'Boardwalk Empire': War games
November 26th, 2012
04:04 PM ET

'Boardwalk Empire': War games

[Editor's Note: The following post contains spoilers for the November 25 episode of HBO's "Boardwalk Empire."]

After Sunday's “Two Imposters," there's just one episode still to go in "Boardwalk's" third season. Compared to last week’s show, which saw the demise of Owen Sleater, this precursor to the finale played as the perfect table setter.

With the exception of Van Alden, pretty much all of our favorite characters (I’m looking at you, Chalky White) made their presence felt, which got me amped for next week.

But let's start with Mr. Nucky Thompson, who got all of a few hours to marinate over Margaret’s affair with Owen before he got a visit at The Ritz from Gyp Rossetti/Joe Masseria’s men.

In one of the rare moments of Nucky doing his best Jason Bourne impression, he took out three of the henchmen without a problem. Steve Buscemi playing lethal worked, and props to him for pulling that off.

But the heat and pressure were on Nucky from the start and it only got more complicated when Eddie Kelser was shot during an escape attempt. Even when Nucky headed for the hospital, he was greeted by Gyp’s men.

You’re probably wondering where Margaret was in all of this, but I didn’t care. Her character has done next to nothing for me this season. But since you asked, she and the children left, which allowed for real action to take place.

In a move that should’ve happened eons ago, Nucky went to Chalky White for help and hoping to build an army to battle Gyp.

Speaking of Gyp, he set up shop over at Mama Jimmy’s Artemis Club, where Richard Harrow was trying to escape with Tommy to Julia Sargosky’s. Well ... until they were caught and Mama Jimmy had Richard fired. But we later saw Richard in his room packing up his arsenal of weapons, so it looks like our favorite man with the half face will not go into season 4 quietly. I was glad to see Richard find love but I'm more stoked to see him back in killing machine mode.

Over at Chalky’s, he recruited his daughter’s old boo Samuel to remove Eddie’s gunshot wound and stitch him up. Meanwhile, Gyp showed up outside the hideout and - in one of the funnier exchanges of dialogue this season - tried to get Chalky to give up Nucky for $25,000. Between these two going back and forth and the surgery going on inside, I chewed all the way through my cuticles.

Side note: As my dear friend and fellow "Boardwalk" viewer, Mariel Gomez, pointed out, I wasn’t the only one sweating. Nucky’s fretting over Eddie was something we haven’t really seen him do with anyone on this show who wasn’t a woman. Eddie gets treated like crap, but this episode reminded us of just how much he means to Nucky.

Away from the action in another gangster’s paradise was the dynamic duo of Lucky Luciano and Meyer Lansky. Lucky met with two men from Buffalo about a heroin deal, which of course Meyer warned against in light of Owen’s murder. Like the hard-head he is, Lucky went through with the deal, and the two guys turned out to be cops and arrested him. Does anyone else see Meyer as the new Rothstein?

There wasn't time to think about that because we were back to Nucky and Chalky. The increased screen time of Michael Kenneth Williams and his sidekick Mr. Purnsley (Erik LaRay Harvey) was sorely needed, and probably made this episode. I’m glad to see General White will help lead his army with Nucky going forward. Oh, and it looks like Chalky may get his nightclub after all.

A good thing, too, because Chalky and his men were stopped by Gyp’s goons. After pretending to give Nucky up, they wiped out the Rossetti underlings, more or less making them marked men as well.

Now, Nucky spent the entire episode wondering where Eli was and what kind of progress he was making with Johnny Torrio in Chicago. In probably one the best scenes of the night (one that also came with the best line of the season) Nucky was confronted at the lumberyard where Eli’s son Willie works.

Thinking he was being surrounded by Gyp’s men, Nucky was greeted by Eli and Al Capone, who made his presence known by saying, “I need a bath. Some chow. And then you and me sit down and we talk about who dies.”

This little exchange led me back to some earlier theories, both from you guys and my own deranged mind. We know in history Al Capone preferred Tommy guns, which Nucky was able to come upon thanks to the IRA and Owen. Does Nucky hand those guns over to Capone for his war and launch the prime of his gangster career? And what role will Richard Harrow play?

And speaking of what Capone mentioned, who will die in Sunday’s finale? My hope/wish is that it’s a combination of Mama Jimmy, Gyp and Mickey Doyle. Hopefully the first two come at the hands of Richard? A recapper can dream.

