ride.
Margaret (Kelly Macdonald), the kids, and Regina the Queen moved into the Ritz suite, as well. That bedroom looked like a bomb had just gone off!.. too soon? R.I.P. Billie! Nucky insisted on continuing to throw Emily’s birthday party. To his dismay, Margaret decided a pony wasn’t a good idea for people holed up in a hotel suite. It’s one thing if Rosetti (Bobby Cannavale) wants to blow up Nucky and everyone he loves. It’s another thing to stick them with his dog! In any case, the show must go on! Thus, Emily would have to have her birthday party at the Ritz Carlton. Travesty!
Gyp Rosetti rolled back into Tabor Heights this week. I was happy to see the sheriff make good on his promise to Eli (Sheah Whigham) regarding informing him when Gyp came back to New Jersey. Like a bat out of hell, the sherrif ran to make a call, but Gyp clipped his wings just before he could. Ouch! Beaten with a nightstick. Ironic?
Chalkie (Michael Kenneth Williams) White was back for a hot minute, as Nucky began rallying his troops. The plan; to create a legion of gangster superfriends to defeat Gyp Rosetti and his master, Joe Masseria. Taking down Masseria would be very tough, argued Owen (Charlie Cox). That makes less time for him to sleep with your wife, Nucky. A couple of awkward black jokes from wacky Nucky and a fake gas leak explanation later, Nucky demanded the cavalry be called in; Rothstein (Michael Stuhlbarg), Waxy Gordon… the whole lot! Nucky went bananas when Rosetti, or the Gypsy as Teddy referred to him, called him personally to announce his return by reading the article covering the death of starlet Billie Kent. Smashed windows, spilled scotch, screaming…
Chalkie: “Catch a hold of yourself!”
And just like that, Nucky shut up.
Gyp Rosetti is cancelling Bible Camp, everyone. Maybe in his spare time he can just run that thing! That townswoman looked so disappointed. $200 a month to keep quiet was what Gyp offered the townsfolk of Tabor Heights. No Bible Camp, though.
Gillian (Gretchen Mol) sat scribbling away while little Tommy colored for a particularly nice whore. Richard asked Gillian for the night off so he could attend a “veteran’s meeting” as though he’d been a student asking a teacher to go pee. In his defense, Gillian carries herself like a scary elementary school teacher and apparently, some folks take her seriously. I had to agree with Gillian on one thing, though. Josephine needed to cut the crap with the awful singing.
Richard: “The rhinoceros is waiting for the train.”
That was Richard’s stellar explanation of Tommy’s drawing.
Richard was actually gearing up for what looked like a veteran’s prom! Corsage and all, his date, Julia, showed up ready to groove. Almost as soon as the pair walked into the dance, though, some cretin took a little dig at Harrow for having a hot date. Richard Harrow is sharp as hell, dude! Another fool made a comment about how Richard just had to show them all up on the dance floor. What do you know? He did! Richard Harrow can really bust a move! His date was impressed enough to plant a kiss on the lips in front of everyone. Wow, a kiss on the prom dance floor is basically sex!
Oh no! Emily’s party was a total bust. Everything looked nice enough, but the kids got anxious waiting for Uncle Nucky to show up for cake. When is she going to open presents? Nobody thought to hire a clown. Even a mime would have made a difference. They couldn’t even bother to get her a real pony. Nucky eventually showed up and made everything awkward by screaming the “Happy Birthday” song and bringing up everyone from “the Gypsy” to his dead wife before decapitating Emily’s birthday cake and slopping it down on her plate like a severed head.
Nucky: “It’s all make believe. No one got hurt. It was a gas leak!”
All was made better by Margaret in that hat. Nucky passed out.
In the next room over, Owen and Margaret chatted. Is this real business? Ask the guy buried in a coal mine somewhere. Their whole world surrounds alcohol. Owen’s plan is to take a year or two to earn good money before leaving for good. He, however, offers Margaret the opportunity to run away with him whenever she’d like. Run, far, far away.
Nucky woke up to Margaret. What an awful idea a pony in a hotel would be! Have you found your lost humming bird earring?.. awkward. All Margaret needed was to be confused for Lucy Danziger after that one. Bring back Paz De La Huerta! The episode continuously cut to quick flashback scenes of Billie Kent a second before the flash. Everything was very glamorized. Whether he knew she was Margaret or not, Nucky asked her to stay when Eli and Owen came in to talk business. The gangsters were on their way! Margaret heard everything from part of the plan to a vivid imagining of Nucky wearing Rosetti’s guts like a necktie. Yikes.
Meanwhile, Rosetti and Joe Masseria watched a shipment roll in on the beach. “These things take time,” waxed Joe. Gyp’s problems are not his problems. Maybe one day Gyp Rosetti would grow from a rough rock to a smooth stone. Until then, he’s still like a big giant baby in a suit, playing gangster, and that’s why he’s fun to watch.
Little Tommy wandered into the ladies’ quarters looking for his buddy, the hooker. Why did those mean prostitutes send Tommy into her bedroom while she was working? You give whores a bad name! When Harrow arrived home from his date, Gillian blamed him for the mishap. Tommy just wants to go home. What gave Richard away? A little smudge of lipstick left on his mask. *smirk*
Before we get to the meeting, it’s also important to note that Remus was nearly arrested this week as Randolph watched on. Just prior to it, though, he blabbed that he had receipts detailing his transactions that made Esther particularly interested.
Arnold Rothstein requires milk and cake upon arrival, another baby in a suit. Nucky ran to puke and discovered Billie’s missing earring. Something to remember her by, I guess. As the guests arrived group by group, Owen organized things while Margaret tended to Nucky. Mistaking her for Billie again, he gave her back “her” earring. When she denied being the owner, Nucky realized what’d been going on. He opened up to Margaret about his guilt surrounding her death. Quite contrary to Owen’s idea of how the business works, Nucky claimed you could never get out. He can do it to them or they can do it to him. There is no walking away! Margaret snapped from Mrs. Schroeder to Mrs. Thompson to give Nucky the pep talk he needed. “Throw on your jacket, and convince those guys!” Not exactly, but you get the point. Anyway, I thought this solidified that Margaret would stay, but it only scared her into gearing up to leave with Owen A.S.A.P.
The meeting didn’t go so well. Nucky preached about opportunities and hope and partnerships only to have it thrown in his face. So, this isn’t’ going to be like the Justice League for Gangsters? They don’t want to make a deal with Nucky, but they “wish him luck.” Uh oh, Enoch.
Down in Tabor Heights, Rosetti stole a colonial hat off of a mannequin of a general. In Gyp’s eyes, he just sped up the process of becoming one himself.
What did you all think of the episode? Are you impressed with the way the episode is shaping up now? Did you enjoy crazy Nucky? Do you miss Billie Kent? How will Nucky get out of this one? Are you happy for Richard Harrow? Will Margaret escape the Boardwalk Empire?
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