Re: Season 3

Episode 3.8 “The Pony”

Accidental drowning is the cause of death for “Jimmy.” “Jimmy deserved better than this” are Richard’s last words for Jimmy, before his doppleganger is cremated. There’s still the matter of Tommy’s guardianship in the whorehouse/health resort. Eddie brings Nucky the newspaper death notice. Nucky visits Gillian to offer his condolences. Both quickly put their false pretenses aside, and Gillian confronts Nucky about the real Jimmy’s murder. Nucky denies it to the end. He sets her straight, “Whatever you’re trying to pull there’s something you’d best keep in mind. You exist in this town, because I allow you to.” Rothstein and Luciano are in town to meet with Nucky at Babette’s. Luciano casually mentions the meeting to Gillian, and, ever scheming, she in turn informs Rosetti, in case he wants to surprise them.

Nucky meets with Esther Randolph and Gaston Bullock Means. While Nucky Thompson can’t enter the Union Club in New York, “Mr. Charles Rickson of Missouri” can. At the club, Nucky approaches Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon to discuss Attorney General Harry Daugherty, their “mutual enemy.” Besides being Treasury Secretary, and one of the wealthiest men in the world thanks to interests in finance, steel, and coal, he also owns Old Overholt distillery in Pennsylvania. Nucky tells Mellon about his dealings with Daugherty in the “circumvention of the Volstead Act.” Mellon views Daugherty as “nothing but a shabby little huckster.” Nucky offers to run Mellon’s distillery, and would pay him, if he would agree to prosecute George Remus. Mellon has Nucky “the interloper” removed from the club. Later, Mellon calls Nucky and agrees to the deal. Remus is to be arrested, and Nucky is to make Mellon’s distillery profitable once again.

Van Alden has a whiskey still in his apartment, with a two case/week requirement as payment for services provided by O’Banion. Johnny Torrio is back from Naples, Italy. Capone informs him of the killing of O’Banion’s man, Joe Miller. O’Banion meets with them at Hughes Meat Packing, bringing Van Alden as muscle. Torrio defers to Capone to settle the Miller business. Back at the electron iron company, once again, “George Mueller” is the brunt of an office prank. Van Alden snaps, burns his nemesis’ face with an iron, ransacks the office, and terrorizes his co-workers. With a mad look in his eyes, Van Alden puts on his hat and leaves. Van Alden is ready to go on the lam again, but his wife instead suggests that they stay, and expand their bootleg business. Specifically, she knows how to distill aquavit a favorite Norwegian drink. Van Alden’s turn to the dark side is complete.

Mrs. Shearer meets with Margaret. She is seeking birth control help because her child’s miscarriage wasn’t an accident; she wants no more children. Margaret goes to Dr. Mason to get a diaphragm, or two. She’s still hooking up with Owen after their visit to a horse farm. Nucky is going to buy Margaret’s daughter a pony.
Billie Kent goes for a movie audition about a gangster and a funny chorus showgirl (aka the “pony”) for Clifton King in Queens. Back at her apartment, she is celebrating over drinks with a friend, Viola, and also her screen test partner, Gil Longacre. Nucky barges in, and in a fit of jealous rage, assaults the handsome young interloper (there’s that word again). He tells Billie that he wants to take care of her, but Billie asserts her independence. Nadine Beckenbauer will be her new stage name, along with her new blonde hair.

In Atlantic City, Nucky is taking a stroll along the boardwalk with Rothstein, Luciano, and “Nadine.” Salesman George Baxter (season one, series premier) interrupts the party and Billie goes on ahead to Babette’s club. There is a sudden huge explosion at Babette’s and Nucky, Luciano, and Rothstein are injured; Billie is killed in the blast. Obviously, Rosetti sent them a message, thanks to Gillian.

Re: Season 3

Episode 3.9 “The Milkmaid’s Lot”
A convoy of Rosetti’s men, all armed with shotguns, move into Tabor Heights. Rosetti assaults Sherriff Ramsey with his own billy club in his office. Gyp Rosetti introduces himself to his new neighbors there. He buys the silence of the town in exchange for a $200 per month bribe. It’s a “pretty square deal.”Sherriff Ramsey is going to keep on sherriffing, same as you all are going to keep on doing whatever it is you do. Barbers cut hair, cooks cook, librarians keep checking out books, because it’s very important to read.” Joe Masseria goes to Tabor Heights to overlook Rosetti’s new operation, intercepting the liquor shipments intended for Atlantic City.

