December 3rd, 2012
01:44 PM ET
The Season 3 finale of “Boardwalk Empire” was good - not great. Like Al Capone said last week, let’s get to talking about who died:
The episode kicked off with a bang, and a lot of bodies, as the war between Nucky Thompson and Gyp Rossetti was in full swing. Mayor Bader meanwhile was trying to sell folks on the idea that “Nucky Thompson doesn’t run this city - I do.” Yeah, OK Mayor. Thanks for playing.
Speaking of Nucky we saw him at his smartest last night, concocting an elaborate plan over the course of the hour-long show that could dictate what happens to some of our main characters a year from now.
In one of the more touching scenes of the episode, Nucky and Eli have a heart-to-heart about how the former can become relevant again in his own city. When Eli told Nucky to just do what was successful before, and give the people what they expect, you saw the light bulb go off in Mr. Thompson’s head.
With a call from Mickey Doyle (who is still alive and kicking, somehow) at Andrew Mellon’s Overholt Distillery, Nucky suggests that his crony get Arnold Rothstein involved with the business.
On the other side of the war was Gyp. There was also his boss, Joe Masseria, who was upset that Gyp had lost so many of his men while Nucky and Arnold Rothstein were still alive.
Later in a meeting of the shows craziest - and creepiest - characters, Gyp and Momma Jimmy (Yea, I know her name is Gillian but MJ is much more fun.) went back and forth trying to out-weird each other. After getting a very deserved cold shoulder from Tommy, Momma Jimmy tried to get Gyp to let her and the little tyke go. Instead, Gyp offered a spot as his Queen of Atlantic City and Momma Jimmy saw an opportunity. I’m sure the folks who predicted that Momma Jimmy would kill Gyp thought they were right on the money. (Spoiler alert: They were wrong. But I’ll get back to that.)
All of our action was not confined to Atlantic City. In NYC, Lucky Luciano was getting interrogated by the cops about his heroin and then cut a deal to avoid jail time. Over in Brooklyn, Margaret was getting an abortion of her Owen Sleater love child and looking to get back to a simple life.
Rothstein gave Nucky a call telling him that if he forked over 99% ownership of the distillery, he’d have Masseria get his men to fall back on support for Rossetti.
Nucky followed up with, “Big bait catches big rat.” Right then you knew Nucky had something even bigger planned for Mr. Rothstein.
Following that exchange, we discovered that the detectives who arrested Luciano were in Rothstein’s pocket. Rothstein and Masseria greeted Luciano and Meyer Lanksy with the news that they had 50 pounds of heroin and would be going into business together. I felt bad for this dynamic duo, but then I remembered, there’s nothing better than a gangster scorned.
Gyp didn’t realize his hours were numbered. Naturally, Momma Jimmy tried to inject Gyp with heroin, which he ended up injecting into her. Yes! Ding dong, the witch known as Momma Jimmy is dead, right? Not quite.
Before we got a chance to marinate on that, Gyp saw all of his army heading back to NYC. Richard Harrow stormed Artemis with guns blazing.
We all wanted Richard the Killing Machine to return. Well, we got our wish - and then some. My only hope was that he would have found Momma Jimmy and finished the job.
What followed was one of the more sad moments for Richard. He dropped Tommy off with Julia Sargosky and her crazy dad and walked away tear-eyed.
Meanwhile, Nucky and Eli hit up the Artemis Club where they found most of the men dead, minus Tonino. They also found Momma Jimmy alive.
One person who won’t be around next year is Gyp. In arguably one of the more disappointing deaths on this show, Gyp met his demise at the hands of … Tonino? At the order of Nucky and Eli, Gyp’s right-hand man stabs him in the back, literally, and then in the front.
In the last big move of the night, Mellon called Ester Randolph to reveal that Nucky hipped him to Rothstein’s stake in the distillery. Mellon asked that Rothstein be brought to justice. And with that, Nucky outwitted Rothstein.
The final moments of the episode could have been the most telling. We followed Nucky walking down the boardwalk, ignoring folks who tried to greet him. He paused, took off his red carnation and dropped it to the ground. Thus, full-time gangster, James “Jimmy” Darmody mentioned before, was born.
What did you think of last night’s season finale?
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