No, that's not Nucky talking to his mistress, Billie. The line was spoken by James Cromwell as Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon to conclude a phone conversation with Nucky. The latter approached the plutocrat at the stuffiest men's club ever. The Nuckster had a proposal to deal with their mutual enemy, Attorney General Harry Daugherty. Nucky gets the bum's rush at the club, so he thinks Mellon is done with him but the mogul wanted to finish their business on the phone. Nucky got everything he wanted: a bootlegger patsy in George Remus and the chance to operate a Mellon distillery that has been closed since the start of Prohibition, which Mellon dismisses as "a child's idea of morality." I'll drink to that.
Time for a few either accursed or discursive comments, I cannot tell the difference any more:
The Jillian Darmody Follies: Madam Mommie Dearest Jillian's scheme to have Jimmy declared legally dead is perfected in the opening scene of The Pony. I know it seems like a lot to go through but without a corpus deliciti or a death certificate it takes 5 to 7 years to have a missing person declared legally dead in most jurisdictions. I learned that from the Cary Grant-Irene Dunne flick,My Favorite Wife, not law school.
Last week, I wondered whether Richard would do anything about the wrong blonde in the box but this was his only response:
Nucky hears about Jimmy's "death" so he goes to Jillian's "health resort" to give his condolences. She does not appreciate the gesture and throws a drink in his face; something I've only seen in the movies or on teevee. Any of you lot ever see that in real life?
Jillian is steamed at both Nucky and her now ex-business partner Charlie Lucky, so she lets a certain Gyp Rosetti know where they're having dinner. We'll get to that at the end of the post.
Van Weirdo Loses It: Speaking of steamed, Van Weirdo is going through a rough patch. Dean O'Banion has not only enlisted the poor schmoe as muscle but makes him distill liquor at his crib in Cicero. Hey, at least it's not bathtub gin.
Van Weirdo's real explosion is at work. They're introducing a line of steam irons and one of his co-workers/tormentors mocks the deranged former fed. Fed up with being bullied, Van Weirdo goes all Boris Karloff on the cackling salesman and steam irons his face. Pow right in the kisser. He's talked out of fleeing by his practical Scandinavian wife and embarks on a new career as a bootlegger and O'Banionite thug. I suspect he'll eventually, uh, bug Bugs Moran but will we ever see Bugsy bugging Bugs? The insect jokes will be soon be swarming like mosquitoes in August…
Capone Takes Over: Capone comes eyeball to eyeball with Van Weirdo when the born again bootlegger accompanies O'Banion to a parley with Torrio and Scarface Al. The dapper Irish hoodlum is stunned to learn that Torrio is ready to wake up and smell the espresso, as it were, after a vacation to Italy. He's more interested in oso bucco and Mount Vesuvius than in discussing the serious business of crime in Chicago. Torrio's retirement does not bode well for the North Side Irish gang or for its leader. <Cue the theme from The Untouchables>
Nucky Explodes: Nucky's mistress Billie auditions for a movie, and gets the part. Her guy, Gus, (not sure why she calls Nucky that but she does) catches her frolicking with some fellow players; one of whom is a young guy who calls Nucky "sir." The Nuckster is not amused and thrashes the poor hambone, gangster style.
Nucky and Billie make up, and she goes to Atlantic City with him. The plan is for her to be decorative at Nucky's business dinner with Rothstein and Luciano. It's a tough job but somebody's gotta do it.
On their way to the swanky restaurant, Nucky runs into the dullest man in Atlantic City. He is detained by the windbag, and indulges the close talking fool while Billie moves on. It was a lucky break for the Nuckster, but not for Billie. A bomb explodes inside the restaurant and blows the poor kid to smithereens.
I have a funny feeling that our old pal the Gypper was behind the explosion. There's a gang war a brewin' in both AC and Chitown. I cannot wait to see what happens next but I guess I have no choice…
I'll give Peter Gabriel the last word, you'll see why in a nano-second: