"Sunday Best" is the seventh episode of Season 3 of Boardwalk Empire, and the 31st episode overall. It was written by Howard Korder and directed by Allen Coulter. It premiered on 28 October 2012. The episode is set on Easter Sunday 1923, which took place on April 1.
On Easter Sunday, Eli looks to get back in Nucky's good graces at a Thompson family reunion. While Richard and Tommy spend the day as guests of the Sagorskys, Gillian stays at home and makes a sacrifice to improve her future. In New York, after dinner and prayers, Gyp heads downtown in search of a blessing from Joe Masseria.
Easter Sunday, 1923.June Thompson organizes an Easter dinner and invites Nucky, Margaret and the children to join her, Eli and their family of eight children for the first time since the brothers had a falling out two years before. After the meal, June, who had not even met Margaret, converses with her and makes no secret that she knows nothing of Eli's dealings out of the house but that she is happy that way. She is taken aback when Margaret confides that Nucky is unfaithful and has a relationship with Billie Kent. Not knowing how to react, June chooses to ignore it as well. Nucky and Eli also have their own sit down in the garage, where Nucky manifests that he is still bitter at Eli's betrayal. Annoyed, Eli produces a gun and says that he'd rather have Nucky shoot him right there than keep waiting for it to happen. The families then get together for an improvised talent show where Nucky juggles and Margaret sings. Back at home, Nucky offers to teach Margaret to juggle but she refuses saying that it is too late. Nucky then phones Eli and tells him that he's now in charge of the distillery on equal rank with Mickey Doyle, as a reward for his attempt to stop the Tabor Heights massacre.
Gillian Darmody sends Richard Harrow, Tommy and the girls away from the brothel under the excuse that she is suffering from her period and there will be no clients anyway because of the holiday. Once alone, she welcomes her newfound lover Roger McAllister in the house, and tells him that it is a leftover from her dead husband, a younger man that knew her since they were children and left once to never come back. During dinner, Roger points out that she doesn't really know if her husband is dead in that case. They have sex and Roger proposes Gillian to sell the house and hit the road together. However, Gillian tricks him into having a bath and when he is distracted, Gillian injects Roger with Lucky Luciano's heroin and drowns him in the bathtub while he is dazed. She then puts Jimmy's tags on him, plants the syringe near his arm, and leaves the body to be found by the girls that night.Richard takes Tommy to dine with Paul Sagorsky and his daughter, Julia. Paul is in his usual combative mood but Julia assures Richard that his father actually likes him. Tommy asks to use the toilet but instead of coming back right after he sneaks into Paul's dead son's room, Fred Sagorsky, where he is found playing with Fred's toys. Enraged, Paul seizes Tommy, and Richard tells him to let the kid go or he'll kill him. Paul then orders all the guests to leave and secludes himself in his son's room. Richard awkwardly asks Julia to accompany them to the carnival for the rest of the day and she accepts, although she asks him to not threaten her father again. In the carnival, the three are mistaken for a family as they pose for a photo together.
Meanwhile, in Manhattan, Tonino Sandrelli carefully addresses their business situation to his boss, Gyp Rosetti. While they were camped in Tabor Heights, rival gangs entered their territory and robbed them of some of their assets: their benefits have dwindled and their protector, Joe Masseria, is still waiting for his cut. During dinner, Gyp is berated by the women in his family. He then goes to a church, where he angrily lashes out at Jesus for letting him down. A priest, responding to his yelling, asks if he needs help. Gyp punches the priest, robs the church and brings the money directly to Masseria without changing the coins to bills. Masseria berates Gyp and makes clear that he is going to execute him for being too hard to control, but Gyp convinces him that Nucky Thompson, Arnold Rothstein, and Charles Luciano are working together to build a criminal empire without the Italians. He tells Masseria that there will be a war, and asks for Masseria's blessing to finish the war he started in Tabor Heights. He states that he will kill Thompson, Rothstein, and Luciano, and make Masseria a king.
1. Ashlie Atkinson as Giaconda Rosetti
9. Madeline Getty as Nora Thompson
16. Charlie Plummer as Michael Thompson
The following named, recurring characters are introduced in this episode:
- Phil Gardner, A war veteran, member of the American Legion and friend of the Sagorsky family.
- Wellman, Another veteran, also member of the Legion and friend of the Sagorskys.
- Louis Peppe & Earl Hines - "Sometimes I feel like a motherless child" plays as Eli hides Easter eggs.
- Sherba Orchestra - "The Bells" plays as Gillian and Roger talk about hitting the road.
- Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra - "Parade of the Wooden Soldiers" plays as Tommy enters Fred Sagorsky's room.
- Kelly MacDonald - "The Belle of Belfast City" sung by Margaret after the Easter dinner.
- Guido Deiro - "Song of Naples" plays as Gyp asks for Masseria's blessing
- Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks - "I Cried for You" plays as Richard looks scrapbooks and Gillian tells him that her son is dead.
- Grace Paradise - "Sonatina in II Minor" played as end credits.
- Paul Sagorsky: "Of all days in the calendar, this one takes the cake. He dies, comes back to life, disappears for 2000 years, but don't worry! He'll turn up again. Huh. Suckers."
- Richard Harrow: "Just because you don't believe in something, doesn't mean it isn't true."
- Paul Sagorsky: "Well, you are shaping up into a disapointment."
- Gyp Rosetti (alone at Church): "I just need to get this said. With all due respect, you've put me down in this game. I didn't ask for that. Not even a handshake. Make me want things, things I can see, that I can almost touch. Then You take them away. Not for me, right? Everyone else, but not me. I'm what? A mistake You made? Like some leftovers? And I'm supposed to go through my life. No friendship. No love till I'm pissing on my bed, coughing up blood on my sheets. Then I'll know, right? Then it'll all be clear. Put it in front of me, then take it away! Why would YOU DO THAT?! Just to screw with me? What kind of sick fuck thinks that way?! I'm supposed to trust You. Based on the treatment so far, what are You up to, huh? I'm here. I'm listening! I'M READY FOR ANY KIND OF EXPLANATION!"
- Priest: "Are you all right?"
- Gyp Rosetti: "I'm praying."
- Priest: "You are yelling."
- Gyp Rosetti: "Can I ask you something?"
- Priest: "Of course."
- (punches priest, takes the collect) Gyp Rosetti: "Where does God keep the rest of it? ANSWER ME! GET THE MONEY!!"
- Joe Masseria (in Sicilian): "I can't control you. I can't rely on you. And I can't afford you."
- Gyp Rosetti: "It's Easter Sunday, Joe."
- Joe Masseria: "Also April Fools'."
- "Sunday Best" at HBO.com
- "Sunday Best" at the Internet Movie Database (IMDb)
- "Sunday Best" at TV.com
- Boardwalk Empire (season 3) at Wikipedia
|#01 Resolution||#07 Sunday Best|
|#02 Spaghetti and Coffee||#08 The Pony|
|#03 Bone for Tuna||#09 The Milkmaid's Lot|
|#04 Blue Bell Boy||#10 A Man, A Plan...|
|#05 You'd Be Surprised||#11 Two Imposters|
|#06 Ging Gang Goolie||#12 Margate Sands|