Boardwalk Empire Resolution Recap
At last, the long-awaited Boardwalk Empire Season 3 debut begins… Let’s get right to it and take a look at where we’re at after skipping all the way to December 31, 1922.
After a montage from past seasons, “Resolution” opens up on a road 60 miles from Atlantic City in Tabor Heights where Gyp Rossetti is stuck on the side of the road with his cohorts trying to fix a flat. They’ve got a rusty lug problem. A man shows up with a dog named Regina and offers help with some 3-in-1. Gyp Rossetti doesn’t know what it is. “It’s oil,” the man informs him, “what else?” Insulted by this offhand remark, Rosetti begins to enumerate other things the 3-in-1 might be. A tool, a solvent. The man apologizes and Rosetti claims he’s only pulling his leg but beats the man to death in front of his crew who appear to be used to such psycho reactions and hardly blink an eye.
To the tune of the 1921 jazz standard “There’ll be Some Changes Made,” we switch to Atlantic City, where a young boy is running up the beach with a delivery. He brings coffee to Owen Slater, Mickey Doyle and Nucky Thompson in a room with a guy named Nate who’s a little tied up. Nucky talks to Nate about stealing. When he doesn’t answer a question fast enough, Manny Horvitz comes into view long enough to smack Nate in the head. Nucky wants the name of Nate’s accomplice in robbing Mickey Doyle’s warehouse. To get that information, Nucky tells Nate that he blames “the f*cking imbecile who left the warehouse full of liquor unlocked while he was taking a goddamn dump,” which is Mickey. The relieved thief gives up his wheel man, Rowland Smith. Nucky tells Manny to untie Nick whose relief turns to shock when Nucky adds, “Oh, but before you do, put a bullet in his f*cking head.”
Preparations are underway for a New Year’s Eve gala at the Thompson residence. On her way out, Margaret stops by her children, Teddy and Emily, to inform Teddy of the meaning of auld lang syne and what an aviatrix is. Carrie Duncan will be the first person to fly non-stop across the entire continent, taking off from Cape May. “Just as soon as she finishes bobbing her hair,” quips Philip, household help polishing the silverware.
Some folks (and us) may know Jimmy Darmody is dead, but apparently the First National Bank of Atlantic City doesn’t, because Gillian is paying her $7.23 coal bill with a check and forging her son’s name. She then introduces a young girl named Evelyn to a group of ladies in another room. The Commodore’s mansion is now a brothel, the Artemis Club, where the ladies can expect more than the usual amount of inebriation among the guests on New Year’s Eve. Gillian urges the ladies to mind their own intake because they will be fined $25.00. Their well-heeled clientele include the likes of Flo Ziegfeld. Her grandson Tommy runs in, followed by Richard Harrow, and asks if he can go to the arcade.
In Chicago, Johnny Torrio and Al Capone meet with Irish American gangster Dean O’Bannion over turf issues. O’Bannion insults Al Capone, asking him if he has “some mozzarella” in his ears. When he learns that Capone’s son is hearing impaired, his parting crack “say hello to your boy, or at least wave,” infuriates Capone.
Nucky meets with Harry Daugherty, they quibble over who’s in deeper shit and protection money. Margaret tours the hospital she and Nucky have endowed with a new pediatric ward. A woman has a miscarriage right before her horrified eyes and she later asks a doctor, whom she addresses as Dr. Mason, how the woman is. He informs her that the miscarriage could have been prevented with some decent prenatal care, unavailable despite the wonderful new pediatric ward.
Van Alden (now known as George Mueller but we will continue to call him Van Alden) is trying to win a sales contest by selling Faraday electric irons door-to-door and just getting the doors slammed in his face, despite repeating the Émile Coué key to a happy life: “Every day in every way, I am getting better and better” to a mirror in the hall. He happens into Dean O’Bannion’s flower shop right when Capone is there to exact revenge. Quick witted O’Bannion pretends he knows Van Alden who plays along that he has a weapon in his case. Capone and his man leave. Overjoyed O’Bannion gives Van Alden a free bouquet for his wife and buys two dozen electric irons. If he ever wants a real job, O’Bannion says, ask around about him.
Out at the arcade, Harrow talks to Tommy about his mother Angela, but Tommy believes Gillian is his mother. Harrow is caught by Gillian trying to correct this bit of brainwashing, and she warns him to leave the past where it is and look to the future if he wants to keep living there. “I understand,” Harrow responds.
