Boardwalk Empire Wiki

"What Does the Bee Do?" is the fourth episode of the second season of Boardwalk Empire, and the 16th episode overall. The episode was written by executive story editor Steve Kornacki and directed by Ed Bianchi. It originally aired on 16 October 2011.


Official synopsis[]

At a birthday party for Mayor Bader, Nucky's attorney has a legal brainstorm that could turn the tide in Nuck's election-rigging case. Facing a local liquor surplus, Jimmy and Mickey head to Philadelphia in search of buyers, while Nucky strikes an unlikely deal to get booze into Atlantic City. Eli frets over the Commodore's ability to lead; Margaret doles out staff bonuses; Chalky is cornered at work and at home; Owen puts his munitions expertise to work; Van Alden's agents target Mickey's warehouse; Richard lets down his guard in the name of art; Gillian recalls her "first time" with the Commodore. (HBO Publicity)


Main article: What Does the Bee Do? recap

A detailed recap of this episode scene by scene.


First Appearances[]

  1. Manny Horvitz, a Philadelphia gangster and kosher butcher.
  2. Herman Kaufman, Manny Horvitz's lieutenant.
  3. Maybelle White, Chalky White's elder daughter.
  4. Adeline White, Chalky White's younger daughter.
  5. Samuel Crawford, Maybelle's beau.
  6. Travis Elkins, a cook at the Ritz Carlton Hotel.
  7. Jack Dempsey, World Heavyweight Boxing Champion.







  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
  8. Stephen Graham as Al Capone(credit only)
  9. Vincent Piazza as Lucky Luciano
  10. Paz de la Huerta as Lucille "Lucy" Danziger(credit only)
  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. Charlie Cox as Owen Sleater
  2. William Forsythe as Manny Horwitz
  3. Enid Graham as Rose Van Alden
  4. Chris Mulkey as Frank Hague
  5. Jennifer Ferrin as Carolyn Rothstein
  6. Kevin O'Rourke as Mayor Edward Bader
  7. Victor Verhaeghe as Ward Boss Damien Fleming
  8. Anatol Yusef as Meyer Lansky


1. Sidne Anderson as Bereaved mother
2. Joseph Aniska as Agent Stan Sawicki
3. Marilyn Berry as Mrs Mayhew
4. Joel Brady as Agent Clarkson
5. Pearce Bunting as Bill McCoy
6. Justiin A. Davis as Lester White
7. Josie and Lucy Gallina as Emily Schroeder
8. Devin Harjes as Jack Dempsey
9. Kevin Henderson as Carl Surran
10. Tyrone Mitchell Henderson as Wilfred
11. Heather Lind as Katy
12. Christina Jackson as Maybelle White

13. Skai Jackson as Adeline White
14. John Keating as Ernie Moran
15. Rege Lewis as Travis Elkins
16. Declan and Rory McTigue as Teddy Schroeder
17. Nneoma Nkuku as Widow 3
18. Brady and Connor Noon as Tommy Darmody
19. Jacqueline Pennewill as Lillian
20. Ty Michael Robinson as Samuel
21. Bill Sage as Solomon Bishop
22. Solomon Shiv as Herman Kaufman

23. Megan Sikora as Philadelphia prostitute's madam
24. Franklin Ojeda Smith as Deacon Lemuel Cuffy
25. Linda Thompson Williams as Widow 2
26. Peter Van Wagner as Isaac Ginsburg
27. Natalie Wachen as Lenore White
28. Amy Warren as Pauleen
29. DeWanda Wise as Henny Walker
30. Michael Zegen as Benjamin Siegel


  1. Jelly Roll Morton - "The Crave" plays as Micky Doyle shows Jimmy Darmody the overstocked bootlegging warehouse.
  2. Bela Drahos, Flute; Nicolaus Esterhazy Sinfonia - Flute Concerto in F Major Op 10 No 1 RV 433, "La Tempesta Da Mere" plays as Gillian dances for The Commodore, raising his blood pressure to dangerous levels.
  3. Helen Louise and Frank Ferera - Hawaiian Hula Medley plays as Angela Darmody asks Richard Harrow if he will pose for her to sketch him.
  4. Butch Thompson - Butcher of Greenwich plays as Nucky tells Eddie his plans for Mayor Bader's birthday party.
  5. The Gypsy Queen - "American Patrol" plays as Nucky and Rothstein make arrangements to ship liquor into Philadelphia.
  6. APM Studio Musician - "Birthday Cheer" plays as Jack Dempsey signs autographs for the crowd outside the Ritz Carlton.
  7. Actor Anthoy Laciuria sings "Ja das Schreiben und dad Lesen" from der Ziegerunerbaron accompanied by Peter Yarin on the piano during Mayor Bader's birthday party.
  8. All Star Trio - "You Ain't Heard Nothing Yet" plays as Ginsburg explains to Nucky how he can end his current legal troubles.
  9. Kitty Berger - "The Ring & The Rose" plays as Angela Darmody draws her second portrait of Richard Harrow.
  10. APM Studio Musician - "Old Jazz Movies" plays as Rothstein orders Charlie Luciano and Meyer Lansky to oversee the transportation of liquor from Philadelphia to Atlantic City.
  11. Campbell, Burr & Oakland - "Everything Reminds Me of That Old Sweetheart of Mine" plays as Nucky explains the newspaper story about his legal troubles to Margaret.
  12. Peter Yarin - "Curious Story" plays over the final montage of Margaret hiding cash in her jewellery box and Chalky's family enjoying Lester's piano playing while Chalky sits outside, whittling.
  13. Knickerbocker Quartet - "Come Where My Love Lies Dreaming" plays as Gillian Darmody takes her revenge on The Commodore and the end credits roll.


The episode was watched by 2.546 million viewers. It fell two tenths, to 1.0 million adults 18-49 rating.[1]

IGN gave the episode a score of 8.5 out of 10, saying that it "effortlessly hits that sweet spot between advancing the plot while developing characters, much in the same way that the Season 2 premiere did." [2]

Memorable Quotes[]

  • Gillian Darmody: "Do you know what happened to the shepherd who spied on the virginal Diana? She turned him into a stag. He tried to run away, but his own hounds torn him to pieces."
  • Gillian Darmody: "I didn't spend my life getting groped by a bunch of drunks to wind up in a goddamn poorhouse."
  • Eli Thompson (to Gillian): "Jimmy and you. That's exactly... the two of you, and... him?! None of that is normal. It never was!"
  • Chalky White: "This is my house! And my 'country ways' put the food on this goddamn table!"
  • Gillian Darmody (to The Commodore, after being paralyzed by a stroke): "Do you remember when we met? I'll never forget your smile. Jimmy sometimes, he has it. I look at him and I see you. That first night, how you plied me with wine... Why, I'd never felt such a sensation. We were downstairs. And I'd fallen asleep on the divan. You carried me to the bedroom, went to say good night to your guests. And I laid there in bed, dreaming of the waves. I'd been on the beach that day. Suddenly I felt a crushing feeling. I couldn't breathe. I opened my eyes to find you atop me. Your breath smelling of whiskey and tobacco. One hand covering my mouth and the other groping at me. Do you remember that? Still, sometimes when I sleep, it wakes me with a start. Do you remember that night? (Gillian slaps The Commodore) I asked you a question." (Gillian slaps him again, repeatedly)


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