December 3rd, 2012
01:44 PM ET
'Boardwalk Empire' finale: And the carnation falls
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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It's easier to understand the second-to-last sentence if you imagine it being read out aloud by Yoda
did anybody notice the st.valentines day massacre in the beginning of the season finale?
What on Earth does the last sentence mean? "Thus,full-time gangster, James "Jimmy" Darmody mentioned before, was born"
boardwalk empire website–
@ Amatcha: I have posted my theory on here once before. Van Alden had to change his name to George Mueller. Since George Mueller went postal at work he might have to change his name again...........to George Moran. He's already selling booze and is kinda of in with Obanion. I hope it goes that way, but we'll have to wait and see. I think it would be an interesting story line and I would like to be right, of course. LOL
I think he will change his name again, but as he will be working for Capone, it needs to sound more Italian some thing along the line of Frank Nitti, perhaps?
THE YOUR HACKED IN - STFU–
Thanks for that bit of info....I must have blinked during that conversation between Harrow and Nucky. I got it!!!
thanks for clearing that up for us...
Margaret's character is important because she shows how powerless women were at that time. She does what she has to to provide for her children. She has little control over her reproductive rights. (What rights.?) She has to work behind the scenes and with the permission of men and the Church to help other women. Her refusal to take money from Nucky is an act of rebellion and a pre-Women's Lib statement of independence. She is "boring" because she has to be to survive in the violent world she lives in.
September 2013 for the next season... too long to wait
new season September 2013... 🙁
The reason Gillian was able to crawl herself into the hallway is because Gyp never completely finished injecting the lethal drug dose...when Messeria's men started to leave the premises Gyp got up to see what was going on while cutting short the death of Momma Jimmy...darn it Gyp!!! Stay focused!!! lol
That said...can we ask if Richard is going back to "finish" the job or will Gillian beg him not to kill her by giving up the name of Jimmy's killer???? Richard Harrow vs. Nucky Thompson??? Nah...ain't gonna happen...not as long as Eli is Nucky's main man.
Richard already knows who killed Jimmy. He offered to go with Jimmy when he met Nucky at the auto yard where Jimmy was killed. This season Richard and Nucky had a scene where Nucky asked if he has to worry about Richard becasue of Jimmys death. Richard said Jimmys death was as a solider and that he wasnt going to come after Nucky as Nucky and his wife had been good to him.
Gavin, this is a Boardwalk Empire review. I am currently in the process of watching The Wire, thanks for that. Keep spoilers about other shows out of your reviews.
Brendon, you are so right. I am seriously bummed about that spoiler as Omar is on of my favorite characters. Ughhh!
In his defense, The Wire ended four years ago. At some point, critics should be able to write about those things. I definitely feel bad for you though.
It seems to me that you can't complain about having the plot spoiled if its been a few years. I mean, at what point will it be OK to mention Omar's death? Is 10 years long enough for you? Surely you'd agree that it's ok for me to reference Darth Vader as Luke's father, right? Well, I bet there's someone out there who's got Empire Strikes Back on their Netflix cue...
Yes, you spoiled The Wire for me as well. Thanks.
And that second-to-last sentence at least needs an "a" and an "as" after the first 2 commas,respectively.
Sad seeing the season end. Margaret has grown up from season 1 when she took the dollars and then the man. I guess her heart might be broken, or she getting ready to be a thug in her own right. Richard was great saving the kid. Glad to see the gangsters ran out of town, even if it was in body bags. My favorite show, going to miss you until September. Writers.... get it right, make season 4 awesome, I'm counting on it...
I was sad to see Gyp get knifed in the sand. He deserved a better send off. Bobby Carnavale did a remarkable job with his role....I was sad to see him killed off. Richard's killing spree was the best scene of the show. His love for Jimmy's son is so strong and to see that little boy run into Richards arms was so touching. My only regret was Richard was not able to KILL OFF GILLIAN. The witch survives another season. Boring Margaret should be written out of the show for all she's worth...NOTHING. BORRRRING!!!! Nucky will be back at the top next season and I hope to see more scenes with Chalky too. Phenomenal actor. The ending seemed more like A SERIES FINALE than a season finale to me. Anyone else???? Can't wait for next season...when does it start again? I think September!!!
