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Leander Cephas Whitlock

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Leander Cephas Whitlock (played by Dominic Chianese) is an elderly New Jersey lawyer and power broker. He is part of a group of rich investors who back Commodore Louis Kaestner in his attempted political coup against Atlantic County Treasurer Nucky Thompson. Whitlock speaks Latin when he meets with Eli Thompson to welcome him to the Commodores side.

BiographyEdit

BackgroundEdit

Whitlock is Commodore Louis Kaestner’s long serving lawyer. He has watched Kaestner's original protege Nucky Thompson build his empire up and admires Nucky as a strategist.

Season 2Edit

Nucky Thompson addresses Atlantic City dignitaries and residents on the beach North of the city to mark Memorial Day. On the platform with Nucky are Whitlock, Mayor Edward Bader and Whitlock's associates from the memorial committee. The crowd have come to memorialize their fallen soldiers and mark the beginning of the construction of the Atlantic County War Memorial. Among the audience are James Edison Darmody and family, Thompson’s driver Owen Sleater, Sheriff Eli Thompson, Ward Bosses George O'Neill, Al Neary and Boyd and, separate from the others, Damien Fleming. Nucky is careful to note the absence of The Commodore and the presence of Attorney General Harry Daugherty in his speech. Nucky unexpectedly invites Darmody up to the stage, challenging him to succeed on unfamiliar ground. Darmody’s left hand shakes initially but he composes himself and speaks humbly about his service during World War I and his motivations for fighting. He receives a round of applause and then proceeds to read the list of departed soldiers. ("Gimcrack & Bunkum")

After the speeches, Whitlock, Jimmy and Eli go to the home of memorial committee member Jackson Parkhurst for drinks with the committee's other members; Mr. Darlington, Mr. Ennis, Mr. Markham and Mr. Webber. Whitlock and the others congratulate Darmody on his speech. Parkhurst is the dissenting voice, dismissing sentiment as cheap and reminding the others that he is the only one to have served in uniform. Eli asks about Parkhurst’s service and is told that he served at Fort Carney, Wyoming with the 9th Cavalry. Parkhurst describes his unit of just 32 men slaughtering 2000 Indians with the new Springfield rifles. Whitlock reminds Parkhurst that he has been more successful in recent conflicts — making over a million dollars supplying chipped beef to the army in World War I. Jimmy remembers hating eating the beef while in service. Jimmy calls Parkhurst a great man and Parkhurst demands that they talk business. The committee then begin to berate Eli and Jimmy for the destruction of their warehouse and their failure to return on the investment they made. Eli tries to reassure the committee, but they want to hear from the Commodore. Jimmy claims the Commodore has given him the authority to handle the matter. The committee warn Jimmy that they are not to be crossed and he laughs at the potential consequence of being thrown out of the yacht club. Parkhurst strikes Jimmy on the temple with his cane, breaking the skin. He tells him he needs to learn respect. Jimmy stands and exits the meeting. Jimmy later gets revenge on Parkhurst, having him scalped. ("Gimcrack & Bunkum")