Nucky hadn’t been keeping any eye on business because of his affair with Billie Kent, and it has had enormous consequences. Directly across from the Ritz Carlton, Babette’s Supper Club is in ruins. Nucky suffered a concussion in the explosion. His memory comes and goes. He instructs Owen, Eli, Chalky White, and his ward bosses that the explosion was caused by a gas leak. Rosetti calls Nucky to offer ‘condolences from him and Joe Masseria” to taunt him about Billie Kent’s death. Nucky wants to enlist NY’s help to kill Masseria and Rosetti. He calls for a meeting with all of the top associates in NY, and Philly.

Arnold Rothstein, Meyer Lansky, Lucky Luciano, Waxey Gordon, Peg Leg Lonergan, and Frankie Yale arrive in Atlantic City on short notice. Johnny Torrio. in Chicago, sends his regrets. Nucky is really in no physical condition for the meeting, and Owen and Eli fear it may not go Nucky’s way. Nucky promises new opportunities all the way west to Chicago. Rothstein bids farewell, with an admonition, “It means everyone here wishes you all the luck in the world. I warned you, you wouldn’t listen, now look where we are.” The bottom line, according to Meyer Lansky is “Business with you is more trouble than it’s worth.” On that note, the entire entourage leaves en masse. Now, all alone, Nucky is as good as dead.

Margaret and the kids are staying in Nucky’s suite for their own safety. Emily’s having her 7th birthday party in the suite. Owen wants to leave town, go thousands of miles away, with Margaret. Margaret agrees, “We’ll go, as soon as we’re able.” Nucky tells Margaret, “You have to understand no matter what you think of me, there’s no walking away.”

The Feds arrive at George Remus’ estate, chase him around, and arrest him in violation of Title 2, Section 7, of the Volstead Act. Remus readily gives up Daugherty’s associate Jess Smith and his receipts to Esther Randolph. “Then Randolph would be very interested in seeing them.”

Richard attends a party at the American Legion. Julia Sagorsky is his date. He tells Gillian he is attending a meeting at the American Legion to discuss more service compensation. While he’s away, Tommy wanders down the hall and catches one of the prostitutes in action. Gillian lectures Richard about it when he returns from his date, and notices the lipstick (from Julia) on his mask.

Re: Season 3

Episode 3.10 “A Man, A Plan…”a canal, Panama
Owen’s girlfriend Katy believes he is having an affair with Margaret. Margaret still plans to run away with him. Owen’s plan is for them to leave separately, Margaret first, Owen a month or six weeks later to avoid suspicion. Owen proposes going to St. Louis. Margaret is carrying Owen’s child.

Nucky sends Owen to kill Masseria. According to Agent Sawicki, Masseria goes to the Turkish baths on Chrystie Street every Thursday night. The job calls for patience and opportunity, not an army. Nucky wants to send Captain McCoy to Tabor Heights on the premise of working out a deal to help with the ships, but really to spy on Rosetti’s operation. Eli is sent to Chicago to meet with Johnny Torrio for extra muscle to kill Rosetti. Mickey is going to West Overton, PA to run Andrew Mellon’s distillery, to take over Remus’ old operation.

Luciano and Lansky try to convince Rothstein to go into the heroin business, because sooner or later bootleg whiskey with be a thing of the past. Arnold feels the timing leaves much to be desired; they’re on the verge of war. Rothstein uses the snooker analogy of “a shot to nothing,” an attempts at a difficult shot but with safety in mind, but by design in the event of his missing he leaves his opponent in a position of being able to strike back. Rebuffed by Rothstein, Luciano and Lansky try to get Masseria to front them $100,000 to get in on the heroin business. Luciano and Lansky tip off Masseria that Nucky is planning to make a move. Lansky advises, “Without friends, who can provide you information, how long do you think your luck will hold out?” It’s a deal. Owen arrives with Sawicki at the bathhouse to kill Masseria.

It’s almost 4 a.m. and Eddie wakes up Nucky about a delivery that has just arrived. Instead, Owen is killed and sent to Nucky in a crate at 4 a.m. Margaret sees the body and goes hysterical. Like the female pilot that Margaret so admired, her dreams of flying away came crashing down (EP. 3.4 “Blue Bell Boy”)

Rosetti’s crew is unloading whiskey off boats in the daytime, and finds their haul two cases short. “Rogue waves,” notes Tonino’s cousin Franco. Franco opens his mouth one time to many, and at nighttime, he’s buried up to his head in the sand near the waves. Tonino begs Rosetti to spare his cousin. Franco doesn’t drown after all. Instead, Rosetti beats and decapitates him with a shovel.

