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Boardwalk Empire Episode 5 Recap: Nucky and Rothstein Put a Hit on Gyp Rosetti


Last week Gyp Rosetti showed his might when he had his guys ambush Mickey's delivery trucks. What ensued was a pure bloodbath. Eli did his best to tip the drivers off about the ambush, but he couldn't stop the inevitable.

Boardwalk Empire

The episode ended with Eli meeting with Nucky and informing him about it. One could assume that he also alerted Nucky to the fact that Mickey is an absolute moron. I'm putting Mickey on my official deathwatch. If he makes it through four more episodes I would be surprised. Nucky will soon realize he is useless and put Eli in charge of the booze operation.

Episode 5 entitled "You'd Be Surprised" is appropriately titled. While we all understand what a lunatic Gyp Rosetti is, nobody could have expected the episode to open up with him and that redhead from the diner - all the while she has a belt around his neck while he engages in erotic asphyxiation. The opening scene serves as a harbinger for what portends later on. Who would have thought that Gyp is into the same stuff that did in INXS' Michael Hutchence.

In addition to that suprise we are suprised to see Van Alden's wife turning to the darkside, Rothstein seemingly turning his back on Nucky, Nucky getting Billie that coveted part in a show, Gillian Darmody looks like she is descending further into madness, and Margaret catches Nucky with his new floozie Billie Kent.

Nucky and Rothstein Both Have a Problem on Their Hands

Eli inserts himself into the discussion with Rothstein and Nucky when he explains that are no easy ways around Tabor Heights. Nucky appears annoyed but when Eli eloquently explains their dillema he thanks him.

Rothstein asks to see Nucky privately and explodes on him for disappearing in New York with his new flame (Billie). He calls out Nucky for appearing unprofessional, while failing to provide Rothstein with a product. In addition, he sees this as Nucky's problem because he has bigger fish to fry in New York, a city "which matters." Nucky counters and tells him Gyp is bad for business, period. It's both of their problems.

They cut to the outside of the office as Owen and Eli sit in the room awkwardly. As for what was said in that room between Nucky and Rothstein is anybody's guess. Will they conspire to put a hit on Gyp Rosetti? Or, will will Rothstein turn his back on Nucky?

Van Alden Needs to Get Rid of a Body

Van Alden is pretty sure his former co-workers are onto his trail. When he hears someone outside the door, a Fed stops by to leave a business card (again) with a question mark on it. He finally reveals to his wife about his past life. She said she already knew about it. Perhaps she received a visit from the Feds? It's seems likely.

Later on when Van Alden returns home he sees a man sitting there who he thinks is a fed onto his trail. When the man starts to tell Van Alden that he sold him a faulty iron, his wife jumps the gun and hits him on the head. Before Van Alden can get a word out to stop her it's too late. He then tells her that she basically knocked one of his customers over the head. Now they have a real problem. Van Alden tells her to look away as he smothers the man.

Van Alden heads over the flower shop to see O'Banion. He tells him he needs something. O'Banion asks if he needs flowers...pretty funny moment actually! No, instead he needs his help in disposing a body. This could set things up in an interesting way between Capone and O'Banion. Now that Van Alden is in debt to O'Banion he will certainly look to him to pay off that favor.

Rothstein and Lucky Agree to Deal with Gyp...or do they?

Rothstein and Lucky have a sitdown with Gyp at the diner in Tabor Heights. They all agree to let bygones be bygones and do business with one another. When Gyp tells Rothstein that he can provide booze at the same price as Nucky they shake hands on it.

It's pretty suprising to see them cut Nucky out of the equation. Or, could this just be a ploy to get closer to Rosetti so they can kill him? When a newspaper boy steps into the diner he hands over a paper to Gyp. He screws with the kid and tells him it's "yesterday's news" and is pissed. After an awkward pause he lets the kid off the hook and tells him he's just messing with him. Haven't we heard this before out of Gyp? He then tells the kid to drop the papers off at his room at the hotel.

Mayer Lansky and Benny Siegel are hanging out in the apartment when a shipment of heroin comes in. Meanwhile, Benny is struggling like hell to rub a serial number off the gun. At this point it's unclear who they are going to take out. One could assume Masserio....

Also this week....

This week was loaded with subplots for sure. Nucky sent in Chalky and Pernsley to see to it that Billie gets that role. In a hilarious scene, Eddie Cantor performs for both of them as they sit their stonefaced. When he realizes he won't be able to humor them he concedes. "Tell the son of a bitch I'll perform in that show." Eddie goes up on stage with her and asks her if she knows he Lucy Danzinger is. He says "the next one won't know who you are either." Very true. Nucky will soon grow tired of her and move onto another show girl.

Also, we bear witness to Gillian descending into madness. She refuses to believe Jimmy is dead and won't declare him so. Next week it looks like she actually sees Jimmy alive and real. Looks like she's going to officially go bats**t crazy.

Benny Asserts Himself as a Key Player When He Attempts a Hit on Gyp

It's time for Gyp to get his paper. Gyp's guys are a little confused that it's not the same kid from the diner. Turns out it's none other than Benny himself. He seemingly goes in for a suicide mission as he attempts to take out Gyp who is once again engaging in some really nasty sexual acts with that redhead.

Gyp is caught with his pants down and a belt around his neck and struggles to reach for the gun when he hears all hell breaking loose outside.

Benny blows the doorknob off with his gun and rushes into the room. He fires away but only kills the waitress, who is an innocent bystander in a bloodbath.  Gyp narrowly avoids death.

What we bear witness to is cinematic brilliance. You can see Martin Scorsese had an influence on this episode as the camera pans overhead as Gyp walks out of the room with the belt still around his neck and totally naked and covered in blood. The sound score also worked perfectly.

He observes that his goons have been taken out by one guy Benny Siegel. In reality, Benny Siegel was notorious mobster "Bugsy" Siegel and he and Mayer had a long career together. This episode we see Benny transforming from a young hoodlum into a full-fledged gangster.

I give Episode 4 a "5" rating. The episode was intense and by far the best episode of this season. We're almost at the halfway point in Boardwalk and it looks like next week Gyp will be after Nucky and his family.

Show scale:

5 - The Macallan - 12 Year

4 - Glenmorangie

3 - The Glenlivet

2 - Laphroaig

1 - Johnny Walker Black

Contact Dennis Bakay at dbakay@philly2philly.com

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