Boardwalk Empire 5×06 ‘Devil You Know’: Buying the farm

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With ‘Devil You Know’ it finally feels like we’ve taken off into the finale. There are two major developments this episode, which thankfully both made perfect sense although it was pretty tough to watch. Nucky is drunk a lot, and yes, there are some more flashbacks. The story is progressing nicely and despite my earlier concerns, I think Boardwalk will be able to wrap up its story quite well in the final two episodes.

The first major development is the death of Nelson Van Alden. Van Alden has always been a fan favorite because of Michael Shannon’s crazy eyes and great performances. I’ve always loved the way he could swing from being a religious zealot to a shady crook in two seconds flat. Anyway, he and Eli Thompson do as the fed D’Angelo said and force their way into Capone’s hotel room under the false pretense that they’re about to make a day-late drop. Al’s henchmen get very suspicious and decide to take a look inside Van Alden’s bag which definitely doesn’t have any cash in it. Just as Van Alden said in the beginning of the scene, he and Eli just weren’t prepared for this.

D’Angelo gets summoned to interrogate Van Alden and Thompson. They tell him they came to rob the place and D’Angelo convinces his

Source: HBO

Source: HBO

thugs to let them go. When Capone arrives he’s all caught up in the high of hanging out with his new Hollywood friends and is in the mood to party. He suddenly becomes suspicious when he sees Van Alden and asks to see them privately where he questions them about why they’re really there. They try to pass off the robbery story to Capone but he isn’t buying it. He points a gun in Van Alden’s face and tells him he thinks he’s a badge. Van Alden jumps up and punches Al right in the face and pins him to his desk. “I AM NELSON VAN ALDEN.” He yells. “I AM A SWORN AGENT OF THE UNITED STATES TREASURY.” He then goes on to tell Capone that Jesus will reign down judgment upon him right before D’Angelo shoots him in the head. Capone then tells D’Angelo to get Eli out of his sight, D’Angelo obliges and then throws a couple bucks his way. Who knows where Eli goes from here, but I have a feeling it’s back to Atlantic City to patch things up with Nuck.

Meanwhile Nucky is really tying one on at a saloon/brothel. He meets two sarcastic prostitutes that mock him endlessly but I don’t think it bothers him. It’s the attention he wants after being so alone. You can tell he’s still reeling from the death of Sally and just jonesing for some action. So much so that he gets into a barroom brawl with a piece of garbage and knocks the guy out cold. He recites many rhymes in his drunken stupor and tells the girls that he would like to have relations with them both. Then they knock him out and take all of his money. A fitting end to a bender. When Nucky sobers up he gets a visit from Mickey Doyle asking him if there’s going to be a showdown. It would appear that there will be.

Source: HBO

Source: HBO

During the flashback, young Nucky is now married and expecting a child. Uh oh. There’s ominous signs of a hurricane brewing that threatens to ruin the summer season. Nuck gets chewed out by a local resident who is paying the commodore for protection but is still being robbed. During one of his rounds, Nucky sees the young thief running off with more stolen goods and gives chase. Turns out the thief is young Gillian, or the future Mrs. Darmody, mother to the long dead Jimmy Darmody.

We swing back to Chalky who’s still in the same spot we left him in last time. Daughter tells him he better leave before Narcisse shows up, and he tells her he’s not going anywhere. When Narcisse enters, he doesn’t seem too disturbed by Chalky’s presence. Daughter begs him for her freedom (she’s been under his thumb for years and he made her singing career die) and Chalky requests that he put on a record that Daughter made. Narcisse tells Chalky that Luciano is forcing him to do what he says, and has no terms of his own. Then he offers Chalky a job on his squad, presumably to bury the hatchet. Chalky accepts, much to Daughter’s chagrin, and Chalky tells Daughter’s young daughter (who is likely his) to “stay away from men like me.” Narcisse then asks for Chalky’s gun, a sure sign that the ending will not be a happy one. Daughter and her daughter leave, the song “Dream a Little Dream of Me” plays and a line of men gun down Chalky in an alley. RIP my friend. You were by far my favorite character throughout the entire series. Obviously Chalky couldn’t have gone much further. He was a wanted man. No one would help him.

So what did you guys think of this episode? I loved it. I can’t wait to see the final two episodes! Tell me what you think in the comments.

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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