Nucky and Owen task Manny with dispatching Rowland Smith who is hiding out in Willow Grove. Manny was planning on spending New Year’s Eve with his wife. Nucky reminds Manny that he owes him and Manny agrees to bump off Rowland Smith but wants his own still. “Three months from now, I’ll be stuffing your pockets with money,” Manny says as Nucky agrees. Owen’s stock with Nucky has apparently risen enough where he feels he can instruct Manny to make sure Roland Smith is dead before the next day. But not so with Margaret, who curtly dismisses him when he tries to chat with her at the New Year’s Eve party with: “give my best to Katy.”
Eddie Cantor and Lillian “Billie” Kent perform “Old King Tut” at the Egyptian themed party. Nucky and Margaret enthusiastically enjoy the performance, while further away, Lucky Luciano, with Arnold Rothstein, Meyer Lansky, Frankie Yale and George Remus, asks how they like the “Nefer-titties.” Gyp Rosetti arrives with Regina the dog, wanting to talk business. He is insulted when Eddie Cantor interrupts to take Nucky away. Margaret offends the head doctor, Landau, bringing up her talk with Dr. Mason (she claims not to know his name). Landau feels accused of negligence but Nucky says it’s no time to talk shop. His valet, Eddie, dressed as a safari hunter, comes in with two men in Egyptian gear, toting a treasure chest filled with real diamond and gold baubles. The guests greedily help themselves as Nucky glares angrily straight ahead. Later, after a nasty argument with Margaret, he unwinds in bed with Billie, whom it turns out, he’s known all along. The argument makes it clear that in the wake of Margaret’s treachery (deeding Nucky’s land to the church), the Thompsons are married in name only.
At the Faraday Electric Iron Co. New Year’s Eve party, Van Alden finds out he didn’t get any credit for his O’Bannion sales because he didn’t get his figures in by 9:00 p.m. although he was certain he had until 10 p.m. He returns home disappointed. Sigrid is sitting there with their new baby boy. Abigail, his daughter by Lucy Danziger, is sleeping, but her cold is getting better. Sigrid says he will have better luck in the new year. He kisses her on the cheek and strokes his son’s head.
Nucky meets with the bootleggers in a downstairs room at the party, and informs them he will only be selling to Rothstein from now on. “New Year, new rules,” he says matter-of-factly. Gyp Rosetti is infuriated at the prospect of having to pay Rothstein a 50% markup and roundly insults everyone in the room. He calls Rothstein a “smug kike midget, creeping around like a f*cking dentist with ether.” Luciano is “short pants” and he tells him to go sit in the corner. Nucky is a “bread stick in a bow-tie” and a “pasty-faced c-sucker.” Nucky offers him accommodations at the Ritz as a goodwill gesture, but Rosetti takes offense as if he can’t afford his own hotel room. This guy is nuts! Standing next to Nucky, Owen warns Gyp that he’ll not be making any moves there and Rosetti says he will ship Owen out like yesterday’s sausage! Then Gyp claims no one there can take a joke, grabs the little pooch roughly and as New Year’s is counted off, storms upstairs. Father Time and the little people who were Leprechauns at St. Patrick’s Day are throwing confetti everywhere. Margaret is delighted until Gyp Rosetti marches straight up to her and shoves Regina in her arms. “For your kids,” he says. A good excuse for more Margaret contact for Owen.
At home, Manny shares a tender toast with his wife, then prepares to leave on his Roland Smith mission. His wife returns to give him a brand new hat. He puts it on, kisses his wife goodnight, opens the door and is shot in the face by Richard Harrow. So Munya is the first fatality of Season 3. This is surely revenge for Angela, but how did Harrow know that Horvitz would be coming out on New Year’s Eve at that time? Well, we don’t know yet, but we’ll guess if his info comes from Owen, Nucky will be on Harrow’s hit list, too, to avenge Jimmy. Rosetti’s got it in for everyone he comes in contact with, no matter what, so it’s bound to be the most violent season yet.
Resolution comes to a close with Margaret managing to get to Cape May in time to see Carrie Duncan’s flight take off and soar off in the clouds, a vision of the free independent spirit that she possesses herself. But Margaret is now much too entrenched in a mess of her own making to ever be that free.