Note: The following review goes into detail about the episode. SPOILER ALERT!
Time is really running out now, for Nucky and for Boardwalk Empire’s final season. Twice in the span of five episodes we’ve seen Nucky come within an inch of biting the dust, and you have to wonder could the third time be unlucky for Mr. Thompson. Nucky only learned of Sally’s death right at the end of the episode, so we’ve yet to see what affect her death will have on him. I’m still guessing that he’ll throw all of his focus into fighting back against Luciano and Lansky. Now that we know John Torrio has been in league with them both all along, it really helps to further shape our conflict, with Nucky, Capone, Narcisse, and Maranzano all finding themselves with a common enemy to unite against. With such volatile characters in the mix though, I can’t see it being an easy alliance.
As I had hoped for earlier in the season, the flashbacks to Nucky’s earlier life took a little jump forward to the point where he was acting as Deputy Sheriff of Atlantic City. Aside from the crazy looking prosthetic teeth, Marc Pickering did an amazing job of playing a twenty-something Nucky. He had Steve Buscemi’s mannerisms down to a tee and it was rather uncanny watching him on screen. The story here progressed nicely too as an ambitious Nucky aimed to move up the Commodore’s ranks. We also got a lot more information on Mabel, the woman who would become Nucky’s first wife. She was as lively and high-spirited as she appeared in the earlier flashbacks as a child, and definitely appeared like someone Nucky would easily fall for.
Eli and Mueller have proven to be a brilliantly comedic odd pairing, and the amazingly awkward dinner party we witnessed here was stunning. While Mueller has often been played for laughs in the past, Eli has been a serious and tragic presence on the show. The discovery that he had a ninth child on the way looked like another serious turn for the character. That all changed again though when Eli remembered he had been having an affair with Mueller’s wife while they were in the midst of the dinner party, only for Mueller and Eli to be arrested almost immediately after this revelation.” Ness’ mole put the screws to both of them in an attempt to get them to dig up incriminating evidence on Capone. Considering their bundling nature, this particular plot could prove to be very entertaining, and I’m already imagining an old fashioned heist perpetrated by two men with incredibly short fuses.
Gillian made her second appearance of the season this week, and as hard as this may be to believe, I actually feel sorry for her. She is a character who has done a lot of unsavoury acts in the past, but she has also been a victim of equally terrible acts, and the asylum she finds herself in now appears to be hell on Earth. The doctor in charge certainly doesn’t seem to believe in rehabilitation for the mentally disturbed inmates, and his way of “curing” them involves removing teeth and major surgery. Some may argue that this is a fate Gillian is very deserving of, and as it stands, it doesn’t seem like there is any way out for her.
Chalky returned to Atlantic City this week with the law hot on his tail, but it seems like revenge is the only thing on his mind. This feels rather fitting for Chalky as he has pretty much lost everything, although, he did still manage to show up looking as dapper as his old self. I really enjoyed watching Nucky treat Chalky as a friend instead of in the usual business oriented way. I had wondered if Chalky’s story would simply be a straight up revenge quest. Instead, the real twist came right at the end in one of Narcisse’s brothels, where Chalky came face to face with Daughter. I actually wasn’t expecting to see her on the show again, so it’s a nice turn for Chalky’s story to take, as was the fact that she has a young girl in tow who looks like she could be Chalky’s. I’m not predicting happy endings for anyone at this stage, but for the first time in a long, there’s possibility for Chalky to find some semblance of happiness.
It has taken two attempts on Nucky’s life to get to this stage, but it finally appears like we’ll have open warfare between the two competing factions. With precious little time left on the series (three episodes), this feels like the perfect time to have everything set up. Margaret’s solitary scene this week was also an interesting one, with her getting the better of Rothstein’s wife and setting up a scheme for Nucky to get back at Kennedy. I find it interesting to see something new like this set up so close to the end, as I’m wondering exactly how relevant it could be within the short timeframe. The battle lines have been drawn. Now, it’s time for war.
*We do not comment on anything relating to previews for the next episode and beyond.
The Night Of: “The Call of the Wild” Review
Vice Principals: “The Foundation of Learning” Review
The Night Of: “Ordinary Death” Review
Joe Hill’s ‘The Fireman’ Review
How Speedrunning Changed My Perception of Games
Vice Principals: “Circles” Review
The Night Of: “Samson and Delilah” Review
‘Batman: The Killing Joke’ Review
Vice Principals: “Run for the Money” Review
The Night Of: “The Season of the Witch” Review