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Athena

S05.E01: Golden Days For Boys And Girls

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Supposedly this season is 7 years later than the last.

It will end on the repeal of Prohibition.

Seems like it could be an abrupt, jarring fast forward.

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I'm curious to know if we'll end up seeing young Gillian in this episode. The fact that they're flashing back to this pivotal period in the lives of two or three of the main characters makes me wonder if we're going to learn something extra about the Commodore/Nucky/Gillian situation. I figured that we already knew all there was to know about the arrangement they had going on but now I'm thinking there's more to it than what we've been told.

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It would be interesting if Jimmy wasn't the Commodore's son, after all.  I don't know if a twist like that would have much of an impact on the show, but it's the only thing I can think of, now.

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Maybe we'll get a glimpse of the Commodore's relationship with the maid Louanne. There have got to be some tawdry details there! Between her trying to kill him and him leaving the bulk of his estate to her, must have been some hot Ebony and Ivory times in that mansion.

ETA: the maid's name is Louanne, not Lenore.

Edited by Brooklynista
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I don't know if they were hot exactly but yeah, lol. The thought about the Commodore and Louanne had previously occurred to me.

The other thing that crossed my mind is that Nucky might also have eventually had a sexual relationship/encounter with a still underage Gillian and that this was part of her hold on him for so many years. Not suggesting that it would have been a long term thing or that she was necessarily as young as 13 but still young enough for it to maybe be unsettling.

Edited by Avaleigh
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It would be interesting if Jimmy wasn't the Commodore's son, after all.  I don't know if a twist like that would have much of an impact on the show, but it's the only thing I can think of, now. 

I thought one of the episodes revealed that he wasn't. Hmmmmmm...

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It would be interesting if Jimmy wasn't the Commodore's son, after all.  I don't know if a twist like that would have much of an impact on the show, but it's the only thing I can think of, now. 

I thought one of the episodes revealed that he wasn't. Hmmmmmm...

Not that I can recall, but I could be wrong.

 

Jimmy could always be Nucky's son, if he and Gillian had a sexual relationship.  That would be weird.

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Curious about the guy that killed Machete man in Back lot Cuba.

Yeah, we really don't need any new characters, now that we're coming to the end, but I'm interested in Mr. Earcutter.

Chalky will be looking to settle accounts, that'd be my guess.

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I too need to know about Mr Earcutter, if only to find out how many cream color suits he's messed up with those ears in the pocket.

Does the wife find them later in the wash?

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Man, Anatol Yusef is still listed as only a guest actor?  Lansky gets no respect!

 

I knew there was going to be a big time-jump, but I was foolishly hoping we'd at least get a flashback or something, of Arnold Rothstein's death.  No luck.  I shall miss that crazy sociopath.  You were on of the best, Michael Stuhlbarg!

 

Not sure what to think at the moment.  Thought the premiere was kind of interesting at times, but other times, a bit slow.  I enjoyed the stuff with Chalky and Lucky, and surprisingly was intrigued by Nucky's flashbacks, but I wasn't wild about the Cuba stuff (with the exception of The Earcutter.  Kind of reminds me of Gus Fring), and I really hope the Margaret stuff doesn't bore me, again.  I really want to get back to Chicago soon, and see that wacky hi-jinks are going on with Al, Van Alden, and Eli.  Also curious over Dr. Narcisse still being in the picture.  Still unsure if I'm glad he's still around, but Jeffery Wright is awesome, so I'm somewhat hopeful.

 

Thanks, "Previously on Boardwalk Empire", for reminding me about poor Richard.

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One crappy line of exposition about AR's funeral is all we get?! F you, Boardwalk Empire. F you. 

 

Are they rewriting Nucky's history a bit? I don't recall him ever saying his father was a fisherman. I don't remember a sick sister either. The kid playing him was brilliant. You felt his tortured little soul without rolling your eyes from child acting pretentiousness. The only other better kid actor(s) were the triplets playing Al Capone's deaf son, you know, when the show used to be great? They were impressive too. 

 

Hate the time skip ahead (7 years?!), love the flashbacks though. I feel like it's a different show. Different director?

 

Miss Richard but only because he was a vestige of the show's greatness. Miss Gillian because no one brought the BSC like she did and she was more damaged than she was evil. Love Meyer and, yes, he should absolutely be in the main credits. Sad to see Chalky in the chaingang -- the man can show pain on his face like no other -- but happy he's onward to a revenge path to Dr Narcisse. Want to like seeing Margaret again, can't believe she hasn't remarried in that long. Hate that most of the characters we enjoyed will surely be gone during this time skip, like the female DA and Stephen Root.

