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‘Old Pop Collingsworth Says Hello!!’ Herc Loves Tonight’s First Stephen Root Episode Of HBO's BOARDWALK EMPIRE!!

I am – Hercules!!

HBO says of “Spaghetti & Coffee,” tonight’s second episode of the third season of “Boardwalk Empire”:

Mixing business with pleasure in New York, Nucky bristles at the collection tactics of Gaston Means, a “special investigator” with ties to Attorney General Harry Daugherty. At St. Theresa’s, Margaret is troubled when her altruism is met with resistance by both a patient and an idealistic doctor. Gyp extends his stopover in Tabor Heights, a town halfway between Atlantic City and New York, with an eye towards establishing a strategic foothold. Chalky and his daughter Maybelle (Christina Jackson) fail to agree on her future with Samuel (Ty Michael Robinson); Eli gets a new boss and faces new realities at home; a major liquor shipment takes an unexpected detour. Written by Howard Korder; directed by Alik Sakharov.

Notes on tonight’s episode reside in the text invisible:

* Nucky’s new girlfriend Lillian “Billie” Kent gets very naked very early in tonight’s episode. I continue to find Meg Chambers Steedle, the actress who plays Billy, ridiculously sexy in or out of clothing. (She effortlessly wipes away the pain of losing naked Julianne Nicholson.

* The great and prolific Stephen Root (“NewsRadio,” “The West Wing,” “Pushing Daisies,” “True Blood,” “Justified”) joins the cast tonight. He’s perfect as Department of Justice agent Gaston Bullock Means, man with a fishbowl. The accent he employs is not dissimilar to the one he used in “O Brother Where Art Thou.”

* Means has a way with words. I lump him in with Rosetti and Kent as another new character likely to enhance season three.

* Gyp Rosetti’s insanely violent nature as depicted in last week’s episode continues to make his every move riveting. You can’t be sure what will next send him into a homicidal rage.

* We get some interesting background on Chalky this week.

* While Chalky and Eli are back, we see nothing this week of Nelson Van Alden, Al Capone, Gillian Darmody or Richard Harrow.

* And while Harrow is absent, Nucky and Arnold Rothstein have a wide-ranging conversation that touches on the late Manny Horvitz.

* How does it end, spoiler-boy?
Doyle throws down his cigarette near a pool of gasoline.

9 p.m. Sunday. HBO.

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Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 23, 2012, 6:57 a.m. CST

    Root + Boardwalk...

    by DrFever

    How can that not be awesome?? Wife & I always re-watch the previous weeks episode before digging into the new one. We do this for all HBO shows. But with the Emmys tonight we will have to put if off until Monday night. Let the Doyle Deathwatch Continue! (ps - that's not some spoiler we simply can't figure out how he's still alive.)

  • Sept. 23, 2012, 7:22 a.m. CST

    10 or 12 eps this season?

    by Goon Bighead

  • Sept. 23, 2012, 8:32 a.m. CST

    "Breaking Bad" is still the best show on TV, but ...

    by Toe Jam

    Last week's season premiere of "Boardwalk Empire" may have been the greatest single hour-long episode of any TV series of the last year. Maybe even better than the second-to-last episode of "Game of Thrones."

  • Sept. 23, 2012, 8:51 a.m. CST

    I hope they leave Richard Harrow lurking in the background

    by TheGreatHomsar

    His character is fantastic, but best left as mysterious and impenetrable as possible. I don't want to know too much about his background. I don't want to see extended scenes with him every episode pining after Angela. Just bring him in every now and then to wreak righteous one-eyed vengeance, and this show will leave The Sopranos in the fucking dust!

  • Sept. 23, 2012, 9:06 a.m. CST


    by Beau

    You should be watching Boardwalk Empire tonight and taping the Emmys so you can fast forward through 90% of the bullshit and commercials.

  • As far as Nucky's brother, it's a little disconcerting what he looks like having lost all that weight...

  • That battle scene of the attempted siege of King's Landing was better than any episode of BE ever...