When players as powerful as Gyp get killed so easily I almost think it's poetic. People have been trying to kill him for how long? He constantly has his defenses up and then something simple. I don't know but I thought it worked well.
BOO GILLIAN HATE HER
Chalkey White"s character is classic because not only did he save Nucky, but he represents Black migration, and new power shift.
Did anyone else thin the Richard scene was like the scene in "The Unforgiven" where Clint Eastwood kills all the bad guys?
So Nucky gets rid of Rothstein – but he also gets even with Masaria when Al Capone and Chalky White gun down all his 32 men as they are driving out of town. Great move! Then Nucky sends Gyp's body back to Masaria. Divine Justice. Am I right about all this? When is Al Capone going to kill his boss and move into Cicero? Can't wait till next season.
If they follow history (almost all the major gangsters were real people), Torrio goes back to Sicily to retire, leaving Capone in charge and Frank Nitti taking over as LT (can't wait to see who plays Nitti).
I love how closely they follow history. I somewhat think Al Capone and Nucky now can be the two go to guys. Rothstein is going to wrapped up in his own issues and Masseria has nothing. Capone rocks!
We already know with Nucky THOMPSON that this is not historically accurate, so I have a theory about Frank Nitti and I think he is going to be Michael Shannon shaped and Frank Nitti is the new alias od poor old Nelson Van Alden...
Gyp survives his wounds and comes back better than even in S4.
My favorite parts of season 3 finale and why:
1. Gyp is not killed by Gillian, which was what everyone was assuming and that would have been too predictable (um Jimmy Momma would be better if you insist on using your stupid name for her character throughout your review), but rather Gyp, who so desperately wanted to be somebody big and important, and used plain craziness to demand fear and respect from others, was instead killed by a nobody (for Nucky, yes), but nonetheless a nobody. I think it was the guy who pleaded with Gyp to not kill his buddy in the sand a few weeks ago, so a little revenge I suppose, but the hit was not a big deal. He didn't go out in a blaze of glory nor was it an "honorable" hit by a big guy, he's just dead. Brilliant.
2. As much as I wanted Richard to blow Gillian away, he didn't have the opportunity, and the woman we love to hate seems to survive for another season. Her character is great, Gretchen Mol is great, and she brings so much to the show, I'm glad she'll still be around (it seems anyway) for us to continue to despise her character.
3. Favorite scene of the series so far - after watching Richard be the best guy nanny all season, and see his tender side with his girlfriend, we get him in back in full bad ass mode in finale scene that reminded me a lot of Travis Bickle hotel blood bath in Taxi Driver. The red filter and overhead shots...very similar to Scorsese's classic scene, perhaps it was a bit of an homage to the one and the same BE executive producer.
Bravo Terence Winter....but please bring us some new eye candy for season 4. You keep killing off the hunks...Jimmy in season 2, then this season, farewell Jimmy look-alike, Owen and Gyp. We still have Chalky and, strangely, Richard, but some new eye candy is needed for season 4. I"m sure you'll not let us down. I'm starting to think this show is revenge of the character actors....the conventional looking leading men don't have a chance! That's cool too.
At least I got an early holiday present when we saw the extended full-frontal from Bobby Cannavale, and talk about extended! I've been drooling over that man for years.
I have really enjoyed this season. "Boardwalk Empire" has been must-see viewing on Sunday nights, when the new episode is shown. We all knew Gyp was gonna get his, he was just too crazy and evil. I hope Nucky and Margaret don't reconcile, can't stand her. She's prissy, whiney and annoying. I would have liked to have seen more of Nucky's actress gf. They killed her off too soon. But I'm glad Nucky and Eli reconciled and he's back in the good graces. Al Capone will off Masaria in the next season and take over, I'm sure. Kudos to the guy playing Capone, he's great. He had the best line of the whole season – "I need a bath, some chow, then we're gonna sit down and talk about who dies!" It was nice to see the character of Chalky White become more developed this season. I really like the plot undercurrents about how oppressed African-Americans and Women were and how the Irish and Italians were still a disdained underclass were during this period. My late Grandma was a "flapper" during this time and she used to tell me some pretty wild stories. Now I wish I'd paid more attention. It's been cool to get a peek into what her world must have been like.
