Ging Gang Goolie Recap
No, that wasn’t Eli Thompson getting beat on in the Ging Gang Goolie preview, and that wasn’t the only misleading thing going on in the 6th episode of Season 3 of Boardwalk Empire…
All signs point to Margaret Thompson’s youngster Teddy sneaking about setting fires. Oh, how he loved to play with matches at school in Season 1. But the boy steadfastly denies it and blames it on a gypsy who likes to start fires. Well, somehow the gypsy left his bag with kerosene and matches about, and the neighbor who has the hots for Owen, Miss Predock, found the bag and Teddy in her garage. A vagrant gets the blame but we wouldn’t discount Teddy entirely yet. He did refer to the bag as “his” after all, and has plans to protect his little sister Emily from gypsies and pookas with a knife he keeps under his pillow.
It’s a bit frustrating after last week’s wild episode to have to wait for Gyp Rosetti’s next move, but Eli Thompson and Mickey Doyle meet with Sheriff Ramsey in Tabor Heights to make sure Ramsey will let them know if Rosetti shows up there again. Who believes Ramsey really thought Gyp and his guys were only planning a robbery? Stuff and nonsense. Ramsey wouldn’t even be Sheriff if Gyp Rosetti hadn’t burned Sheriff Sickles to a crisp, and he covered that crime up. But as shifty goes, he’s minor league…
At the Hotel Astor in New York City, Nucky Thompson and George Remus have been stood up by Gaston Means. Remus can’t even call Means because the maid will get the house detective on him unless he does it from the lobby. Affronted, Remus calls the place a flophouse, flounces off and Nucky gives the maid an enormous tip, explaining Remus’ lack of social graces: “He’s from Cincinnati.” Remus heads back there while Nucky heads off to D.C. because that’s where he turns up next.
But before that confrontation takes place, Attorney General Harry Daugherty is inspiring the Boy Scouts with a tale of the Honest Injun. Jess Smith is close to a nervous breakdown from the hypocrisy of it all, knowing they have all strayed far from the Boy Scout ideals Daugherty is preaching. They are criminals! Gaston Means takes a hold of Jess, while Daugherty blames it on a “bad sausage.” The Laurel, Md. Troop sing their “Ging Gang Goolie” song as Jess is carted away.
Nucky barges into Daugherty’s office in the midst of a meeting with Remus and Jess Smith, demanding to know if Daugherty plans to indict him. He warns the unruffled crooked pol that if he goes down, Daugherty is going with him, “lock, stock and whiskey barrel.” Gaston Means is lurking in the closet, ready to do Daugherty’s bidding. Preparing to board a train back to Jersey, Nucky picks up a little hootch and Lucky Strikes and is immediately roughed up and arrested by two Treasury agents for violating the Volstead Act. That gets him a night in the tank where he meets small time bootlegger Alby Gold.
When his case finally comes up, the prosecutor is his Season 2 nemesis, Esther Randolph, who had him on the ropes so bad, he married Margaret to prevent her from testifying. They are both taken aback to see each other. Nucky correctly assesses it as a step down for Esther, while she incorrectly sees a chance to toss Nucky in federal prison for a year, with a hefty $2,000 fine. The judge suggest she find another venue to bring purpose to her life and fines Nucky $5.
Nucky later seeks to fill that void in Esther’s life by offering her the chance to be the one to bring Daugherty to his knees. Esther is no fool and calls him on his attempt to frame it in terms of doing her a favor: “You see yourself as some sort of paterfamilias, don’t you?”
Behind their playful banter lies the chance to get out of her humiliating banishment to night court in a blaze of glory, but Esther remains somewhat skeptical knowing the powers she will be up against, including the President. “Can we at least say that I’ve piqued your interest?” Nucky asks, after laying out the bait.
Nucky makes a phone call to Margaret to check on the kids before boarding a train to New York City to see Billie Kent. Margaret wants to have a talk when he returns but he doesn’t see the necessity of it. Who is impressed with this absentee caring step-father routine anyhow? He’s not really in the children’s lives in any meaningful way anymore. He’s not the paterfamilias. He’s just their benefactor.