 

And didn't Lucky have a sexually transmitted disease that left him with "issues?" That's all I could think of with all that blood brother stuff at the end. Who the hell knows what everyone was passing around.  

 

 

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I was saying that this better not be multiple episodes of Chalky in jail. So, thank you for breaking him out. The repeal of prohibition makes sense for the framework of the final season, so I get that there had to be a time jump. Normally, I don't care for them because it's a writing cheat, like a reset button. I think TPTBs know what they're doing here for the most part. 

 

I didn't mind the flashbacks too much. I don't know if I need so much of them because there's a lot of other characters in show-present that I'm interested in. On the other hand, jamming everyone into a single episode isn't a good idea either. 

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Whoa! I think I missed something! When did they mention Arnold Rothstein's funeral? Damn! Michael and Kelly's storyline was my favorite part of last season!

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I didn't hate the flashbacks but if there are too many of them with him as a kid I'm going to feel like we'll be heading for Dick Whitman territory and we know that isn't necessarily a good thing.

For me the episode had very little cohesion and felt a bit disjointed at times. It also felt like the episode barely had anything to do with AC or the boardwalk especially if we take away the flashbacks.

Hated the throwaway line about AR. If they're all about flashbacks this season his death is something I'd like to see. I feel so cheated wrt his storyline. We get Masseria's death and not AR's? I wanted both but if forced to choose...we spent way more time with Rothstein. I wish Stuhlbarg would have been allowed to finish what he started.

Lambie, I'm glad somebody else wondered about Lucky's STD and what in general was being passed around during that ceremony.

I was surprised about Margaret's boss's suicide but at the same time I didn't care that much after the initial shock. We barely knew anything about their relationship save the fact that she was helping him scam people and now it appears that she's going to continue on working at this place, which is great for her and the kids , but again, why should I care about this? She isn't tied to anyone in the main story and barely was last season.

If we're going to spend time with a female character who is no longer tied to the main story I'd prefer to get a glimpse of Gillian. Not too much of one because I usually find jail and hospital storylines to be tedious but I wouldn't mind one or two flashbacks from her if they give us more insight into characters like Nucky, the Commodore, and Jimmy.

I was not looking forward to multiple episodes of Chalky in a chain gang so at least that isn't happening. I hate that we have no idea how he ended up there and or how his family is faring post-Maybelle's death.

Re: being listed as a "guest star"--it isn't necessarily a bad thing and can sometimes mean more money for the actor. A famous example is Heather Locklear always being listed as a guest star on Melrose Place in spite of the fact that she was basically the show's star from season 2 until whenever the show ended. I suspect AY's agent probably got him a nice little deal.

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I kind of like it.  It feels like a totally different show; I get why Margaret is there, she was pretty important in the show's first two seasons; I used to think that we, the audience, were looking at the world of AC through her eyes.  

 

As for Chalky, I guess we'll find out later why he was on the chain gang and how his family is doing. I wonder if the guy he escaped with (the one who didn't get how people got into the telephone) will stick around.  I saw right through his "clowning."

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I need a few things answered so I'm reaching out to all you Boardwalk fans and history buffs ( I could just go to Wikipedia, but its so much more educational in these forums)...

 

1) When Margaret opened DeadBoss' file cabinet, what/whose name was on the envelope?  Rothstein?  The scam company she helped sell?  I couldn't make it out and I don't have rewind abilities.

2) The mini riot in the street in Cuba (before the attack on Nucky) - was that the precursor to the Castro takeover?  I vaguely remember the history before Castro took over that there was a US -friendly President in place.  I think he was even supported or hand picked by the US to be a puppet dictator.

3) Was Myer in Cuba to scope out Bacardi business as well or for more nefarious reasons, like stalking & killing Nucky?

4) What did Chalky's chain gang friend say to him when they were escaping?  I couldn't hear/understand it and, again, no way to rewind to replay it.

5) Was that Gretchen Mol doing the voice over for that poem Lil Nucky was reading?  Sure sounded a lot like her!

 

Aside from these missing pieces, I'm happy to be back on the Boardwalk.  I know (hope) we'll find out what's Eli up to, how his killer kid made out and where Gillian is, but I was a little disappointed none of those characters made an appearance last night.

