Nelson Van Alden is no longer hiding his true identity; Richard and Julia get hitched; and Chalky has his eyes set on Narcisse. Those are just some of the issues in the appropriately titled “Marriage and Hunting” episode of “Boardwalk Empire,” which aired on Nov. 3.
Nelson Van Alden came back with a full force in this episode. At first, he was shown having a struggling life – when he couldn’t fix the sink, his kid wouldn’t stop crying, and he and the wife got into an argument about their income and the upkeep of the house. During a florist run for O’Banion, Van Alden discovers that the customers are Al and Ralph Capone. They want him to kill O’Banion, and Van Alden offers to do it for $1,000.
But before he can do that, Van Alden is confronted by some of his former co-workers at the Farraday Electric Iron Company – including the one he attacked with a hot iron. Van Alden takes out the gun he was going to use on O’Banion and kills the three men.
When asked by O’Banion about the murder of one of the flower shop’s employees, Van Alden said it was Al Capone. He also reveals his past and the fact that his name is not George Mueller. When a few customers come in, O’Banion tends to their needs. But these two men are the ones who wind up killing O’Banion. When they leave, Van Alden takes $1,000 from the register and leaves. He returns to his home; reveals everything to his wife; and tells her to take off her nightgown.
Chalky informs Nucky about last week’s incident which left Dunn Purnsley dead. Chalky knows that Narcisse is behind the whole thing, and he doesn’t want to deal with it anymore. Nucky tells him that he needs to hold back, and if he tries to go after Narcisse, Chalky will “risk losing everything” he has. Nucky wants to talk to Narcisse before anything else is done.
While Chalky and the family are holding a gathering for his daughter’s future husband and mother-in-law, Chalky is called away to see Daughter Maitland. She has been beaten badly by Narcisse, who discovered that she helped Chalky escape being killed by Dunn Purnsley.
Chalky arrives at the Onyx to see Narcisse sitting at the front table with Nucky. So, the good doctor is breaking club rules, and Chalky is already seeking vengeance against him. Chalky approaches Narcisse and creates a scene. Nucky stops him and tells him that if he does anything else, he’ll be starting a war in which he will fight solo.
Gillian Darmody came back in this episode with the new man in her life, Roy Phillips. She confesses everything to him about her earlier life and how she had a son named Jimmy. But she lies about his death, saying that he died of heroin overdose. Of course, that could be how she finally came to grips with the fact that her son is no longer alive, since she killed the Jimmy look-alike, Roger, with heroin and drowning.
But Roy might be living a double lifestyle, after he is shown telling someone over the phone that, “It won’t be much longer.”
The custody battle for Tommy wages on, and Julia feels that they will lose Tommy – since she and her father don’t make much; she isn’t related to Tommy by blood; and she is a single woman. Julia decides that things might be better if she was married, and she proposes the idea to Richard Harrow. He says yes, and the two go down to the “Marriage and Hunting” office to make it official. Richard then goes to Nucky to ask for a job.
Also in this episode, we learn that Mickey Doyle is worth $500,000 dead. So, the cash-strapped Arnold Rothstein – seeking revenge on an investment broker – and Nucky decide to make a deal. Rothstein will earn 20 cents on the dollar for the life insurance policy on Mickey.
This episode showcased the rebirth of Van Alden, but it also showed that some others may be seeing their final days. It’s uncertain if Nucky will side with Narcisse, though it is highly doubtful, and now that Mickey is worth a lot of money, he may soon be out of the picture. Of course, with Nelson making a strong comeback, and Richard having good things go his way, it’s a wonder if the writers will throw in a major shocker in the final three episodes.