Tell me what you guys think.


soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. Jerome

    Great episode! i think Gyp as a decision to make on himself and his boss in NYC. one of them has to go! and i think Gyps survives into season 4 but he moves back to NY. Lucky and Lansky survives as well. the storyline in NY will be needed in season 4. Gillian dies and Richard dies and nucky raises jimmys son. Overall, the finally needs one or two of the major bosses to die (nucky, chalky, rolstein, massersa). and my guess is massersa and chalky.

    November 30, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
  2. grandma

    Excellent episode! I agree about Capone's line (history making) But time to go for Jillian she is the devil!! I want her and Gyp to be killed by Richard she needs to go now no one has twenty lives, and for Gyp he is just getting away with everything too much at this point. If they can kill Owen which I never seen this one coming. I just thought that Owen and Margaret would get caught before they could leave. As for Margaret hate her hate her! She is just a bad woman I think worst then Nucky, at least he’s straight forward and she is sneaky. Nucky should not take her back let her live in the streets pregnant.

    November 29, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Prairiedog

    You know someone will die next week. My bet is on Eli. I always doubted his loyalty to Nucky until this season. Now, he has proven his worth to Nucky; so, he will die and Nucky has more guilt to face.

    November 29, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  4. ignatius

    IIRC, it was possible to buy Tommy guns in sporting good stores – no problem getting hold of them!

    November 29, 2012 at 6:13 am | Report abuse |
  5. Ronda

    This was an incredible episode, and it was interesting to see who’s going to be there for Nucky now that things have hit the fan. I watch this show with one of my coworkers from DISH, Tom, and he’s been such a help with pointing out to me the symbolism in the last couple of episodes. There’s definitely going to be a war in a few days and the obvious American side will win I’m sure. I’m so glad that my DISH Hopper has a 2-terabyte hard drive because I have more than enough room to keep this season saved. I have a feeling that I’m going to revisit it quite often! I think that Rosetti’s ridiculous hat was a hint of what his fate will be, but I’m still a little curious if he’ll even be in season four.

    November 28, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  6. jeremy richard

    is it strange how invested we are in the lives of these people when all they really are is cold blooded killers that includes richard, chalky, and capone

    November 28, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jennifer

    Gyp has been a fantastic edition to the show; it is unfortunate that he will most likely be killed off in next week's finale.

    Lillian is annoying and gross. I wish Richard would kill her in next week's episode, but I actually suspect that he will be the one who gets killed while on his rampage.

    I'm curious to see what Nucky's reaction to Margaret will be after knowing that she cheated on him with Owen. I hope he forgives her and they rekindle their relationship, but I know not to be too optimistic with regard to that actually happening.

    November 28, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  8. nina

    my eyeballs are itchy

    November 28, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Shelly

    I can't wait until next Sunday for the throw down. Nucky's brother came through and is back in his good graces. Made a deal with Capone who is ambitious enough to get the job of "who dies" done. Jillian and Gyp are two of a kind, psychopaths, although I have to give the girl credit, she is as slick as they come and will stop at nothing to get what she wants. Little Jimmy is not safe with her. Margaret, who never had it so good, and Owen both played Nucky. Owen thought he could eventually take over the Boardwalk but now he's dead. Manipulating Margaret has finally dug a hole for herself, she's pregnant with Owen's baby, gave Nucky's land to the Catholics, and now that she let the cat out of the bag about the affair, what is she going to do? I hope Nucky doesn't go soft on her. Who cares about Van Alden, he is of no significance to the Empire, what does his character have to do with anything? Now Richard is who you want on your side. Does he plan on killing Jillian and taking Little Jimmy? He's going to surprise us, and live I hope. I'm glad that Nucky finally realized who to trust and now appreciates Eddie and Chalky. Can't wait for Chalky's club to open on the Boardwalk.

    November 28, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  10. PeterNYC

    Richard Harrow is going to kill Gillian, mostly because he feels that she disrespected Jimmy's memory by killing the imposter – and insulting Richard in the last episode won't help Gillian either. I think Richard goes off in to the sunset wtih Tommy and the new girlfriend. As for Gyp, I think Masseria ends up killing him in some sort of deal with Arnold Rothstein. The sacrafice? I think it will be Margaret, of all people. The marriage is pretty much over anyway, and I'm getting kind of tired of the character by this point.

    What I am most hoping for is that the Richard Harrow character either leaves the show, as the whole "English Patient" theme was getting as mind-numbingly boring as the awful 1996 movie itself, or give him back his role of killing machine.

    Historically, Lansky doesn't take over just yet. AR has to die in, I believe, 1928. The show is only up to 1923.

