Was this was an edgy, claustrophobic episode or what? Almost every scene was shot tight and with no soundtrack but a lot of ambient sound. And the mumbling. The anxious, prickly or flat out weird mumbling. Eli’s drastic weight loss was the least unnerving element.
So what was everyone up to?
Nucky was playing house with Billie Kent in New York and got all sulky and butthurt when he realizes a beautiful, young woman might not be completely enthralled by his bullfrog looks and he might just be some old moneybags she bangs for the benefits. Billie, to her credit, keeps showering him with flattering attention and he keeps acting like a child. Up to letting slip to Rothstein that he’s sleeping with her by telling him the radiators leak in her building. Then he meets Stephen Root and realizes “Holy crap, it can get much, much weirder than Rothstein and Remus.”
Margaret tries to have another bonding moment with her friend, Mrs. Braddock, this time trying to tell her about how awful it was to see that poor woman miscarry and, once again, in walks Owen to crap all over her budding female friendship. He still mewls after her and she still shuts him down because she’s on her way to the hospital to give Dr. Mason a piece of her mind for being such an ass to her last week. Then she’s reminded how very much it sucks to be Nucky’s wife.
Gyp’s biding his time in Tabor Heights, practicing his scowls and menacing the locals when he has a brilliant idea on how to get back at Nucky. Which includes spooking the hell out of Owen who gets so freaked out he seeks advice from Eli. Ponder that for a moment.
Chalky and Dunn have now become BFF’s and tag team Maybelle’s boyfriend, Samuel, as he tries to ask for her hand. They give him a little flak but he’s kind and decent and smart and sincere and Chalky wants the best for Maybelle so he agrees. Unfortunately, Maybelle has a different idea and we soon learn that pining for bad boys is not a modern construct. And we see why fathers have other ideas.
And finally, Eli. He’s out of prison and looking the worse for wear. He’s aged about 10 years and dropped about 20 pounds but regains all of that seething, bitter resentment when Nucky sends Mickey to pick him up from Rahway and learns that Mickey’s in charge of “getting him set up,” which in Mickey speak means “works for Mickey.” Eli sulks all the way back to Atlantic City until he gets home and gets a warm and loving welcome from most of his family. But Eli, being Eli, obsesses over the one who doesn’t greet him with open arms.
Oh yeah, and if you want to amuse yourself follow Bobby Cannavale on Twitter, and look at his pictures. (Fuck you, seal.) The man is nuts.