Boardwalk Empire: Ourselves Alone

Boardwalk Empire: Complete Episode Guide 

Boardwalk Empire – Ourselves Alone

Season Two: Episode Two

Directed by:  David Petrarca

Written by:  Howard Korder

The Spin:  Things aren’t so comfortable anymore for Nucky as the newly renovated Commodore rallies the troops to bring him down.  It seems he can’t trust anyone…though he still has some shrewd players in his corner, most importantly Margaret, whose stealth operation to capture his ledger and petty cash before the investigators get to it anchors the episode.  Meanwhile, in the Subplot Land – Jimmy travels to NYC to try to make a deal with Rothstein, who gives him the cold shoulder.  What’s an angst riddled young gangster to do in the city but get down and dirty with Luciano’s rivals?  Back in AC, Chalky White is stuck in the slammer with a loquacious chap from Baltimore.  We learn that while Chalky might be illiterate, he continues to write the book on bad-assery.  Lastly, an Irish lad named Slater makes an impression on the ladies at the Thompson house and might prove to be a key player going forward.  Korder keeps things moving tightly along with his workmanlike writing and David Copperfield allusions, while Petrarca lingers on images of offices torn asunder, blood pooling quietly in city parks and the warm glow of the past burning in fireplaces.

My favorite parts:  All that banter in the slammer…and Chalky, cool as a cucumber, maintaining his upper hand on the inside even while the deck in the outside world is stacked against him.  Margaret, at the dinner table sans Nucky, holding her own against a most disagreeable guest from her homeland.

The Best Line of the Evening: Margaret, very matter-of-factly, telling a tired and beaten-down Nucky, “You are smarter than your enemies.” 

Wait Until Next Week:  What trouble is this Slater fella gonna get into?  Will Eli come back home?

Commentary by David H. Schleicher 

To my readers and Boardwalk strollers:  Thoughts, reactions, comments?



  1. David, I thought this was a great episode. Chalky was cool as a cucumber in the slammer while the bad ass dude from Baltimore flipped his lip which soon bled all over. Margaret showed what she is made of in grabbing the cash and the books before Nucky’s enemies got to it. Can’t wait for next week!

    John – agreed! I loved the continued character development of Chalky (who was underused last season) and Margaret (who by some rites is the star of the show). It’s great to see what they are really made of. –DHS

  2. Ahhhh, Margaret. The many faces of Margaret. Lady of the house. Tatty working class woman. Former servant. Lover. Fighter. Gotta love her. She’s made a transformation from turning-a-blind-eye mistress to the woman behind the throne who could right now sit on the throne. I’m rooting for ya Margaret.

    I also liked the twist with the roses for Valentines without a signature. Metaphor for Margaret’s own roving eye. She’s primed for something on the side much like Nucky with his many women on the side.

    And finally Chalky. I was waiting for the other fellas to open up a can of whup azz in that cell. Chalky’s spent too much time as a black Chicago-style Boss Tweed for him NOT to collect in that cell. Tom Sawyer or Mark Twain. Who cares? Chalky writes his own sweeping epic of a story even inside a jail cell.

    Dianne – ah, good catch with the Valentines thing – I’m betting that Slater has caught her eye as much as she has his. Chalky was awesome – never have I seen an angrier reader. I hope we see more of his homelife, too, in coming episodes. –DHS

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