Boardwalk Empire is easily one of the best shows on television, but last nights episode was extremely slow. The episode, titled Ging Gang Goolie, also didn’t have Gyp, Capone, Van Alden, or Chalky anywhere. Which is disappointing because they are some of the better characters this season. “Ging Gang Goolie,” much like the second episode of the season, took it slow and gave us some interesting insight into some of the characters’ lives. As always this recap will be rife with spoilers so if you haven’t seen this episode yet then read no further.
In the beginning of the episode Nucky Thompson is back in New York to drop off protection money with Gaston Means. When he enters the room, the fish bowl that’s supposed to be empty has water and a goldfish inside. When he asks the maid who was the last person to check out, she says it was a French woman, which is why it still smells of perfume. Remus arrives shortly after, looking to make a money drop, too. They both stand around looking confused, and Nucky is concerned that there is trouble afoot.
Nucky eventually tracks down Attorney General Doughtry and demands answers as to why Means didn’t make their meeting. Nucky wants Remus taken down instead of him, but Doughtry won’t do that since it will corrupt the friendship he has with Judge Smith. Nucky offers Doughtry a stern warning that if he tries to take him down, everyone will go down.
Nucky then goes to the front desk of the hotel and buys a bottle of booze along with a pack of cancer sticks. Two alcohol enforcement agents approach him, grill him about his purchase and what he was doing there, punch him in the stomach, and place him under arrest for possession of alcohol.
Nucky spends the night in jail before appearing in front of a judge who charges a $5 fine to those who are found with alcohol before setting them free. Esther Randolph, the one in charge of trying Nucky for his election rigging case, is also the prosecutor here. She tries to indict Nucky for other charges, but his only charge here is for the alcohol. The judge lets him go with a $5 fine and he hilariously asks the cashier if he could break a $100.
Nucky heads back to his mistress Billie’s apartment, where she is a little mad that he didn’t make the premiere of her show. She starts to undress, but then the phone rings. It’s Gaston Means on the other end, the man Nucky came to New York to meet. The two set a plan to meet in Atlantic City and take down Doughtry.
Back in Atlantic city Margaret is awakened by her son, Teddy, saying, “There’s a fire.” Margaret looks out the window to see that the greenhouse is on fire.
Mrs. Predock arrives in her nightgown, and Owen arrives shortly after. Margaret admits that she has never set foot in the greenhouse, but she knows the items inside burn quickly. Owen looks at young Teddy and asks what he saw, and Teddy claims that a gypsy was around there earlier in the day. Satisfied with his answers Margaret sends young Teddy off to bed.
Margaret is afraid that Gyp Rosetti might be the one lurking around the house, since she and Nucky still have the dog he shoved into her hands. Owen reassures her that everything is fine, and it wasn’t Gyp.
A few days later, Mrs. Predock returns with Teddy by her side. She tells Margaret that she saw him in her garage with lighter fluid and matches. Teddy denies setting the greenhouse fire, but Margaret doesn’t believe him. She sends him to his room and gives him a half hearted spanking as punishment. The spankings don’t seem to bother to Teddy and she sends him off to him room shortly.
Owen comes back a days later to inform Margaret that a vagrant was found trying to keep warm by setting a fire. He tells Margaret that everything is back to normal, and she doesn’t have anything to worry about. Not fully believing the story Owen tells her, she calls Nucky, who is being “detained in Washington D.C.” Margaret informs Nucky that when he comes back home, they need to have a serious talk and “Things can’t go on like this, every which way.” Margaret tells the armed guard watching their house he can leave.
Later on that night, Margaret hears some noises outside and she starts to worry. She calls Katie looking for Owen, but he is not with her. Margaret loads up a shotgun and decides to go outside and investigate the noise, and as she walks toward the greenhouse, she sees a light inside. Much to her surprise she finds Owen in there, who says he came over because Nucky called and said he was worried. She asks if they really found the person who set the fire, and that she suspects it was Teddy who set the fire. Margaret confesses to Owen that she punished Teddy for thinking he set the fire. Owen calms her down and tells her that all her questions and concerns are best to talk about in the morning. Then out of nowhere Margaret grabs Owen and starts to passionately kiss him. She pulls him back into the greenhouse where they continue kissing while she begins to undress herself.
Back on the other side of town that Nucky rarely visits Gillian walks in on one of her brothel girls doing drugs with Lucky Luciano. She fires the girl on the spot and gets into a heated argument with Lucky on how to run the brothel. Lucky then reminds her that the house is technically still under Jimmy’s name, who she hasn’t declared dead yet. Gillian surprisingly agrees with Lucky on this point.
While out on a walk later that night, Gillian runs into a young man named Roger chatting on the boardwalk with some friends. Roger catches Gillian’s attention because he bears a striking resemblance to her deceased son, Jimmy. After offering Roger a cig and making small talk with him, the two return to his room and have hot passionate sex. Gillian tells Roger that he “took her back to the way she used to feel” and offers to give him a job before she gives him the nickname “James.” So in case you read that too fast, Gillian has sex with a guy who looks like her dead soon and gives the guy a new nickname, which is the REAL name of her dead son. Gross.
Elsewhere our favorite one eyed killer Richard Harrow enters a bar for veterans, where he sees two of the veterans engaging in some bare knuckled boxing. The two veterans boxing had both agreed to meet up again and fight the last time Richard was in the bar. After the two man get done beating the crap outta each other, Richard hangs out with the older vet, who lost the fight, while he waits for his daughter to pick him up. When the daughter comes to pick up her father she thanks Richard for staying and talking with her father, and once they leave Richard realizes that the veteran left his jacket and medal behind.
Richard tracked down where the veteran lived so he could return the jacket and medal. Richard and the daughter start making some small talk and she tells him that the medal belongs to her brother, who died before the war ended. Her father has been unable to get over the loss and he hangs out in veteran bars in hopes that he will see his son there. She asks Richard if he has any family, and he tells her he as a sister. She informs him that his sister is lucky to have him back.
All in all not a bad episode. I think it gave us some great insight into some of the characters and reminded us that Margaret is a cheating whore and Owen is a bit of a snake. But then again who’s perfect. See you guys next episode.
Signed, Isidori Mtabo