Sally pays an unexpected visit to Nucky in Atlantic City; Jim Tolliver gets all the details about William’s involvement with Henry’s death; and we say farewell to another character. Those are just some of the events that took place in the “Boardwalk Empire” episode, “The Old Ship of Zion,” which aired on Oct. 27.
With the death of Eddie Kessler, Agent Tolliver (also known as Agent Knox) finds out that there is another weak link in Nucky’s empire. And that person is William, who is no longer attending Temple and is spending time with Nucky while Eli calms down. But there’s also William’s roommate, Clayton, who is going to be imprisoned for murder charges. One of the other agents takes note that Nucky was at Temple for about 30 minutes, and everything was squared away by the school officials.
So, Tolliver goes to talk to Clayton. And he brings with him three packs of Chesterfields. Apparently that’s enough to get someone to confess to the Feds.
A delivery of oranges arrives for Nucky and the others, and Sally Wheet surprisingly shows up. Nucky automatically assumes that something must be wrong with the order, and that does not impress Sally. The obnoxious Mickey Doyle, carrying Eddie Kessler’s cane, begins to hit on Sally at the Onyx, and she just keeps on playing hard-to-get. Nucky arrives at the Onyx, and Mickey Doyle’s attempt to win over Sally is squashed.
After hearing Nucky and his new love interest making the bed shake, William meets Sally, and the two get to know each other over a homemade breakfast. Earlier in the episode, William told Nucky that he really wanted to help with the business. At this scene, Nucky gives him a job in the mayor’s office, and the only thing he has to do is keep his eyes and ears “open” for anything.
Chalky is investigating who is behind the recent surge of heroin in the community. He, Dunn, and others gather to raid a house, which happens to be where Dunn has been doing his business for Narcisse. But Chalky doesn’t know that, and when he goes to find the leader of the trade, Dunn kills him. Chalky tells him he’s “mighty quick to end things.”
Dr. Narcisse is presenting his latest play, “Omniria,” and Chalky arrives – banging a trash can lid. When Narcisse and the audience go to see what the racket is, Chalky pulls out two unwrapped blocks of heroin and hints that it has been Narcisse who is behind the heroin spike. Chalky burns the two blocks of heroin, and he calls the event “Harlem by Torchlight.”
Narcisse, not too happy with Chalky’s antics, tells Daughter to keep him in her room until “another visitor arrives.” When that moment comes, Chalky preps himself to leave, but Daughter is able to make him stay. A knock on the door is heard, and it turns out to be Dunn. Chalky talks about Dunn’s betrayal, and the discussion turns into a fight. Chalky takes a piece of wood and stabs Dunn right in the cheek. Dunn gets on top of Chalky and begins to choke him. When it looks like Chalky is about to suffocate, Daughter stabs Dunn in the back. How ironic that a backstabber, like Dunn, ends up going out by literally getting stabbed in the back.
Tolliver and another agent approach Eli to talk about Eddie Kessler. Tolliver reveals the whole story about William and how Nucky got him out. Eli doesn’t believe him and goes to stab Tolliver with a fork. The other agent grabs Eli and restrains him. Tolliver says that they want Eli to bring Nucky to them. And it’s uncertain if Eli agrees to the deal at this scene.
Will leaves Nucky’s place and returns home. He told Sally and Nucky that he feels he owes his parents an apology. When Eli returns from his encounter with Tolliver and the other agent, he sees Will and the family singing a song. Will admits to disobeying, and he apologizes. He tells Eli he wants to come back home, and Eli opens his arms for a hug. Nucky tells Eli that he told him everything would work out. Eli agrees, but as the camera pulls back, the look on his face seems to say otherwise.
Did anybody else shout “Thank God!” when Nucky grabbed Eddie’s cane and beat Mickey with it? He becomes more and more annoying each episode and it felt great to see someone finally give him a beating.
With Dunn out of the picture, it looks like Narcisse might have to go after Chalky himself. Or could he be trying to get Daughter to turn on Chalky?
It’s either going to be Eli, Nucky, or William who might not make it past this season. Nucky will most likely remain, since he is the lead, but the writers aren’t afraid to surprise its viewers.
Jeffrey Wright has proven to be great this season, but it’s Michael K. Williams who really steps it up this episode. It’s heartbreaking to see him have an emotional breakdown while Daughter is singing “The Old Ship of Zion.”