Nucky goes instead to see Billie Kent who is a little miffed that he disappeared and missed her opening night. He doesn’t bother to tell her about his adventures in the nation’s capital but wants to know how the show went. She recites her rave review, “…Billie Kent is heaven-sent,” from the New York Evening Journal. and says a movie director slipped her his card. The phone rings. Much to Billie’s dismay, Nucky answers it but it’s not for her. It’s Gaston Means who wants to offer his services to Nucky for $40,000. “That’s a lot of money for mere information,” Nucky says, but agrees to meet Means in Atlantic City the next night. Billie wants to know what’s going on, but Nucky doesn’t mix pleasure with business.
Back at his home, his wife in name only is awakened by noises on the property. She puts in a call to Owen. Katy answers the phone and says she thought Owen was with her so Margaret hangs up on her and loads a shotgun. She comes upon Owen in the greenhouse and orders him to stay where he is. Then she recognizes him and confides how she punished Teddy but Owen says Teddy will forgive her. “I’ve done what I thought best and wound up here,” Margaret says unhappily intimating she’s not entirely thrilled with her current life. Margaret says Katy is wondering where he’s got off to, and Owen responds: “The Royal Constabulary never kept watch on me this closely.” Margaret says Katy doesn’t want to lose him, and he brings up Katy’s kewpie dolls on the shelf. “Names for everyone,” he says, not mentioning Katy’s pet name for his johnson,. He turns to leave, but Margaret calls him back. Owen demurs, “”I don’t think it’s wise.” Margaret points out that they both know how to keep a secret. Yeah, so they go in the greenhouse of all places to get it on where we are sure Teddy, the first one to see the fire, will be getting a birds-eye view of Mr. Poofles as he keeps guard from his bedroom. So, is it fair to conclude that Owen is smothered by Katy, but he’s cool with being Margaret’s boy toy?
Lucky Luciano wants his favorite hooker at The Artemis Club to help him get everyone hooked on dope, with a nice 50/50 split, but Gillian is not having it. She has standards that don’t include peddling heroin or dressing the girls in scanties, as she points out after Luciano complains about the schoolmarmish garb she makes the girls wear. Obviously his own affair with Gillian is long over since he has, as she puts it, no problem sampling the wares offered at Artemis. She fires his favorite just so everyone knows who’s running the show.
Gillian sets about removing framed pictures of her son Jimmy from just about every nook and cranny in the house. Later as she prowls the Boardwalk, she notices a young man with an uncanny resemblance to Jimmy. The haircut’s a dead ringer anyhow. Gillian offers him a cigarette and talks about dreams of “a world where everyone is safe and happy and surrounded by those we love.” He is Roger McAllister from Indiana, in Atlantic City looking for work. They soon wind up between the sheets at his boarding house, where he marvels how this “29-year-old” older woman can make him feel better than women his own age. Gillian says he’s taken her back to the way she used to feel. Yes, indeed, when she was incestuously boffing his look-alike! Then she sets her plans for him in motion by dubbing him “James… because he was a king.”
At a local American Legion Hall, the topic of disability benefits is being bitterly discusssed. They notice Harrow’s extensive battle scars and inquire into the status of his benefits, but Harrow says he did not qualify for any. An older man named Paul Sagorsky interrupts: “If you’re finished with the belly-aching, some of us would like a drink,” he barks, “France. Big f*cking deal. At least you were fighting white men.” The bartender laughs and refers to the man as”The hero of the Philippines.” Sagorsky continues to rave about his service and challenges the bartender to a fight. The younger man accepts the challenge for the next day and beats the snot out of the old man. Richard Harrow decides to pick up the pieces and is there when the man’s daughter, Julia, arrives by car to pick him up.
“Dad!” Julia exclaims, “Again?” so we know this is Sagorsky’s habitual behavior. They leave but his coat and a Croix de Guerre medal remains behind so Harrow delivers it to their home. Julia explains to him that the medal belonged to her brother, Fred, killed in action, which has just about destroyed her father. She asks him if he has any family and he tells her a little about his sister. Later Harrow wistfully looks at photos of his family, pausing over a particular photo of himself and his twin sister, which he turns over to show “Sis and Me. 1916” written on the back.