|Season 2, Episode 1|
|Air date||September 25, 2011|
|Written by||Terence Winter|
|Directed by||Tim Van Patten|
"A Return to Normalcy"
"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.
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 Edit
- George Remus, former lawyer and aspiring bootlegger established in Cincinnati, Ohio.
- Leander Cephas Whitlock, The Commodore's long time lawyer.
- Lenore White, wife of Chalky White.
- Lester White, son of Chalky White.
- Stan Sawicki, a Prohibition Agent working under Van Alden's supervision.
- Clarkson, another "prohi" working for Van Alden.
- Solomon Bishop, Deputy US Attorney for the State of New Jersey.
- Katy, Nucky and Margaret's housemaid.
- Sister Bernice, a nun and school teacher to Teddy Schroeder.
- Walker - An employee of Chalky White, his throat cut by Klansmen.
- Orville - Another employee of Chalky, shot by Klansmen.
- Two more of Chalky's men, also shot by Klansmen.
- Herman Dacus, a Klansman, shot in retaliation by Chalky White.
1. Joseph Aniska as Agent Sawicki
12. Edward McGinty as Ward Boss Boyd
- 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.
- Lionel Belasco and Clarence Williams - "Bajan Girl" plays as Gillian makes breakfast for Jimmy.
- Peter Yarin - "Raggadey rag/Everytime I Hear A Band Play" plays as Capone and Torrio meet with George Remus.
- Belgian Band Organ - "The Yellow Rose of Texas" plays as Nucky surveys his real estate and road plans with Ernie Moran.
- Belgian Band Organ - "Bill Bailey, Won't You Please Come Home" plays as Eddie Brings news of Chalky Shooting Klansman
- Peter Yarin - "Clair de lune" plays as Chalky's son plays piano.
- Harry Raderman's Jazz Orchestra - "Learn to Smile" plays as Van Alden and Rose celebrate their 13th wedding anniversary.
- Club de Vingt Orchestra - "It Must Be Someone Like You" plays as Van Alden presents Rose a cameo brooch.
- Anette Kudrak - "Never You Mind" plays as Van Alden is relieved to see Rose off.
- Jens Jando - "Piano Sonata No 17 in D Major" plays as Nucky Tries to talk to Teddy.
- Al Jolson - "Down Where the Swanee River Flows" plays as Van Alden counts the money taken by the bureau.
- 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.
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. 
- 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...."
- ↑ Gorman, Bill (September 27, 2011). Sunday Cable Ratings: 'Jeff Dunham' Tops Night, As 'Boardwalk Empire' Premiere Drops; + 'Breaking Bad,' 'Sister Wives,' 'Ice Road Truckers' & More. TV by the Numbers.
- ↑ Pirrello, Phil (September 26, 2011). Boardwalk Empire: "21" Review. IGN.
|#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|