At Commodore Louis Kaestner’s home Whitlock reads aloud a quotation from Alexander The Great “I am indebted to my father for living, but to my teacher for living well”. His audience consists of Jimmy Darmody and his parents Gillian Darmody and The Commodore. Jimmy recognises the quote and gives the source. Whitlock points out that Alexander was the son of a king and hands the book to Jimmy. Gillian jokes that Jimmy is the same as Alexander and says that The Commodore is proud of Jimmy. Jimmy asks about his own teacher; Whitlock realises he means Nucky and says that Nucky is a great strategist. Whitlock is envious of Nucky’s ploy with the Attorney General and admits that he would not have thought of it. The Commodore tries to speak but is still unable to make himself understood after his stroke. Whitlock tells The Commodore that he should give Nucky due respect. Gillian tries to calm The Commodore, telling him that it is time for his medicine. Jimmy calls over Langston, The Commodore’s butler, and Langston wheels The Commodore out of the room. Whitlock calls The Commodore a tough old bird and Jimmy jokes that he thought Whitlock was referring to Gillian. Whitlock praises Jimmy’s fortitude and Jimmy says he has survived worse situations. Whitlock points out that Jimmy was receiving orders during World War I rather than being in a position of command. Whitlock asks if the scalping of Jackson Parkhurst was necessary and Jimmy denies involvement. Whitlock admits that there was little sympathy for Parkhurst but suspects that Jimmy has alienated powerful allies. Gillian tells Whitlock that they are offended by his implication. Whitlock asks to speak to Jimmy alone and Jimmy complies by asking his mother to leave. She tells Jimmy that she knows he will confide in her later. Jimmy flinches as Gillian kisses him on the lips. Embarrassed, Jimmy catches a look from Whitlock and explains away the kiss as something his mother does. Changing the subject, Whitlock tells Jimmy that he admires his boldness but tells him that “not every insult requires a response.” Jimmy paces and then asks what Whitlock would have done in his position. Whitlock stands and tells Jimmy that The Commodore had many virtues when they first met but was lacking in prudence, which created problems. Whitlock explains that Nucky was a better strategist who has built up an impressive economic machine where everyone pays. Jimmy points out that Whitlock does not attend Nucky’s fundraisers and Whitlock reasserts that he nevertheless admires Nucky’s skill. Jimmy dismisses Nucky’s organisation as simple extortion. Whitlock asks Jimmy to consider how he is finding leadership and admonishes him not to be so quick to judge. Jimmy tells Whitlock that he will finish what he has started. Whitlock responds that he would rather hear that Jimmy wanted to win. Jimmy cannot see a difference. Whitlock sighs and then nods acceptance. Jimmy takes Whitlock's advice (“not every insult requires a response”) to heart and later repeats it when diffusing a standoff with New York gangsters Meyer Lansky and Lucky Luciano. Jimmy then recruits the New Yorkers to his cause. ("The Age of Reason")

Jimmy's new allies, Eli and Gillian convince him that Nucky must be killed. He contracts an assassin from Chicago for the job but Nucky survives the attack. ("Peg of Old")

Gillian, Jimmy, The Commodore and Whitlock are in conference at The Commodore’s home. Langston shows in Nucky and Owen. Nucky thanks them for seeing him. Gillian offers a drink and he declines with awkward formality. He says that he is acutely aware of the finite nature of life following his father’s death and that he is going to end their difficulties. The Commodore offers condolences, his speech still marred by weakness after his stroke, and Whitlock joins him. Nucky says his brush with his own mortality has also provoked thinking. He says that his love for Margaret and her children is more important than his power and claims that he plans to retire. He believes that he will have adequate funds after selling property and plans to do so once his legal problems are resolved. Nucky addresses The Commodore telling him that he built Atlantic City and can now have it back. Nucky tells Jimmy that Mayor Bader is aware of his decision and will be cooperative. Whitlock wonders if Nucky will step down as Atlantic County Treasurer and Nucky confirms that he will. He gives his word that he will not stand in their way and offers them the chance to chose his successor. He turns and begins to walk out of the room and Jimmy stops him by calling his name. Jimmy pauses, swallows and then wishes Nucky luck. Nucky reciprocates and exits. ("Two Boats and a Lifeguard")

Jimmy hosts a celebration dinner at Babette’s Supper Club. Alderman Jim Neary reads the report on Nucky’s press conference aloud from evening edition of the newspaper. His fellow alderman Al Boyd snatches the paper and jokes about Nucky’s situation. Eli is unamused by the banter as Boyd continues the story. Mayor Bader has named Neary as the new treasurer. Jimmy and Whitlock congratulate Neary. Paddy Ryan jokes that the drinks are on Neary. Jimmy has a quiet conversation with Richard Harrow. Eli tries to initiate a private discussion with Jimmy but is interrupted by the arrival of Mickey Doyle and Manny Horvitz. Mickey performs a mocking bow to Jimmy, calling him a king. Jimmy wonders why Manny is there and Manny says that he never misses a celebration. Eli again asks for a word and Jimmy puts him off. The aldermen call for a speech and the other guests join their urging. Jimmy obliges them and begins by recalling their last dinner together (in January 1920) and their subsequent dissatisfaction with Nucky’s leadership. Mickey interrupts with a joke about Nucky and Jimmy angrily silences him. He goes on to talk about his father’s vision for their city as a kingdom by the sea and his own vision to share the kingdom with its court. He says that the war is over and quotes Senator William Marcy “to the victor go the spoils.” Whitlock offers a toast to “Prince James” and his long reign. Mickey, Eli and Manny continue to irritate Jimmy and he eventually vents his mounting frustration by throwing Mickey from the club's balcony onto the dance floor. ("Two Boats and a Lifeguard")

