Boardwalk Empire Season 2 Premiere Recap: Nuck Hunt


It’s Boardwalk Empire Season 2 time! This week’s episode: “21”. Is this a Mario Brothers-esque allusion to “Season 2, Episode 1,” or is this week’s episode a really far in advance prequel to that Kevin Spacey blackjack movie?

After all the ultragraphic violence and sex and twists and turns and gangsters and “Hey I’m Al Capone” and old timey music and cheating and backstabbing and facestabbing and conniving and liquor and surprise square-agent babies in Season 1, how is Terence Winter gonna top it in Season 2?

Wait, did I DVR the right show? BRIEF nudity? Ahhh, I must’ve mistakenly taped an episode of Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales For Every Child. It’s the Princess and the Pea, but the pea is Asian. Well, we’re here, might as well recap it.

Lots of GUNS and BOOBS and PHOTOSHOPPED WORD BALLOONS after the jump:

Season 2 of Boardwalk Empire kicks off with a really awesome old timey song called “After You Get What You Want, You Don’t Want It”, which I believe is actually about ordering gnocchi in a restaurant, and it provides a welcome backdrop to the Season 2 “Getting Us Up To Speed” montage:

Nucky is still livin’ large and woefully miscast.

Jimmy is now married and living with his family in a nice new beachfront home:

The Commodore, now no longer poisoned, is brushing up on his trident fencing (hopefully foreshadowing!)

– And Nucky’s brother Eli is still a few giggle waters short of a brewhaha:

Nucky and Margaret are now living together, even though we just saw Nucky partying all night (with instaboobs) in the opening montage. Nucky is already struggling with fatherhood — he can control an entire gang of mobsters but he can’t control…bath time! Boardwalk Dadpire, Wednesdays on TLC — and Margaret learns from her son’s nun that he was caught playing with matches in school.

Nucky claims to have no idea how their kid became obsessed with fire, even though he knows exactly how their kid became obsessed with fire. Literally just as I said (out loud to no one) “What’s Nucky gonna do, pay him off?”, Nucky literally pays off Margaret’s son to be good. Man – Nucky Thompson’s character is nothing if not consistent.

In the show’s first big ultraviolent action scene, Chalky White, Nucky’s newly appointed VP of Booze Illegalling, is stacking his inventory when there’s suddenly a knock at the door. Proooobably just some random passer-by with his windpipe intact…

The Klan retaliates against Chalky and his gang for torturing their leader, unloading a gatling gun into the facility and killing four of Chalky’s men and wounding six others. Nucky and Eli convene with Chalky at his home, and after being entertained by the piano stylings of Chalky’s son — “boy am I proud of my son, SCOTT JOPLIN (White)…” — Nucky and Eli attempt to reassure Chalky that they’ll handle the Klan, but to no avail. Chalky tells the men, “I’m out.” Nucky will have to turn his liquor business over to one of those other kids from The Wire who kept pretending to be Omar using that stick as a shotgun.

Nucky yells at Eli for failing to control the Klan, but Eli, it turns out, was failing to control the Klan like a FOX, because he’s totally part of The Commodore and Jimmy’s new Team Overthrow Nucky. As they plan their next move, The Commodore re-iterates that he can handle Nucky and tells Jimmy not to worry about him, because bears:

Eli offers some helpful advice as well:

Agent Van Alden, who we last saw reaping what he sewed into Lucy’s uterus, is welcoming his UltraChristian wife into the Drunken Hooker capital of the world for an assuredly entertaining weekend:

Mrs. Van Alden is shocked first by a mock “What Would Jesus Do If He Came To Atlantic City” pamphlet (outlining the town’s speakeasies and whorehouses, i.e., every building except part of one taffy shoppe), then by a restaurant waiter blatantly offering the couple alcohol to celebrate their anniversary. Mrs. Van Alden tells her husband, “shouldn’t you arrest that man?”, but Nelson doesn’t have the energy to say “I kinda stopped caring when I drowned Agent Baby then got drunk and f***ed Lucy last season, but yeah, I guess I could.”

Van Alden excuses himself for a second, comes back, finishes the meal, then asks the waiter a verrrry suspicious question…

Van Alden’s men storm the restaurant, confiscate the cash from the register and an entire room of liquor, and arrest the waiter (the mastermind of the whole bootlegging operation). Van Alden commends, “Nice work, men – a textbook arbitrary raid to prolong our illusion of usefulness in front of my wife.”

Van Alden’s night ends — after a legitimately funny cut showing a hotel bed rocking that turned out to be Nelson pointing out a busted spring — with his wife commending him but admitting she could never live in Ocean City. They proceed make sweet, sweet extremely missionary position love in the hotel bed.

Why a hotel and not Nelson’s home? Because LUCY IS SLEEPING AT NELSON’S HOME AND WALKING AROUND VERY PREGNANT WITH HER VAGINA OUT. And for good measure, Nelson pocketed the money he took from the restaurant’s cash register and is using it to pay off Lucy:

FORMULA: [Time Until Paz De La Huerta Is Naked On Screen] = [Time Paz De La Huerta Is First On Screen] + 0

Meanwhile Nucky, after giving some token rhetoric to both white and black congregations regarding the Klan/Chalky incident (aka Whites v White), attends the funeral for the deceased Klansman and runs into Jimmy. Nucky is suspicious of Jimmy’s behavior of late, including Jimmy’s decision to get married without telling Nucky, and he less and less subtlely warns Jimmy about not trusting The Commodore:

Jimmy admits nothing, but returns home and opens Nucky’s belated wedding gift: A pile of cash and a ridiculously nostalgic sculpture of a father fishing with a son, just like Nucky and Jimmy used to do, and not entirely unlike the failed Iowa / Iowa State corn trophy. Jimmy stashes the sculpture away in his closet for both symbolic and practical purposes (it is a very large sculpture).

The episode concludes with Nucky being called to his office for an emergency and being arrested for election fraud, one of the eighty crimes he committed that minute:

So, Nucky’s getting arrested, the Jimmy insurrection is still a go, Eli is doubting his allegiance with both Nucky and The Commodore, and Al Capone has to inform Nucky that Torrio won’t be doing business with him anymore. It was definitely a very “set things up” Season Premiere (the giant bloody gunfight nonwithstanding), but it was still an extremely watchable one, and I’m interested to see where this season goes now that the initial “ohh, that’s THAT gangster that I’ve heard of!” novelty has worn off. Maybe two hooker face slashes this season?

Also, Harrow is collecting a scrapbook of ideal families, and Jimmy’s mom used to kiss his penis when he was a baby. Indeed, Boardwalk Empire is BACK and BABY PENISER THAN EVER. And it was already really baby penisey last season. WATCH OUT, THAT EMMY CATEGORY.

Boardwalk Empire premiere thoughts? Are people keeping up with this show (meaning, am I wasting my time with these recaps? Well, I know I am, just trying to figure out exactly how much.) Throw your jargon in Ye Olde Comments Sectionnne.

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