[Editor's Note: This post contains spoilers for the November 18 episode of HBO's "Boardwalk Empire."]
Sunday's “A Man, A Plan…” kept up with the “Goosebumps”-inspired storytelling we've seen this season, which is keen on giving a little bit here and there before hitting the audience square in the mouth in the last few minutes.
And the last few minutes of this episode might have been the most explosive we’ve seen this entire season. But before we get to the shocking finale, let’s talk about what led us to that point.
Just last week Nucky was literally out of his mind, but this time around he was ready for war. That was good to see, because so was everyone else.
First, there was Nucky himself. He got a call from Gaston Means that Jess Smith could narc them out at any point. But for a fee of $40,000, the former would solve the problem.
Nucky wasn’t done there. After basically agreeing to have Smith killed, there was Joe Masseria to worry about. Nucky sent Owen and Agent Sawicki up to New York to kill Masseria, who was supposed to be easy pickings in a Turkish bath house.
Meanwhile, before he was sent to New York, Owen met with Margaret to tell her that they should still run away together, but that she should go first and he would follow to make sure Nucky couldn’t pick up on it.
In Tabor Heights, Gyp Rossetti was trying to understand how his most recent shipment came up short. In the best way to get killed by Gyp, Tonino’s cousin Franco tried to educate our show’s mad villain about waves crashing into each other and ocean currents. Long story short, this fact was brought up several times, and you started to wonder when Gyp would finally let poor Franco have it for insulting his intelligence.
Let’s just say I’ll never look at people with their heads buried in the sand with the same joy I typically would around spring break time.
Over in Cicero, Van Alden’s Norwegian Aquavit side hustle was booming - or so he thought. After a successful sale to a restaurant owner, Van Alden returned only to be nabbed by Al Capone’s men for selling on his turf.
Later, Van Alden and Capone met - albeit with a fork shoved in the former’s face - but our favorite Prohee-turned-bootlegger was able to convince the Chicago gangster to spare his life. Well, he did have to tell Capone everything he knew about Dean O’Banion’s operation to do so. You can’t see it, but this is me hoping/wishing/praying Van Alden ends up working for Capone full-time.
Speaking of making moves, Lucky Luciano and Meyer Lansky quietly got the ball rolling on the action for the episode. Lucky and Meyer approached Arnold Rothstein about selling heroin, and when he rejected their offer they took it to Masseria. In the process, they revealed to Masseria that Nucky planned to have him killed.
As I mentioned, the theme of having folks killed was a big one last night. In one of the more surprising moves, Means was able to convince Harry Daugherty to let him take care of Smith (even though he already told Nucky that he would, and at the same rate, too), but when he went in for the kill Smith was already waiting with a gun.
Yet in Smith’s poor mental state he made Means’ job easy and turned the gun on himself. Again, Stephen Root was on point as always.
Before we got to the big bang (or box) at the end of last night’s episode, there were a few smaller stories that may or may not play out to be that big till next season. First, there was Chalky White meeting with Nucky in hopes to open a new, black-owned replacement to Babette’s. Nucky declined, but something tells me he will be calling Chalky back sooner rather than later. At least I hope so, since this season has been lacking in the Michael Kenneth Williams department.
Then there was Margaret’s old hospital storyline. Yeah, it came and went and we won’t miss it. They closed down her pet project. Womp womp.
Did I mention Richard Harrow? I thought when he found a love interest in Julia Sargosky that Richard was winning, but the more I thought about it the more I realized that I like Jack Huston’s character more when he’s killing. He’s in love now, but with Nucky running out of resources, you get the feeling he might get a recruiting letter for Mr. Thompson’s army.
Richard’s joining would be a good thing, seeing as Nucky’s best soldier met his demise last night.
We saw Owen arrive at the Turkish bath house to assassinate Masseria with Agent Sawicki, but we never saw him leave.