Gaston Bullock Means is still playing both sides at his own benefit. He calls Nucky to inform him that Jess Smith may be a loose cannon and offers to use his finesse to keep Smith quiet (kill him) for $40,000. Means tells Jess Smith that Remus’ payoff had $10,000 in marked bills. It’s a setup meant to make Jess Smith look more unstable. Means directs Daugherty to look out the window and watch Smith burning the money. Means tells him that whereas Smith may end up in an asylum eating jello, Daugherty will be doing hard time in a prison. Daugherty agree to pay Means $40,000 and the dog Smith will be put down. Means goes to Smith’s hotel room to kill him. Jess Smith has a gun of his own and realizes that Daugherty wants him dead. Jess kills himself with a shot to the head, and Means is $80,000 richer.

Margaret’s prenatal classes were cancelled by the Bishop. Nucky wants to reconcile, and have a new start from here on out.

Chalky wants to start an elegant nightclub to take the place of Babette’s. It would be black on stage, white in the crowd, just like in Harlem. Nucky tells them there is a dividing line, and refuses the offer.

Richard, Tommy and Julia are enjoying the King Neptune festival on the beach in Atlantic City. Whiskey bottles wash ashore, apparently from Rosetti’s lost shipment. Even King Neptune dives into the waves to grab a bottle. Back at Julia’s house, her father, Paul, angrily confronts her about dating Richard, “a sideshow freak.” Richard chokes the old man to get him to apologize to Julia.

In Chicago, Van Alden is peddling his wife’s homemade Norwegian aquavit alcohol. Two men lead Van Alden out at gunpoint. They aren’t Feds; they are Capone’s men. Van Alden wandered five blocks into Capone’s territory, and Capone wants a cut of the money. Van Alden is in fear for his life and starts reciting the biblical passages of Job in the land of Uz.

Re: Season 3

Episode 3.11 "Two Imposters"
Nucky knows that the crate delivery was a warning that Rosetti's coming to get him. Three of Rosetti's men storm into Nucky's suite at the Ritz. Nucky kills them all. Eddie's been shot. Nucky tries to leave Eddie at the hospital, but two more of Rosetti's men are there waiting for him. All these years, Eddie was a loyal aide to Nucky, and Nucky doesn't really know a thing about his or his family.

Nucky and Eddie flee to Chalky's. Chalky has enough guns for "me and mine. This one BIG favor." Chalky's prospective son-in-law Samuel, a med student, attends to Eddie. During the operation, Rosetti and men arrive to "pay respects." Rosetti tries to find a common ground, "We both got left out in the sun too long." "You just ain't done cooking yet, friend," Chalky retorts. Chalky refuses Rosetti's offers of $25,000 to turn over Nucky.

However, Chalky isn't sure one of his men wouldn't take the deal. Even Chalky's place isn't safe. That evening, Chalky and Dunn Purnsley start to drive Nucky out of town, but are stopped at a roadblock set up by a few more of Rosetti's men. but Nucky wants to stand his ground in Atlantic City. Chalky advises, "All due respect, General Custer, this ain't no spot for a last stand." Maybe not, but Eli has brought the cavalry back from Chicago, cutting a deal with Al Capone. Capone's one line is a winner, "I've been on the road for 18 hours. I need a bath, some chow, and then you and me sit down, and we talk about who dies."

Rosetti surprises Gillian, bearing Nucky's desk from the Ritz. "Ain't all surprises unexpected?" He's "pitching a tent" at Gillian's.

Richard returns the next morning after his romp under the boardwalk. Gillian is in his room going through Richard's book of photographs. Obviously she noticed the "family picture" of Richard, Julia, and Tommy. She warns him to "be careful about dreaming of things that cannot possibly come to pass, that were never his to begin with because they will only end up hurting you." Later Gillian catches Richard trying to take Tommy away to Julia's. She mocks him, "Pretty girl, pretty name, she doesn't look blind in the photograph. You're not really a complete person." Gillian has Rosetti's men kick Richard out of the mansion. The background sound of military drumbeat as Richard packs his arsenal tells me that he is going to war.

Stefano Maggadino brings "Sam Moceri from Buffalo" to NY to buy 5 llbs of heroin from Luciano for $15,000. (and we get our first reference to Castellamare, which in a few years will involve a war with Masseria and Maranzano) It's a sting operation, and Lucky isn't so Lucky; he's arrested.

Re: Season 3

Sopranology has been doing a fine job summarising each episode of BE. Again I cannot stress enough the quality of this program. It is the perfect companion series to the Sopranos. The events from the last few episodes alone are reminiscent of some of the climatic chapters of TS. I would also recommend the PBS documentary series "The Prohibition" as it gives an insight about the period which spawned BE and the Sopranos to an extent. As an Australian it also provides a powerful insight about Amercian society.

