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'Boardwalk Empire' Season 5 Episode 4 Recap: Cuanto


The end of Sally Wheat


Nucky is informed by his bodyguard Arquimedes that his flight to Cuba has been cancelled due to weather. When Nucky informs Sally of this, she asked whether to hold off their meeting with Bacardi executive Don Maxime Ronis. Complicating matters is an uprising near the sugar cane fields in Cuba. After Nucky wires Sally some “good faith money” for Ronis, she visits Ronis and inquires about the strife taking place near his fields. Ronis shrugs off the suggestion and assures her the company is staying put and that there’s any kind of issue, despite the fact that he’s conveniently leaving for Paris soon.


As Sally is driving home, she is stopped by soldiers, who instruct her to get out of her car after interrogating her. She name drops Ronis’ name, which a soldier looks on with disdain. The soldier’s frisk her and find her gun as well. When she mentions she runs a bar and needs it for protection, that doesn’t matter to them, either. Sally also tries to bribe the soldiers. Strike three. When Sally tries to get back in her car, the soldiers grab her. Then, Sally grabs one of the soldier’s guns, and is shot dead on the spot.   Photo: www.tvfort.com

Margaret and Nucky reunite


After declining the advances of Joe Kennedy, who declines Nucky’s deal but offers to take Margaret back to New York, Margaret goes to dinner with Nucky. While eating at Chef Vola’s, Margaret finally tells Nucky her dilemma regarding Mrs. Rothstein and the possibility she will smear both Nucky and Margaret if they fail to acquiesce to her demands. All the cards are on the table, as Nucky is well aware of why Margaret is coming back to him, and briefly reprimands her for not cashing in on the late Arnold Rothstein’s money. After some brutally honest exchanges, the two, despite years of bickering and separation, hold hands and call a truce.


After dinner, Margaret tells Nucky she’s lonely and kisses him. Nucky, not wanting to dive into anything, doesn’t take the bait and gets Margaret a room for the night. Nucky doesn’t exactly tell Margaret how he is going to deal with Mrs. Rothstein, but you can tell he’s coming up with something


Mueller dodges a bullet/Al gets bloody and gives Nucky the lowdown


Lucky Luciano comes to Chicago to pay Al a visit. During his stay, Al proceeds to make his help as well as Lucky watch a newsreel about himself, depicting the kind of vial monster he really is.


After the film, Lucky spots Van Alden (aka Mueller), who busted him and Jimmy back in 1921. When Lucky calls out Mueller insisting he is a Federal Agent, Mueller says he was only in New Jersey one time, when he went to Ocean City for a religious retreat. Nonetheless, Al gets Mueller on his knees, puts a gun in his mouth, and gives him 30 seconds to explain himself. Mueller brilliantly reminds Al of the good he has done for him, while not exactly denying his past. Al takes the bait and lets him go. Shortly after Mueller leaves, however, undercover agent D’Angelo finds Nelson Van Alden’s mug shot while looking over some old files.


Lucky then informs Al in a borderline intense meeting that Salvatore Maranzano wants to create a network dealing only with Italians. This obviously discludes Nucky. Even though Lucky leaves or New York on good terms, he implies that changes are coming. Al, who is so zoned out on coke he bludgeons one of his workers to death with a replica of the Empire State Building, calls Nucky (who was expecting a call from Sally) informing him that there’s trouble on the horizon.




When school starts again, Nucky is still working for the Commodore, who doesn’t take kindly to the fact that he is still there and fires him. The scene then shifts to the Thompson house, where Nucky distracts Eli from seeing their father have sex with their mother and takes him to the beach. Nucky tells Eli that there comes a time when he has to start figuring things out for himself. Nucky takes notice of the businessmen coming in from Philadelphia and how it compares to the way they live. When Nucky shows Eli a flushing toilet and takes a bath in one of the hotel rooms, Sheriff Lindsay considers arresting Nucky for trespassing, but takes him and Eli to his house for dinner instead. Nucky gets rather emotional at the dinner with everything that is transpiring around him, but a joke breaks the sadness and Lindsay soon takes Nucky and Eli home. When he drops them off, Nucky asks Lindsay is there is a way he can prevent his father from doing harm to him. Lindsay assures him that he will do what it takes to prevent that from happening.




-Sally’s death was completely unexpected. Never saw that coming.


-Nucky is going through hell in a handbasket to try and get this Bacardi deal.


-The Commodore is a real bastard.


-Everyone thinks Margaret and Rothstein had something going!


-Sheriff Lindsay is portrayed in a better manner here than in previous episodes.

Final Thoughts:


Boardwalk Empire’s  best episode of the season by far. All the elements which make for a great episode were there. It will be interesting to see how Nucky handles Sally’s death, as well as what happens in his relationship with Margaret. Al Capone doesn’t look upon many people fondly, but he’s always taken a liking to Nucky. I still have no idea how any of this is going to end, but that’s the fun part of it. We’ll know more for sure over the next two episodes.



Contact Joe Vallee at jvallee@philly2philly.com


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Photo: www.tvfort.com