September 17th, 2012
03:45 PM ET
[This post contains spoilers for the September 16 episode of HBO's "Boardwalk Empire," as well as events that occurred in season 2.]
It’s New Year’s Eve in 1922, and in “Boardwalk” time a year-and-a-half has passed.
For those who were still mourning the loss of a certain someone’s mug in Atlantic City, Sunday’s season 3 premiere, “Resolution,” gave enough new faces and plotlines to speed the grieving process.
(Yes, Jimmy’s dead. Moving on.)
To start, there’s Gyp Rosetti (Bobby Cannavale), a New York gangster by way of Italy who, en route to Atlantic City, kills a Good Samaritan for insulting his intelligence when it comes to automotive troubleshooting. As we come to know, Gyp doesn’t do rules. “Boardwalk” has needed a cold-blooded bad guy to give things a jolt.
Nucky, meanwhile, is with Manny Horvitz, Owen Slater and Mickey Doyle interrogating a thief. The robber and his accomplice hit one of Doyle’s warehouses, and even after revealing his accomplice to be a man named Rowland Smith, Nucky has Manny put a bullet in his head. Nucky later asks Manny to find and kill Smith - if he can do that, he can have a piece of the liquor business separate from Doyle.
Of course, Doyle is still an idiot. Sooner or later, Doyle could cost Nucky more than just some stolen booze.
At home, Margaret – a.k.a., the new Mrs. Thompson - is prepping for an Egyptian-themed party for Nucky, and she seems to have no issues ordering the help around as the de facto First Lady of Atlantic City.
Jimmy's mother Gillian is now heading up a brothel while Richard Harrow (was that a fresh new mask?) looks after his orphaned son Tommy. I wonder when Richard will start looking to avenge his friend’s death. I also wonder when the Emmy folks will start blessing Jack Huston with some nominations.
In a meeting with
Not to mention, Nucky’s big land project is now St. Theresa’s Catholic hospital. Thanks to the generous donation Margaret signed over to the church at the end of last season, she’s now a board member. During a tour of the facilities a woman miscarries right in front of Margaret and others, and Mrs. Thompson is later told by another doctor that actual access to and education of prenatal care is nonexistent. The feminist in Margaret is ready to spring into action.
On the Boardwalk, Tommy and Richard are arguably the cutest and weirdest surrogate father-son combo I’ve seen on TV in some time. When Tommy refers to Gillian and not Angela as his mother, Richard’s face shows a slight look of disappointment.
And speaking of disappointing, Van Alden’s now talking to himself in the mirror about being better at life, which he needs because he’s now a door-to-door iron salesman. He lives in Cicero, Illinois with his once live-in nanny and now wife, Sigrid. Sad and hilarious.
At the Thompsons' party, we’re introduced to flapper Billie Kent via Eddie Cantor. She’s pretty much Lucy 2.0, and Nucky seems to like what he sees. (Gyp shows up to the party with Regina, the dog of the Good Samaritan he beat to death.)
Over at her brothel, Gillian doesn’t like what she’s hearing when Richard starts to talk about Angela and her paintings. She later tells Richard if he wants to stay in the house then he’ll play by her rules and not bring up those ghosts of season 2.
In Chicago we meet Dean O’Banion, a North side boss having issues with staying in his territory, or so he tries to tell Johnny Torrio. Al Capone calls O’Banion’s BS and the two get into it. Torrio tells Capone to calm down, but when O’Banion takes shots at the former’s deaf son, all bets are off. Torrio heads for Italy and Capone promises to get his revenge.
Being the live wire that he is, Capone visits O’Banion’s flower shop to follow up on the lovely chat from earlier when Van Alden walks in and inadvertently keeps the latter alive. O’Banion offers to buy Van Alden’s irons, and says if he ever needs help give him a call. Van Alden’s future might be the one I’m least certain about for this new season - it could go anywhere.
Back at the Thompsons, Owen makes a pass at Margaret, and I get the feeling soon their night of passion last season will catch up to them. Margaret also confronts Dr. Landau and demands that more be done in the hospital to help the women. Dr. Landau feels insulted, and tells Nucky to watch Margaret and to keep her in check.
Meanwhile, Nucky’s got his mind on a new plan, and he meets with Gyp, Arnold Rothstein, Lucky Luciano, Meyer Lanksy and George Remus. He’s only selling his liquor to Rothstein, and from now on, everyone can get their liquor through him.
This sets off Gyp, who goes around the table insulting everyone, including Nucky. May I just say that this guy could already be on his way to packing more zingers into an episode than Sawyer from “Lost” and Aaron Sorkin’s “Newsroom” dialogue combined. “Nobody here can take a joke.” Classic.
After all the guests have gone, Nucky confronts Margaret about the hospital and the land, and tells her that she needs back off. He heads over to the Ritz, where Ms. Kent, who's clearly known Nucky for a while, is in bed waiting for him. As I said before, Lucy 2.0.
At his home, Manny preps for the killing of Rowland Smith while having champagne with his wife. But when he heads out of his house, Richard greets him with a shotgun to the face to avenge Angela’s death. Looks like Richard has already started the "Revenge for Jimmy" campaign. Will he be bold enough to go after Nucky?
In bed alone, Margaret reads the paper about Carrie Duncan’s historic flight, and the next morning heads to the beach where she watches as Duncan flies over the crowd.
It seems this season aims to up the ante on the gangster element of the show, at least more so than the previous two seasons. From the looks of last night’s premiere, that’s not a bad thing, and it's definitely more entertaining. Bring on Gyp the villain.
But, with that said, where's Chalky White?
Did you watch? What storylines and characters are you most excited about for season 3?
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