I, too, assumed Gillian was given a lethal O.D., but since she did actually incapacitate the Jimmy look-alike and then drown him, perhaps she could still be alive. On the other hand, back to the lethal OD, perhaps the look-alike WAS given a lethal OD, and while he was still barely alive, she drowned him so it would be thought of as an accidental death, not a "mysterious" one (i.e., he's dead, but what killed him? Oh, look, an injection site......rather than, oh, he injected himself and accidentally drowned.). Eh!?!? Who knows. Guess we'll know next season.
I've been posting most weeks here. Begging for more action on BWE. Well I got it last night. But was it just me...didn't the loose ends they tied up, seem rushed and disjointed?? Gyp should have gotten whacked differently. And Al leaving for Chicago, seemed premature. Richards postal spree was a bit far fetched. And why didn't Gillian die? Was there just vodka in the syringe? It was good, but not a great season finale. Seems like they could have split up the violence across 2 episodes. Can't wait for S4 !!
margaret and nucky need to bang the heck out of each other but cannot tell anyone for fear they could both
No way; Margaret is a whiiny pain-in-the-ass and needs to go (from the show). Hate that character; she serves no real purpose in the story line...
Was anyone else confused as to what exactly happened with Lucky and Meyer? I understood the cops were on Rothstein's payroll, but why go through the trouble of roughing him up in order to get his heroin? Was this just Rothstein and Masseria stepping on the little guys?
Yea I got the sense it was moment for Rothstein to try and make an example out of his young gangsters. Ultimately they will become his rivals and he says as much.
I think Rothstein was trying to teach them a lesson, the only reason why he didn't have them killed was that they both were too valuable to kill, just roughed up a little to be set straight
Can't kill them off but still need to make them relevent and have a reason to kill off Masseria later. Remember, Lucky and meyer were real people and supposedly with Bugsy, they kill Masseria and take over his operation. probably see that next year. Not sure what will happen to Rothstein.
Rothstein couldnt kill either of them, if this show is going buy history lucky luciano and meyer lansky set up what is the modern day mafia, Rothstein will die again if it follows the facts, torrio again is a big part of modern day mafia as it is known now, luciano was arrested and then deported nearing the end of the second world war back to sicily in a deal with the americans that was met to regain sicily from mussolini with the help of the mafia
they just wanted to screw each others brains out...its tough to screw a gangster.
we enjoy this cast
we like the show.
When Jimmy was killed off at the end of last season I was thru with BWE. I couldn't have been more wrong...season 3 had me dreaming BWE. With so many dangling plots this series could go on quite a few more years. And in the last couple of episodes Van Alden wasn't heard from at all, and what's the deal with Margaret not accepting money from Nucky? Glad Gyp won't be back. But I'm sure there will be the introduction of new characters in the fall. Die Hard BWE fan!!! See yall 'bout next September.
it would be dead with all the traps its keeps walking into...what a maroon...
I am 100% convinced the person writing this article does not know Gillian's name. Furthermore, the next to last sentence makes no sense whatsoever. Jimmy died last season.
To the lost.
Thanks! I thought I was going crazy trying to make sense of the last sentence.
I know it ain't printed on paper, but a little professional editing would be great.
then it goes back to topic. like a good little mouse...lmao
how many times did we swat it...5 6 times - lmao all day
Did anyone else feel like this could have been an elegant SERIES finale? I know it's not, but it tied up just about every storyline and gave almost every character tidy ending. Very understated all around, but in a good way.
I don't get what you mean by the last line "Thus, full-time gangster, James “Jimmy” Darmody, was born:" huh?
I didnt get this either..very confused..
What he means by that is this.. Nucky tells his brother Eli that he don't want anybody to know who he is, so no more walking around with a sign on his back saying I am Nucky Thompson.. King Of Atlantic City. That's why he dosen't acknowledge the guy asking if he's Nucky, and drops the Tell Tale Rose. Also in season 1 Jimmy Darm. tells him the time for being a Half A Gangster is over. Your either a gangster or a politician, not both. So I think he hits it right on the money.