  • Sept. 23, 2012, 9:49 a.m. CST

    Doyle is like a character from the live action POPEYE movie

    by IAmLegolas

    a thin Wimpy?

  • Sept. 23, 2012, 9:55 a.m. CST

    Breaking Bad is the BEST show on television, but...

    by IAmLegolas

    Game of Throne is my FAVORITE show on television. I love me some high fantasy backstabber-y. Boardwalk Empire is a lot of fun though, but mainly because of The Coen Brothers-like characters of Nelson Van Alden, Richard Harrow and a few others... plus I enjoy the time period recreation. Otherwise, it would just be another mob movie/TV show, a genre that's overrated, IMHO.

  • Sept. 23, 2012, 10:29 a.m. CST

    GOT v BE

    by goodforyou

    Thank god we have them both. Who cares which is better.

  • Sept. 23, 2012, 11:01 a.m. CST

    I wonder....

    by Johnboy40

    I know the obvious set up for Harrow doing Manny is revenge for Angela, but I do find myself wondering if Harrow is working for Nucky already, off the books as it no one else knows he is doing some of Nucky's dirty work. Maybe they figured that Manny was getting to big for his boots, asking for his own still.

  • Sept. 23, 2012, 11:56 a.m. CST

    I really don't think Harrow is working for Nucky

    by Toe Jam

    The only thing supporting that idea is that Harrow waited a good year and a half to kill Manny. Why would he wait that long, unless he was awaiting the green light from Nucky (or even someone else)? On the other hand, why would Nucky have Harrow kill Manny before Manny was able to complete that last hit (the low-level getaway driver) he was assigned? Also, Harrow loved Jimmy almost as much as Angela, and I don't see him associating with Nucky unless he's playing the long con for revenge, which seems rather unlikely.

  • Sept. 23, 2012, noon CST

    After last week episode...

    by DukeTogo84

    This has become the best show on TV. Even better than Breaking Bad which is still damn good.

  • Sept. 23, 2012, 1:16 p.m. CST

    Boardwalk Empire has finally embraced it's gangster identity!

    by Titus05

    no more half more half a gangster...or at least I hope so anyway...Terrence Winter is a smart guy, he knows people will eventually give up on this show if they continue the slow that they had to kill off Manny Horvitz though...he was a fantastic character who I wanted to see more of...Gyp Rosetti looks promising

  • MKW's that good.

  • Sept. 23, 2012, 2:39 p.m. CST

    The other thing that hints that Harrow...

    by Red Ned Lynch working for Nuck is that Nuck insisted the hit take place at a certain time and Harrow was conveniently waiting outside Manny's house when he left to do it. Nucky put Manny in the right place at the right time for Harrow to blow his face off. Could it have been coincidence? Maybe so. But likely not.

  • I pity the fools who are chosy of one show over the others aforementioned. We are so lucky we have those shows going, we are lucky they even exist, so it's stupid to fight over which is better. That's just stupid. We are living in a golden age of television, and we all should consider ourselves lucky we are witnessing it.

  • Sept. 23, 2012, 3:03 p.m. CST

    Doyle possible spoiler based on book and real life

    by Matthew

    I read the book they took a chapter from to base this series on. Obviously a few changes as Nucky Thompson is Johnson in the book or real life. So, anything can happen as the series is based on history but still fictional. Anyway the guy Doyle is based on has a different name in the book/ real life but has some success for a little while in Philly. Not really a spoiler but could be, everyone knows what happens to Al Copone but maybe not.

  • Sept. 23, 2012, 3:42 p.m. CST

    Herc really loves skinny women...

    by TopHat

    ...probably has to get drunk watching Christina Hendricks on MAD MEN.

  • Sept. 23, 2012, 5:20 p.m. CST

    When are the KERN archives gonna be updated?

    by Demagog_Dog

    I wanna listen to last night's show...

  • Sept. 23, 2012, 5:56 p.m. CST


    by Jason

    Doyle's laugh is laugh out loud hilarious. Why does Nucky continue to employ this incompetent nincompoop? I hope they don't get rid of him. He's great comic relief for an otherwise very serious show.