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Want to like seeing Margaret again, can't believe she hasn't remarried in that long.

 

Are Margaret and Nucky divorced?

 

I was actually captivated for the entire episode. As soon as Nucky saw Meyer, I knew something was up. That wasn't a coincidence. And once Nucky found out that Meyer's "wife" was a whore, he realized it wasn't a coincidence either. I'm very excited to see what happens through the season!

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Answers:

1) the file had the alias AR used when he was scamming her boss while her boss thought he was scamming AR.  there has to be more with this storyline going forward, otherwise her lying about the key makes zero sense.

2) the riot couldn't have been Castro related - way too early, plus Castro would have been maybe 5 or 6 at the time. I doubt the riots were supposed to be more than an opportunity for Meyer to let Nucky know he was also in Cuba. the only other possibility, if the Cuba storyline plays out long-term in this final season, is that it's some kind of prelude to the Batista coup that's a couple of years down the road. but even that seems unlikely.

3) the implication is that Meyer was there to kill Nucky, or at least that's what Nucky thinks.

4) the singing, dented head Milton asked him if he knew how they put the voice inside the little box of the telephone. Chalky, naturally looked at him like he was batshit crazy, and told him "electricity." then Milton wanted to know if Chalky knew how/had ever used a phone, and when Chalky said yes told him that he had money stashed someplace and would split it with Chalky if he used the phone. I guess because calling someone was an integral part of getting the cash and Milton didn't know how to used one. 

5) I thought it sounded like her, but I think it was the actress playing Nucky's mom.

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5) Was that Gretchen Mol doing the voice over for that poem Lil Nucky was reading?  Sure sounded a lot like her!

 

Closed-captioning said "Eleanore," which I am assuming is Nucky's mother. But it did sound like Gretchen Mol. 

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I hate that we have no idea how he [Chalky] ended up there and or how his family is faring post-Maybelle's death.

 

He got caught!

 

I am hoping the flashbacks also jump in time to catch up to Gillian. I don't see their value otherwise than to have the main people in them. 

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I was impressed with how much the actor portraying the young Commodore reflected the older Commodore (played by Dabney Coleman) in both speech patterns and physical characterisitcs

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Are they rewriting Nucky's history a bit? I don't recall him ever saying his father was a fisherman. I don't remember a sick sister either. The kid playing him was brilliant. You felt his tortured little soul without rolling your eyes from child acting pretentiousness. The only other better kid actor(s) were the triplets playing Al Capone's deaf son, you know, when the show used to be great? They were impressive too. 

 

Nucky mentioned once that he had a sister that died of consumption - old-time term for tuberculosis.

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One crappy line of exposition about AR's funeral is all we get?! F you, Boardwalk Empire. F you. 

 

Are they rewriting Nucky's history a bit? I don't recall him ever saying his father was a fisherman. I don't remember a sick sister either. The kid playing him was brilliant. You felt his tortured little soul without rolling your eyes from child acting pretentiousness. The only other better kid actor(s) were the triplets playing Al Capone's deaf son, you know, when the show used to be great? They were impressive too. 

 

 

And didn't Lucky have a sexually transmitted disease that left him with "issues?" That's all I could think of with all that blood brother stuff at the end. Who the hell knows what everyone was passing around.  

Agree, the kid actor was really good.  And I normally cringe anytime I see a kid on screen.

 

Thats exactly what I was thinking when they were doing the blood handshake was that it was a terrible way to pass communicable diseases.  

 

I too need to know about Mr Earcutter, if only to find out how many cream color suits he's messed up with those ears in the pocket.

Does the wife find them later in the wash?

Well, he appears to wrap them in a handkerchief I'm sure he carries around for that very reason.  I'm sure its a bitch to get blood out of a cream linen suit, and a man can only afford so many.

 

And really, what do you say after you find an ear in the hamper?  Even now, there isn't a Dr. Phil, Oprah, or even Divorce Court that covers how to handle the situation.

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I was impressed with how much the actor portraying the young Commodore reflected the older Commodore (played by Dabney Coleman) in both speech patterns and physical characteristics

 

I know!  He did a great job with the voice patterns and facial gestures, the expressions DC often uses as shorthand. Enough so that I was amused to imagine the casting director's insisting that the actor be allowed to read for the producers, despite his not-so-much resembling the younger DC.   