    November 28, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Sandy

    I'd love to see Richard off Gillian, especially after that crack about his not being a whole person. Gyp has been fun to watch (especially in the George Washington hat), but I don't think he'll make it out alive. I almost see him getting whacked by his own.

    I say Richard will become the new Owen to Nucky.

    November 28, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jo

    These shows always get good toward the end of a season. I want Mama Jimmy to go. Part of my wants Gyp to go, but he is a good antagonist; I think his storyline is about to be up though. I see Richard being the only person standing at the brothel by the end of the finale.

    I love Chalky White too! I'm glad that he has more appearances in these last few episodes. And yes, that last line by Al Cappone will be one of the most memorable of all episodes. I stood up and cheered when he arrived on the scene.

    November 28, 2012 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
  13. Wavetek

    I would love to see Richard slice that child molesting sick momma's throat. I wouldn't mind seeing Gyp get whats coming to him.

    November 28, 2012 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
  14. dexter

    Great post, sad to see season 3 go so soon. I'm going to be way to antsy. Can not wait till next week. The only person I believe that shouldnt make it to season 4 is gyp. Harrow we need. And for some odd reason I feel like Gillian has that planed out. For harrow to either get @ gyps men and to get as much of them killed or for him to get knocked off. She now what kind of machine he is and what he is capable of. Or maybe she ready to see ol Jimmy boy and the commador again. I have a feeling something may happen to rosthein soon and Myer will take over. Let's do it season 4, what do you guys think?

    November 28, 2012 at 12:55 am | Report abuse |
  15. jwp

    Cant believe this season is almost over. It was hard enough having to wait for sunday, now I will have to wait till next season for more Empire!@##$%^^&

    November 27, 2012 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Susan

    Nucky may be changing a bit. When he realized he knew nothing of Eddie's family I think he realized how selfish and thoughtless He had been.

    November 27, 2012 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Marie

    And also...Richard is going to have to team up with someone. How else can he make a living? He isn't going to convince his woman to run off with him and some kid with no job or money.

    November 27, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Lee Ellie

    Great blog from beginning to end !! Great show

    November 27, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Nelson Fernandes

    HBO has great writers and especially Boardwalk. Although the story may not go the way most people "want," I have to agree that what most viewers WANT is not necessarily what's best for the series. Prime example, Ned Stark had to die for the story to move on (yes I know it's based on a book) even though he was such a great character. Stringer Bell from the Wire HAD to die in Season 3...the story needed that to happen, even though we all wanted him to live.

    I did NOT see Owen getting clipped last week, as much of a badass they portrayed him to be. I really think Richard is going to die but not before he does what he needs to do. He already tried to off himself then found love and has this new reason to live. But look at Owen and Margaret, great idea that they leave AC with the kids, but they didn't let that happen and now Margaret is sad, Owen's girl is pregnant and will now have a daddyless child, and Nucky knows about the affair. See how much story there is from one death?

    So to say that HBO doesn't give us what we want, I disagree. I trust their writing and believe they know what's best for the series, not necessarily ratings.

    One last thing, what do you think about a spin-off series that's based in NYC and follows the rise of Meyer and Luciano (since they end up 'taking over" the Mafia)?

    November 27, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  20. flomez

    meyer lansky is the definitely a quiet badass. capone is being created in these episodes, so stoked to see it play out... "then we talk about who dies, eh?"

    November 27, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Lisa

    Can't kill everyone that's crazy, like Gyp and Gillian, off the show. I hope they don't do that. They are actually making things exciting this season, but sooner or later everyone will be dead. I see the show being on no more that 5 or 6 seasons. I hate when HBO does that. Always take ofF the good shows!!!!!

    November 27, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Clare

    Great episode.Van Alden's role still understated. They could do so much with him . I hate Grandma Jimmy,. She needs to suffer a little for her sick twisted nature . Finale should be , Chaiky gets a night club, Grandma Jimmy has to beg Richard for her life. Gyp still Gyp. Capone saves Nucky after he eats. Van Alden steps up ...........................

    November 27, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  23. LathNay

    Loved the episode, but as for the question about the shotgun I have no idea how many bullets it would hold. However, I did catch one mistake. Luciano and his partner got the money for the heroin fronted to them and told Masseria they would make 300,000 dollars from it, but when Lucky Is talking to the guys from "Buffalo" he says 200 and ounce, then decides to sell 5 pounds for 15,000. Either way you look at it they wouldn't even make 150,000 if the did sell all of it.

    November 27, 2012 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
  24. Jen for Albuquerque

    Oh GOD I hope they don't end Harrow :[ I really wanna see Harrow end the thugs at the "resort" and scare the crap outta Gillian. Then take the boy and go to Julia. Sure he can see Grandma once a month. Hopefully Harrow will give Gyp a bullet while he's banging Grandma...Priceless!!!

    November 27, 2012 at 2:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill Peterson

      If they end Harrow, I will stop watching. I like the other characters, but that would be too much.

      November 27, 2012 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
  25. Probie

    HBO cannot 'rewrite' history, so essentially what happens to many of the gangsters is predetermined. What will be interesting is what goes down with Gyp, Harrow, and Chalky. They truly have poetic license with these characters. We know Harrow goes on a rampage, and that Chalky is backing Nuck. Will we get what we want and see Gyp die in a most heinous, degrading, and painful manner? It is hard to say, HBO is known for making us suffer, and not giving us what we want. In response to the author's wish, I cannot imagine BE could continue without the great Mickey Doyle!

    November 27, 2012 at 2:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      Too bad it's Showtime, not HBO.

      November 27, 2012 at 3:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      The writers of Boardwalk Empire have made it known that they maintain creative license over all of the characters. If the depictions were historically accurate then the outcomes would all be known!

      November 27, 2012 at 3:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Gaunt

      Its one thing to tweak the histories of real-life gangsters for creative licence. For example, Luciano getting arrested when he was not at that point in his life. Thats fine.

      But even Showtime isnt going to kill or maim mayer, or lansky, or capone, or any of the other real-life figures before their time. We kbnow they live, we know they succed.

      November 27, 2012 at 5:51 am | Report abuse |
    • big b

      This is loosely based on history. So there is room for writing.

      November 27, 2012 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  26. jeremy richard

    the tommy guns are gone already to ireland for bues that there are two battels that will be fought richard for the boy and the one for nuckys life. richard gets the boy but dies from his wounds after delivering the boy to the girlfriend. and somehow chakly dies.

    November 27, 2012 at 12:03 am | Report abuse |
  27. Ellen

    CNN....what's up with the posting issues???? Been trying to post since this afternoon...

    Mr. Harrow looks as if he's about to go postal. lol Gillian be careful of what you ask for...you are standing in the line of fire my dear. Duck...lmao. Mr. Harrow is coming for you, and anyone who stands in the way of him getting Little Tommy. My man Chalky White is back and he too is in rare form. Sorry Gyp, you have met your match... and your days are numbered. I've had enough of your barbaric antics this season...time has run out babe...you gotta go.
    Eli, I knew you would come through...just didn't expect you to bring along Capone...good job. Seems like you'll be getting a promotion in season 4. Top dog to the man himself...Nucky.
    By the middle of the show I thought I was going to need a defilibrator...the intensity was through the roof. Next week for sure I'll have to have it at arms length...just in case. You never know what they're going to throw at you...
    season 4 watch for Chalky's debut on the Atlantic Boardwalk...lol...yeah baby!!!
    Good show... Margaret who?

    November 26, 2012 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Team Richard

    Nucky has to have a go-to guy to handle his "bidness." My money's on Richard, as long as he doesn't find out who REALLY killed Jimmy. Let's see, that just leaves Nucky and Eli who know the truth. Hmmmm, talk about the tension! The stage is set for Season Four – Thank Goodness!

    November 26, 2012 at 11:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • JoeC

      I think Richard knows Nucky killed Jimmy.

      They had that conversation in episode 3 after Richard brings Mickey Doyle to Nucky's office and was going to kill him for bragging that he had killed Manny Horvitz. Richard lets Doyle go and explains to Nucky that it was he (Richard) who actually killed Manny. Nucky asks why, and Richard said it was because Manny killed Angela Dougherty. Nucky asks, "Not her husband?" Richards says, "Jimmy was a soldier. He fought. He lost." Nucky says, "So I can assume my family and I are safe." Richard nods and says, "You and Mrs Thompson were good to me. You have nothing to fear." It was there that they reached an understanding.

      November 27, 2012 at 2:49 am | Report abuse |
    • jg51

      JoeC is right, Richard knows Nucky killed Jimmy. That being said, Richard is ready to fight to save Jimmy's son, so I'm hoping that means he will take out Gillian and Gyp when he catches them together in bed. Chalky has been in the background all season, but we can bet he will be a major player next season after saving Nucky's life. Hate to admit it, but Eli has definitely redeemed himself and bringing in Capone will clinch the deal. Hated to see Owen get killed off, but always felt the writers had no intention of letting him ride off into the sunset with Margaret. We've seen Nucky battle with his own demons all season, so it will be interesting to see what new twists and turns his private life takes in season 4. I'm sure we will see more from Val Alden in the future, but, unfortunately am not as certain of Richard's future, which makes me sad.

      November 27, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  29. JIMMYJ JEEDER

    Its about time chalky made it back , And why would Nucky cut him out anyway . Its about to get bloody

    November 26, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Deniz Olcay

    Richard Harrow:

    "Mmm, I have one of those...and a Smith & Wesson triple lock...A Roth-Steyr, a Webley .455, a mauser 1914...very small, Mmm, Enfield 1917 30-06, telescopic sight...very accurate, accurate to 700 yards. Mmm."

    November 26, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Jason

    I hate to burst anybody's bubble on Richard, but the guy has a 90% chance of being killed in next weeks episode. He will kill some goons and get ready to go after the Momma, but some poor sap will save her and either Momma or the goon will kill Richard!

    November 26, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jennifer

      Jason, I agree. Lillian has been on the show from the beginning and is more of a pivotal character than Richard. I think he's going to get himself killed on his quest to kill Jillian.

      November 28, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Robbie

    What is the relationship between Capone and Mesaraea? I kinda got the feeling that the italians will stick together

    November 26, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jkidd56

      Other than both being Italian gangsters, they are unrelated parties in 2 different cities. Masseria is pulling Gyp's strings like a puppet so Gyp will be the fall guy. I have a feeling Masseria will turn on Gyp after seeing how he handled things and will come to a truce with Nucky.

      November 27, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
  33. cahrphmba

    i loved this week's episode...i just can't wait until nex week. i want the pedophile mama jimmy taken out most of all.

    November 26, 2012 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
  34. kelly

    Wouldn't mind seeing Richard's girlfriends father get his.

    November 26, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
  35. chris

    This was one of the best episodes yet. It was great to see Chalky back in the mix

    November 26, 2012 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Chris

    Not sure you guys are giving crazy Mama Jimmy enough credit. Harrow is a sharpshooter who is more valuable away from the house and at a hundred yards. And he packed his tools for the job and his role in next week's finale.

    November 26, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • jkensington

      Good thinking! Maybe Harrow and his guns can bargain his way into partial custody of Jimmy in order to save Gilian's life and place of business.

      November 27, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry

      Sniper shot isn't going to happen, in the prevues of next episode, Harrow has blood all over his face, can't happen at 500 yards. Just saying.

      November 27, 2012 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
  37. tv22

    There's going to be a lot of blood next week! I was trying to remember, did Nucky sell guns to Capone when he first came to town which was around the time Owen was getting the guns? I know they had some connection.

    I think the Artemis Club may be the scene of the final shootout and that's where Richard gets his revenge.

    I just want to see Gyp fileted slowly.

    November 26, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  38. sheila gayheart

    I hope to God that Richard kills Mama Jimmy. She has been ticking me off and she needs to be put in her place, six feet under.

    November 26, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  39. dreg

    Great episode. But did anyone count how many shots Nucky made with the shot gun when he was hiding in the bedroom?. I thought 3 and I don't believe there was a shot gun in those days that wouild hold more than two shells. Anybody else know for sure?

    November 26, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Willy

      If you take the plug out it will hold two extra, plus one in the chamber for six total shells. (It will hold 6 total if there is 1 in the chamber).

      November 26, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Willy

      In the 1880's Winchester made a pump action shotgun, the 1887 model I think, that would hold 6 shotgun shells.

      November 26, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Willy

      Whoops. It was the 1897 model. 5 shells plus 1 extra in chamber. I'm getting slow and forgetful these days.

      http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winchester_Model_1897

      November 26, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  40. KENNETH

    " WE BEEN ON THE ROAD FOR 18 HOURS, NEED A BATH, SOME CHOW, THEN YOU ME SIT DOWN AND WE TALK ABOUT WHO DIESSS! AHHH!

    November 26, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  41. BE fan

    Last nights episode was awesome, it made the wait for Chalky White worth waiting for. Capone's line at the end of the episode was priceless. Go team Nucky!!

    November 26, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Paul

    Nucky got the guns from army surplusfor trade with, the IRA .Richard will kill some of Gyps men and will definitly take Jimmys son tommy away to his sisters farm, so the kid can have a normal life.

    November 26, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  43. PackYourHeart

    I hope Harrow gives that heartless biznatch what I've been waiting for her to get the entire series. A hole in the head. And I desperately need to see Bobby Cannavale back in a "good guy" role, so I hope they kill off the arrogant, bully chanracter he's playing on Boardwalk!

    November 26, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |

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