Boardwalk Empire 5×02 ‘The Good Listener’: Booshwash

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Nucky is dabbling in both the legitimate and shady aspects of his business practices this episode. We’re also treated to a host of flashbacks from his childhood and it feels as though we are slowly closing Nucky’s book. He’s considering retirement and with the end of prohibition looming who can blame him? His popularity is dwindling quickly and the contacts he could always count on in the past have moved on.

First, let’s cover the Nucky flashback storyline. This time we see Nucky’s ill sister pass away and their alcoholic father decides to bury him in their backyard. He has Nucky dig her grave…yikes. Young Nucky tells his boss, the commodore, that his sister died and the commodore offers to pay for a proper burial for her. Furious, Nucky’s dad refuses any help and chases the commodore off his land with a shotgun. Then he orders Nucky to finish burying his sister. No wonder he has no problem burying so many of his enemies.

We see much more of the Chicago crew this episode, Capone, Eli Thompson, and Nelson Van Alden all make appearances. Capone is the new king of Chicago with tons of dough rolling in every day. He’s undoubtedly the most famous and powerful gangster in America at this point. Although he doesn’t know it, the FBI has placed an agent within his ranks to keep an eye on him and crack down on his spending habits. Eli Thompson appears to be a full-blown alcoholic and shell of his former self. He shakes and cries and it seems like he almost wishes he died last

Source: HBO

Source: HBO

season.

Van Alden and his wife are having marital issues which could be due to his homicidal tendencies. He and Eli get into a heap of trouble when the kill off some of Capone’s men during a stick up. Gillian Darmody is being held in a super creepy sanitarium where she’s a “good girl” who seems to be having a complete mental breakdown while making allies with the head nurse. Nucky’s nephew, Willie Thompson, can’t find a job as a lawyer because of his familial connection. It probably doesn’t help that during his interview he lies and tells the judge that his dad was killed by the mob crime he’s now ready to smash. Willie is trying to become the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, a major change for a boy that just committed murder last season. He also lies through his teeth to Nucky about his job interview, saying that the Chief Justice did not ask him about their connection. Why is he suddenly lying to so many people? Especially those who seem so willing to help him. I guess we’ll know once we find out if he got the job.

Back to business, Nucky is making the rounds trying to drum up investors to help him import Barcardi. The problem is, no one is buying, not the senators, gangsters, or crooks. During a meeting with the Mayflower Grain Company he meets Joe Kennedy, who is the father of JFK. Mr. Kennedy is quite keen on Nuck, and seems willing to make a deal as long as his hands don’t get too dirty. After the failed hit attempt in Cuba on his life he’s got his eye on Lucky Luciano and Lansky. He meets with the businessman he spoke with earlier to try to gather more information about the hit. The businessman, Mr. Tonino, tells him that he shouldn’t even be talking to him but that he will gladly come work for him. Again, it seems like everyone is out to get him and the atmosphere this week is bleak and mercurial.

Source: HBO

Source: HBO

Later we see Lucky and Lansky scrambling to cover up their attempt on Nucky’s life and Torrio tells them they need to finish the job. They agree, and begin plans to get rid of him. Too bad Nucky is already two steps ahead of them. The end of the episode has Tonino with a knife in his back (as well as a slashed throat) with a postcard from Havana attached to him. Luciano and Lansky look pretty worried as they should be. They’ve just made a pretty powerful enemy who won’t rest until he’s taken them out with or without him.

So, what did you guys think of the episode? I really enjoyed the even keel tone and I think it’s setting up great things for the final six episodes. Can’t wait to see what happens! Tell me in the comments below what you thought.

Sarah S. is an aspiring couch potato and currently haunts the Midwestern United States. She spends way too much time watching TV and being a pop culture junkie. When she’s not ranting about movies and TV on social media, you can probably find her with an iced latte in hand or fixing everyone’s problems. Sometimes she writes really silly stuff on Twitter and Tumblr.

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