BOARDWALK EMPIRE Season 4 “William Wilson” Review

Boardwalk Empire season four is all about getting back at each other, but in really shitty, underhanded ways.  Time to break it down.

Agent Knox Who? – Agent Knox is just full of surprises.  First, he pretends to be a corrupt Prohibition agent, when he is really working for J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI.  Now, we discover that Knox really isn’t his name.  It’s Agent Tolliver, and apparently he’s got a ton of surprises up his sleeve because he’s working with Gaston Means to take Nucky down.  Unfortunately, his champion, Hoover, is also his greatest challenger, something viewers discover when Hoover takes the credit for all of the work Knox/Tolliver has put in trying to tie Nucky and his operation to widespread violence and mayhem.  I wonder what Tolliver will do to get back at Hoover.  Oh, Tolliver!  Everybody knows Hoover was a jackass.  We just don’t care that he’s being an asshole to you.

Willy Thompson… Ugh! – I cannot be the only one to find Willy Thompson utterly contemptible and annoying.  It’s hard to like a kid who was too much of a coward to take responsibility for accidentally poisoning a classmate, blaming an innocent roommate, and wanting to be a gangster.  Willy, if doing all of that was enough to make you drop out of college, then you are really NOT about that life… I’m just saying.  Of course, Eli found out he dropped out of school and goes postal.  Interestingly, Willy’s sister really wants to go to school and would no doubt take her studies seriously.  Eli being the jackass that he is, tells her that she only needs to learn how to sew, cook, etc.  Meanwhile, Willy is a douchebag who doesn’t appreciate his privilege.  Someone serve this tool a tall glass of karma now!

Mrs. Rowan Meets Mr. Redstone – Margaret’s office job she told Nucky about in the last episode, “The North Star“, is working in a real estate office as a secretary.  Apparently her imaginary “husband”, is also quite the talk around the office, with Margaret acting as some sort of intermediary for the man.  She enjoys quite a modicum of respect for her business acumen with her boss, despite the veiled, sexist references to women’s delicate constitutions.  Whatever.  Anyway, she’s absolutely speechless when she meets Mr. Redstone.  Why?  Because Mr. Redstone is actually Arnold Rothstein pretending to be someone else.  They recognize each other, but they keep the charade going long enough for Margaret to bounce, claiming that she’s feeling ill.  Later, Rothstein calls her to tell her that he won’t tell, if she won’t tell.  Interesting…

Eli and Nucky on the Rocks… Again? – I hate seeing these two brothers fight, but thanks to Willy being a bum, and obviously looking to Nucky for approval and a come up, that’s exactly what happens.  It’s not a physical fight, but a verbal one.  When Eli tries to beat Willy’s ass for getting mouthy and dropping out of school, Nucky holds him back, natch.  Willy leaves, and you know this is an invitation for Eli to get plastered, the lush.  He does, and when Nucky asks after the progress of finding Willy, Eli goes on a tirade about his family being his, not Nucky’s.  He hits below the belt reminding Nucky about his first wife Mabel’s death trying to give him a child.  He accuses his brother of family stealing, and brings up Nucky’s dead wife.  Did it stop there?  Negative.  He minimizes Nucky’s relationship with Marge’s kids.  He did care about those kids in his own way.  Low blow, Eli.  Nucky decides to leave telling Eli that he’ll forget it this time because he knows he downed a ton of hooch, but he won’t let it slide again.  Eli had better remember one thing.  He’s only alive because Nucky says so.

Gillian Rehabs – Gillian is in the grips of an in-house, ratchet rehab where Roy is the only one taking care of her.  She’s in a very bad way–sweating, puking, writhing, and all that horrible stuff–but Roy’s right there to help her through the worst of it all.  He’s even grown some stubble and took off the suit to get down and dirty.  I’m not sure what to think of him or his intentions yet, but he nurses her through the worst of it.  She feels terrible about him seeing her that way, but he tells her he divorced his wife the day after he met her.  I don’t know what to think.  He could love her because he’s deeply troubled himself and sees a kindred spirit.  I guess nobody wants to believe that anything good is destined to come to Gillian after all that she’s done.

Heroin Game – The black community in the town is at a town hall meeting at the church where Dunn is getting his ass handed to him by concerned citizens.  They’re mad that Chalky hasn’t been on top of things, especially with more and more people in the community falling to heroin.  Dunn pretends to give a damn, but we know he doesn’t.  He’s the one pushing it!  Dr. Narcisse is present and pretending to care.  He explains that he will be opening another center for Negro improvement there in the community in an effort to take back the streets and to be a bastion of activism.  His character showed such promise… He’s definitely a bad guy for sure.  The Deacon doesn’t seem to believe him, though.  As the Deacon is on his way to tell Chalky, Dunn shanks him in the church.  Oh, Dunn… If Chalky finds out, it’s your ass.

Chalky’s Hooked – The sexual tension between Chalky and Daughter Maitland came to a very consummated head in “The North Star”.  So they are firmly in the midst of a tawdry affair.  Chalky is so hooked by her that when Narcisse says her run at Chalk’s club is up, Chalky negotiates with Narcisse to have her stay on longer.  Narcisse obliges him easily, but it wasn’t unexpected.  We know he’s been plotting against Chalky for sometime.  We don’t know to what ends yet, but her continued employment under Chalky, and Daughter’s convincing act that she is in love with Chalky, is all part of the plan.

Daughter Maitland and Dr. Narcisse Exposed – At one point in the episode, Daughter Maitland tells Chalky that her mother was once a prostitute in a brothel when she was a child.  Her mother was killed after she attacked a trick, scarring him in the process.  Come to find out, it was Dr. Narcisse that was the attacker and he has taken care, or has been the benefactor of, Daughter Maitland since that time.  Later, in Dr. Narcisse’s room, she tends to his massive scar as he gleans intelligence about Chalky from her.  He indicates that he saved her when her mother died in some weird, bizarre way.  I’m not sure what those two are to each other just yet, but they are thick as thieves.

Al Capone Wants Revenge – Al Capone will not forget the murder of his brother Frank.  I can’t blame him.  Truth be told, I think he feels guilty that their last conversation was mean and hurtful.  He will murder that guilt away, one cop at a a time.  While one cop is chilling out, reading a paper, he walks up and puts a bullet in his head before getting away.  Johnny Torrio is not happy about this, and tells Al to chill.  Al is sure Dean O’Banion was the one who got the cops involved in the first place.  Torrio doesn’t really believe Dean had anything to do with the cops, until he’s dragged to jail with Dean in a conveniently timed raid by the fuzz the minute he signs documents taking a warehouse off of Dean’s hands.  Dean is let out with no charge within an hour while Torrio waited in a cell.  This, however, makes him mad enough to tell Al to “kill that Irish f*ck”.  Finally… I will miss his accent though.

So that’s it for this week’s recap!  Sorry I missed last week’s, but life gets hectic.  What did you think of last night’s episode?