  • Seriously, that was a flawless opener.

  • Sept. 23, 2012, 6:41 p.m. CST


    by Raptor Jesus

    What hath the Sopranos wrought? And 'Deadwood' and on and on ad infinitum? I'm so sick of these 'people suck and everything is shit' tv shows. Christ, give it a rest and take some prozac.

  • Sept. 23, 2012, 7:57 p.m. CST

    Sopranos was dark and gritty? I thought it was hilarious...

    by heylookoverthere

    I mean obviously it had some dark points but mostly until that last season it was pretty fucking funny.

  • Sept. 23, 2012, 9 p.m. CST

    They got guns, we got guns, all god's chil'en got guns...

    by PDepew2181

    So the Marx Brothers stole it from Gyp Rosetti. Looks like a lot happens next week. Luciano and Lansky gonna go over Rothstein's head?

  • Sept. 23, 2012, 9:32 p.m. CST

    This season is fantastic so far

    by Itchy

    and I think only a bit of it has to do with seeing Billie Kent naked 2 straight episodes. They are making every scene count so far.

  • Sept. 24, 2012, 12:15 a.m. CST

    Season Two of this show was a disaster

    by clupula

    But these two episodes have been absolutely great. And yeah, Billie is gorgeous.

  • Sept. 24, 2012, 3:11 a.m. CST


    by walt

    williams is amazing, im just having a very hard time accepting that chulky's family is that disrespectful to him

  • Sept. 24, 2012, 8:28 a.m. CST

    Great show but it doesn't have massive ratings

    by DexterMorgan

    Will it continue for a few more series? It hasn't been gaining viewers over subsequent seasons like GOT, Sopranos or BB. I really hope there are at least two more series after this one. Some Emmys would have no doubt helped it along a bit.

  • Sept. 24, 2012, 8:33 a.m. CST

    Doyle throws down his cigarette near a pool of gasoline.

    by heylookoverthere

    Had me expecting an explosion at the end. While watching I only remembered the cigarette + gasoline. I was expecting Gyp to burn Owen alive or something. So glad he didn't.

  • I mean hell they're giving Treme a fourth season. They need one top-tier show that's not about vampires or dragons.

  • Sept. 24, 2012, 9 a.m. CST

    Another great episode, love the new character!

    by Dancingforever

    Root’s character introduced last night was fantastic, as was the rest of the episode. Can’t wait to watch it again multiple times. Best show on TV easy.

  • Also really looking forward to Homeland returning, hopefully it's not a one-hit wonder type of show. Also just got caught up on FRINGE over the past week, season 4 was AMAZING, especially the 2nd half, so confident in itself, and every single mystery was wrapped up better than I could have imagined. I agree with what others have said, we are lucky to live in an era of great television. I would argue (and some would say blasphemously) that the past 10-11 years have been the best era of television history. The rise of HBO (including, but not exclusively) The Wire, GoT, BE, Six Feet Under, Deadwood, Rome, Carnivale, Sopranos, O & other cable greats, 24, LOST, BSG, the Office (when it was new), Arrested development, Firefly, new Doctor Who, Community, Fringe, Downton Abbey, and many more. Feature films seem to put out fewer and fewer movies that catch my eye each year, but I would argue there has never been a better time to watch TV.

  • Sept. 24, 2012, 11:37 a.m. CST

    Even at its best, the dialogue is never better than WOODEN

    by Laserhead

    Terrible dramatic writing has plagued the series since day one. Plotting is fine, but I'm constantly embarrassed for the actors having to say the shit written in the scripts.

  • Sept. 24, 2012, 1:24 p.m. CST

    Laser head can you give an example?

    by Dancingforever

  • Sept. 24, 2012, 1:51 p.m. CST

    Yes Laserhead, can you give an example?

    by Napolean Solo

    Because I don't know what the frak you're talking about!

  • No he doesn't. Owen makes the phone call from the old couple's house, then asks Eli how many men he thought were "back there". They were nowhere near the gas station. They drove out of town, then tried to call Nucky to find out how to proceed, couldn't reach him so Owen made the call to go back to Atlantic City.

