We’ve got two episodes left in season 3 of Boardwalk Empire. Who lives? Who dies? Let’s find out as we pick some Winners and Losers from episode “Two Imposters”.
WINNER: Nucky Thompson as The Fugitive
When last we left Boardwalk Empire, Owen Sleater was left dead in a box after trying to take out Gyp Rosetti’s boss, Joseph Masseria. Now, Nucky is a man on the run, being turned on by his own men while also dealing with just learning that his wife Margaret had an affair with his now-deceased right hand man Owen.
Even an attempt to drop off his manservant Eddie, who was hit by a stray bullet, at a hospital ends with an attempt on Nucky’s life from some of Rosetti’s hitmen. Seeing Nucky completely under attack is an interesting moment for a character who, frankly, has always had it easy.
WINNER: Chalky White’s nightclub
After having his request for help subsidizing a night club on the boardwalk completely rebuffed, Chalky finds himself being Nucky’s savior. Not only is Chalky’s team protecting Nucky, he recruits Samuel, his daughter’s med student boyfriend, to treat Eddie’s rapidly deteriorating wound and, seemingly, save his life.
Even a $25,000 bounty being offered by Gyp Rosetti doesn’t get Chalky or his men to turn on Nucky. The amount of Chalky in the episode — including a heartfelt mutual respect scene at Eli’s lumber yard at the end of the episode — more than makes up for the shocking lack of his awesomeness throughout this season.
LOSER: Lucky Luciano’s agita
Lucky Luciano is trying to get a heroin deal done to try to keep him and Meyer Lansky out of debt from some unknown parties. But Lansky won’t allow Luciano to do it, saying that they need to see where all of the chips are falling with Nucky and Rosetti before they start doing business again. You have to respect Luciano’s commitment to timely debt repayment. He’s a creditor’s dream.
But Luciano goes against Lansky’s directive and still sells the heroin to the two guys, leading to his relatively unsurprising arrest on a rooftop. Not very Lucky at all.
WINNER: Gillian Darmody’s ice burns
Gillian finds herself in bed — metaphorically — with new sheriff in town Gyp Rosetti. Despite the danger it puts her cathouse and grandson Tommy in, Gillian is determined to make it work. And the first casualty is lovestruck Richard who just wants to spend his days with new girlfriend Julia Sagorsky and his surrogate son Tommy. But when he tries to get Tommy out of Gillian’s grasp, she catches him and then kicks Richard out. In particular, the line “Sometimes I forget you’re not a complete person” is one of the harsher things said on this show.
Unfortunately, Richard didn’t respond by saying the same is true of Gillian. Maybe he can come back later and tell her about the Jerk Store.
WINNER: Richard the Angel of Death
Richard responded to Tommy’s crappy lot in life and Gillian’s bad decisions the only way he knows how: Loading up all of his guns for war against the Rosetti crew. I can’t put in enough exclamation points here to indicate how excited I am. But it’d probably look like !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
WINNER: Al Capone, action hero
The end of the episode appears to be Nucky under assault from a crew of Chalky’s men and other bounty collectors. But instead, we’re treated to news from Eli that he cut a deal with Al Capone for a little help dispatching Gyp Rosetti’s crew. Capone then delivers the action hero line of the year — while holding a cigar in his mouth — saying, “We’ve been on the road for 18 hours. We need a shower, some chow, and then you and me sit down. And we talk about who dies.”
This was an extremely breezy episode of Boardwalk Empire (particularly compared to the pacing-impaired episodes of this season). For an episode completely designed to just move pieces into place for the season finale next week, this was incredibly well done. The narrative thread of Nucky on the run being unable to trust anyone, the lack of Margaret, the abundance of Chalky White being awesome, Richard’s preparation for battle, and Al Capone seeming to be the Al Capone we learned about in history books were all tremendous moments.
It’s going to be a long seven days until the finale, that’s for sure.
I want more like this!
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