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Boardwalk Empire Episode 8 Recap: Nucky Steps Aside But For How Long?

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Last week on Boardwalk Empire, it appeared all hell was going to break loose when Jimmy nearly had Nucky assassinated. Turn to this week and the death of his father became the turning point in the showdown for control of Atlantic City. Episode 8 entitled "Two Boats and a Lifeguard" marks a transition in Boardwalk Empire.

Nucky's Dad Dies and He and Eli Speak

For the first time since their brutal fight and subsequent fallout, Nucky and Eli spoke - at the viewing of their father. Nucky still has an axe Nucky slingto grind with his dad referring to him as that "son of a bitch" while Eli broke down. Eli is a brutal murderer, but even he can succumb to emotions when losing a loved one. When Eli leaves Nucky falls into the same boat. No matter what, he is still losing his Dad and that strikes him at the core. Nucky breaks down and cries while staring at his father in the casket.

Nucky Steps Aside and Let's Jimmy Have Control

Following his near-death experience (a.k.a Jimmy's attempt to have him knocked off) and the loss of his father, Nucky decides it's time to hang it up. He goes into Jimmy's home and announces he's stepping away from politics. He has a beautiful "family" and it's time to let bygones be bygones...or so he says. Jimmy and Nucky wish each other luck and that opens the door for Nucky's one-time loyalist (Neary) to take over as Treasurer.

Just how long will Nucky step aside? Or, will he have someone do his bidding by proxy? We shall see.

Jimmy's Marriage is Deteriorating

The bond between Jimmy and Angela is beyond broken - it is shattered into a million pieces. She already hooked up with a lady friend last season and had her doubts. Now she knows that Jimmy is into some crooked affairs, but she doesn't realize the extent to it. They have their first "real" conversation in quite some time. They admit to each other that their marriage is a farce and Jimmy breaks the news about the ugliness of the "business."

Jimmy's life that Richard Harrow yearns for is just a show.

Jimmy Sends a Message to Doyle and Manny

Manny wants his booze from Jimmy after being strung along for weeks. Jimmy doesn't really give a bleep at this point. While he and Doyle are hanging out on a balcony at the celebration of Nucky's resignation, Jimmy is openly insulting Manny, who can't hear him above the crowd noise. He then promptly throws Doyle over the balcony, crashing into a table. It's clear that Jimmy isn't going to give Manny his money or the booze. 

This is going to get ugly quick next episode. Let's see, we have a cocky, arrogant, murderous Jimmy versus a psychotic with a knife...this isn't going to end well.

Nucky May be "Resigning" But He's Not Going Anywhere

Nucky and Chalky have a meeting just before he announces his resignation. He coerces Chalky into organizing a general strike, which is nothing but bad news for the new powers-to-be.

I give this episode a "Glenmorangie" rating. It was a very strong episode with some heart-wrenching scenes (like Nucky crying over the casket) and a big FU scene (Jimmy tossing Doyle over the balcony).

Show scale:

5 - The Macallan - 12 Year

4 - Glenmorangie

3 - The Glenlivet

2 - Laphroaig

1 - Johnny Walker Black

Photo of Jimmy and Nucky from hbo.com

Contact Dennis Bakay at dbakay@philly2philly.com

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