  • Sept. 24, 2012, 2:11 p.m. CST

    @Mr heylookoverthere

    by albert comin

    It's a common assuption that lighted cigarettes can flame up gasoline. his is ncorrect. Cigarettes in gasoline would light out as if they had been put in water. Cigarettes flamng gasoline is stuff in the movies. Besides, it's not gasoline itself tha flames up, but the vapours, and even then it takes special cicunstances. Te concentration of oxygen needs to be ideal, and that can't happen on open ground. There was a whole episode of Myhbusters dedicated to that. Neither lighted cigarettes nor matches can light up gasoline.

  • Wipes away the pain of losing who? Or just losing in general? I think I know why Hercules is so infatuated with her (apart from the obvious). Her face is like a really hot hybrid of Kristen Schaal and Tina Majorino.

  • At least not until Monday night. I had no other recordings set up for Sunday night. Triple-checked to make sure that BW Empire was set to record all new episodes. Also, there is plenty of space on the hard drive and BW Empire is set as my number one or two top priority for recording options. Just as with last week's season premiere, it waited until Monday night when the new episode from Sunday was rerun. WTF?

  • Sept. 24, 2012, 3:46 p.m. CST

    Gyp is lucky no one ACTUALLY threw a match at him

    by John Doe

    I think the rest probably would have survived haha.

  • Sept. 24, 2012, 5:32 p.m. CST

    She effortlessly wipes away the pain of losing ...

    by Hercules

    ... naked Julianne Nicholson.

  • Sept. 24, 2012, 6:52 p.m. CST

    Hey scirocco...

    by Red Ned Lynch

    ...I used to date a girl who absolutely freaked out once when I pumped gas with a lit cigarette because her uncle died by horrific combustion doing the same thing. I always suspected it was a bullshit story. She was a great girlfriend, though.

  • Sept. 25, 2012, 4:08 a.m. CST

    Season 3 Episode 2

    by Ralph Scifaretto

    It's a little bit underwhelming that two of the most interesting plotlines of the season (Richard Harrow's vengeance and Nelson Van Alden against Capone, the other being the struggle between Nucky and Gyp Rossetti) were out of the last episode. On top of that, they were replaced by the each time more annoying Margaret Schroeder's storyline (repetitive and dull as hell, reminiscent of Carmella's plotlines in the last seasons of The Sopranos: hope they get rid of the character) and an irrelevant and cliche story regarding the relationship between Chalky White and his daughter (what's this, the Cosby show in the 20s? C'mon! ). On the other hand, the scenes with Gyp and Owen Slater (great, underrated character) and the new storyline starring Eli almost make up for the uninteresting plotlines above. Let's hope the series recovers momentum after this dissapointing episode.

  • Sept. 25, 2012, 8:28 a.m. CST

    @Mr red ned lynch

    by albert comin

    No, you will most certainly cause an explosion if you have a lit cigarette while puming gasoline. As i said, what causes the ignation is not the gasoline itself, but the gases it emits. It's the gases which are easily combustible. You really tempted fate ther,e man. It's a suprise you (and your ex) are still around, you can count yourseves very, very lucky. Now, it's cellphones which there is no proof they can cause gasoline ignation.

  • If anything, the series has a bit too much of today's vernarcular. No way there would be as much "cocksuckers" and "fucks" and "fucking" as there is in the show. One of the very accurate things in an early episode of the show was when Chalky calls somebody a "motherfucker" and Nucky is completly at a loss what the word means, since back then that was a word exclusive to the inpoverished black people communities, and was even a new thing then.

  • Sept. 25, 2012, 12:59 p.m. CST

    I guess I'm the only one who really likes Margaret's storylines

    by Rebel Scumb

    But I've never been that into gangster movies or shows to begin with, Godfather part 1 aside (which I think is great). Never really saw the appeal of goodfellas, scarface, sopranos, casino, etc. But I think that's just my personal tastes and not a slant against those shows/movies. Boardwalk Empire would interest me a lot less if they stuck to just the mob stuff and excluded Margaret, Van Alden and the other non-mob storylines.

