Two Boats and a Lifeguard
Boardwalk Empire | Season 2 | Episode 8

Two Boats and a Lifeguard

TV-MA | 1 HR 0 MIN

Written by Terence Winter
Directed by Tim Van Patten

Medical Emergencies

Nucky ponders a recent dream as Dr. Surran bandages up his wounded hand. Because Surran profits from the medicinal alcohol license Nucky arranged, Nucky reminds him he should have been told about the Commodore's stroke, despite the doctor/patient privilege. Margaret asks the doctor to check on Emily who is running a fever.

After Eli is handed a subpoena over breakfast, Ethan Thompson has an attack and dies.

Phoning It In

Jimmy blames Capone for the failed hit on Nucky but hangs up when he realizes Angela has heard too much. In Chicago, Capone doesn't give specifics to Johnny Torrio about why he was on the phone with Jimmy. The two play host to George Remus at the Four Deuces.

Margaret finds out from Eli's wife June that Ethan has passed. She delivers the news to Nucky who reacts stoically.

Keeping Mum

Arnold Rothstein strategizes with trainer Max Hirsch about his horse, Sidereal. When Lucky and Lansky come to see him in the stables, they claim not to know details about the attempt on Nucky's life. "Darmody ain't got it in him," says Lucky, who also says he no longer has a connection to Gillian. Rothstein sniffs, and attributes the stink to the horses.

Esther Randolph informs Nucky that the man who tried to kill him lived in a building leased by Capone in Chicago. Nucky insists he is innocent of all charges and refuses to share any information about his business dealings or his history with Margaret.

Father Figures

Van Alden and his new baby nurse Sigrid settle on her salary and hours. When Van Alden leaves for work, she encourages him to kiss Abigail goodbye.

Manny Horvitz visits Jimmy at the Commodore's mansion and reminds him he's still owed $5000. When Jimmy says he doesn't have it, Manny points to their luxurious surroundings. Jimmy explains it is his father's house, and Manny insinuates Jimmy hides behind his father while other people do the dirty work.

Honest Discussions

Margaret encourages Nucky to talk about Ethan, but he doesn't want to fake any grief. As for their situation, Nucky doesn't know if he'll be going to jail, but assures her there's no reason she'll be implicated as well. He rejects her suggestion that he give up his fight against Jimmy.

Angela confronts Jimmy about what she overheard and he admits he tried to have Nucky killed: He didn't want to, but Gillian can be very convincing.

The Counsel of Elders

Nucky arrives at the Atlantic City Armory where he notices crates of surplus machine guns. Inside, he has a secret meeting with Rothstein and Torrio. Trading information, the three realize that their protégés have been making separate deals with each other. Torrio advocates for immediate action but Rothstein counsels patience until an opportunity presents itself.

As agents Van Alden and Sawicki eat lunch on the Boardwalk, Van Alden teaches Sawicki the difference between "malum in se" – evil in itself, like murder, and "malum prohibitum" – a wrong dictated by statue, like accepting a free a lunch or trafficking in liquor. Sawicki confides it's getting harder and harder for him to believe in what the Bureau is enforcing. At home, Van Alden hides some money in a wall panel.

Living Impulsively

Angela joins Louise, a woman she met earlier that day, at a Bohemian gathering on the beach. At first hesitant when Louise reaches for her hand, Angela gets comfortable enough to kiss her date.

Nucky spends a night home with the family playing a board game. Margaret holds a listless Emily on her lap and tells the children about her crossing from Ireland. Nucky asks Teddy and Emily to start calling him "dad" instead of "Uncle Nucky."

Changed Outlooks

At the funeral parlor, Nucky tells Eli he only came for their mother and their sister. As for Ethan, Nucky says "he can rot in hell." Eli is disgusted by his brother's lack of forgiveness and leaves. Alone, Nucky breaks down over his father's corpse.

Nucky goes to see the Commodore, Jimmy, Gillian and Leander Whitlock at the Commodore's home. Informing them of his father's death and his newfound appreciation for life, Nucky says he's stepping down as treasurer; he will no longer stand in their way. Later, Nucky gives Chalky the OK for his people to strike.

Going Overboard

The ward bosses celebrate Jimmy's victory at Babette's. Jimmy tells Richard Harrow the glory is his to share and gives a speech proclaiming the arrival of a new day in Atlantic City. Eli warns Jimmy not to count Nucky out. Upset that Manny keeps hovering, Jimmy takes it out on Mickey Doyle, tossing him off the balcony.

Nucky confronts Owen about his suspicion: Owen never left the cause behind. He instructs him to set up a meeting with McGarrigle in Belfast; they'll sail immediately. That night, Nucky wakes from a dream to find Margaret holding a feverish Emily.