Re: Season 3

Episode 3.12 “Margate Sands”
Violence erupts all over Atlantic City and puppet Mayor Ed Bader is powerless to stop it. “These attacks are gangsters versus gangsters and ordinary citizen have no cause for undue concern.” Nucky’s “fighting a war from a lumberyard.” Masseria’s men are taking over Nucky’s casino, warehouse, and operations. There is infighting between Capone and Chalky’s men. Capone, Chalky and their men are taking out Masseria’s men. Rosetti has lost 12 of Masseria’s 43 men, and Masseria is furious.

Eli and Nucky are reduced to being “two pineys with a broken down car.” Nucky questions why they “didn’t stop when the going gets good. Always trying to pinch for a little bit more.” He believes no one will come within 100 yards from him after the war is over. That’s the way he wants it anyway. Doormen at the Ritz tip their cap to him, strangers on the boardwalk recognize him, but now Nucky wants to leave the spotlight.

Once again, we question why Mickey Doyle is still alive. While in Overton, Doyle calls Rothstein to entice him to trade Nucky for 99% of the distillery. In exchange, Rothstein will deliver Masseria and get him to completely pull his support of Rosetti, and remove all his men. Nucky readily agrees, “big bait catches big rat.”

Luciano buys his way out of jail in exchange for turning over the 50 pounds of heroin to the police. Lansky is none too pleased that they’re out $100,000 in the deal. The two meet with Masseria and are surprised to see Rothstein. The heroin now belongs to Rothstein in a deal with Masseria, so that Masseria can see Rothstein is as good as his word. As for the two cops, Sam and Gaetano, they were associates of Rothstein, a setup. Luciano is furious and Lansky gets him to calm down before they’re both killed. Rothstein calmly dismisses him, “All this time I thought I had some civilizing effect. But there’s only so much you can teach a person until you reach the limits of his capabilities.” Rothstein offers to go into the heroin business with Masseria in exchange for pulling his backing of Rosetti.

Masseria’s men have taken over Gillian’s mansion and six year old Tommy keeps to himself to avoid them. Rosetti refuses to let them leave; he might get “anxious.” He offers to put Gillian up on a pedestal like a queen. “People have fun in different ways. There’s no need to be ashamed of any of them.” That evening, Gillian seduces Rosetti, dog collar and all, and once again tries her heroin needle trick. Rosetti overpowers her and injects her with the heroin instead.

Masseria’s men leave. They are later ambushed on the road and killed by Capone and Chalky's men. Kumbaya, "Ebony and Ivory," Capone and Chalky find they can work well together.

Harrow breaks into Gillian’s and takes out what’s left of Rosetti’s men. Rosetti escapes in a car with two other men. Tonino is hiding in a closet to avoid the massacre. A bloodied Richard delivers Tommy to the Sagorskys. Julia is upset by his appearance. Surprisingly, Paul Ragorsky tells her to take Tommy to his dead soldier son’s bedroom and to calm Julia down. Richard knows it would never work out between them. “At least Tommy’s safe now. That’s what matters.” Later Nucky and Eli assess the bodycount at Gillian's and they find her delirious, recanting the night when Nucky first delivered her to the Commodore. They also find Tonino in his hiding place.

The next morning, Rosetti is on the beach, completely out of his mind trying to understand how Nucky Thompson got the best of him. He knows he can’t go back to NY after this huge disaster and considers going to start over out west somewhere. Tonino literally stabs him in the back, and then in the stomach, killing him. That was the price Tonino paid for Nucky not killing him at Gillian’s. Also, besides serving as revenge for Rosetti murdering his cousin, it allows Tonino to go back to NY and Masseria.

Andrew Mellon calls Esther Randolph to inform her that his distillery has been co-opted by an illegal enterprise and he wants those responsible arrested. “Nucky Thompson?” Esther asks. Gaston Bullock Means whispers in Mellon’s ear, “Arnold Rothstein.” Now Rothstein is on the other end of a setup. Well played Nucky, well played. As in the Sopranos, New Jersey eventually gets the best of New York.

Six weeks pregnant, Margaret is in Brooklyn posing as a Mrs. Rohan, looking for Dr. Hollis’ “help bringing her monthly on.” She later miscarries. Nucky finds her in a rundown apartment building. “Your life is with me. You’re spoiled for anything else. You need to ask yourself how much you’re willing to sacrifice just to prove some point that doesn’t matter to anyone.” Margaret refuses his offer to return home or take his money. He offers his forgiveness for Owen. What he doesn’t get is he should also be asking for forgiveness not only for his affair but for why she and Teddy and Emily had to leave town for her safety.
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