Battle of the Century
Boardwalk Empire | Season 2 | Episode 9

Battle of the Century

TV-MA | 49 MIN

Written by Steve Kornacki
Directed by Brad Anderson

Fathers and Guns
Nucky checks in at customs in Belfast under the guise of burying his father, Ethan, in his homeland. He and Owen meet with John McGarrigle at a funeral parlor where Nucky reveals that Ethan's coffin is actually filled with machine guns. He offers to trade guns for Irish whiskey but McGarrigle refuses to commit without talking to his superiors.

In Atlantic City, Eli buries Ethan's real body alongside his mother and sister. Investigator Lathrop watches from a distance. Later in bed with Esther Randolph, Lathrop tells her he attended Ethan Thompson's funeral... and yet Nucky asked for permission to travel so he could bury his father in Ireland.

The Cost of Doing Business
Capone brings Remus to Jimmy's house to make a deal for government bonded whiskey. Luciano, Lansky and Doyle join the two in pledging $60,000 apiece up front for access to Remus' alcohol. Remus agrees after clarifying the tab for his Atlantic City weekend is on Jimmy. The others bring up Manny Horvitz's continued nudging about the $5000 he is owed, but Jimmy says he'll take care of him. The men make plans to watch the Dempsey-Carpentier fight in Jersey City, but Jimmy says he wants to listen to it on the new wireless.

Harrow asks Jimmy if he really believes he'll someday meet a girl to settle down with. Their conversation is interrupted by the arrival of Waxey Gordon. To secure Waxey's continued business in Philadelphia, Jimmy tells him that Manny Horvitz was responsible for the death of two of Waxey's guys. Waxey says he'll take care of Horvitz and Jimmy doesn't protest.

A Dangerous Diagnosis
When Emily won't get out of bed, Margaret realizes she cannot move her legs. Dr. Surran rushes Teddy out of the room and tells Margaret they will need to quarantine Emily for polio immediately. Concerned about contagion, he stops Margaret from comforting her daughter as she is subjected to a painful spinal tap at the hospital. Back at home, Margaret and Katy clean the house, but Pauline, worried about her own children, gives notice. Teddy watches while Emily's things are burned in the backyard.

Ticking Clocks
Nucky demonstrates the Thompson machine gun to a group of IRA members by demolishing a grandfather clock. McGarrigle, who lost a son in the fight, arrives to say that the leadership is pursuing a truce with London so the guns are no longer necessary. Nucky tries to make the deal with whiskey distiller Daniel Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald, who refuses to go against McGarrigle, says he won't be able to provide the liquor until the war is over and he's back in business - December at the earliest. At dinner with McGarrigle, Nucky questions whether the British are to be trusted, but McGarrigle holds firm. When Nucky turns in for the night, McGarrigle tries to talk Owen into staying in Ireland.

Esther Randolph and Lathrop quiz Deputy Halloran about his knowledge of Hans Schroeder. Halloran stumbles through the questions which center on Eli and Nucky's control of the city.

Raising a Ruckus at the Ritz
Dunn Purnsley stirs up dissent during a ten-minute lunch break in the kitchen of the Ritz. Equating their meal to dog food, he draws the attention of the hotel manager who warns him to be grateful. Meeting with Chalky, Purnsley gets the word to start a black workers' strike and raises more of a ruckus in the kitchen of the Ritz the next day. He argues that if everyone sticks together, there will be no one to replace them. When the hotel manager fires him, Purnsley demands a raise. The rest of the staff shows support by tossing kitchenware around the room.

Battles Royale
On the Sabbath, Manny Horvitz reluctantly opens his butcher shop for a customer who has an emergency order. As the door
opens, a man shoots him in the shoulder. After a struggle, Manny sinks a meat cleaver into his head. Searching the man's things, he finds a matchbook for an Atlantic City steakhouse.

Jimmy and Harrow listen to the broadcast of the Dempsey-Carpentier fight at a local theater. Jimmy gets edgy when he notices that people are looking at him, and a note is passed to him informing he is being watched. A pair of women approach, eager to hail the new king of Atlantic City. Although they are uneasy with Harrow at first, Jimmy vouches for him, and one of the women turns her attentions to him.

When the hospital staff is distracted by the broadcast of the big fight, Margaret sneaks into the quarantined room to comfort Emily.

Heading Home
After Nucky says his goodbyes to McGarrigle, IRA leader Bill Nielan rides with him to the port. As their car turns a corner, gunshots ring out and McGarrigle drops dead. Nielan tells Nucky he'll need 1000 machine guns, for which he'll receive 10,000 cases of whiskey - the fight isn't over. At the dock, Nucky confronts Owen about McGarrigle's execution, informing him he doesn't like secrets. Owen replies there was nothing he could have said to stop it. As they head for the ship, Owen reads Nucky's telegrams to him, one from his lawyer regarding his trial date, and the other from Margaret with news of Emily's polio.