Jimmy partners with a group of young bootleggers to buy medicinal alcohol from Cincinnati bootlegger George Remus. Nucky continues to act against his rivals by provoking a strike by African American workers through his association with Chalky White and importing Irish whiskey into the USA. ("Battle of the Century")

Jimmy holds court in The Commodore’s home on July 23 1921. Meeting with Jimmy and The Commodore are Whitlock, Eli, Neary, Mayor Bader and three hotel owners. Langston is attending to guests and hosts alike. The hoteliers have come to discuss ending the citywide strike by African American workers. They all complain vociferously about the situation and suggest that it should have already been dealt with. They suggest involving the Ku Klux Klan as The Commodore once did to handle Chalky. Eli dismisses this suggestion, saying that he does not want to be indebted to the Klan. Jimmy asks the businessmen why they are having this problem in the first place and they resort to racism as an explanation for their workers demands. Neary jokes along with them and The Commodore bangs his walking stick against the ground. Jimmy tells his father not to get worked up and Whitlock says that he is trying to speak. Jimmy reassures The Commodore that he will handle the problem. Jimmy suggests negotiating and one of the businessmen turns to Bader as though this is insanity. Bader urges the hotelier to listen, calling him Dan. Jimmy suggests offering a 5 cent raise to all the workers and points out that they can afford it. Neary observes that no-one negotiates with the African Americans and Jimmy elucidates that the cost of a raise is nothing compared to the profits lost in the strike. The hoteliers wonder what will happen next year and foresee never ending pay rises. They tell Jimmy that their window to make money lasts from Memorial Day to Labour Day. The Commodore again interrupts, furiously banging his walking stick and repeating no. Jimmy tells the business men that his father needs to rest, over protestations from The Commodore himself. One of the hoteliers angrily instructs Jimmy to do what he is paid to do and end the strike on his way out. ("Georgia Peaches")

Bader says that Jimmy is handling things in the right way and Eli says that he is lying. Eli suggests using strike breakers; fifty men armed with billy clubs. Neary agrees and Jimmy wonders if they are serious. Eli says that violence is how strikes are handled and Neary recalls a strike in 1909 where workers were thrown into the sea. Jimmy worries that this will cause a riot and Eli claims otherwise. Eli asks for The Commodore’s opinion and he shrugs. Neary asks who Eli has on the strike and he says that Ray Halloran is watching the boardwalk. Neary reveals that he saw Halloran meeting with Esther Randolph. Eli says that he instructed Halloran not to speak with Randolph. Neary relates instructing Halloran to blame any actions related to election rigging on Nucky. Whitlock asks Jimmy if he will follow their strategy and Jimmy sarcastically wonders if he means the billy clubs or the pier. Whitlock tells Jimmy that his predecessor kept the African American community happy and Jimmy angrily asserts that he is not Nucky and still needs a plan to end the strike peacefully. The Commodore profanely calls Jimmy a woman and instructs him to show the workers his female genitals. The room is confused so The Commodore stands up, using his weakened right side and repeats the statement cowing Jimmy. Whitlock is impressed at the action, having thought The Commodore paralysed. The Commodore instructs Neary to get him a drink and he does so. Eli is lost in thought, tapping his finger against his closed lips. Neither the strike breakers nor Jimmy's negotiations are successful in ending the strike. Eli instructs the strike breakers to beat Halloran as a warning not to co-operate with Randolph's investigation. This backfires and Eli is arrested when Halloran agrees to testify against him. Jimmy's wife Angela is murdered by his enemy Manny Horvitz. ("Georgia Peaches")

