Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Season 4/Episode 4 "All In"

Hey folks!  El Guapo here with another edition of Infinite Wisdom on Boardwalk Empire and I'm here to provide another much needed recap to one of the best shows on the air.  With Breaking Bad now ended I have more time to focus on my favorite TV show.  It's not just my favorite show because of the compelling characters, its historical connection and awesome plot lines.  I have a connection with this show because I "discovered" and recognized it's potential at the ground floor.  Unlike shows like Breaking Bad, Mad Men or Game of Thrones, shows that were recommended to me by friends mid series, I started watching Boardwalk the day of the premiere.  Furthermore I was able to then enlighten other people about this amazing new show I had just discovered.  I told a few of my best friends about it who have now also fallen in love with this show.  I got my mother into Boardwalk and she was immediately drawn to Jimmy Darmody.  (Hey Ma!)  I'm even starting to get my girl into this show.  (Sorry ladies!  Meat's off the rack.)  I've been able to make a little community with this series.  Boardwalk Empire may not have the recognition that shows like Breaking Bad, The Sopranos and The Wire have but that's just because I haven't educated everyone just yet.

Before we get started with the recap and everything let me make a few announcements regarding the structure of the blog.  Last week I tried something new with the "Power Rankings" and it didn't really work.  I took a suggestion seeing if I could use the "Power Rankings" to talk about historical figures and see how they rise and fall throughout the series.  It was a good idea, the problem was that not enough historical figures were on air in the last episode to make a whole "Power Ranking" segment.  I suspect that could happen again so I've decided to switch back to the old format.  However I did like the idea of including historical figures and historical events.  Considering how the historical aspect of the show is one of my favorite things about the series I figured I could spend some time speaking on the subject.  I've decided to add a new segment to the blog called "Historical Fun Facts" that will be fit in between the "Rankings" and the "Final Thoughts."  In this new segment I will rattle off some facts rooted in history that may be interesting to a Boardwalk fan.  It does require a little extra work on my end but you guys are worth it.  (Ungrateful bastards!)  If you guys have gems of knowledge to add please feel free to share them in the comment section.  So without further delay, let's do this!

The episode starts off with one of Capone's men collecting money for him.  This guy is pretty fat and is struggling to get to the top of the stairs.  (Silly fatty!)  Out of breathe when he reaches the top of the stairs he falls back down the steps.  Still in Chicago, Nelson Van Alden/George Mueller is still linked up with Dean O' Banion in the flower shop.  Dean is your typical prankster gangster type making Nelson load up flower pots so Dean can pull a prank on one of his men using a shotgun.  Dean asks Nelson to deliver flowers to the Capones who are currently with one of their injured men, the fatty mentioned at the beginning of this paragraph.  Nelson is reluctant because the last time he was with Capone he got whacked in the head, but Dean isn't going to take "no" for an answer.  Van Alden does what he's told and goes to visit Al and Frank Capone at the hospital to deliver the flowers.  Since their guy can't go on the money run anymore Al and Frank decide to go on the money run themselves, and they want to bring poor little Nelson along.  Nelson tries to get out of going with the Capones claiming that he can't keep Dean waiting, but Frank and Al can be persuasive.  (Everybody picks on Nelson.)  Al tends to intimidate while Frank resorts to using charm.  Van Nelson and the Capones go on a series of money collections before finding one of Dean's new speakeasies.  Dean likes to disguise his speakeasies as bread trucks but Al and Frank know better.  They decide to jack the "bread truck" drag Nelson into it.  Nelson rides in the newly stolen "bread truck" with Al Capone where Al snorts a little coke and tells Nelson he has to live a little, and Nelson claims that he indeed has a sense of humor.  (I saw a little twinkle in his eye.)  Al and Nelson talk about how with Dean, Nelson gets payed well but he doesn't feel respected.  In response Al offers Nelson a better opportunity in Cicero with him and his brother.   But then they hear a noise in the cargo.  Frank brings out the Tommy gun to give to Al and Nelson opens the door to reveal one of Dean's men.  Dean's man recognizes Nelson as George Mueller and the Capones allow the poor fella a 10 second running head start.  Frank gives Van Alden his handgun to gun him down, and although hesitant at first, fires at the slow man until his gun jams.  Al then finishes the guy with his Tommy and a smile.

Up in Harlem Dunn Purnsley goes to visit Dr. Narcisse in his office to give him his cut of the heroin money.  Dr. Narcisse is quite revolted at the fact that Dunn would come to a place of such prestige to present him with dirty drug money.  Narcisse politely asks Dunn to leave his office.  (It wasn't that polite.)  However, Dunn isn't finished in Harlem just like that.  He waits for the Trinidadian outside and asks for a word with him.  The two walk as Dr. Narcisse lectures Dunn Purnsley about the importance of preserving the race and tells him that Chalky White's time is over.  The scene ends with Dunn beating up this guy on the stoop.  On Willy Thompson's side of the fence things aren't looking too good for him.  He is still upset about his peers embarrassing him at that party, especially that guy Henry.  (That asshole.)  He gets a little pep talk from his dad telling him to stick to his studies and to stay out of trouble.  Well, sorry Daddy, Willy wants revenge.  Willy decides to put some shit in Henry's drink at the party to make him have extreme bowel movements.  At first this plan was solid because it makes Henry shit himself which is super embarrassing.  But then shit goes south (no pun intended) when in the morning Willy finds out that he killed Henry.  (Bummer.)  Meanwhile Warren Knox is in a meeting with J. Edgar and the rest of the bureau with a presentation on the bootlegging business in AC which all ties back in with Nucky.  Knox's plan is to find Nuck's weakest link and use him to bring Nucky down.  Cut to the very lovable and newly promoted Eddie Kessler.  Nucky has sent him on a job to deliver money to Bottles Capone, the other Capone brother.  (He has one job to do.  One!)  Eddie befriends Bottles and brags about his new promotion and his contribution in the Nucky/Gyp Rosetti wars.  The two spend the night drinking and having fun before sending off Bottles back to Chicago in the morning.

