‘Boardwalk Empire’ Review: “Spaghetti & Coffee”
After introducing us to a Jimmy-free world in last week's premiere, ‘Boardwalk Empire’ season 3 sets conflict a-brewing with its second episode of the year as Eli Thompson is finally released from prison, and Gyp Rosetti makes a move against Nucky's organization while Chalky White finds his daughter's young beau looking for her hand in marriage.
Last week’s ‘Boardwalk Empire’ premiere “Resolution” saw Nucky becoming something of a philanthropist as he hosted a New Year's party and severed several business ties, while Margaret found a new purpose at the hospital. So how does "Spaghetti & Coffee” keep things running? What will season 3 of ‘Boardwalk Empire’ bring?
Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘Boardwalk Empire’ season 3 episode, "Spaghetti & Coffee!”
We open on something of a mysterious note, as an unseen man drains a fishbowl in a bathroom sink, before returning shortly thereafter to salvage the fish in an empty scotch glass. Elsewhere, Eli Thompson is released from prison to find only Mickey sent to pick him up. Explaining that Nucky is a hard man to get to in the wake of Manny Horowitz’s shooting, he also puts forth that Eli will work for him now. Eli storms out of the car, but gets back, in when he realizes no one else would come for him.
Over in Tabor heights, Gyp Rosetti’s man serves him a coffee and asks for their next move. Gyp asks a young gas station attendant to clarify something on the map for him, nearly losing his temper when he has to be told the word for the map’s “scale,” before asking who’s in charge about town. The young lad timidly points him toward the town’s sheriff. Back at the Thompson residence, Margaret explains to her friend her unfortunate encounter at the hospital, before Mr. Slater interrupts. Collecting her weekly stipend, Margaret asks Slater to relay that Nucky must be present for a St. Gregory award to be given by the Bishop.
But where’s Nucky in all of this? Why, cavorting with his naked new lady-friend Billie Kent! Billie tends to her leaking radiator, musing about the idea of putting together a new act, while Nucky observes her razor in the bathroom. He quickly shakes off his dour mood to go meet a mysterious man, and later Mr. Rothstein, conveniently also Billie’s landlord.
Young Samuel waits at the White clubhouse for Chalky, looking to ask him a killer question. Due to graduate from medical school in two years time, he wonders if he might have Maybelle’s hand in marriage, but in his usual intimidating manner, Chalky first asks him to perform a brief exam on him. Elsewhere, Margaret meets with the woman who miscarried in the hospital lobby, asking a few brief questions about her medical care before the woman coldly rebuffs her
In a midtown hotel room, Nucky enters to find no one waiting for him, but instead a fishbowl already stuffed with cash. A voice from the next room asks him to do the same, but Nucky refuses to leave his $40,000 without at least knowing to whom its given. Eventually, the man opens his door and allows Nucky in for a brief conversation. A corrupt special investigator, he prefers to remain anonymous with his criminal clients, and refuses to divulge any further information on Harry Daugherty’s recent legal troubles. Both men watch through the peephole as George Remus arrives to leave his donation in the fishbowl, and agree that they can’t really trust one another.
Back at the hospital, Margaret pays a visit to the doctor who chided her on the hospital’s lack of prenatal care, only to find him equally rude to her. After storming out, she returns demanding some kind of actual proposal regarding what she can do to help the hospital educate women, to which the doctor agrees. Meanwhile down in Tabor Heights, Eli sits with Mickey as they await the arrival of the Sheriff’s department, who accept a bribe allowing Mickey to move several trucks through town later that night.
In the White household, Chalky enters to tell Maybelle of young Samuel’s visit, though Maybelle stresses that she isn’t interested in marrying Samuel. Instead, she’d rather live a more “Interesting” life, like the story of how Chalky first courted her mother, but Chalky presses that marrying a doctor would be good for the family. The pair are then called to dinner, but Chalky puts his foot down that she’ll marry Samuel.
Eli arrives home to find most of his children overeager to greet him, save for his eldest boy who takes a much more reserved approach, now the “man” of the household. Back in Tabor Heights, Gyp Rosetti menaces his way through a local diner, ordering some “Spaghetti & Coffee” when the waitress refuses him wine. The town sheriff then emerges from the restroom, lightly intimating that the gangsters should go back to New York.
Speaking of New York, Nucky meets with Arnold Rothstein to wax about their recent legal troubles, including that they still don’t know who killed Manny Horowitz. When Arnold presses Nucky to keep track of his own affairs, the man fumbles the date of Arnold’s shipment, having had a bit too much fun with Billie Kent. Arnold warns Nucky against enjoying her company too much, taking Nucky aback. Meanwhile in the Thompson household, Margaret asks to have one of Nucky’s suits cleaned for the Bishop’s arrival, regardless of his apparent refusal to go.
In his garage, Eli looks over an un-assembled model airplane bought as a gift for his son Will, and spends the night assembling it. In the morning, Will gets ready to head to work, but his father stops him to explain that he’ll be getting back on the horse soon, and the boy would be better served in school. That night, Nucky and Billie share drinks with one of her friends, but Nucky finds himself getting rather jealous when she excuses herself to flirt with a man at another table. That night, Eli shows up to work in Mickey’s warehouse, tersely brushing off Owen after he explains to the men their imminent shipping out.
While things get lively and raucous at Chalky’s club, Samuel sulks with Maybelle having realized that she has no interest in marrying him. When he asks a lively patron to stop bumping their table, the man pulls out a knife and slashes Samuel’s face! Purnsley quickly beats the man unconscious, and even with his own wounds Samuel pushes past Chalky to treat the injured man. Chalky looks at his stunned daughter to ask if she still finds his life more interesting than one with Samuel.
At the Tabor Heights gas station, Owen and Mickey find no one present to help them, and the pumps locked. The police finally show up, but under the control of a taunting Gyp Rosetti! Gyp denies all the men gas, and insists they won’t be making it to New York that night. Meanwhile in New York, Nucky serves Billie dinner, but protests that she not answer her phone when it rings. Instead, he wishes that the various criminal enterprises didn’t need him to make things run, and that he could stay with Billie forever. The phone rings again, but when Nucky asks who’d be calling, she responds that he promised he’d never ask.
Whoops! Turns out it was Owen trying ot get a hold of him, and with no other option, he and Mickey are forced to turn back their alcohol shipment to Atlantic city. Darn that rascally Gyp.
Well, it's not a particularly big outing for 'Boardwalk' Empire season 3, and good thing considering the Emmys were going on at the same time, but it's good to have both Eli and Chalky back, as the threat of Gyp Rosetti keeps looming large over Atlantic City. And what's become of Nucky, wanting to retreat away from his gangster life with Billie Kent? Whole lot of questions, not a lot of answers.
What about you? Did you get your glass' worth of whiskey-soaked ‘Boardwalk Empire’ action? What did you think about the episode? Join us next week for another all-new ‘Boardwalk Empire’ episode recap of “Bone for Tuna” on HBO!