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.