Boardwalk Empire Wiki

"21" is the premiere episode of the second season of Boardwalk Empire, and the 13th episode overall. It was written by executive producer and show runner Terence Winter and directed by executive producer Tim Van Patten. It originally aired on 25 September 2011.


Official synopsis[]

Nucky is rocked by an insurrection among his inner circle; Chalky's life and livelihood are threatened by a vicious KKK attack; Margaret copes with her son's disciplinary problems; Angela vies with Gillian for Jimmy's affections at home; Van Alden shows his wife Rose around town as an anniversary present. Written by HBO Publicity.


Main article: 21 recap

A detailed recap of the episode scene by scene.


First Appearances[]

  1. George Remus, former lawyer and aspiring bootlegger established in Cincinnati, Ohio.
  2. Leander Cephas Whitlock, The Commodore's long time lawyer.
  3. Lenore White, wife of Chalky White.
  4. Lester White, son of Chalky White.
  5. Stan Sawicki, a Prohibition Agent working under Van Alden's supervision.
  6. Clarkson, another "prohi" working for Van Alden.
  7. Solomon Bishop, Deputy US Attorney for the State of New Jersey.
  8. Katy, Nucky and Margaret's housemaid.
  9. Sister Bernice, a nun and school teacher to Teddy Schroeder.


  1. Walker - An employee of Chalky White, his throat cut by Klansmen.
  2. Orville - Another employee of Chalky, shot by Klansmen.
  3. Two more of Chalky's men, also shot by Klansmen.
  4. Herman Dacus, a Klansman, shot in retaliation by Chalky White.




  1. Steve Buscemi as Enoch "Nucky" Thompson
  2. Michael Pitt as James "Jimmy" Darmody
  3. Kelly MacDonald as Margaret Schroeder
  4. Michael Shannon as Agent Nelson Van Alden
  5. Shea Whigham as Sheriff Elias "Eli" Thompson
  6. Aleksa Palladino as Angela Darmody
  7. Michael Stuhlbarg as Arnold Rothstein (credit only)
  8. Stephen Graham as Al Capone
  9. Vincent Piazza as Lucky Luciano (credit only)
  10. Paz de la Huerta as Lucille "Lucy" Danziger
  11. Michael K. Williams as Albert "Chalky" White
  12. Paul Sparks as Mickey Doyle
  13. Jack Huston as Richard Harrow
  14. Anthony Laciura as Edward "Eddie" Kessler
  15. with Gretchen Mol as Gillian Darmody
  16. and Dabney Coleman as Commodore Louis Kaestner

Guest starring[]

  1. Dominic Chianese as Leander Cephas Whitlock
  2. Greg Antonacci as Johnny Torrio
  3. Enid Graham as Rose Van Alden
  4. Robert Clohessy as Ward Boss Jim Neary
  5. William Hill as Ward Boss George O'Neill
  6. Kevin O'Rourke as Mayor Edward Bader
  7. Victor Verhaeghe as Ward Boss Damien Fleming
  8. Glenn Fleshler as George Remus
  9. Bill Sage as Solomon Bishop


1. Joseph Aniska as Agent Sawicki
2. Matty Blake as State Trooper
3. John Bolton as Carl Switzer
4. Joel Brady as Agent Clarkson
5. Rony Clanton as Langston
6. Justiin A. Davis as Lester White
7. Lucy and Josie Gallina as Emily Schroeder
8. Marceline Hugot as Sister Bernice
9. John Keating as Ernie Moran
10. Heather Lind as Katy
11. Eddie Manley as John Wright

12. Edward McGinty as Ward Boss Boyd
13. Rory and Declan McTigue as Teddy Schroeder
14. Tracy Lynn Middendorf as Babette
15. Brady and Connor Noon as Tommy Darmody
16. Franklin Ojeda Smith as Deacon Lemuel Cuffy
17. Natalie Wachen as Lenore White
18. Kathryn Avery as Dancer 1
19. Leslie Flesner as Dancer 2
20. Kate Harpootlian as Dancer 3
21. Sarah Skogland as Dancer 4
22. Emily Tyra as Dancer 5


  1. Kath Brier, accompanied by Vince Giordana and the Nighthawks - "After You Get What You Want" plays qw Nucky and Guys Play Cards, Jimmy and Chalky trade rum and cash, Eli checks his scars, Commodore exercises, Van Alden picks up Rose from the train station, Margaret wakes up alone.
  2. Lionel Belasco and Clarence Williams - "Bajan Girl" plays as Gillian makes breakfast for Jimmy.
  3. Peter Yarin - "Raggadey rag/Everytime I Hear A Band Play" plays as Capone and Torrio meet with George Remus.
  4. Belgian Band Organ - "The Yellow Rose of Texas" plays as Nucky surveys his real estate and road plans with Ernie Moran.
  5. Belgian Band Organ - "Bill Bailey, Won't You Please Come Home" plays as Eddie Brings news of Chalky Shooting Klansman
  6. Peter Yarin - "Clair de lune" plays as Chalky's son plays piano.
  7. Harry Raderman's Jazz Orchestra - "Learn to Smile" plays as Van Alden and Rose celebrate their 13th wedding anniversary.
  8. Club de Vingt Orchestra - "It Must Be Someone Like You" plays as Van Alden presents Rose a cameo brooch.
  9. Anette Kudrak - "Never You Mind" plays as Van Alden is relieved to see Rose off.
  10. Jens Jando - "Piano Sonata No 17 in D Major" plays as Nucky Tries to talk to Teddy.
  11. Al Jolson - "Down Where the Swanee River Flows" plays as Van Alden counts the money taken by the bureau.
  12. Peter Yarin & Andrew Stein/Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks - "After You Get What You Want" plays as Jimmy opens Nucky's wedding gift; End credits.


The second season premiere was watched by 2.912 million viewers, down 39% from the pilot and down 12% from its first season finale.[1]

IGN gave the episode a score of 9 out of 10, saying that "... Season 1's finale promised a series ready to raise the bar. Judging by this episode, Season 2 looks primed to succeed at satisfying that promise." They continued by praising the "masterfully shot" speech Nucky gives to two different sides of the racial conflict. [2]

Memorable Quotes[]

  • Nucky (in front of a black church congregation): "Last night, four fine young boys were murdered by men claiming to represent the race of white American Christians. I won't speak the name of this so called organization within this house of God. But I can assure you, as Treasurer of Atlantic County, and more personally, as someone who has always regarded the members of our colored community as his friends, and equals, that neither I, Sheriff Thompson, or any of his men will rest till this hooded cowards are brought to Justice! And a message is sent, loud and clear: That [setting changes to a white church] no one need fear for their safety, or the safety of their wives, children or property on the face of the obstreperous negro. This coloreds need to learn a lesson, and we are going to teach them. With, here I say within these sacred confines, an iron fist."
  • While at the funeral of Klansman Herman Dacus (whom Chalky White killed), outside on the porch:
    • Jimmy: "An awful waste of a lot of good tablecloths."
    • Nucky: "The laundry bills alone...."


External links[]

Season Two
#01 21#07 Peg of Old
#02 Ourselves Alone#08 Two Boats and a Lifeguard
#03 A Dangerous Maid#09 Battle of the Century
#04 What Does the Bee Do?#10 Georgia Peaches
#05 Gimcrack & Bunkum#11 Under God's Power She Flourishes
#06 The Age of Reason#12 To the Lost