Gimcrack & Bunkum
Boardwalk Empire | Season 2 | Episode 5

Gimcrack & Bunkum

TV-MA | 50 MIN

Written by Howard Korder
Directed by Tim Van Patten

Remembrance Day

The town gathers on Memorial Day to honor its soldiers at the site for what will become the Atlantic City War Memorial. Nucky gives a speech and acknowledges Attorney General Harry Daugherty, representing the Harding administration. The Commodore, however, is absent, which Nucky explains is due to "pressing business elsewhere." He then calls on Jimmy to say a few words, and although initially caught off guard, Jimmy moves the crowd with a tribute to his fallen comrades.

Later, Daugherty's associate Jess Smith asks Nucky to put in a good word for him with George Remus, who he'd like to do bootlegging business with.

Into the Woods

Richard Harrow packs a small satchel of supplies and heads out with his shotgun. Hitching a ride to the woods, he finds a clearing where he removes his mask, puts on his dog tags, and places the shotgun in his mouth. He is interrupted by a dog who runs off with his mask.

While chasing after the dog, Harrow stumbles on two men who've set up camp in another clearing. The two invite him to join them, and Harrow sees the dog is with them. One of the men, Glenmore, produces Harrow's chewed up mask. Harrow joins them for food and drink, and the other man, Pete, offers to drive him back to Atlantic City. Before he leaves, Glenmore reminds him: "These woods is for living."

A Lesson in Respect

Eli and Jimmy meet with the Commodore's cronies at Jackson Parkhurst's home. Parkhurst waxes on about his victories during the American-Indian war and how he made his fortune selling chipped beef to the Army. Leander Whitlock and the others express concern that their $70,000 investment has not borne fruit. When they ask to speak to the Commodore, Jimmy assures them his father is healthy and that he is acting on the Commodore's behalf. Unhappy with his tone, Parkhurst cracks Jimmy across the face with his cane. A bleeding Jimmy withdraws and ignores Eli's plea to keep the old men happy. Gillian patches up Jimmy's face and tells him that he needs to show the town's elders he won't be disrespected.

The Unforgiven

Nucky returns home to find Eli waiting for him. Although Eli is remorseful, Nucky refuses to forgive him, even when Eli tries to prove his loyalty by revealing the Commodore has had a stroke. Instead, Nucky laughs at him for crawling back, catalyzing a fight between the two that leaves the room in shambles. As Eli reaches for his pistol, Margaret stops the brawl with a shotgun to Eli's head. After Eli leaves, Margaret asks Nucky, "Is this to be our life?"

Justice Is Blind

Daugherty introduces Nucky to Charles "Chip" Thorogood, the novice federal attorney who will be handling his case. Thorogood and Icky Ginsburg explain the strategy to Nucky: Thorogood will lobby for a transfer to federal court. Once the case becomes federal, the Department of Justice will opt not to prosecute as they're already swamped with Volstead matters. Nucky asks for a guarantee this will all work, but Daugherty says he can't give one. Instead, Daugherty hints he and his men are expecting a good time while they're in town and so Nucky is kept at the office while hookers take care of Daugherty and company in the suite.

Bumps in the Night

When Ward Boss O'Neill visits Eli in his garage, Eli sends his son on an errand so they can talk. O'Neill is suspicious that something has happened to the Commodore, despite Eli's assurances that all is well. Panicking, Eli smacks O'Neill with a wrench harder than he intended, and is forced to finish him off. When his son returns, Eli feigns illness and tells his son not to enter. Deputy Halloran arrives at Eli's to help him move O'Neill's body which Eli buries in a field.

That evening, Angela sits down with Jimmy and asks him if he meant what he said in his speech at the ceremony. Jimmy asks her what difference it makes, they have all that they need in their lives. Angela questions whether something is missing. Harrow arrives to speak to Jimmy and Angela is taken back by his remoteness. Before agreeing to Jimmy's next assignment, Harrow asks Jimmy if he'd fight for him. "Right down to the last bullet," Jimmy tells him. Satisfied, Harrow accompanies Jimmy to Parkhurst's home where they scalp him to send a message to the Commodore's cronies.

Margaret wakes up startled by a scream. When she goes to investigate, she finds Katy in the hallway claiming to do the same. Returning to her quarters, Katy grumbles about Margaret to Owen, who is lying naked in her bed.