Last week it was Nucky Thompson’s grasp on Atlantic City. Next week, it’s his show.
All good (or at least occasionally good or admirable attempts at being good) things must come to an end.
Sunday night marks the end of Boardwalk Emprire‘s five season run on HBO, where it was hoisted up on the broad shoulder’s of the This is the Next Sopranos, only to be dropped a few times too many. Boardwalk got close to being a great show, but could never quite seal the deal. It wasn’t for lack of trying, because the suits behind the suits definitely tried. But behind the costumes, sets and actors- all of which were nothing short of amazing, was a show that could never stick the landing thanks to some casting bugaboos and a sprawling setting, among one or two other things. Boardwalk was at times good, at times fun, at times frustrating, at times boring. The good always seemed to win out, though. The show always ended seasons strong, tying together a myriad of plots that around episode four seemed impossible to connect. It was nothing short of impressive each time.
So it’s no real surprise that a show that always ended strongly, is going out with the ferocity of a coked up Al Capone. The past few episodes have been some of the best the show has ever done, full of some damn fine scenes, whether it’s Chalky White’s death via firing squad, the flashbacks of young police officer Nucky and this week’s epic showdown between Nucky and Lucky Luciano and Meyer Lansky. One of Boardwalk Empire’s problems was it’s girth. The show was always too overweight for it’s own good. Now they are shedding pounds faster than the trigger finger on a Cuban solider manning a road block. It’s worked out for the best and an amazing thing has happened, I almost don’t want the show to end. A few weeks ago I was okay with it. It had run it’s course.
But now? Now I’m changing my mind.
Well, almost changing my mind.
Let’s run out one more Boardwalk Empire Q & A session. Just for kicks.
You say you don’t want the show to end, but it seems like Nucky’s story has (or is close to ending.) So how could the show continue?
Simple. Follow the rise of Luciano, Lansky and Seigel. They already have the actors to do it. Those dudes have become really good and have grown into those roles perfectly. Without looking it up, I know that the next decade is an action-packed one for the three of them, what with essentially starting organized crime and Las Vegas and all. Willie Thompson could be the fictional character the show is focused on. He’s become interesting enough, especially with his law man aspirations. Even one more season focused on those four would be damn good television.
What happens to Nucky in the finale?
I’m sticking with: not dead.
No? He lives?
Yes. The flashbacks have done wonders for his sympathy level. Killing him would be tough business now.
But they killed Chalky, they killed Jimmy, they killed Richard. Boardwalk Empire has had no problem killing it’s sympathetic characters up to this point. Why stop now?
True. But I just don’t see Nucky dying.
So how does the show end?
At this point I’m thinking with Nucky and Gillian riding off into the sunset together.
Speaking of Gillian, don’t we all kind of owe her an apology?
Yeah, tell me about. I was texting back and forth with my sister about this and she admitted to feeling bad for hating on Gillian. And we all hated on Gillian! I would never call Boardwalk Empire a clever show, but this about face they’ve managed to swing with Gillian is pretty damn clever.
What happens to her?
Nucky gets her out.
Maybe she kills him.
But…you said you think Nucky lives?
I know. I just surprised myself there.
Isn’t it kind of a buzz kill knowing that Luciano lives to be sixty something and Lansky lives to be eighty? There’s no way they die in the finale.
True. But it all depends on what kind of history the producers want to depict. Real history or Boardwalk Empire history. Do they stay true to what actually happened or do they pull a Quentin Tarantino, who killed Hitler in Inglorious Basterds? They dipped their toes in both pools last week with the death of Maranzano. Maranzano was killed by dudes posing as IRS agents, but Seigel was there and Eli Thompson definitely wasn’t. They could go off the rails, have Nucky somehow kill Luciano, Lansky and/or Seigel. I don’t see it happening, though.
Any changes to your Dead Character Power Rankings?
Yes. Congrats Mickey Doyle! You cracked the top 10.
10. Mickey Doyle (we’re surprised you stayed around so long as well)
9. Gyp Rossetti
8. Nelson Van Alden/George Mueller
7. Dunn Purnsley
6. Chalky’s daughter
5. Owen Sleater
4. Eddie Kessler
3. Jimmy Darmody
2. Chalky White
1. Richard Harrow
I think Van Alden should be higher.
That’s not a question.
Shouldn’t Van Alden be higher?
No. In a perfect world he would have been gone after season two. Keeping him around seemed a very long way to connect the Chicago/Atlantic City story lines.
What is Margaret doing with the stocks?
What does shorting stocks mean?
Again, no clue.
How does it help Nucky?
It probably hurts Kennedy, huh?
I guess so.
What are the chances Nucky and Margaret get back together?
40%. Seems like that ship has sailed. Unless maybe they realize that they are all each other have in the world. Then maybe.
Does Eli survive the finale?
Will they show the inevitable moment when Nucky brings Gillian to the Commodore?
God I hope not.
Commodore is kind of a sleaze bag, huh?
Yeah. Kind of a douche.
I wish he’d die.
He already did.
Then I wish he’d die again. Have we seen the last of Sheriff Lindsey?
Probably. Unless young Nucky goes back to him to seek solace or come to terms with his hand in the Commodore’s sleaze ball antics. I imagine Lindsey would just tell him that getting a piece of the action is what Nucky wanted all along. Now he’s got it. He wanted this life, time to live it. Which Nucky does and ends up failing kind of spectacularly at. Last week’s episode seemed to signify the end of Nucky Thompson and the rebirth of Enoch Thompson.
What is one thing you wish Boardwalk Empire had done differently?
Have a more fitting song during the opening credits. It makes no sense. They do everything straight up with the time period except for that song. It bugs me every time. I like the visuals of the opening, but hate the music. Electric guitar & thumping drums? None of that says Prohibition Era to me. They should have used some rag time jazz. Big E on the scoreboard there.
On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being Two and a Half Men and 10 being Breaking Bad, where does Boardwalk Empire rank?
I give it a six. It had it’s moments, had it’s characters, had it’s scenes. Sure it could have been better, but it could have been worse. And when all is said and done, that counts for something.
Where does it rank in terms of re-watchability?
Low. It’s a Level One. Maybe an episode here or there, maybe twenty minutes if it’s on. But I can’t see myself intentionally watching it again.
Last words on Boardwalk Empire?
They never should have killed Jimmy Darmody.