Jimmy attacks Gillian when she says that Angela will soon be forgotten. The Commodore intervenes and Jimmy kills him. ("Under God's Power She Flourishes") Jimmy then attempts to make amends for his betrayal of Nucky, despite knowing that Nucky will never forgive him. He ends the African American workers strike by meeting Chalky's demands and asks Chalky to broker a meeting with Nucky. At the meeting he says that he wants to make things right, explains his reasons for the betrayal and asks what he can do to help Nucky. Nucky demands insight into the assassination attempt and Jimmy lays the blame on Eli Thompson. Nucky asks him to sabotage the legal case against him which includes charges of election rigging and the murder of Hans Schroeder. ("To the Lost")

Jimmy and Gillian meet with Leander Cephas Whitlock in The Commodore’s study to discuss his estate. Jimmy notes that the death certificate records his death as an accident and Whitlock tells him that it was costly to get it to read this way. Gillian is surprised when Whitlock produces The Commodore’s will. Whitlock says that it was written in 1914 and has not been revised. The document leaves the bulk of his estate to Louanne Pratt, The Commodore’s former housemaid who was dismissed for trying to poison him with arsenic. Jimmy asks Whitlock what would happen if there was no will and learns that he would inherit the estate as the next of kin. Jimmy asks if it would pass from him to his son and Whitlock confirms this. Jimmy tears up the will and throws it on the ground. Langston announces that Jimmy’s guests have arrived. Gillian begins to give him advice and he cuts her off. She asserts that she has been trying to help him and he says that he knows. ("To the Lost")

Interim Atlantic County Treasurer Jim Neary, Alderman Al Boyd and chief clerk of the fourth ward Paddy Ryan file into the room as Gillian exits, helping themselves to drinks. Jimmy tells the politicians that with his father’s passing things have changed. Neary says that he has been discussing naming a street after The Commodore with Atlantic City Mayor Edward Bader and Boyd offers his condolences. Ryan adds condolences over Angela’s death and Jimmy responds with a strained thank you. Jimmy says that he has rethought their position regarding Nucky and Neary says that Nucky makes a joke at Nucky’s expense. Jimmy tells them that he is going after Eli and instructs them to alter their testimony accordingly. They are shocked, complaining about their efforts and their reputations. Jimmy tells them to consider where they will be if Nucky beats the charges against him. Neary says that Nucky is on the run; Ryan asserts that it is no time to lose confidence and Boyd asks for Whitlock’s opinion. Whitlock looks at Jimmy and says that he would advise them to stay the course. Neary tells Jimmy that he has been through a lot and Boyd urges him to take a holiday. Ryan says that they have come too far to turn back and Neary states that he is enjoying being treasurer. Having failed to convince his co-conspirators Jimmy has Harrow murder Jim Neary on the eve of the trial. They force Neary to write a statement implicating Eli at gunpoint before staging his death as a suicide. A mistrial is declared and Nucky goes free. He murders Jimmy at the Atlantic City War Memorial soon afterward. ("To the Lost")

RelationshipsEdit

Memorable QuotesEdit

  • "Propinate nobis similibusque." (Latin: "Here's to us, and those like us.")
  • "Not every insult requires a response."

AppearancesEdit

Season two appearances
21 Ourselves Alone A Dangerous Maid What Does the Bee Do?
Gimcrack & Bunkum The Age of Reason Peg of Old Two Boats and a Lifeguard
Battle of the Century Georgia Peaches Under God's Power She Flourishes To the Lost
Season three appearances
"Resolution" "Spaghetti and Coffee" "Bone for Tuna" "Blue Bell Boy"
"You'd Be Surprised" "Ging Gang Goolie" "Sunday Best" "The Pony"
"The Milkmaid's Lot" "A Man, A Plan..." "Two Imposters" "Margate Sands"
Season four appearances
"New York Sour" "Resignation" "Acres of Diamonds" "All In"
"Erlkonig" "The North Star" "William Wilson" "The Old Ship of Zion"
"Marriage and Hunting" "White Horse Pike" "Havre De Grace" "Farewell Daddy Blues"
Season five appearances
Golden Days for Boys and Girls The Good Listener What Jesus Said Cuanto
King of Norway Devil You Know Friendless Child Eldorado

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