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'Boardwalk Empire' Season 5 Episode 5 Recap: 'King of Norway'


Al Capone is feeling the heat, and so does Mueller and Eli


Al, feeling it’s only a matter of time before he is busted for tax evasion, wants to move the location of his current operation. Agent D’Angelo, who is very close to nailing Al, tells him he should hold off.


Meanwhile, Eli’s wife, June, arrives from Atlantic City with a surprise: she’s seven months pregnant. Upon seeing Eli, she becomes worried about his appearance, but Eli tells her not to worry, because he’s making his way up in Al’s organization and he plans to make his way back to Atlantic City, despite leaving under the circumstances he did several years before.


Mueller invites Eli and his wife over to his house for dinner. Mueller discusses with Eli his worries regarding almost getting identified by Al. Mueller thinks Eli, who knows Mueller from their Atlantic City days, would fold if Al and the gang ever probed him about who Mueller really is. Photo: www.mstarz.com


While eating dinner, Mueller’s wife Sigrid, who is eternally miserable, belittles Mueller at the table, blaming him for faulty house repairs. Shen then insinuates that another man such as Eli should stop by the house to try and fix what Mueller can’t. With things obviously getting tense, everyone starts cleaning up. When Eli brings some plates into the kitchen, he sees a picture on the wall that jars his memory; the memory of him having sex with Sigrid in the kitchen during one of his drunken blackouts. Sigrid then proceeds to spill the beans on the whole affair. Before anybody can collect their thoughts on what has just happened, Agent D’Angelo interrupts the fracas and takes Mueller and Eli into custody.


While in the interrogation room, Eli claims the affair was an accident. When Eli concedes to Mueller what a shipwreck his life is, Mueller replies with arguably the best one-liner in the history of Boardwalk Empire: “Well, land ho.” When D’Angelo enters the room, he reveals that he knows Mueller’s real name is Nelson Van Alden, and that he knows of his actions which resulted in leaving Atlantic City. D’Angelo also implies that Eli murdered Agent Knox (which he did), and that the only way both of them can get off the hook is if they help him get Al’s ledger book. D’Angelo already has the key to the file room and a safe combination. All they have to do is not screw it up.



Margaret partially pays off a debt, while Gillian makes a last ditch attempt at freedom


Margaret only pays off a quarter of the $110,000 Mrs. Rothstein requested. When Mrs. Rothstein’s lawyer asks to verify the funds because they from New Jersey, Margaret threatens to take the check. Mrs. Rothstein decides to just take the money and leaves. Margaret then asks the lawyer to set up a dummy account, so Nucky can short the stock of Mayflower Grain Corp. Nucky was rather insulted by Mr. Kennedy’s demeaning nature. As we all know with Nucky, you can expect payback if he is wronged, and this is how he plans to screw over Mr. Kennedy.


Meanwhile, Gillian makes an attempt to get herself out of the “home” she is staying in. When compared to the other patients, Gillian actually seems completely sane. She pleads her case with the doctor of the facility, claiming “temporary insanity” as the reason she murdered Roger. However, the doctor refutes these claims, saying that there is no such thing. Something tells me Gillian will never leave where she is.



Chalky visits Nucky


Chalky returns to his old stomping grounds to see Nucky, who is generally concerned about his well being. Nucky tells Chalky that his family moved to St. Louis and that he has no idea regarding Narcisse’s whereabouts. Knowing he is on the run, Nucky asks Chalky to stay at the club while he goes to New York. While Nucky’s away, a U.S. Marshall asks Mickey Doyle if he has seen Chalky. Mickey tells him he’s hiding in the back, but purposely misleads him, as the man Mickey claims is Chalky is somebody else.


Chalky decides to take a trip to New York to visit Narcisse’s brothel. Chalky snopes around, and instead of finding Narcisse, he finds Daughter, who is tending to a young child.




An older Nucky is now a deputy trying to make his way up the ladder in Atlantic City. What that ladder is, however, is something Nucky isn’t sure of just yet. Neither is the father of his intended fiancee, Mabel, who makes it very clear he is not crazy about Nucky. However, the questions remains as to whether he’s very protective of his daughter, or whether he sees something underhanded or deceiving in Nucky that Nucky doesn’t see yet in himself?


