Hard times have gotten harder for Nucky Thompson in this weeks episode of Boardwalk Empire. While the wheels are still spinning for the Commodore’s plan of reclaiming the city for himself, Nucky is now aware of not only the plan, but who is perpetrating it. This episode showed us a few new characters, but mostly brought back one from the first season who had yet to make an appearance. While Nucky was able to make his bail and walk out of jail within hours, Chalky is still stuck inside his cell awaiting to see what happens to him. The old ways of how Atlantic City was run in the first season seem to be dwindling. The Commodore has a new look, no longer the sick old man on his death bed but now a powerful presence with freshly dyed hair who is leading the charge in the battle of reclaiming the city he takes credit for building. Meanwhile Jimmy is in Chicago making deals with Lucky Luciano and Arnold Rothstein, and Margaret Schroeder shows once again why she is the most intriguing character in this series.
Atlantic city is changing. For the better or worse it is happening. The plan is in full swing now and Nucky is losing ground quickly. It’s hard to know what side to be on right now. Jimmy is with the Commodore, his natural father, but still seems to be acting slightly behind his back. I wasn’t completely certain (I’m sure it is written this way to somewhat leave the audience in the dark) but it appears that the deal Jimmy made with Lucky and his business partner Meyer Lansky, Anatol Yusef, was behind not only the back of the Commodore but Arnold Rothstein as well. I have to say I am really excited to see Yusef’s character having a lot more to do with this season. His character is a very interesting one. He seems to be on no ones side, yet does everything he can to keep everyone happy. He is always polite towards everyone even when they are nothing but disrespectful towards him. I would like to think that Meyer Lansky and Jimmy will somehow work Lucky out of the picture but currently it is a deal between the three of them.
Margaret Schroeder’s character is easily the most interesting of the entire series. This episode was all about her. She outsmarted everyone inside Nucky’s office and did so without hesitation. I don’t know what to take of the new Irish characters we were introduced to in this episode. Especially Charlie Cox’s character (who isn’t listed on IMDB yet so that’s the actor’s name, not the characters name) who seems extremely fixated on Margaret Schroeder. I have a feeling he will be returning at least one more time in this season. Margaret’s best moment, however, came at the very end of the episode when Nucky was sitting by the fire obviously in deep dis pare. Not only did she show him that she went to his office to retrieve his extremely incriminating book but also his satchel of cash. She then gave him words of encouragement that not only lifted Nucky in his moment of grief, but showed just how strong of a character she really is.
The Ward Boss Fleming, Victor Verhaeghe, seems to be the only authority in Atlantic City to still be on Nucky’s side. This of course brings up another issue because he is completely oblivious to Nucky burning his house town in season one. I’m glad to see that he did come to Nucky and tell him what was going on after being one of the few invited to the Commodore’s meeting. He clearly isn’t the brightest but his heart seems to always be in the right place, but the lingering fact of Nucky burning down his house is just hanging there waiting to ruin things. Either way, it is good to know that for now Nucky has at least one person on his side, for now.