21 (Boardwalk Empire)

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Boardwalk Empire episode
Nucky addresses the public after Chalky White shoots a Klansman.jpg
Nucky addresses the public after Chalky White shoots a Klansman
Episode no. Season 2
Episode 1
Directed by Tim Van Patten
Written by Terence Winter
Original air date September 25, 2011 (2011-09-25)
Running time 54 minutes
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
← Previous
"A Return to Normalcy"
Next →
"Ourselves Alone"
List of Boardwalk Empire episodes

"21" is the first episode of the second season of the HBO television series Boardwalk Empire, which originally aired September 25, 2011. The episode was written by series creator and executive producer Terence Winter and directed by executive producer Tim Van Patten.


Nucky's power is put to the test by the alliance of Jimmy, Eli and the Commodore, who manipulate the KKK into attacking Chalky's bootlegging warehouse. Chalky kills one of the attackers, sparking outrage in the community. Nucky orders Eli to arrest Chalky for his own protection.

Jimmy reflects upon his upbringing, and Nucky's part in it. Nucky deduces that Jimmy has an arrangement with the Commodore, and subtly warns Jimmy to carefully consider his position.

Van Alden's wife visits for the weekend and is dismayed by the depravity of the city. Van Alden conducts a police raid in her presence, inspiring her admiration. Meanwhile, Van Alden has a financial arrangement with Lucy to carry a child for him.

While Margaret takes her children to see The Kid, Nucky is arrested for election fraud.


Critical reception[edit]

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. [1]


The second season premiere was watched by 2.912 million viewers, down 39% from the pilot and down 12% from its first season finale.[2]


  1. ^ Pirrello, Phil (September 26, 2011). "Boardwalk Empire: "21" Review". IGN. Retrieved September 26, 2011. 
  2. ^ 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. Retrieved September 28, 2011. 

External links[edit]