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And really, what do you say after you find an ear in the hamper?  Even now, there isn't a Dr. Phil, Oprah, or even Divorce Court that covers how to handle the situation.

 

This is how it goes in my sick imagination:

 

Wife of Ear Cutter:  WHAT is this????

 

Ear Cutter:  Well I asked this fellow if he would lend me his ear and he took it literally!!  **major Latin shrug**

Edited by KYBlonde
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I enjoyed the stuff with Chalky and Lucky, and surprisingly was intrigued by Nucky's flashbacks, but I wasn't wild about the Cuba stuff (with the exception of The Earcutter.  Kind of reminds me of Gus Fring),

 

 

I had exactly the same thought. Similar coolest-of-the-cucumbers modus operandi going on there.

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Did they mention somewhere there was a seven year time jump...because I had no clue what was happening, not remembering what the year was last season. Could not for the life of me figure out why Chalky was in prison. Did I miss something in the beginning of the show?

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Re: being listed as a "guest star"--it isn't necessarily a bad thing and can sometimes mean more money for the actor. A famous example is Heather Locklear always being listed as a guest star on Melrose Place in spite of the fact that she was basically the show's star from season 2 until whenever the show ended.

 

I think that was her specific credit for the show, i.e. she was a main cast member in the main credits, but it was part of her deal that she got to have the "Special Guest Star" title.  Luke Perry did it too when he returned to 90210 after leaving.   I don't get the impression that is what is happening here. 

 

 

Are Margaret and Nucky divorced?

 

A lot could have happened in seven years, but I would not be surprised if they were not officially divorced.  It was very difficult to get divorced at the time, and I don't know if Margaret or Nucky would have wanted to deal with the religious aspect of that either. 

Edited by txhorns79
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Wasn't Gretchen Mol also listed as a guest star the first couple of seasons?

Bookrat, in the first of the scenes in Cuba they showed that it was Havana 1931.

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When did they mention rothsteins funeral?

 

Working his way into his story, Meyer noted that the last time he and Nucky saw each other was at "A.R.'s funeral."  A courteous and somewhat genial nod by the younger man to a death among Nucky's generation.  

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And didn't Lucky have a sexually transmitted disease that left him with "issues?" That's all I could think of with all that blood brother stuff at the end. Who the hell knows what everyone was passing around.

With all of the espresso and vino they had on those tables, the only disease that could survive their bloodstream is alcoholism.

Edited by Drogo
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I think they might have flashbacks to show some of the big events in the interviening years. AR's death, the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, why Chalky's in jail what happen to Eli and Gillian etc...

 

I also wonder if Lucky had some accident or attack that left him with a limp and his right eye sagging?

 

Or perhaps the producers  just think we will Google all of it :)

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I was surprised Nucky actually believed Meyers story.

 

I don't think he did. He kind of looked at Meyer with his wife and seemed to file it away. When he saw the "wife" this made him approach her since it was also odd that she was alone at night. 

 

 

I think they might have flashbacks to show some of the big events in the interviening years. AR's death, the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, why Chalky's in jail what happen to Eli and Gillian etc...

 

I'm totally unspoiled. It seems that if this episode started in 1931 and prohibition was repealed in 1933, then the show might either end on that or the second to last episode end on that and we see what happened to the characters as a result. Therefore, you'd want these flashbacks throughout the season. I can roll with that. 

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Agree, the kid actor was really good.  And I normally cringe anytime I see a kid on screen.

 

This show has a good track record when it comes to child actors. The twins that played Tommy were my absolute favorite.

 

That said, can't they find a decent dialect coach?? Some of these actors don't know the difference between a Noo Yawk and a Boston accent and it drives me nuts...Margaret's boss and Meyer Lansky are the worst.

 

And finally, that recap ... I don't often LLOL (literally laugh out loud) but I did this time. Velcro... anvils... I can't...

Edited by panthergirl13
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That said, can't they find a decent dialect coach?? Some of these actors don't know the difference between a Noo Yawk and a Boston accent and it drives me nuts...Margaret's boss and Meyer Lansky are the worst.

I kind of love Meyer's slightly ridiculous accent, I always chuckle when I think of how he says "when you run the numbers, it starts looking very attractive." in S2. His pronunciation of "attractive" gets me every time. Speaking of accents, I'm always staggered whenever I hear Stephen Graham speak outside of the show, he does such a great job on BE.