The only thing I can think of to his ending reference relates back to the end of Season 2 when Nucky killed Jimmy. When Nucky said that he would do it, Jimmy's last words to Nucky were "You can't be half a gangster." So, this season was Nucky becoming the full gangster. Gangsters can't really operate in public like Nucky had been doing. He's actually much more dangerous than other gangsters as he still has those political skills he polished, which was evident with setting up of Rothsetein. He can now get you with or without a gun, his choice, die or live and suffer.
A typo that was corrected. Thanks.
That's the name I gave Gillian at the beginning of the season.
You think you actually fixed that sentence at the end ("Thus, full-time gangster, James “Jimmy” Darmody mentioned before, was born.")?
What a mess. It makes me dizzy reading it.
Thanks, BronxWalk. You're one of the few folks who I think actually watch the show and then read the recap.
Wow, Gavin, you think a lot of yourself.
Of course I understand what you were trying to say, I'm just saying that you wrote the most mangled sentence since "Ulysses" was published.
I agree: Good, not great. I assumed Gillian died at the end after she talked to Nucky. Not really understanding where they are going with Nucky not being "Nucky" anymore. It's not like he can stay in Atlantic City and pretend he's someone else. Really hope that isn't the end of Harrow, although it would certainly be a fitting full circle for him if he just faded away into the sunset.
In any case, they've pretty much given themselves a clean slate for next season.
There's no guarantee she had a lethal dose in the syringe, she may have just been using the heroin to incapacitate like the last time, killing them off herself afterwards. I'd hate to see what she has planned for Julia next season if alive.
Oh Gillian....you lucky dog...I wonder if you'll have any sort of brain damage or need SSI/Disability checks...seeing as Little Tommy is MIA... or...if Richard Harrow is coming back for ya...how the helll did you end up in the hallway anyway?
I agree good finale, but not necessarily great! Nucky outsmarted his foes big time...and the fight scene with Al Capone and Chalky White...too funny! As was their departure scene after the great road side shootout... Gyp Gyp Gyp...what a boring way to die...yet, you're gone...thank goodness for that!
I enjoyed the scene with Eli and Nucky following the report of Gyp's demise...Eli has worked/earned himself a nice spot as "frontman" for his Big Brother...and I get the feeling Nucky is coming back stronger than in season 1. Margaret who?
No one really still doesn't care...
Reporters laughing at the Mayor for saying he was in control of Atlantic City...priceless! Still the biggest disappointment for me for this season....TOO LITTLE CAMERA TIME FOR CHALKY WHITE AND HIS SIDE KICK. I'm sure we'll see much more of Mr. White and his croonies in the new season as Chalky opens his Boardwalk Night Spot.
To all BWE fans....see ya next season...its been a blast!
I was curious as to how she made it from the bed to the hallway myself. I presumed she would die from the heroin overdose, but I guess I assumed incorrectly. Doesn't make sense really when she had previously killed the young Jimmy lookalike in the same manner. So glad we got to see Richard come to little Tommy's rescue, but watching him walk away from Julia was heartbreaking. Nucky survived a lot this season so I look forward to seeing what's in store for Atlantic City next year.
is ignored. i have something i need to take care....lol
no utah today–it was more fun watching you look stupid for the 4th time today....
I loved the finale, loved that Gyp was killed off, hated that Mommy Jimmy wasn't. How long before Season 4 begins?
The author of Shutter Island has been brought in so that only be a good thing having another top writer involved with the series.
One character that should get brought into it next is Bugs Moran, who has an interesting Feud with Capone leading to the infamous St Valentines Day Massacre
Someone asked earlier on whatabout Rothstein, if the series plays true to history Rothstein gets murdered over a $320,000 gambling debt.
Im really looking forward to Luciano & Lansky in the next season, as eventually they become 2 of the most famous gangsters of the 1900's, the characters have been evolving quickly and will take out Masseria quite quickly next season..
Sick to death of seeing Margeret in the series, at points it makes me just want to turn the tv off briefly, i dont think there is a single person out their that enjoys her character in the show. she would of ended up in the box with Owen !
i'll think about this show while i'm having s*x again tonight