Later, Nucky was in bed when a package arrived at the Ritz. Nucky, Eddie and Margaret were all in the lobby to look in horror at the contents of this giant crate: Owen’s corpse. Naturally, Margaret went crazy and inadvertently revealed her affair with Owen.
Complicating matters was a flashback from earlier that day where Margaret told Owen she was pregnant with his child. And with that, this recapper was left stunned.
OK, so Owen’s death might not draw the ire of fans like Jimmy Darmody’s did, but boy was I shocked and a bit sad. You guys?
this show is a show that i like and am having so much fun with it.
Why did Gyp kill Franco? Was Franco ripping him off for his booze and telling him it was the rough waves?? I need to know
Because Rosetti is a complete psycho.
I love this show but I was disappointed when they killed Jimmy...I think I may have cried a little.... now Owen. I don't think that I can take anymore. That momma makes me sick to my stomach and if I see another head get bashed in or brains blown out I might loose it. So alas for my own sanity I'm going to bow out gracefully from this series. NO BODY WINS! I know that this is true in real life but that's why I watch TV for a little fantasy (a girl can dream can't she). Love the acting but I don't think I want to know how this ends.
Glued to the TV. Owen is dead, him and Margaret did not deserve to make it out of Nucky's world. Yes, justice will be served by Richard and Chalky. Kick butt and take no hostages, it's going to get dirty and nasty on EB. Love the show, and I have not missed an episode since it started. Even my better half watches the repeat (on demand), and tells his co-workers what they are missing. Best Show of the season. Thank you actors, producers, directors and staff for a wonderful job this season. Oh, and lets get rid of Jimmy's momma, can't stand the witch.
"Mick in a Box"
All I can say is that this show is AWESOME! The Characters, story line, plot's, etc. The Sopranos live on, in Boardwalk Empire! Does anyone else think that Nucky will Get Chalky and Richard to assist him in taking out Gyp? Maybe Capone/Torrio will help as well? As much as I love that these real historical characters, it kind of gives away who will stay and who will go. Obviously Nucky (the Tony Soprano of the show) isn't going to be going away any time soon. Not to mention some of the others who historically move on to bigger and brighter (prosperous) careers. But it sure is fun to watch! How about my man Mr. Harrow, finally getting some love!
Thank You. (A)
Best show on TV!! I am now obsessed with this show, and will be Jonesin' for it during the off-season. I will never give up HBO, even if I watch nothing else.
What is up with them killing off all the hotties!!!!! i seriously had to calm down and force myself to watch after nucky took our jimmy...but now OWEN!! i will complete this season to see how poor Margaret digs herself out of this predicament. She can't terminate the pregnancy. She loved Owen too much. Nucky will have to get over himself. He cheated, she cheated. Both of their loves are brutally murdered. I hope they can bond over that fact, but i dont see how seeing that nucky is the direct reason that both loves are dead. Are they wanting us to root for Nucky's demise?!?
Wow. I wonder if Nucky now has Margaret killed or banished somewhere or do they both somehow move on? Can't see they can as Margaret blames him for Owen's death.
Gyp – please let him die as graphically and as violently as all of his victims combined. Remember, he has now killed Nucky's girlfriend and his right hand man. Ought to be interesting.
Don't you just love Gaston Means? He is the very definition of the word "smarmy".
This show has the greatest characters currently on TV – at least until Breaking Bad comes back next summer!
pls tell me what happens.
After Jimmy was killed I told myself I was finished with B.E. Was I wrong...last episode was the best yet. So many plots so little time...this thing could go on for years. Would like to see more of Van Alden; and that wife of his has a bit of gangster in her. Even a little humor thrown in...Gaston Means: "Throw up my hands I guess". Chalky White: "Tuxedoes and Chandelabras". Looking forward to demise of Gyp...you all think he'll make it out of this season alive?
