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HBO (ended 2014)
Deciding to go ahead with the Tampa development, Nucky sought out a business partner to upfront $500,000, half the cost, towards his new business venture. He propositions Arnold Rothstein, who’s hesitant to trust him, and he decides to mull in over a game of poker to which he invites Nucky. What ensues is a telling game in which Rothstein loses to Nucky in a spectacular fashion, including $200,000 borrowed from Nucky during the game. Watching a usually reserved Rothstein loose his composure at the table was fascinating, but even more intriguing is Rothstein’s right-hand man Meyer offering to join Nucky’s endeavour behind his back. Especially with Meyer still showing his utmost loyalty to Rothstein by beating up a punter that was smart mouthing him during the poker game.

Van Alden once again found himself entangled with the Capone brothers this week, reluctantly joining them on their violent pick-up collections. While more of Van Alden is always a good thing, his involvement with the Capone leaves me feeling constantly concerned for his well being. The temperamental brothers, particularly Al, always look like they're one second away from losing it completely and doing something horrible to my favourite character, which makes for stressful watching. It wasn't Van Alden who got caught in their crossfire this week, however, but Stu, an associate of Mr. O'Banion's, Van Alden's employer. Finding Stu in a bread truck they stole from O'Banion, Al and Frank tell Van Alden that it's not that them that have to worry when he tells his boss about seeing Van Alden with them. Van Alden fumbles as he shoots after a fleeing Stu, but the always subtle Al uses a semi-automatic to help Van Alden finish the job. With his involvement in Stu's death, it looks like it won't be long until Van Alden will have to cut ties, in a possibly violent way, with O'Banion now that the Capone's seem so set on having him work for them.

Dunn for some reason thought it necessary to go visit his new business partner Dr. Narcisse in Harlem this week, and gave Chalky the age old excuse of, ‘my Mother’s sick’, in order to go visit him in secret. Narcisse wasn’t impressed however when Dunn showed up at the 'Universal Negro Improvement Society' with an envelope of cash for the heroin he had sold on behalf of him, and asked him to leave immediately. Dunn waited until Narcisse left the building some time later to once again strike up a conversation, and on the way to an engagement, Narcisse tells Dunn how Negros like Chalky are complacent to men like Nucky and are ensuring they are unable to progress as a community. Upon approaching the party he is too attend, Narcisse notes that the doorman possesses a similar disposition, and must he taught a lesson. Dunn shows Narcisse he understands by promptly beating the man. Narcisse’s being a fascinating character to watch so far, and with Dunn now under his bizarre tutorage, I can expect we’ll see some more severe sabotage taken against Chalky, and by associating, Nucky, in the coming weeks.

Somehow Willie Thompson still had a whole lot of booze left over from his party last week, and apparently this is because he’s been diluting it to make it last longer (I would say he’s a savvy businessman just like his uncle if he’d actually been making any money from this). He also decided to make a very special batch for fellow classmate Henry in retaliation for humiliating him at said party. As soon as Willie and his friend went rummaging through the chemical cabinet in the science lab to find a little something extra to put in Henry’s drink, I knew things wouldn’t end well. Linoleic Acid? Magnesium Hydroxide? Yes. They sound like perfectly innocent substances to mix into someone’s drink for a practical joke, and they couldn’t possibly hurt anyone. Willie brushed off the broad he was embarrassingly caught making out with in the library at his previous party, and it was difficult to tell whether he actually thought she was in on the previous stunt, or whether it was an attempt to get Henry away from his drink. If it was the latter, Willie’s a smart guy. She practically ran into the arms of Henry after getting the brush off, allowing Willie to spike his abandoned drink. As planned, later in the evening Henry got a bad case of the runs and pooped his pants in the middle of the party. It really was a horrible prank to play, even in retaliation towards Henry’s actions, but unfortunately it didn’t end there. A hungover Willie was woken up the next morning by his friend, who led him to Willie’s room, where he’d basically vomited out his internal organs to death. That’ll teach you for being a bully Henry!

It was great to see a newly promoted Kessler getting is own storyline this week, not only that, but watching the usually reserved man let his hair down, wining and dining with Ralph Capone after a drop. It was a short lived happiness though, and one that was easy to see coming. Nucky's un-reassurance at Kessler's ability to do the job at the beginning of the episode, Kessler succumbing to fraternising with Ralph after the drop, and the way in which he drunkenly hinted at his new position under Nucky to his German friends, were all signals that something would go horribly wrong for the eternally loyal man, and it did. Returning to the station where he undertook the drop he was promptly taken into custody by Warren Knox of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who had expressively told J. Edgar Hoover at the beginning of the episode that he was going to bring Nucky down my finding the weakest link in his chain. Poor Kessler.

With so many characters associated with Nucky that have the ability to cause him a great deal of trouble, and the FBI amping up their investigation, it seems like it’ll be only a matter of time until Boardwalk Empire finds Nucky once again in a very difficult situation that he’ll have to get himself out of. The question isn’t necessarily how Nucky will survive, as it’s pretty much a given that he always will, but rather, what does Nucky face to lose?

Comments (22)
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Looking at next week preview, really happy there are going to touch on Jimmy's kid again !
Hey...great you are doing a review when TV.com isn't ! After enjoying 2 excellent episode, I do feel this is not as good as last 2 but even average episodes on this show is better than most others.

One of my favorite scenes this season is those involving Nucky and his German Butler, really hilarious ! The actor who plays the Butler is also really good. He got his chance to shine this season !

I wonder if the show will one day ends with Capone being the big bad against Nucky for the final season. That would really be very interesting.
Thanks Marlboro1 I'll be aiming to do a review each week so be sure to keep checking the community, I would love to keep up the discussion on this show.

Yes, Kessler really taken a more prominient role this season, and about time, he's a very compelling character. I can't wait to see what the show has in store for him.
I'm most excited for the Van Alden / Capone plot, because I feel like I've been waiting for two years for Van Alden to return to relevancy and for Capone to truly emerge as the show's lead. GIven real-life events, Capone vs. O'Banion is going to be a lot of fun.

Man, Willie's prank sure took a turn for the worse quickly, huh? That scene was pretty impressively gross, even for a show that doesn't hesitate on that sort of thing.

I'm cautiously optimistic on the J. Edgar Hoover plot... it could be a brilliant solution for linking the expansive storylines.
This is the best episode of the season. Ralph Capone is fast becoming a favorite character of mine.

How great was this scene!

Not sure where the storyline with Eli's son at the university is going. So far it seems like kids being kids, until that reveal at the end. Can someone die from Turbo-lax?

We are finally starting to get to the meat of Al Capone's storyline. Up until now we've been only preview to quick glimpses of what his motives are. While his violent outbursts are what make him notorious, his ambition to overtake all parts of Chicago through nefarious methods, whether political or through petty larceny, are a joy to watch.

That Al Capone scene was awesome, great gif.
Great .gif. And my favorite Capone moment since this one...

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