What Does the Bee Do?
Boardwalk Empire | Season 2 | Episode 4

What Does the Bee Do?

TV-MA | 57 MIN

Written by Steve Kornacki
Directed by Ed Bianchi

Doing What Needs to Be Done

Scantily clad, Gillian Darmody dances seductively for the Commodore. "We're all here now" he tells her when she brings up the past. Just as Gillian playfully shoots him with a toy bow and arrow, the Commodore suffers a stroke. Eli Thompson and Jimmy Darmody visit the bedridden man and are shocked to find him incapacitated. Eli panics about how this turn of events will affect their plan to overthrow Nucky, but Gillian assures him her son has the situation under control. After Eli leaves, Gillian kisses Jimmy and tells him it's his time to step up.

At breakfast, Margaret notices the flirtation between Katy and Owen Sleater. Nucky hands her some cash for the weekly expenses and tells her there are a few dollars extra for the house staff. Margaret argues they haven't warranted a bonus, but Nucky insists. Margaret hands out the money while threatening to scale back financially. When she has to remind them to say thank you for the bonus, they admit Nucky had actually promised them all a raise. Margaret makes it clear they will not be getting one.

Menu Planning

Released from jail, Chalky White surprises his family at breakfast. When his younger daughter asks him for homework help, her brother scoffs, and Chalky explains it's because he's too strict. Chalky agrees to let his daughter Maybelle invite her boyfriend, Samuel, to dinner the next evening, but specifically asks that hoppin' john be served.

Brotherly Love

Richard Harrow arrives at Jimmy's bungalow, but only Angela is home hanging a painting. The two speak about art, and Angela offers to sketch Harrow. While she draws him, Richard tells her about his twin sister Emma who nursed him after the war. When he moved to Chicago after his wounds healed, he didn't get in touch with her. Harrow takes off his mask and Angela begins a new sketch.

Nucky calls Arnold Rothstein looking for help—he needs a new port to unload his cargo. Rothstein suggests Philadelphia, although that means cutting him in for 20 percent, plus another 20 percent for Waxey Gordon.

Accompanied by Mickey Doyle, Jimmy meets Manny "Munya" Horvitz at Horvitz's Philadelphia butcher shop. Impressed with Jimmy, Horvitz explains that he and his associate Herman "Chayem" Kaufman want to circumvent Waxey Gordon and start supplying Philly themselves. For $5000 upfront, Jimmy agrees to make a delivery from his stock currently stored in Doyle's warehouse. By way of warning, Horvitz points out his freezer is filled with pieces of men who've f*cked him over.

Airing Grievances

Chalky meets with members of the African-American community to hear their grievances, including the treatment of workers in the kitchen at the Ritz. As he makes to leave, a mother and the widows of the men who died during the KKK attack on his warehouse demand justice. Chalky promises they will be taken care of but they are losing faith in him.

Nucky advises Chalky to slow down on his drinking when the two of them meet. Chalky wants revenge on the KKK for himself and his people. Nucky tells him to sit tight and reminds him it was expensive to get him out of jail. "You're not the only one looking to settle scores," says Nucky.

Strange Behavior

Federal agents Sawicki and Clarkson speak in hushed tones about Nelson Van Alden after he refuses to let Clarkson tag confiscated cash. Clarkson points out that half of all Prohibition agents take bribes and that he spotted Van Alden at a barn where bootlegging was clearly going on.

Jersey City boss Frank Hague arrives with boxer Jack Dempsey at Nucky's bacchanal for Mayor Bader's birthday party. Hearing that Dempsey hates Jersey City in the summer, Nucky offers Atlantic City as a training location, and points out the party's hookers as an example of the local resources. Ward Boss Fleming explains that the hookers are really from Philadelphia, originally brought in during election season. Hearing this, Nucky's lawyer Icky Ginsburg realizes that by moving whores across state lines, Nucky has violated the Mann Act, a federal crime which would allow Attorney General Harry Daugherty to help him.

Upset, Rose Van Alden calls her husband at the office. Rose says she's had trouble reaching him at his boardinghouse—she was told he no longer lives there. Van Alden promises to look into the confusion.

Unhappy Partners

The new Mann Act charges against Nucky hit the papers and although Nucky is ecstatic, Margaret is less than enthused. She asks Nucky for $100 for clothes for the children and promptly hides it with the rest of the cash she has been stashing in her dressing table.

Rothstein surprises Meyer Lansky and Lucky Luciano downtown and tells them about his new deal with Nucky. "I want you to be the muscle," he informs them. When Lucky finds out Rothstein was downtown meeting with Joe Masseria, he stews some more.

Explosive Situations

Owen rigs a bomb and explains to Nucky and Fleming that he executed a bombing a week when he was in Ireland. Nucky says it's Mickey Doyle who he wants out of business.

Dinner at the White's is a disaster when a sullen Chalky blows up when roast duck is served after he specifically requested hoppin' john. His wife and daughter try to put their guest at ease, but reference to Chalky's "country ways" only makes him angrier and he storms out: "Pretty clear who the field n*gger is."

Agents Sawicki and Clarkson pull up to Mickey Doyle's warehouse to investigate the bootlegging operation they suspect Van Alden to be involved in. As Clarkson reaches the doors, the entire warehouse explodes from Owen's bomb, engulfing Clarkson in flames.

Gillian feeds the helpless Commodore and recalls their first meeting: How he plied her with wine and raped her after she fell asleep. Telling him she still has nightmares about that night, she slaps him continuously.