The lessons learned: if you get a 3'x3'x3' box at 4am, leave it outside and open it later. Also, going after a top NY mob boss in a bath house, needs more than 2 guys. What happened to the cop helping Owen-is he in another box? I don't think Margie outed herself-she was just hysterical, who wouldn't ? On retrospect, Nucky made wrong choice, he should have kept Jimmy. Manny ended up lasting only a couple episodes. I say Nucky reaches out to Harrow, now in need of a new body guard. But Nucky killed his BFF in Season 2 finale. Don't know why Richard would take that job-again.
good show. i love the intensity
Yeah...first Jimmy got killed, then Owen. Let a girl have some eye candy!
Wow did not see that coming. Only show I watch is this one besides Mad Men and 60 Min and Packer football, but Owen in the crate was too much. As soon as I saw the crate I knew it was him in there. I have a hard stomach but couldn't take that. Kelly MacDonald great as usual. Luv her true accent. As for Nucky, always pulling for him, he will get them in the end I hope. Gyp needs a death scene as shocking as the crate with Owen.
Yeah, I gotta say that Mr. Rossetti has got to be the most evil creepy guy in history. He shovels this guy in such a brutal fashion. He always manages to be on the giving end of these horrific, usually fatal, beatings with various implements – not usually guns. Like the way he pounded that guy who helped oil his tire. He loses his temper when he feels like his intelligence is insulted and completely goes ballistic. And then, after he shovels this guy to death he tells his cousin "you owe me". I do hope he gets killed in a really awesome way – and hopefully soon.
mr. rossetti doesn't like to be insulted or he'll beat you up
Totally agree with you regarding Mr. Rosetti. As much as I enjoy watching BE, I don't think I can continue if remains part of the cast much longer. The total brutality he exhibits on a weekly basis is too much. I'm also past ready to see "mommy dearest", Gillian, go away. I have never recovered from the flashback scene of her seducing Jimmy. It was just too creepy. I've learned to expect the unexpected from watching since the beginning, but never give up hoping that certain characters, like Richard, manage to survive and get their revenge. I was upset to see Owen killed off, but, unfortunately, never let myself believe he and Margaret would ever actually be allowed to go off into the sunset together. The twists and turns this show takes on a weekly basis always keep me coming back for more, but I still have a tough time dealing with the senseless brutality. Anyway, I'll continue to root for Richard and hope that Gillian and Rosetti go away this season.
Stunned and so, so very sad
How do you know she outed herself. She was shocked!
Way too soon for Owen to go. LOVED OWEN. If they want me to keep watching, they need to quit knocking off the Hotties!
I'm with you Katie. These two boys were beautiful. Very sad about Owen who was not as well developed
a character as Jimmy. 'Johnny I hardly knew ya'.
As a guy... Owen was handsome enough, I can understand the appeal. But Jimmy? Looked like DiCaprio with a syndrome. Always appeared exhausted and on the verge of tears, scrawny, and with lips the size of Italian sausages. Don't really get that one. Great character though.
great show strange storyline this time.
I was not a fan of the affair Margaret was having with Owen. I felt that Katie was getting the wrong end of the deal and Margaret, rather selfishly, did not give a damn. I do hate that Owen met his end that way he did, but I would have been more disappointed if the writers went to sleep and allowed him to go off anywhere with Margaret.
When the doc told Margaret that she looked pale, and she came back with something like "it's nothing I haven't gone through before", that was the clue to her being pregnant. So much for the diaphragm...
Can't believe how much I dislike Gillian now. Would be great if Richard took care of her, she treats him like dirt.
how do you know margaret wears a diaphram..
I don't think she never ended up wearing it, she had asked the doctor for 2 diaphragms – one for that lady in the class and one for her.
Can't believe Owen is gone! Where does this leave Margaret? Does she stay or go? Is she safe now that Nucky knows she was having an affair with Owen. Hope that Gyp meets his demise soon...his character is becoming way to bizarre!
margaret should baff owen as long as they are able too.
