New York Sour

Boardwalk Empire is one of the best looking TV shows ever created, with some Hollywood heavyweights producing, helping create the look and feel of The Godfather era, with Martin Scorsese and Mark Wahlberg as exec producers. This is a show that will last a long time and never look dated because of the detail that’s gone into the production. Steve Buscemi has never struck me as a gangster type character player and took me a couple of episodes to warm to his Enoch ‘Nucky’ Thompson, but he has created one of the most memorable gangland bosses ever seen. His understated approach is what makes Nucky so different from any other gangster character and by far the most intriguing, because you never really know what he’s thinking or what he’ll do next. I think that’s part of this shows appeal.

Boardwalk Empire
Directed by
Timothy Van Patten
Steve Buscemi, Shea Whigham, Gretchen Mol, Michael K. Williams, Stephen Graham
Release Date
8 September 2013
Ed’s Grade: A+

Season 3 saw Nucky and Eli having to lay low after a gang war erupts, with Gyp getting his comeuppance right at the close. We begin with two tough looking characters getting murdered by Richard Harrow, who then removes a letter from one of their pockets. It has “Old Mission, Title and Insurance, Traverse City, Michigan” on the front. Chalky White is settling in to his newly acquired club. A talent agent with his wife are trying to get Chalky to sign up a couple of new dancers when the wife quietly propositions Chalky’s right-hand-man Purnsley. The wife and he sneak away to a hotel for some intimacy.

Nucky meets with Joe Masseria to get things straightened out, so he no longer needs to “keep looking over his shoulder” by offering a large sum of money. Also at the meeting are Luciano, Capone, Rothstein and Lansky. Gillian Darmody is at court fighting to keep her grandson Tommy but the judge is annoyed at all the lies he’s hearing. Eli gives his son a driving lesson on the way to see Mickey Doyle, and gives him a hard time about smoking behind his back. Eli’s son clearly doesn’t like getting put down by him, but as we learned in season 1, this is exactly the way the Thompson brother’s father was to them. Al Capone is setting up some hookers when he finds out his name has been wrongly spelled in the local newspaper, so he decides to pay the reporter a little surprise visit.

Nucky is chatting to a sexy woman who is with his actor acquaintance, and there looks to be an attraction between Nucky and she. They eventually go to his room where he learns she may not be what she appears to be, and has the still healing Eddie kick her out. Gillian Darmody is going overboard with her drug use and now injecting heroin and snorting cocaine. Eli’s son wants to join the family business and after killing several people Richard Harrow ends the show by showing up at an unexpected doorstep.

Review by Ed Blackadder, Special to Influx Magazine