Edited by beatrixkiddoe
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I kind of love Meyer's slightly ridiculous accent, I always chuckle when I think of how he says "when you run the numbers, it starts looking very attractive." in S2. His pronunciation of "attractive" gets me every time. 

Ugh. It also drove me nuts that Livia Soprano spoke that way too. Totally NOT an Italian/New York accent AT. ALL.

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Livia Soprano wasn't from New York, she was from North Jersey. Yep, there's a difference.

The way certain characters speak in B'walk Empire is accurate for the time period. The Brooklynese pronunciations may sound exaggerated, but it was a thing. The Dorsey Brothers even put out a record in 1935 called "Dese, Dem, Dose."

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Overall, I liked this premier. Random thoughts:

 

I was happy to see Sally back and loved her very large, very fun club. And I thought the music was great. One of the highlights of seasons 1-3 was the fabulous variety of music. Season 4 was quite disappointing for me in this area because, although I thought Daughter Maitland had a great voice, it got boring every week to have her be the major source of music. So, hearing a new style of music at Sally's club drew me right back in.

 

I like when this show leaves things for us to figure out, and, for me, this time it was interesting figuring out how permanent Nucky's stay in Cuba had been. When I first saw him with Sally, I thought he might have carried out his plan from last season's end and moved there with her permanently. But they made a point of showing him practicing his Spanish last season, and the fact that it was clear very early in this episode that he knew virtually no Spanish 7 years later was one of those early clues that he was merely there on business.

 

I normally enjoy flashbacks, especially those that give new and important insights into a character. And there were some things that I enjoyed about the flashbacks in this episode: I thought that the actor portraying Louis was terrific -- I realized who he was supposed to be as soon as he began to speak (and even before I noticed that the boys in the water were tossing us clues by calling him "Sir Commodore.") I also liked how the 1884 boardwalk made the 1920s boardwalk we have come to know  seem so very, very modern! But, all in all, I didn't feel like the flashbacks in this episode resulted in a big enough payoff in the end. We have already learned so much about Nucky's childhood and family members that I didn't feel that I got enough new insight considering the amount of time devoted to the flashbacks.

 

I was glad there was no nudity in this episode.

 

One general concern was that I had a hard time understanding a lot of the dialogue this time: when Sally and Nucky were dancing, it was hard to hear them over the music; when the man on the chain gang was singing or talking, the sounds of all the banging in the background drowned him out a bit. On the bright side, when the man got on top of Chalky, pointed a gun at him, but then asked him if he had ever used the telephone, the look on Chalky's face was absolutely priceless. What a gem.

 

Margaret searching for the Abe Redstone/Arnold Rothstein file has me intrigued.

 

I don't know anything about these gangsters' real lives, so I was disappointed to hear about AR's death since I have found Michael Stuhlbarg's portrayal of him suberb. And I was taken completely by surprise at Joe Masseria's murder. That was a great scene, I thought, even if I'll miss the very stylish Masseria and his fabulous mix of English and Sicilian dialogue. "No consider. Is mine."   

Edited by jordanpond
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I find that I have to watch this show with the captions on; when I do that I think, "Now I get what they're saying."  

 

The nudity doesn't bother me, but sometimes I feel like it's just there because HBO can do it.  I'd rather have nudity than blood and guts, I guess I"m just strange like that.  

 

I liked how Nucky started off wanting to be an honest person and then realized that, at least in the Commodore's world, honesty didn't mean shit.  It was when he fought that other boy did the Commodore take notice of Nucky.

 

Now I'll say something blasphemous.  I really liked Richard Harrow, but honesty, I didn't miss him.  I think the problem with Richard was, even in season 2 when Jimmy was alive, I always felt that he was in a completely different show than everybody else.  

Edited by Neurochick
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You could actually say young Nucky was being honest. Or maybe it's you're having your own code of values. The other kid pushed Nucky out of the way when he was attempting to help the woman out of the carriage. So Nucky called him on it and beat on him. Or maybe it's you make your own rules and stick to them. 

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I think young Nucky finally stood up for himself.

 

I wonder if Chalky's new friend, Milton, knew who Chalky was and that's why he "asked" him to come with him.  He did tell Chalky that he killed his father and that was why he was in jail, for "pulling those tricks on me" or something like that.  I wonder if Milton meant his father was sexually abusing him.  

 

What's good about captioning is that I realized the song Milton was "singing" was sort of hinting at breaking out of jail.  Those guards just thought he was stupid.

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