I'm SOOOOOoooooo sad to see Owen gone! How I'll miss his Irish-rogue deliciousness! I would have preferred to see him and Margaret escape this miserable life. As it stands everyone deserves their come-uppance. Gillian and Gyp should be the first kookoo birds put out of their misery. Richard Harrow should take the kid and the lady and run! The rest is history and we know how the real life characters ended up. The real Nucky killed his second wife (secretary) after she left him for the accountant (yep...shot them both in a car after she turned him in) and all the gangsters fall into place – Google It! So sad Owen is gone.
That's Remis...George Remis killed his second wife and her man friend after she turned him in. He was the first person to win a lawsuit on the plea of insanity basis. Nuck Johnson (the real Thompson) went to jail and later died of old age and his first wife died of consumption – as told in the show.
AMAZING cast AND DIRECTORS, but the writing is the biggest piece of crap ever. You'd think a show like that would employ writers who are actually good, but they don't. I guess mr. weiner was the only real talent from the sopranos writing staff.
THE WRITING IS -100 ON A SCAL OF -100-10. Talk about phoning it in.
Chalky is played by the actor who played Omar in The Wire. Knowing that, it gives Chalky even more menace. I enjoy watching his scenes. I wish there were more with him,
I had to turn away when Gyp walked up to the guy with the shovel...you knew what he would do.
The box scene. How tragic that his eyes were open. Great scene.
Nothing to be expected with this show, which is why it keeps me entertained and the only show I watch except The Big Bang Theory.
My last post-OOPS! Testosterone!
The BEST episode this season! Thought this season was full of too much testerone,but wow! Sad to see Owen's demise. Happy to see Richard Harrow FINALLY in a relationship! I just hope we do not see his demise.
He is a great actor and if the Producer's are smart-will make him a major player!
Cannot wait for the next two episodes.
loves to be in bed when she can.
OMG! Or shall I say...."dammmmmmum"....what a shocker that was...no not the preggers line, but the body in the box..
Wow...didn't see that one coming...not even with a pair of military binoccular's...still shocked...
with two episodes remaining of the season...here's my guess...I still see Mr. Harrow, his new lady love AND little Tommy void Momma Gillian...what part he'll play in Nucky's "army" remains to be seen. I do agree that Chalky will play a vital role in the remaining two episodes...and hopefully for his fans a major role in next season. duh!
Gyp...the man is just plain ill...you want ganster? Call Gyp...that shovel scene was just brutual and unbearable to watch. Gyp deserves every ounce of what he dishes out.... I see Eli picking up the slack in absence of Mr. Slater...and I don't feel sorry for Margaret at all...silly woman...did she really think she was going anywhere??? lol
I'm pulling for Nucky to gather up an army...and the first person on the list no doubt...Mr. G...
Didnt see it coming? When Luciano whispered to the mob guy, and they cut away, that is a sign that what hes being told is accurate. Then to show Owen showing up, and coming in, is another sign. If the mob guy was going to die, the scene would be him sitting back and relaxing and Owen showing up out of nowhere.
Dumb that the butler didnt cover up the body himself as soon as he saw it.
Also, guys like Rosetti dont do things like that to relatives of friends and live long enough to become powerful. Hollywood type thinking, that.
Guys like Rosetti will kill anyone. When ur in the mob or real gang if u r asked to kill ur brother / cousin who ever u have to do it or somebody will kill u.. that simple. U r trippin James.
does one barf now or later.
What do you mean, the hospital storyline is finished? With Margaret pregnant, who do you think she will ask to perform an abortion? She can't have a baby since she and Nucky have not been intimate lately, and if that baby looks like Owen she's in big trouble. So I think we'll see her doctor friend again.
She's already outed herself as having an affair. With any luck she'll just up and leave, keep the kid, maybe even go to St. Louis and try her luck out there.
I don't think she will consider an abortion, she is too Catholic and I don't think she will run as she has no place to go, it will all be up to Nucky. I don't think he wants the world to know his wife is having another mans child, secondly he really loves her children as his own...... hard to say what will happen, I just hope it gets resolved in the last two episodes.
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