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Boardwalk Empire Episode 9 Recap: Nucky is Dazed and Confused

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With last week's explosive conclusion in episode 8 of Boardwalk Empire, we bore witness to one of the more shocking and sad endings in this show's history. Even though Nucky is a cheating husband, he loved Billie to death. For her to die a fiery death was a little tough to take.

This week Nucky is dazed and confused from the explosion,  which took place inside Babette's Supper Club on the boardwalk.

Boardwalk Empire


Nucky suffered a concussion and lapses in and out of reality on the drop of a dime. Meanwhile, he has to somehow lead his men as they ponder the prospects of a war with Joe Masseria.

This week we see George Remus getting arrested by the Feds, Nucky asking for his "friends" to help him rid of Masseria, Margaret and Owen plotting their escape, and Gyp returning to Tabor Heights.

Nucky's Head is Spinning...Literally

Nucky is suffering from the effects of a serious concussion from the explosion at Babette's. He is so messed up that he confuses Billie for Margaret. At one point he finds the hummingbird earing Billie lost and gives it to Margaret. She knows it's not hers. In her mind, the marriage with Nucky is for all intents a joke.

This is why she and Owen are planning on leaving far away when the time comes. Which could be sooner rather than later.

Nucky is oblivious to Owen and Margaret's romance. And, he's oblivious to some other things as well - that his associates (like Rothstein) may not be so supportive of him as he thinks. More on this later on.

Nucky is so screwed up that he forgets he's talking to Chalky White during a meeting and says "when did you get so uppity?" And he keeps forgetting about the pony which he never did buy for Margaret's daughter.

All the while, Nucky is trying to put coherent thoughts together at a pivotal time for his "Boardwalk Empire." His guys know that he's hurting. He really needs bedrest, but stubbornly refuses to lay in bed until he literally collapses at the birthday party for Margaret's daughter Emily.

Richard Harrow and His Girlfriend Take Things a Bit Further

Richard asks Gillian for the night off and she reluctantly obliges. He and his girlfriend take the dance floor and give everyone something to "remember" when she gives him a big kiss on the mouth.

When Richard arrives home to a pissed-off Gillian she tells him that young Tommy saw something he should never have seen; a "John" going to town on one of the hookers. She sees the lipstick on his face and knows he lied to her about where he was going.

Look for Gillian to push things further with Richard and eventually throw him out. Fortunately for him, he will not need this residence much longer as he has a budding romance underway. It's only a matter of time before he rescues Tommy from this house of ill repute, while executing Gillian.

Gyp Rosetti is Back in Business in Tabor Heights

There's a new sherrif in Tabor Heights and I'm not talking about the one who replaced the one killed by Gyp Rosetti. Gyp makes his return to Tabor Heights and wastes little time in wielding his power.

First, he takes a baseball bat to the sherrif - who he shockingly doesn't kill. He just breaks his legs, because he still needs him for ostensible purposes. Then Gyp holds a town meeting with the citizens and offers them $200 a month for their complicity.

Joe Masseria pays a visit to Tabor Heights while the men are taking crates of booze off the boats and bringing them ashore. Masseria tries to impart some wisdom upon Gyp by stressing patience. Rosetti wants to conquer everyone too quickly, which will be his downfall.

Towards the end of the episode, Gyp gives us some dark, comic relief when he smashes a display case and steals the hat from the General's statue. Cut to the next shot where he is watching his men work as he proudly wears the general's hat on his head. 

The shot of him wearing that hat, with that 100-yard cold stare is one of those classic Gyp moments. As I stated in a previous recap, Rosetti's character is similar in some ways to Javier Bardem's portrayal of Anton Chigurh in the Coen Brothers' "No Country For Old Men."  Bobby Cannavale's portrayal of Rosetti provides us with many darkly comedic moments. And, if he doesn't get an Emmy and/or Golden Globe nomination for this role then there should be a congressional inquiry!

Nucky Organizes a Meeting With Waxy Gordon, Lucky, and Rothstein

Nucky gets the powers-to-be to meet up for an emergency meeting. Gyp and Masseria are encroaching upon his empire and he sees this as a problem which won't affect his business alone; it will affect everyone.

Nucky is shocked to see that Waxy Gordon, Mayer Lansky, and Rothstein all disagree. They are sorry for his bad luck, but Masseria and Gyp are Nucky's problem.

Nucky sees this as a complete slap in the face and he won't let them forget this.

What does this mean for the impending showdown between Nucky and Gyp? Something tells me that we will be seeing Gyp for a while - into next season. If you are curious as to what happens to Masseria, then check out his Wikipedia page. Otherwise, don't google his name if you want to be surprised!

I give this episode a solid "4." With just three episodes left I have a feeling we won't have an episode any weaker than a 4 or 5. This is shaping up to be the best season yet of Boardwalk Empire, and you can thank Bobby Cannavale for it. 

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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