Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to welcome Meyer Lansky to the Boardwalk Empire party.
Now sure, Lansky isn’t new to the show. He’s been around for a while now, having been involved in the Jimmy Darmody’s rise to power story line and spending the majority of his time on the fringe of the Arnold Rothstein story lines. But now, well Mr. Lansky is making moves of his own. And I think we’ll all be better off for it.
But first, who exactly is Meyer Lansky? Well for starters, he’s one of the “real people” on Boardwalk Empire. After coming to America from Russia in the teens of the 1900’s, Lansky became besties with fellow future mobsters Bugsy Seigel and Lucky Luciano. Lansky was a big part of Luciano’s rise to prominence, as well as the mafia as a whole’s rise. He was integral in the creation of the National Crime Syndicate, which was a early incarnation of what became the mafia. Lansky ran a whole slew of casinos, ran gambling operations and became known as the mob’s accountant. Spoiler: he died of natural causes in the early eighties.
But this is before the majority of that happened. Which I think is the point of Boardwalk Empire.
Now let’s get on with this week’s power rankings.
Giddy Up America’s Boardwalk Empire Plot Line Power Rankings: Week Four
1. The One About Al Capone, The Artist Formerly Known as Agent Van Alden and the Cicero and/or Chicago Follies
If Boardwalk Empire doesn’t survive past next season (which it’s already been renewed for) can we at least get a series about Al Capone, staring Stephen Graham out of it? Please. I’ll start a letter writing campaign if that’s what it takes. The Capone brothers are becoming the most entertaining part about Boardwalk. Our dear friend Richard Harrow (who took this week off because he’s most likely on a train headed somewhere, staring out the window and contemplating his life- just a hunch) is the most interesting. And sadly, good ol’ Al Capone isn’t naturally that sprightly. He’s that way with a little help. To each his own. And speaking of help, he’s now got stone face Mueller as his wing man. Bonus. And a bonus for the viewers of Boardwalk, because it’s always nice when characters and plot lines marry each other. Makes things a little easier to follow.
But I have to wonder, how does this all connect with Atlantic City?
And speaking of Atlantic City…
2. The One
About Nucky Thompson and You Know, Whatever That Entails This Week That’s Still About the Going On’s in Atlantic City
In Atlantic City, what goes up, must come down. Rothstein gets knocked down a few pegs in Nucky’s eyes, while Meyer rises a few during a night long poker game. And Eddie, poor Eddie, is living large and in charge with his new promotion and has himself a hell of a good time with Herc Capone as the two of them have a bang up night on the town filled with giant steaks and giant German sing-a-longs. But when morning comes, so does Agent Knox, this season’s buzz kill. Eddie faces the morning after a rowdy, booze-fueled night in the worst way possible- in handcuffs.
Meanwhile, Nucky just keeps being Nucky. He schools Rothstein in poker and pulls the Tampa offer after the table after seeing the real Rothstein, which is mildly ironic because it was Rothstein who wanted Nucky to play poker with him because he feels it’s the only way to really know a person. That works both ways apparently and in this case, to the detriment of Rothstein.
But this is about Meyer Lansky, now following Rothstein around as opposed to Luciano, as he had been doing up until this season. Lansky plays the long game in this episode on two fronts. First he swoops in and jumps on the Tampa deal and then he swoops on that dude at the poker table outside and gives the fella a few Yiddish knuckle sandwiches for talking smack to Rothstein all night. This was Lansky’s coming out party for sure. I can’t wait to see where he goes from here.
3. The One About Chalky White &
the Perils of Restaurant Management This Dr. Valentin Narcisse Fella
Chalky White might still be on the move this season, but he definitely wasn’t this week. Unless you consider lurking around a poker table and lurking around the back of his club as being on the move. The real movement related to Chalky was up in Harlem this week, as his number two, Purnsley, continues his power play with Dr. Narcisse, who, and I’m reading between the lines here, doesn’t seem to care for white people all that much. That seems to be Dr. Narcisse’s main beef with Chalky, that he sees Chalky as beholden to Nucky. But still, that seems like a lame reason to ruin a dude, which I think is Dr. Narcisse’s goal. A few weeks ago, I was giving Purnsley only a few more episodes and he was a goner. Now while I still think he’s a goner, I A) see him lasting a little longer and B) think the clock is ticking for Chalky and Chalky might not make it out of this season alive. Which would be kind of a bummer.
4. The One About That Shady Agent Knox
Can Agent Knox explain more things about Boardwalk Empire? Because his explanation about the possible connections between the bosses of various cities was actually kind of helpful.
5. The One About Eli’s Son Possibly Becoming the Next Jimmy
Listen Willie, I get it. We’re all obsessed with Breaking Bad and as a result, we all now think we know more about chemistry than we really do. But we can’t get carried away here. We just can’t. We need to acknowledge the line of demarcation between what we see on television and real life. Whenever I used to watch Entourage, I started using my phone differently. But then I realized, I’m not in Hollywood and real people don’t talk as fast as E does. So I had to change. The same goes for you youngster. So you’ve taken a chemistry class and that knowledge, coupled with the onscreen tutelage of Walter White, has made you think you’re smarter than you are. Come on, dude. Creating a fart/shit-inducing concoction isn’t nearly as easy as you’d think.
And if you are going to poop poison someone, everyone knows this is how you do it…
Come on, man. You’re better than that.