This is a Recap of Boardwalk Empire, Season 1, Episode 9, entitled “Belle Femme”. For those of you who don’t speak French, that means “Bell Lady,” and it refers to Al Capone. See, the spoilers already started.

The big question this week: Will Jimmy return to Atlantic– oh, there he is. Hey, Jimmy. He’s unexpectedly hanging out in Nucky’s office; he sent a Western Union, but Nucky didn’t get it, and Angela didn’t get it, and Van Alden didn’t get it, so who got it?

It was lost by Van Alden’s assistant, Agent Baby!

That guuuy. Whatta boob! At least he’s definitely not on the payroll, unless Nucky’s slipping him binkies.

In Jimmy’s former home, the portrait store affair guy Robert is assessing Margaret’s paintings and he’s like “Hmm, hmm, yes, I see” then tries to start a Ménage à trois with Margaret and Mary. He comes SO CLOSE, but there’s one tiny problem:

For the record (pun), record scratches didn’t used to be the universal sign of “shocking development” in the 20s, because records scratched so frequently; instead, when something crazy happened in a movie trailer, they’d play the sound of a record playing smoothly.

Anyway, Jimmy is back and reunited with his wife. How adorable, he’s basically raping her! Oh, now she made a turned-on sound and she’s into it. So it’s not rape? Hard to tell. In the 20s, you did have to rape nine people minimum for it to be a crime.

Meanwhile on the political front, Nucky is worried about the upcoming mayoral election because those Democrats are rolling out some catchy-ass slogans:

He decides that his current bumbling, corrupt puppet of a mayor just isn’t puppeting it anymore, and he decides to replace him:

Back in New York, Arnold Rothstein is still in the middle of his 2-month nonstop pool-a-thon for charity, and holds a meeting with Luciano and the D’Alessio Brothers, the Italian street thugs who shot Eli last episode. He recruits them to kill Nucky — even though Jimmy’s also in the process of trying to kill them — and in a ringing endorsement of their abilities, gets them all to sign expensive life insurance policies.

The D’Alessios agree, even though they’re pretty sure Rothstein is actually just a dude who plays pool intimidatingly round the clock:

Luciano still can’t resist sleeping with Jimmy’s mother, and sure enough, falls into her trap (in more ways than one right guys up top!)

However, just when Jimmy gets the drop on Luciano, Van Alden and Agent Baby burst in and arrest Jimmy, giving Luciano a temporary reprieve and allowing him to continue living the life we know he lives because of Wikipedia.

Van Alden attempts to interrogate Jimmy, and when Jimmy tells him he was at a movie during the liquor-robbery murders, Van Alden asks him to describe the plot. Jimmy’s like, “A guy falls down while piano music plays.” Van Alden’s like, “Dang, you nailed it. Good thing we have an ace up our sleeve – one completely unmurderable witness, held in a town where even the police dogs are on the payroll.”

Agent Baby manages to get Nucky an audience alone with Jimmy — waaaidddaminnute… Agent Baby couldn’t possibly be working for Nucky, could he? But his suit and hat are so large for him! Nucky tells Jimmy that he’ll be fine, but they’ll have to pull some illegal sh*t for him to get out. You don’t say? You, the people who have to pull illegal sh*t to get your water glasses refilled? More like, BoardSHOCK Empire!

Soon enough, Agent Baby is driving the lone witness to, I don’t know, the witness house or something, it doesn’t matter because he’s obviously not gonna get there. The Agent stops the car to pee, and the witness stares off into the ocean. At this point, I was 95% certain that witness dude was gonna get shot through the head from Jimmy’s unseen sniper friend, but, lo and behold, Agent Baby isn’t afraid to change his own diapers:

He kills the witness, then smashes his own face with a rock to make the situation look like self-defense:

Back in Atlantic City, Madame Frenchlady’s clothing shop is in danger of closing, and she begs Margaret, who she’s always loved from the getgo, to talk to Nucky and help her out. Margaret’s like, “Hang on a sec, lemmie check the dumb Photoshops from Dan Hopper’s past Recaps…”

“Aha! You DID used to hate me!” Margaret eventually does decide to help her former employee, motivated more by the discovery of her new powers than genuine altruism. She tries once to ask Nucky for help but Nucky denies her, but then later, Nucky gets her to agree to help him charm Edward Bader into running for mayor, and when she changes her tactic (aaaaacting term!) and says she wants Nucky to save the shop so she can look more beautiful, Nucky agrees. Bill Engvall then runs in and yells “Women totally train us, right men?”

Nucky and Margaret have dinner with the Baders — while Margaret wears the $450 dress she eyed at Belle Femme, which was 800 times the president’s annual salary back then — and Nucky appears to successfully convince Edward to run for mayor. All’s well that ends well.

OH NO – look out Nucky, a Rockwell painting is waiting to ambush you:

Looks like Steve Buscemi is gonna die and the series is gonna revolve entirely around Eli’s sidekick… but wait! German servant to the rescue!

Oh whew! The only person who got shot was that innocent bystander, not the ultra-corrupt murder puppeteer. Plus she even spilled blood all over Margaret’s ill-gotten dress, thus completing the symbolism. And organized crime lived HAPPILY EVER AFTER.

Boardwalk Empire Episode 9 thoughts? Leave ‘em in the comments.

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