BOARDWALK EMPIRE RECAP: Old Timey Porn And Shooter McGavin

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This is a Recap of Boardwalk Empire, Season 1 Episode 8, entitled “Hold Me In Paradise”. It contains spoilers, such as the spoiler that Eddie Money wrote the title to this episode.

Nucky is off to Chicago this week, and because that trip takes 48 months back then, Eli is temporarily filling in as Head Kickback Giver-Outer. As we remember from the “Previously” segment, though, no one takes Eli seriously. Also, didn’t someone get cut in the face a few episodes ago? It wasn’t in the “Previously” this week, so I have no recollection.

Anyway, no one wants to visit Eli because he grammar bad at, and the one person who visits him by accident completely patronizes his authority, bruising Eli’s fragile corrupt sheriff ego. Eli’s learning the hard way that substituting ain’t easy:

After the jump, the bullets are flyin’ and the boobs are returnin’ and a special appearance from our favorite Happy Gilmore character turned politician:

Agent Van Alden, meanwhile, is again reluctantly taking the suggestion to visit his wife that’s also been in the “Previously” segment for five weeks, and they have a grand ole time:

Mrs. Agent is anxious because she’s been unable to conceive a child and wants to have expensive fertility surgery, but her husband explains “If the Lord intended for us to have offspring, he wouldn’t have made me a robot, or he would have made me a humanoid robot capable of dispensing human sperm, but that is not the case either.” His wife is crestfallen, knowing she’ll never experience the miracle of dying during childbirth.

Nucky, meanwhile, is in Chicago for the Republican National Convention — not wearing his Lusitania pin!!! Gonna get blasted by Fox News (just an actual fox back then) — trying to figure out which Presidential Election result will most likely get him his precious roads built. Seriously dude, you and those roads? GET A ROOM.

At the convention, Nucky is introduced to a very very familiar face:

Shooter McGavin! What’re you doing at the 1920 Republican National Convention you old coot? Donating giant novelty checks to the sarsaparilla lobby?

Shooter informs Nucky of an up-and-coming candidate named Warren G. Harding who has a better chance to win than Senator Edge, because we all know that Senator Edge doesn’t become president unless Boardwalk Empire suddenly spirals into a Marvel “What If?” alternate history where Spider-Man gets killed nine times.

The only problem with Harding? Baby mama drama:

She is such an obscurepresidentf***er! After meeting with Torrio (crossover episode!) and an Ohio Judge who’s like eight feet tall, Nucky decides that he’s gonna throw his delegation behind Warren Harding, even though an old woman tells him “a fortune teller told me he’s going to die in office.” REALLY, Boardwalk Empire? I enjoyed this week’s episode but definitely could’ve done without Mrs. Onthenose Foreshadowingwoman, Esquire. Also, Her daughter’s wedding was scheduled the day of the McKinley assassination.

Back in Atlantic City, things are going so well for Eli, he has some time to kick back with four other super hetero dudes and watch some steamy hand-cranked porn:

When his raging illusion-of-movement boner subsides, Eli goes to personally pick up the big end-of-week collection at the casino, but when he walks in, it’s totally silent and a finished record is skipping in the record player, always a telltale sign that something definitely good is about to happen…

The casino’s been robbed! And Eli’s been shot right in his corruptbox! Nucky hears the news over the blower (literally guys blowing air towards one another in a chain until it gets to Chicago) and reacts swiftly by calling…Margaret? He puts on his “going to war” lipstick and makes the call:

Margaret has officially replaced Lucy as Nucky’s go-to gal, as we saw earlier in the episode when a not-so-lucid Lucy accosted her in the Ritz lobby:

Nucky trusts Margaret and only Margaret to go to his office and guard his precious business records, which may or may not include 7 billion illegal transactions. Between the casino robbery and the unsolved boardwalk boss beating (Alliteration Award!), Nucky realizes that his Jersey Shore operation looks weak and he really shouldn’t have gotten rid of the guy who tortured that family in Funny Games.

Reluctantly, Nucky comes crawling back to Jimmy:

He tells Jimmy “We’re at war, kid. Not to downplay the psychologically ruining trench warfare you just experienced for years, but, like, they’re taking money and one dude got shot in the side!” He offers Jimmy 5 percent of liquor sales by sea, 10 percent by ground, because having arbitrary different percents makes him seem all cool and businessy. Jimmy says “I’ll think about it.” Nucky says “I know I just got done explaining how I can’t follow through on my idle threats but DON’T MAKE ME WAIT EVER AGAIN! Or I’ll have you punch you.”

Nucky also tells Jimmy that he’s Irish and will always be an outsider to Torrio’s group. This claim is immediately exacerbated when Jimmy sits and watches the gangsters all playing cards and ribbing each other in Italian while whipping cartoon meatballs around and singing this. Jimmy decides “OK, HBO, I get it – I’ll think about it.”

Back in Atlantic City, Agent Van Alden has been intercepting envelopes of money that Jimmy’s been sending to Angela, and Angela is totally broke. When he receives a pamphlet from his wife about fertility surgery, Van Alden finally goes through the envelopes, collects the money, and mails it to…ANGELA? Sorry, wife and future baby Van Aldens with their teeny tiny misplaced devotions to their baby jobs!

As for you, Angela, congratulations for keeping the boob streak alive:

In the episode’s final scene, Margaret is debating whether or not to open Nucky’s secret ledger. It can’t have that much illegal stuff in it, right? And even if it did, it would be coded and covered-up so police couldn’t decipher it, not completely spelled out for all to see. I’ll just take one little peek…

Oops! It’s the most distinctly illegal ledger ever ledged. Even the margin is made out of dyed moonshine. You are now implicated, Margaret – better stand behind major actors for the rest of the season!

Boardwalk Empire Episode Thoughts? Leave them in the comments.