Spoiler alert: Do not read on if you haven't seen the second episode of "Boardwalk Empire" Season 3, entitled "Spaghetti and Coffee."
It didn't take Gyp Rosetti very long to make his first move on Nucky Thompson. The brutal and simple-minded New York gangster -- who arrived on "Boardwalk Empire" to be a thorn in Nucky's side -- stuck up a New York-bound convoy of liquor-packed trucks at a gas station in Tabor Heights, NJ, sending them back to Atlantic City after a brief stand-off. After being told he can't buy Nucky's booze, he seems intent on making sure nobody else can either. Rosetti wants a war, and he's likely to get it.
For now, though, Nucky is keeping a low-profile, shaken by his colleague Munya's murder. And luckily for fan-favorite Richard Harrow, he's not on anyone's radar as a possible suspect in the killing.
This episode also saw two notable debuts, as former Police Chief Eli Thompson was released from his stint in prison and Chalky White made his first appearance of the season. They were both once important players in Atlantic City's power structure, but it's not yet clear where they fit into Nucky's new world order.
To keep track of the deals, deception and death, HuffPost TV presents our weekly "Boardwalk Empire" gangster rankings, a guide to who's up and who's down among HBO's organized criminals.
Check out the slideshow to find out how your favorite liquor-slinging sociopath fared this week ...
Nucky’s "a hard man to get to these days," having gone underground in the wake of Manny Horvitz's murder. He took care of his big-picture security, paying a $40,000 dollar bribe to the "Have you seen my stapler?" guy from "Office Space," who was acting as a representative of President Harding's corrupt Justice Department. The feds also have Nucky's bootlegging competition George Remis on the payroll, and made it clear they are intimately aware of Nucky's latest business moves. Bribes aside, Nucky was mainly focused on carrying on his affair with performer Billie Kent in this episode. She happens to be a tenant of Arnold Rothstein, which you sense may come up later.
Rothstein and Nucky both seem shaken by the Manny Horvitz hit. They have no suspect and seem to be getting on each others' nerves. Rothstein was irritated when Nucky mistakenly told him a shipment was coming a day earlier than expected: He won't be pleased to hear that Rosetti prevented the shipment from getting to New York at all.
Rosetti stayed at a bed and breakfast outside Atlantic City for a few days after getting cut out by Nucky, apparently studying maps to determine that he was sitting at a vital checkpoint, the last stop for gasoline in New Jersey on a truck route between Atlantic City and New York. He stopped Nucky’s shipment to New York at the Tabor Heights, NJ gas station with a rousing “EVERYBODY GOT GUNS” speech, but curiously didn't rob the shipment. It's almost like he just wanted Nucky's attention, and he's certainly got it now.
Sleater has moved up in Nucky's operation, overseeing his security and booze shipments. He gave out calm, authoritative instructions for the drivers as they left the warehouse, and when faced with an angry Rosetti, made the prudent decision to turn Nucky’s shipment around rather than get into a gunfight on someone else's terms. But as Furrio taught us on "The Sopranos” screwing the boss’ wife in a Terry Winter-produced HBO mafia drama probably won't end well.
Harrow wasn't in this episode at all, except when Nucky and Rothstein mentioned that they have no possible suspects in Manny Hurvitz’s murder. That means the man-with-half-a-face still has the element of surprise working in his favor in his quest for revenge against his friend Jimmy's murderers.
Atlantic City's former Police Chief came out of jail looking gaunt and humbled after taking the fall for his brother Nucky’s election-rigging charges. Nucky sent him a message about his place in the pecking order by sending lowly Mickey Doyle to pick him up, showing all is not forgotten between the Thompson brothers. He reluctantly accepted a new job working in Nucky’s liquor warehouses and as a driver, although it seems like it won't be long before he's working with Owen Sleater as Nucky's top Lieutenants.
Margaret spent much of this episode trying to wrangle her husband Nucky into attending church ceremonies to honor his own charitable giving. She's still carrying on an ongoing flirtation with Owen Sleater, Nucky’s security guy she slept with last season. She's also continuing her quest to reform the Catholic hospital, and may have had the line of the night when she told a curt doctor to "Please refrain from smoking that pipe or buy better tobacco.” Get 'em, Margaret.
Chalky White jumped at the opportunity to get a doctor in his family, trading his daughter’s hand in marriage for a thorough physical. It’s a smart, cold and calculated move, as he's in a dangerous line of work. When his future son-in-law got slashed across the cheek with a knife, one of Chalky's henchman promptly beat his assailant to pieces. It's not yet clear what his role in Atlantic City's liquor trade is at the moment.
Eli Thompson summed up the Gangster Rankings' thoughts on Mickey Doyle when he asked him incredulously, "How the hell are you still alive?" We have a feeling he won't be for much longer.
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