"Boardwalk Empire" Episode 9 recap

Sorry this is a little late, but I just got the chance to watch Boardwalk last night. HBO GO is a godsend.

This episode, titled “The Milkmaid’s Lot,” is the best installment by far this season. We get an almost exclusive focus and a fascinating glimpse into Nucky’s mind as his world is crumbling around him, and betrayal is just around the corner.

As a result of the explosion at Babbette’s Supper Club that killed Billie Kent, Nucky sustained a concussion. He is woozy and keeps picturing Billie Kent in her last moments, but is unable to piece together what actually happened.

Margaret has her hands full planning Emma’s birthday party while trying to get Teddy to wash up and clean his room. She admonishes Teddy for not making his bed, and he replies that the maid will do it. Margaret says that there won’t always be a maid, a foreboding sign of things to come. Margaret then finds Owen, and the two plot their escape away from Nucky.

They are interrupted by Nucky, who is confused, randomly starts talking about the pony for Emily’s birthday, and complains that everyone is muttering when they talk. He keeps having ringing in his ears that are causing constant headaches.

Up in Tabor Heights, Gyp comes back, intimidates the sheriff, and bribes the town into keeping quiet while he sets up his bootlegging operation to bring alcohol to Joe Masseria in New York. He is fascinated with a mannequin of the Revolutionary War general Anthony Wayne (more on that later).

While Nucky is in a meeting with Chalky and other associates, he acts paranoid and thinks Chalky is his servant. Gyp calls Nucky during the meeting to taunt him about Billie Kent’s death, enraging him. Nucky throws a tantrum and starts throwing around things in his office, but is restrained by Eli. In his anger and with his addled mind, Nucky doesn’t recognize who Eli is, prompting Chalky to implore him to get a hold of himself. Nucky then calls a meeting of all the crime bosses in the country, including Arnold Rothstein, to get them on his side to kill Gyp and Masseria.

Gillian lets Richard off of work one night to go on a date with Julia at the Legion Hall. Jimmy’s son Tommy gravitates towards Josephine, one of the girls that works for Gillian. While Harrow and Evelyn finally kiss to the cheers of the crowd, Tommy ventures off and finds Josephine in the middle of having sex. When Harrow arrives home, Gillian is enraged at him for not watching Tommy, even though she gave her permission for him to go out.

In Cincinnati, George Remus is arrested by the FBI, with Esther Randolph present. Remus confesses that he has receipts, a paper trail that will lead right to the Attorney General. At least one thing is going right for Nucky.

Meanwhile, at Emily’s birthday party, Nucky is crazed and disoriented, calls Margaret by the name of Mabel (his first wife who died in childbirth), upsets Emma, and passes out. Once he wakes up, he has Margaret sit in the room with him as he orders the deaths of Gyp and Masseria. In addition, while Nucky is in the bathroom before the meeting, he finds an earring and gives it to Margaret, claiming that it is hers when it was actually Billie Kent’s.

Nucky’s mind then finally breaks through and he is able to see Billie die in the explosion, breaking the veil that he was underneath the whole episode. With this moment of clarity and finding himself again, he then reveals to Margaret that either he walks away from people, or people walk away from him. This collision of Nucky’s two worlds reveals a side that Margaret has not seen before, and she is frightened. Margaret then tells Nucky to get dressed and attend to his business.

Back in Tabor Heights, Masseria pays Gyp a visit, and warns him that Gyp will cause him problems from Rothstein and Nucky, and thus doesn’t want to get involved. However, he also tells Gyp that one day he could be a good general. This prompts Gyp to steal the mannequin’s hat and wear it the next day. He looks horrific, but no one dares question him on his fashion sense.

At the meeting, Nucky makes an appeal to the bosses assembled that Gyp is a threat to them all, and that their ethnic differences should not impede all of them making money, something that Lucky Luciano agrees with. However, Arnold and the rest of the bosses don’t want to get involved, leaving Nucky on his own to deal with Gyp.

So the war comes down to Nucky against Gyp, with everyone else on the sidelines. How will Nucky deal with Owen and Margaret eventually leaving him? Who will survive? With only three episodes left, we are sure to find out soon.

Chances of Dying - I feel that this is the point in the show where I should post my own bets as to who will get killed by the end of the season. This will change from episode to episode, depending on the events.

Nucky-25 percent chance of death

Gyp-85 percent

Owen-60 percent

Margaret-20 percent

Gillian Darmody-35 percent (Predicting that Richard kills her, runs away with Tommy and raises him with Julia)

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