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Boardwalk Empire Episode 4 Recap: Eli Can't Save Mickey's Guys From the Ambush


Last week, Gyp kicked things up a notch when he set the Sheriff on fire in Tabor Heights. He's not going anywhere, anytime soon. Rothstein and Nucky have to react and react fast to a rapidly-changing world with Gyp Rosetti in it.

In episode 4, entitled "Blue Bell Boy," Gyp officially wages war on Rothstein and Nucky.

Also this week, we see Al Capone send a message in Chicago, Nucky and Owen hang out with Roland Smith in a creepy basement, Lucky negotiates percentages with Masserio, and Gyp and his minions planning an ambush on Mickey's men.

Nucky Has A Few More Enemies

Boardwalk Empire

Nucky can now add another enemy to his list - Gyp Rosetti, who set the sherrif of Tabor Heights on fire. Nucky promptly orders Mickey Doyle to avoid the town at all costs.

But, does Mickey listen to Nucky's orders? Absolutely not.

Now the next order of business is for Nucky to deal with Roland Smith who stole a whole bunch of booze. He has Owen accompany him as they break into his safehouse, which houses endless rows and rows of crates full of booze.

When Smith arrives to the house, they are stunned to see that the person who has been ripping them off is a young punk who looks like he's about 15 years old. When Nucky asks him how old he is he tells him "he'll turn 16 next month." That turns out to be a crock as he later admits to being 19. Who knows what to believe with this kid. This is why Nucky ultimately decides on shooting Smith in the head. The final straw for Nucky is when he pulls out a pack of cigarettes when he previously told him he doesn't smoke. Roland Smith is a liar, through and through.

Owen thought for sure (like many viewers I'm sure) that Nucky would let Roland join their operation. The three of them endured a night of hell in a dank basement while Waxy Gordon's goons emptied the upstairs of all the booze, with the help of the corrupt Feds.

However, Nucky could not let Roland Smith live. He's not to be trusted. He might have moxie, but moxie isn't a big enough reason to let someone live. Take for instance Jimmy last season. Nucky could have let him live, but would he be able to trust him? Probably not.

Joe Masseria Tells Lucky What the Terms Will Be

Mayer and Lucky have a fledgling heroin operation, which is threatened by Joe Masseria. They decide to have Lucky engage him in some discussions.

Masseria already has his mind made up before Lucky sits down at the table. He despises Lucky's Jewish business partners - Mayer and Rothstein. When Lucky says he'll give him 3% to do business on his turf, Masseria responds with a final offer of 30%. And, he will not budge.

Mayer Lansky will certainly not go for that sort of offer. Alas, we have ourselves yet another conflict brewing.

Al Unleashes His Fury and Frustration

One of the themes of this episode involves people being bullied  - namely Al's son and one of his associates. Al learns that his son is getting picked on at school for being "different" - in his case being deaf. In a scene which is a total tear jerker, he tries to teach his son to fight but cries when his son starts balling. This pain soon transpires into an explosion of rage and fury.

One of Al's guys (Jake Guzyk) is extremely obiese and he smells. Al tries to tell him about his appearance in a nice way. When Guzyk goes to collect at a Southside bar he is made fun of for his weight and blindsided by one of O'Banion's goons (Joe Miller).

 Guzyk returns and Al asks him what happened. He explains that he was blindsided and had no way to defend himself. Al takes a trip to the bar and wastes little time in confronting Miller. What we witness in the next 60 seconds if a pumelling on the level of the one Eli visited upon O'Neil with a monkey wrench last season.

After Al is done caving in Miller's skull he tells the bar patrons they can pay for his funeral. That's what he gets for picking on a man who can't defend himself. This is the same energy Al hopes to channel through his son someday. Al cannot stand bullies; they are the scourge of the Earth in his eyes.

Eli Tries to Save Mickey's Men From Certain Peril

Mickey Doyle is hellbent on having his guys go into Tabor Heights despite Nucky's orders to avoid it. Mickey boasted that "he wasn't going" and was sending his guys up there to deal with Gyp and his thugs. 

This could spell doom for Mickey. I didn't expect Mickey to make it through this season. After this piss-poor decision, he might get whacked next week for his utter disregard and stupidity.

Winters are especially bad in New Jersey, which makes travel on backroads treacherous. It's still better than the alternative - dealing with Gyp Rosetti, who has Tabor Heights under his control. Eli senses the crap will hit the fan and heads up there in the hopes of staving off a bloodbath.

Mickey sends his guys to fuel up in Tabor Heights. As they enter town, Eli tells them to turn around because it's an ambush. They ignore his screams and drive into a suicide mission.

Gyp Rosetti looks on at the carnage like a serial killer. And, what does he have to save about what just took place? He asks his cronie which waitress he thinks is hotter. Gyp tells him he is gonna have his way with that redhead.

It wouldn't suprise me if Gyp has his way with her if he has to rape her. He is that sadistic and sick.

Judging by next week's previews, all hell is about to break loose in Tabor Heights. We're only 1/3 of the way through the season so hopefully the producers don't blow their you know what too soon.

Either way, Rothstein and Nucky have a war on their hands. Season four is setting up to be a real bloodbath.

I give Episode 4 a "4" rating. Thus far it is the strongest episode of this young season. Look for things to get epic next week between Gyp and Nucky.

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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