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"Gimcrack & Bunkum" is the fifth episode of the second season of Boardwalk Empire, and the 17th episode overall. It first aired on 23 October 2011. The episode was written by co-executive producer Howard Korder, his second writing credit for the season, and his fourth overall. The episode was directed by executive producer and regular director Tim Van Patten marking his second directing credit for the season and his sixth overall.



On Memorial Day Nucky Thompson and Jimmy Darmody both give successful speeches. After, Jimmy and Eli Thompson meet with the memorial committee, who are The Commodore's financial backers in the coup against Nucky. The committee have lost faith in the plan and are concerned by The Commodore's absence. Jimmy is unable to reassure them, then Jackson Parkhurst strikes Jimmy with his cane, bringing the meeting to an abrupt end.

Nucky gets the favor he wanted from Attorney General Harry Daugherty — assistance with his legal troubles. In return he will repay Daugherty with a day's entertainment. Eli visits Nucky at home, desperate to back out of the coup. Nucky refuses to help him, they get into a brutal fight which is broken up by Margaret Schroeder holding a shotgun to Eli's head.

Later, Eli kills George O'Neill when he threatens to expose the conspiracy against Nucky.

Richard Harrow spends the day in the woods 'hunting' and comes close to shooting himself. He is brought back from the brink by the timely intervention of a dog and the advice of two woodsmen. He returns to Atlantic City and helps Jimmy get revenge by scalping Parkhurst.


Main article: Gimcrack & Bunkum recap

A detailed recap of the episode scene by scene.


First Appearances[]

  1. Jackson Parkhurst, war profiteer and one of The Commodore's backers.
  2. Charles Kenneth Thorogood, Deputy US Attorney.
  3. Brian Thompson, one of Eli Thompson's younger sons.


  1. George O'Neill - Murdered with a wrench by Eli Thompson in a moment of drunken rage.
  2. Jackson Parkhurst - Scalped before being murdered by Jimmy Darmody and Richard Harrow.




  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 (credit only)
  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 (credit only)
  9. Vincent Piazza as Lucky Luciano (credit only)
  10. Paz de la Huerta as Lucille "Lucy" Danziger (credit only)
  11. Michael K. Williams as Albert "Chalky" White (credit only)
  12. Paul Sparks as Mickey Doyle (credit only)
  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 (credit only)

Guest starring[]

  1. Dominic Chianese as Leander Cephas Whitlock
  2. Charlie Cox as Owen Sleater
  3. Christopher McDonald as Harry Daugherty
  4. Richard Easton as Jackson Parkhurst
  5. Robert Clohessy as Jim Neary
  6. William Hill as George O'Neill
  7. Heather Lind as Katy
  8. Adam Mucci as Deputy Halloran
  9. Kevin O'Rourke as Edward Bader
  10. Victor Verhaeghe as Damien Fleming


1. Bill Camp as Glenmore
2. Todd Davis as Alexander
3. Jon DeVries as Pete
4. Josie and Lucy Gallina as Emily Schroeder
5. Edmond Genest as Mr. Markham
6. Leslie Henstock as Hooker 1
7. Ed Jewett as Jess Smith
8. T.J. Kenneally as Charles Kenneth Thorogood AKA "Chip"
9. Martin LaPlatney as Mr. Darlington

10. Edward McGinty as Ward Boss Boyd
11. Declan and Rory McTigue as Teddy Schroeder
12. Tom Morrissey as Mr. Webber
13. Brady and Connor Noon as Tommy Darmody
14. Jacqueline Pennewill as Lillian
15. Tom Toner as Mr. Ennis
16. Peter Van Wagner as Isaac Ginsburg
17. Brandon Zumsteg as Brian Thompson


  1. Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks Brass Section - "American Hymn (AKA Keller's American Hymn)" plays as Nucky makes his memorial speech.
  2. Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks Brass Section - "Sleepers Wake" plays as Jimmy reads the names of fallen soldiers.
  3. Robert White accompanied by Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks - "The Rose of No Man's Land" plays as Harrow looks through his scrapbook.
  4. Idil Biret - "Waltz no. 7 in C-Sharp minor" plays as Gillian tells Jimmy he needs to make clear he will not be disrespected.
  5. The Gypsy Queen - "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" plays as Nucky meets with Thorogood.
  6. Wurlitzer 153 - "The Marine's Hymn" plays as Ginsberg fills Nucky in on how the case will play out.
  7. Willie Burmester - "Minuette" plays as Angela wonders about Jimmy's words at the ceremony, Jimmy asks Richard to work tonight.
  8. Nicolaus Esterhazy Sinfonia; Bela Drahos, conductor - "Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92:IV. Allegro con brio" plays as Parkhurst examines his sioux trophy and is then scalped by Jimmy and Richard.
  9. Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks - Sweet Mama (Papa's Getting Mad) plays as Nucky tries to work with his allies partying next door
  10. Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks Brass Section - "Slow March" plays as Nucky tries to work as Thorogood, Daugherty and Smith party with hookers next door.

Memorable Quotes[]

  • "Atlantic City was built to help people forget." — Nucky to the crowd on Memorial Day.
  • "Don't think I can't play this game?" — Jimmy, "I don't think you even know the rules." retorts Nucky after surprising him by calling Jimmy up to speak at the podium of the Memorial Day Celebration.
  • "Talk about the waist of Washington!" — Harry Daugherty after trying to button his pants.
  • "Chipped beef...I had it everyday for 5 months, I'd rather eat dog turds!" — Jimmy Darmody to the Council.
  • "But there is something I have to ask of you...I need you to get on your knees. Bend down to the ground and kiss my fucking shoes you piece of shit." — Nucky to Eli, after Eli asks him to tak him back and forgive him.
  • "In the future if you are going to point the gun at someone, make sure it's loaded." — An exasperated Nucky to Margaret after she breaks up a brutal fight between him and Eli.
  • "Say Richard, I'm out in these woods a lot. People come out here...they get up to all kinds of foolishness — that's not what these woods is for. You understand me? This woods is for hunting, fishing...seein' what the birds get up to. This woods are for living. Understand me there?" — Glenmore
  • "I don't store 'em in the garage." — Eli says when asked by George O'Neil asks if any of his kids are around.
  • "I shouldn't be in your room at all. But what's the sense of doing half-wrong?" —Owen Sleater


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