Boardwalk Empire impresario Terry Winter put the pedal to the medal with last week's entry, A Man, A Plan. Whereas the previous episode meandered in a concussive daze, episode-10 was chock-full-O-payoffs and, not surprisingly, revenge.
Boxing Day: Nucky's war against Gyp Rosetti and Joe Masseria isn't going well. Not only does he lack allies, but Charlie Lucky and Meyer Lansky sold him out to Masseria with tragic consequences for Margaret and IRA Man Owen. The former had formally decided to run off with the latter but bootlegger fratricide got in the way of their escape.
Owen, of course, was deputized to whack Masseria. Unfortunately for the savvy and experienced hit man, they saw him coming and the poor bastard was delivered to the Atlantic City Ritz-Carlton in a crate hence the title of the post. Making matters worse, Margaret was there for the delivery and flipped out. I think even the usually clueless Nuckster may add 1 and 1 up and get 2 instead of 11. Okay enough arithmetic, I don't want to exhaust any Gopers who may be reading this...
That's Gyp Rosetti dispatching his second banana's loquacious cousin Franco. The Gypster specializes in creative mayhem. Nucky oughta take note that when you're around the Gypsy, STFU.
Fork You, Van Weirdo: Corrupt former Agent Van Weirdo dabbles in some direct Aquavit sales to a Norwegian saloonkeeper. Unfortunately, the Outfit is supposed to be that guy's sole booze supplier,so Van Weirdo is abducted and taken to meet Scarface Al. Alphonse, of course, recognizes him as O'Banion's gunsel for hire and takes umbrage:
The fork ends up in Van Weirdo's cheek but Capone is merciful, by his standards,and doesn't stick it in the big galoot's eyeball. The latter is free to go on being awkward, weird and creepy after being told to fork off...
Gaston's Ways and Means: Real life super con-man Gaston Means shopped his services around a lot in this episode. Everything he does seems to cost $40K. Remind me never to hire Gaston to cat sit: Della is a notorious cheapskate.
The high point of the flowery speaking Gaston's appearance was when he dropped in on Harry Daugherty's suicidal bag man Jess Smith. And I mean literally suicidal: Jess blows his own brains out before Gaston can do so. What really happened to the real Jess Smith is one of the great mysteries of the Harding scandals. Smith left a journal behind, which Gore Vidal used in his novel Hollywood to great effect. The master was always convinced that Jess was murdered, probably at the behest of the uber corrupt Attorney General. Daugherty made John Mitchell look like a piker but didn't have a mouthy drunken wife to help cement his legend. Trust me, Harry was da man.
Btw, I got all tingly when I saw that Stephen Root was cast as Means. He's long been one of my favorite character actors. Now I need to figure out how to work in some Bill Dauterive jokes...
Under The Boardwalk: Love has found the sweetly shy and scarred for life sniper Richard Harrow. He nearly kills Julia's DLOAF (Drunken lout of a father) after the dipso dipshit called him a "sideshow freak" but Julia separates her boys and spends the night with our Richard (where else?) under the boardwalk, down by the sea: