November 26th, 2012
04:04 PM ET
[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.
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