Becoming frustrated in not being able to advance in his career and not able to win the approval of Mabel’s father, Nucky asks Sheriff Lindsay to include him in the private matters usually involving the Commodore. Lindsey scoff at Nucky’s suggestion, telling him that dealings between himself and the Commodore just don’t happen the way Nucky thinks. Nucky later patrols the beach and discovers the dead body of the man whose hat Nucky once returned. Nucky rather easily makes the assumption that foul play is involved on behalf of the Sheriff and Commodore.


Nucky has a really rough day


Before going to New York for a meeting with Maranzano, Nucky goes and speaks with John Torrio, who set up the Maranzano meeting. When Nucky tells Torrio of Al’s phone call regarding Lucky Luciano, Torrio blows it off, but says he’ll stop by Nucky’s meeting with Maranzano if it will help matters.


When Nucky finally meets with Maranzano, Torrio is noticeably absent. In the meeting, Nucky suggests to Maranzano that he should eliminate Lucky before Lucky eliminates him. Nucky warns Maranzano that Lucky will try to kill them both if he doesn’t act promptly, but Maranzano brushes off Nucky’s suspicions. He then breaks the news to Nucky that he prefers to only deal with Italians, which would leave Nucky out of the party. Seconds later, the restaurant comes under attack by blazing gunfire, leaving Nucky (who is saved by his bodyguard) and Maranzano to run for cover.


A bloody Nucky then calls Torrio, who is speaking with Lucky and Meyer Lansky when the phone rings. Torrio is stunned when he hears Nucky’s voice on the other end. Nucky tells Torrio that he knew why he never showed up, and that he will not rest until Torrio, Luciano and Lansky are all dead.


Shortly after Nucky makes this threat, he’s informed that Sally has been killed by the soldiers in Cuba. Not only can Nucky not get the names of the assailants, he also learns that none of them will be held accountable for Sally’s death.




-Al Capone got pinched for tax evasion in 1931, so you might not be seeing much more of him.


-Did anyone else think that the pig on the beach was going to be Richard’s body?


-Something makes me think that Mueller would’ve killed Eli on the spot if D’Angelo didn’t come through the doors to take them downtown, while another part of me thinks Mueller wants to thank Eli for making it easier for Mueller to possibly leave Sigrid.


-Don’t let Margaret’s quiet Irish charm fool you. She didn’t hang out with Nucky for years and not learn any of his tricks.


-Mickey Doyle is slick, and for a minute there I thought he dimed out Chalky. That being said, I think he knows what side his bread is buttered on, despite the name of Nucky Thompson no longer being the brand name it once was.


-Ah Gillian. What more can you say? Another man holds the key to any possible future she may have outside of the facility. This time, it’s the doctor, who will most likely never let her leave the “home.” While Gillian never really had a chance at a good life for herself from the outset, you reap what you sow, I guess. Expect to see Gillian in the flashbacks soon.


-Is the child in Narcisse’s brothel Chalky’s?

Final Thoughts:


Just when Nucky plans to make a clean break to get away from the gangster world, it sucks him right back in. There’s such an interesting dynamic between the up and coming Nucky and present day Nucky. On one end, you have a man desperate for life success as well as social acceptance, yet he doesn’t have a grasp on either one at the time. In the present, Nucky is now a man who has seen and done it all who seemingly wants no part of that life anymore, but it doesn’t look like he will ever truly escape it.


Nucky is used to solving things his way. However, he can’t just storm through New York to get to Torrio, Luciano and Lansky, and he can’t take revenge on Sally’s killers, either. It’s almost like his character is coming full circle, as he seems to be in the same quandary (albeit in a different realm) that he was in as a young adult; searching for answers as well as solutions, and not knowing how exactly to go about finding them. As we’ve said previously, Nucky really doesn’t have anyone in his corner anymore. While Al has always been an ally, he lives in Chicago. Margaret comes and goes, Chalky has been away for almost ten years, Eddie and Sally are dead, Eli betrayed him multiple times as did Lansky. Torrio betraying him in this week’s episode was the tip of the iceberg. Could Nucky and Maranzano partner up after the attempts were made on their lives?


After four so so episodes to start the season, Boardwalk Empire is really gaining traction as the end of the series beckons. We haven’t even gotten to Narcisse and Chalky’s feud yet, so I have a feeling things are going to get even more bloody in the next three weeks. We shall see.



Contact Joe Vallee at jvallee@philly2philly.com


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Photo: www.mstarz.com