‘Boardwalk Empire’ – Review of ‘Havre De Grace’

by 4 years ago

We’re in the second to last episode of this season of Boardwalk Empire and it seems like all the shit is about to hit the fan. What happened? Let’s review “Havre De Grace” and talk about it.

WINNER: Jimmy’s dog tags

Gillian is considering her options with Tommy but seems to make peace with the fact that she won’t get custody of the little dude. So she goes to the Sagorsky house to talk to Tommy and say goodbye or something. Fortunately, Richard is there to keep her from trying anything dumb. But Tommy does receive his father Jimmy’s old dog tags as part of the goodbye. Which is good since Jimmy, now dead for two years, is still the most interesting part of the Darmody family.

chalky white


Gillian returns to Roy Phillips and acts like she’s relieved now that the Tommy situation is over. But Roy says that the Piggly Wiggly/A&P merger went down and now he’s about to leave New Jersey for wherever they send him. But he wants Gillian to leave with him and marry him and she seems excited about it. Good, take her away, Roy. I don’t care what shady things you’ve actually got going on, just get her outta here.

Not so much, it seems. Some guy accosts Roy in a parking lot accusing him of costing him his job — so I guess Roy isn’t a con man — and then threatens to show Roy what it’s like to lose his life. But Roy guns him down because that’s just how the mysterious Roy Phillips does things apparently.

Roy then loses his shit and wonders what he’s supposed to do about it, asking if he should call the police. Gillian tries to reassure Roy by telling him about how she killed Roger via drowning. Turns out that Roy was just looking for her to confess to kill Roger as part of his detective work after he was seemingly hired by Leandras Whitlock. Well talk about a long con there.

WINNER: Agent Tolliver’s full court press on Eli

Agent Tolliver is still leaning on Eli for information that might help him ingratiate himself to J. Edgar Hoover and Eli offers all of the intel on Nucky’s new deal with Narcisse. It’s a point of interest for Tolliver given Hoover’s focus on the rise of power in the black community. But Tolliver seems perplexed by the arrangement; Nucky being second fiddle to a black dude? Little does he know.

Eli and Nucky have moved to a house further down on the beach after Nucky receives a call from Gaston Means telling him that someone’s a rat in his house. But Nucky is still totally unaware that the rat is Eli, asking if Agent Tolliver/Knox might be the one stooling. But Eli lies and says he just wants money. There’s like a 85% chance this ends with Eli dead which, while probably overdue, is kind of a bummer.

LOSER: Dinner at the new Thompson house

Eli, Nucky, and the rest of the family are having a big ol’ dinner at the new digs, enjoying each other’s company and cracking jokes. But when Eli’s wife June starts teasing Eli about the “insurance agent” who came to their house (of course, actually Agent Tolliver), he snaps and tells her to shut up, making it super duper awkward for everyone.

June later admits to Nucky that Eli has started drinking again and wishes she’d stop. Let me guess: The last time he was drinking was when he last attempted to betray Nucky in season two? Need to avoid that tell there, Eli. Anyway, Nucky’s seemingly onto the fact that Eli is the rat and that’s probably not a good thing for his longterm health.

Nucky calls Sally Wheet though and tells her that he wants out. Yeah, I’m sure that’ll last.

LOSER: Chalky’s visit to his old mentor Oscar

Still on the run, Chalky goes to his old mentor Oscar’s house. Chalky had helped Oscar get out of the game but Oscar doesn’t necessarily seem that grateful for it. Chalky was hoping for help from Oscar but, while Oscar’s family/helpers (?) are down for the cause of helping Chalky in his war, Oscar tells them it’s not worth it.

Oscar then gives Chalky a little pep talk, telling him to stay and cut Daughter loose because she’s just trouble — she is, after all, basically why he’s in this predicament. To really drive the point home, some of Narcisse’s men come to Oscar’s house searching for Daughter and Chalky. They waste Oscar in the process but Chalky and Oscar’s nephew Winston hold them off.

So the table is set for the finale. I feel like not seeing any of Dr. Narcisse this episode means there’s a decent chance we won’t be seeing him meet his end in next week’s season ender. And, unfortunately, combining that with Michael K. Williams’ busy workload with other projects…is there a chance the show kills off Chalky next week? I’m sincerely hoping not but that seems like a genuine possibility.

Slower episode than some of the previous weeks but here’s hoping that’s just the calm before the storm. I’ll give this episode three vintage Omar from The Wire shotgun blasts but I’m ready for the show to bring its A+ finale game next week.

TAGSBoardwalk EmpireTV recapsWinners and losers

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