I hate to be repetitive, but Nucky Thompson is still in a vile mood. Given the episode title, You’d Be Surprised, that probably shouldn’t be so, BUT the man is in a world of shit. He’s called on the carpet by Arnold Rothstein in the wake of the Taber Heights massacre and told he’s acting like a lovesick schoolboy in carrying on with Billie the showgirl. She, however, fits neatly into Nucky’s pattern of bringing home strays and rescuing damsels in distress. Speaking of distress, Margaret meets Billie in the company of Nucky at the snooty French boutique. Poor form, says Nucky.
On to this week’s random notes and general nattering.
Denial Flows In Jersey: Speaking of deep shit, Jillian’s venture into classy bordello land isn’t going well. Making matters worse is her refusal to admit that Jimmy is dead. She writes the corpse a letter instead of having him declared dead so she can borrow money on the house, and make it an even bawdier house. Luciano is no help, I wonder if she’ll turn to Gyp since mutton chopped Junior Soprano dude will not bail her out.
From Hunky Dory to Yumpin’ Yiminy: We visit the Van Weirdo family in Cicero. They have a vistor, the corrupt agent who shook down former Agent Van Weirdo at the speakeasy. Van Weirdo and wife think that he’s on to who he really is, so she whaps him upside the head, and insists that her husband finish him off. It turns out that he visited to return a really crappy iron Van Weirdo sold him weeks before. Oops.
This paved the way for Van Weirdo to hook up with Dion O’Bannon again. Who better to help you dispose of a dead body than a florist/wise guy? Nobody.
I’m glad that they moved the buxom Mrs. Van Weirdo out of movie Swede-land (anyone else remember the Swedish sodbusters in Shane?) and fleshed the fleshy former nanny out a bit more as a character. It’s a pity that she didn’t have Van Weirdo suffocate the guy with a slab of lutefisk. That shit could kill anyone…
Milky White: Chalky and his henchman pay a visit on Eddie Cantor at Nucky’s behest. The latter is making like Charles Foster Kane and trying to prop up his doxy’s failing musical, which was on the verge of folding during previews in Atlantic City. Nucky had already tried bribing and sweet talking the Vaudevillian into helping out but Eddie refused. For a good reason too: he was set to star in a show with music by Jerome Kern, the King of Broadway in 1923.
Now that Nucky is all gangster, he calls on Chalky and pal to “convince” Eddie to give in. After mildly humiliating him by making him perform a really goofy number, Eddie folds his weak hand to avoid getting his ass kicked. Wise choice, Eddie; especially since you thought Mr. White’s nickname was Milky. Chalky don’t play that.
We see Eddie and Billie at the end of the episode performing You’d Be Surprised. She thanks Eddie for helping but our boychick ungallantly mentioned the name of Lucy Danziger, Nucky’s previous showgirl mistress. After seeing the blank look on her face, he said “The one before you. The next one will never hear of you either.” Snap.
Kinky Gyp: Our boy Gyp Rosetti is on top of the world when the episode commences. He thinks, wrongly, that he’s convinced Rothstein to betray Nucky. Arnold dislikes them both but would rather deal with the semi-predictable Nuckster than the crazy Gypster.
Speaking of crazy, Meyer and Charlie Lucky dispatch Benny Bugsy to whack Gyp at the end of the episode. Benny cackles while shooting 4 people dead but Gyp survives by using a human shield, the cute redheaded waitress who was, uh, restraining him when Benny burst in. Gyp is into some form of auto erotic asphyxiation like a proto Mick Hutchence. From excess to INXS, all in one episode.
I knew Gyp would survive since it’s only mid-season but it’s a full blown gang war now, and the bodies are only beginning to drop. I’m not sure whose will fall first, Rothstein or Masseria, but neither has much shelf life left if you catch my drift.