Finally, Nucky is ready to go forth his plan to buy land in Florida.  Rum will be shipped up north to Atlantic City and other northern cities and whisky will be shipped south to Tampa.  Now all Nucky needs is a business partner.  Predictably he calls upon his old friend Arnold Rothstein who has done business with Nucky before.  Arnold brings along his trusted business partner/pupil Meyer Lansky.  Arnold Rothstein is hesitant to enter a deal with Nucky because Nucky attempted to screw him over in a previous deal in season 3.  (You guys remember.)  Arnold tells Nucky that he will think about it over a game of poker and that he would like Nucky to join him, claiming that you never really know a man until you play poker with him.  Nucky does join him and the two play cards in attempt to really get to know each other.  One man playing with the gentlemen proceeds to disrespect Rothstein.  Meyer is offended but Rothstein doesn't allow him to make a big deal out of it.  During this long game of poker Nucky wins a lot of money from Rothstein.  In an attempt to save face Rothstein continues to gamble in hopes of getting his money back.  Finally Meyer makes Rothstein realize that he is only embarrassing himself and Rothstein calls it a night.  Afterward, Meyer meets with Nucky and Nucky lets him know that he is cutting Rothstein out of the deal.  Through the poker game Nucky learned that Rothstein has a need to win that is potentially a bad quality in a business partner.  Meyer takes this opportunity to take the deal without Rothstein's involvement.  Later Meyer Lansky meets the guy who was disrespecting AR outside in the alley and shows him some of that Yiddish fury.  The final scene of the episode is Eddie Kessler dropping off Bottles Capone at the train station.  After Eddie sees him off he is apprehended by Warren Knox and another agent.

Power Rankings

1. Meyer Lansky
Finally stepping out of his mentor’s shadow in a big way, Lansky is showing signs of his future business success by entering this business deal with Nucky.  The kids are all grown up.

2. Nucky Thompson
He didn't get the partner he was seeking but that might have been a good thing.  His new deal with Lansky could benefit him in a way that a deal with Rothstein couldn't.

3. Warren Knox
It looks like Agent Knox has a solid plan put together to take down Nucky Thompson.  And now he has Eddie Kessler in his custody.  Problem is, I don’t think Eddie will talk.  But who knows.

4. Dr. Valentin Narcisse
He has Dunn Purnsley wrapped around his finger and Dunn is ready to jump ship.  We still don't know what he has planned but it should be good.

5. Nelson Van Alden/George Mueller
He is caught right in the middle of this rivalry between Al Capone and Dean O' Banion.  This is actually a good thing because all Nelson has to do is pick the side with the better opportunity.

Historical Fun Facts
In the scene where Warren Knox is explaining the different cities and their respective kingpin bootleggers, Warren mentions a few familiar names such as Arnold Rothstein, Waxy Gordon and of course Nucky Thompson.  Another name that was mentioned is probably unfamiliar and that is King Solomon.  Charles "King" Solomon was a Jewish American bootlegger based out of Boston.  He was also heavily involved in illegal gambling, cocaine and other narcotics.  He was one of the "Big Seven" who helped influence the National Crime Syndicate in 1932, a group that consisted of Meyer Lansky, Lucky Luciano and Nucky Johnson, the historical figure Nucky Thompson is based on.  Solomon was murdered in 1933 by a rival gang in he men's room.

Final Thoughts
First of all I just want to continue to express my glee over the absence of Margaret thus far.  I'm still not sure how Willy plays into the rest of the story line but I think we will find out next episode.  Hopefully we get another Mickey Doyle sighting.  I'm not that excited about Dunn Purnsely's involvement in this season because at this point I think he's just a small piece of what Dr. Narcisse has planned.  As far as Eddie Kessler goes, I don't think he will work with Warren but I think Warren is going to catch Nucky Thompson with someone else later on in the season, maybe it involves Margaret.  (No!)  I'm glad we are going to get some Meyer Lansky this season, I'm just sad there hasn't been much Lucky Luciano.  I thought it was great to see this different side of Lansky, a violent side.  We are so used to seeing this composed Meyer Lansky who is constantly holding Luciano back from a fight and is similar to Arnold Rothstein.  Now we see this Meyer Lansky who is separating himself from Rothstein.  My favorite story line this season however, is the Capone and O' Banion rivalry in Chicago.  I think this season is going to focus on the war these two powerhouses had and it's amazing to have Nelson Van Alden caught right in the middle of it.

We are finished with episode four and I'll be back next next week for (you guessed it) episode five.  Please leave any comments, suggestions, questions or compliments in the comment section below.  If you are interested in reading my other work check that out in my main blog Infinite Wisdom From El Guapo's Brain.  You can find that link on your right.  If you've missed any recaps you can also check them out.  Follow me on Twitter @ELGUAPO3 on Instagram at CAPTAINCRUNCHTIME and Tumblr at sirelguapo.tumblr.com.  Have a wonderful week and stay Guapo out there!

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