Abbot Genser/HBO
Annie Barrett
October 04, 2010 AT 03:59 AM EDT

It’s off to Chicago for Jimmy Darmody now that his disappointed father figure Nucky has banished him from Atlantic City. Nucky used to think Jimmy would own the world one day, if he’d just follow his advice: Learn all he could about the world, and do good work. Jimmy’s young mother Gillian (Gretchen Mol, pictured) had entrusted Nucky early on to make sure Jimmy stayed out of trouble. She wanted him to go to college. But things change; instead, Jimmy went to war and started working for Nucky. He’s the Anthony Soprano of Boardwalk Empire. All Jimmy owns now is a copy of Free Air and a head full of haunting audioscapes from battle.

It was easier for Jimmy to leave town after his girlfriend and the mother of his son, Andrea, confirmed his suspicions that she’d been having an affair with Robert Dittrich, the photographer, while he was away at war. “Three years is a long time,” she kept reminding him. They used to talk about books; now all he can talk about is guns. At least she got a vacuum sweeper out of the deal — that’s kind of in the middle. She finally used that thing after Jimmy left, to suck up any trace of him and his decaying Christmas tree.

Agent Van Alden — “probee with a big head,” according to Sheriff Elias — suspected Jimmy had been involved in the woods massacre, and with the last survivor gasping for breath under the supervision of expert pillow-fluffer Elias Thompson, needed to get said witness out of Atlantic City. He attempted to transport the guy to New York because he had ties to Arnold Rothstein — he was his sister-in-law’s nephew. The road-trippers detoured to a dentist’s office so that the witness could briefly regain consciousness (thanks, cocaine) long enough to curse at them in Yiddish and name “Jimmy” as one of the masked men in the woods that night. Between Van Alden twisting his hand in the witness’ open belly wound, and Lucky Luciano’s doctor inserting a scope into his gonorrhea-afflicted (and sometimes flaccid; don’t tell or he’ll kill you) penis, I think I’ve seen enough grunting and gasping in pain for the whole week. And The Biggest Loser hasn’t even aired yet!

Omar Little (Michael Kenneth Williams) had promised his Twitter and Facebook fans before this week’s show: ”Chalky coming.” And there Chalky White was, in his magnificent red coat, running the bootleg distillery for Nucky. Initially, Chalky and Nucky had agreed on a 35-65 split on the profits, but by episode’s end, that balanced out to 50-50 because Nucky needed Chalky to keep quiet about the brutal hanging of one of his men outside the distillery. “It’s an election year, Chalky. The last thing we need is a race war. You understand me?” For now, sure he does. Chalky’s as sensitive “as a baby’s ass, mother f—er.”

NEXT: A drooling baby for Nucky.

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