Boardwalk Empire | Season 4 | Episode 5


TV-MA | 59 MIN

Written by Howard Korder
Directed by Tim Van Patten

In an empty apartment, Federal Agents Knox and Selby interrogate a tight-lipped Eddie Kessler. When Eddie won't budge, Knox punches him in the gut and threatens him, to no avail. Meanwhile, Nucky has noted Eddie's absence from the Albatross Hotel, but a desperate phone call from his nephew, Willie, in Philadelphia takes precedence.

At the Artemis Club, Gillian, out of heroin and at her wit's end, is unable to get in touch with Roy Phillips. Later, she melts down in Judge Varick's chambers while they discuss Tommy's custody hearing. Fueled by fear that she might lose the case, Gillian puts a hand on Varick's crotch and asks if there's anything she can do to improve her chances of getting Tommy back. He advises her to leave at once.

On Election Day, Frank Capone picks up Van Alden at his kit house in Cicero and brings him to Al, busy making quick work of a pile of cocaine at the Hawthorne Inn. The brothers order Van Alden to round up the 20 best men he can find and bring them to Western Electric to "help the voters make up their minds." Al gauges Van Alden's loyalty by coercing him into snorting a line.

Nucky heads to Philadelphia to help Willie, who has been arrested. Willie tells Nucky exactly what happened with his rival Henry—that he and his roommate Clayton spiked liquor they obtained from Mickey Doyle, thus implicating Nucky. After Nucky listens to Willie's story, he urges Willie to "remember the truth," and coaches him through a retelling in which Willie is innocent.

Believing he'll be meeting with the Philadelphia District Attorney, Nucky is less than pleased to discover an Assistant D.A. has been sent to speak with him. A.D.A. Mulhearne informs Nucky that the coroner believes Henry was poisoned, and as Henry's parents are major donors to the Pennsylvania Republican Party, anything arranged with the D.A. through Waxey Gordon is now moot. "Someone's got to answer for this," says Mulhearne. Later, when Nucky asks Willie why he slipped Henry the "Mickey Finn," Willie tells him, "He thought he was better than me. But he wasn't."

At the Western Electric plant, Van Alden attempts to keep the voter persuasion peaceful, but quickly loses control when the workers aren't receptive to a non-violent approach. The Capones arrive at Western Electric to help, but their crew is outnumbered and the chaos proves to be too much. Van Alden spots Al, vulnerable, crawling on the ground and aims his gun at him. But before he can fire, he realizes Frank is watching him. Frank begins reaching for his own gun, but Van Alden is saved when shots ring out, fired by a group of armed men who kill Frank.

Unable to find her usual heroin dealer, Gillian approaches Dunn Purnsley at a barbershop on Atlantic City's Northside. Coming up short, Purnsley takes pity on her and sells her a small amount of heroin, but not before commenting on the track marks running up her arm: "You best go easy now, little Bo. I like my lambs comin' home."

After Willie gives his deposition to the District Attorney, Nucky brings him back to Temple. He assures Willie he'll be able to live with what happened and that he must always keep family in mind: "The only thing you can count on is blood. The people that discount you, they don't know who you are." He tells his nephew he'll be watching over him and advises him to harness his rage, it'll be a gift." Show me the person you intend to be," says Nucky. As he leaves, Nucky meets Willie's roommate, Clayton.

A chemically reenergized Gillian goes to Tommy's school and attempts to bring him home, but is confronted by Julia. Two teachers escort Gillian from the premises; "You can't just bleach me out like a laundry stain!" she screams to Julia. Gillian later wakes in her bed to discover Roy at her side. He promises that his discovery of her heroin kit hasn't changed his feelings for her; he knows about "weakness and sin."

Eddie remains uncooperative, so Knox and Selby try a different approach. They confront him with a file, which details his transgressions in Germany: Eddie stole money from his employer and ran off with his mistress. Knox delivers the final blow, revealing his two sons, now grown, have changed their names, unable to bear the shame of their father, "the liar, the thief." The agents tell Eddie he'll be deported and handed over to the Hanover police if he refuses to give up Nucky. Finally broken, Eddie admits he was at the train station to meet and give money to Ralph Capone "because that was what Nucky told me to do."

Beside himself at the morgue, Al Capone learns from Van Alden that the men who shot Frank were Chicago detectives—sent in place of the corrupt Cicero police. Through tears, Al vows revenge, "Every fucking thing that crawls is gonna pay."

In the Temple library, Clayton is arrested for poisoning Henry. The shocking news brings Doris to Willie's dorm room, where she collapses into his arms, distraught.

Released by Knox and Selby, a distraught and broken Eddie returns to the Albatross Hotel where Nucky berates him for disappearing after asking for more responsibility. Later, upstairs in his room at the top floor of the Albatross, Eddie writes a note in German and changes into a fresh suit. Having betrayed Nucky and unable to face his past, Eddie leaps from the window to his death.