  • Sept. 25, 2012, 1:07 p.m. CST

    re: "... naked Julianne Nicholson."

    by jim

    Thanks for clearing that up Although, I do think she can also wipe away the pain of losing in general. For example, "I lost $100 at the track, but then I got home and saw Meg Chambers Steedle on BE, and everything was right with the world".

  • Sept. 25, 2012, 1:15 p.m. CST

    Nuckys brother

    by Extr3m1st

    Damn did that dude lose a lot of weight, almost didn't recognize him at first. Chalky is a great character, that dude is an excellent actor. Still think I'm interesting?

  • Sept. 25, 2012, 1:41 p.m. CST

    @Mr extr3m1st

    by albert comin

    Boardwalk Empire is full of great actors, but Chalky is a scene stealer. The actor is fantastic. I heard (though i could be wrong) that he's a former rapper. If true, the man is sure ruining the notion that rappers do not make good actors. yeah, Eli Thompson is now skinnier. Well, i doubt back then prision food was for making people fat. Also, i think the reason he's skinnier then in former seasons is that the 3rd season seems to be heading to make him into a badass. Something tells me that Eli is going to turn into a serious ass-kicker. He sure has the rage boiling inside him.

  • Sept. 25, 2012, 1:45 p.m. CST

    @Mr rebel scumb

    by albert comin

    Margareth'sm story serves to show that the life of crime corrupts in more ways then one. It's not just the people directly invplved in crime that get corrupted, but also those who live in the margins, like Margareth thanks to her romantic involvement with Nucky. And i can't help being engaged with Margareth's story because, among other things like great writing, it's Kelly Macdonald, dammit! Has ever a more adorable creature walked the Earth?

  • Sept. 25, 2012, 1:47 p.m. CST

    Van Alden will soon get involved with gangster stuff. It's inevitable.

    by albert comin

    And boy when he does, there will be blood! Fucker was already scary as hell when on the side of the law, imagine that guy unleached!

  • Sept. 25, 2012, 1:49 p.m. CST

    Fun true fact: Al Capone's brother was a an FBI agent. No shit.

    by albert comin

    And Al Capone's son lived his entire life as a law abiding citizen. The series does exagerate his deafness, which was only partial and only on one ear.

  • As is most of the dialogue on this show

  • Sept. 25, 2012, 5:10 p.m. CST

    Mr Scirocco

    by Rebel Scumb

    I completely agree about Kelly MacDonald!!

  • Sept. 25, 2012, 8:02 p.m. CST

    How the fuck are you still alive!

    by Michael Gunn

    I love that! Yes how is he still alive he he he he.

  • Sept. 26, 2012, 12:54 a.m. CST

    Van Alden

    by Extr3m1st


  • The drink certainlt doesn't suit Van Alden. Besides, can you imagine how he would be like in a drunk rage? All that repressed rage unleashed?

  • Sept. 26, 2012, 10:42 a.m. CST

    Remember how long it took Van Alden to get busted...

    by Nice Marmot

    ... for drowning the other fed at the baptism? When is Eli beating that guy to death in the shed out back of his house finally coming back to haunt him?

  • Sept. 27, 2012, 12:15 p.m. CST

    The guy Eli beat to death

    by heylookoverthere

    His former deputy (halloran maybe?) who is currently in jail knows he killed that guy, but I'm sure if he was going to talk he would have by now. I wonder what Nucky thinks happened to that guy. scirocco: I actually do remember learning that about gasoline at some point. They still have those no smoking signs at gas stations, maybe cause the act of lighting them could ignite something? I dunno. To my knowledge Micheal K Williams was never a rapper, but you should watch him in The Wire if you haven't already.

  • Sept. 27, 2012, 5:19 p.m. CST

    File me in the may stop watching camp...

    by blackmantis

    In retrospect killing Michael J Pitt's character was a huge mistake. The show lost its center without him and I found the first two episodes deadly dull and unfocused. I don't give a crap about a single one of these people, nor do I find them interesting.