Boardwalk Empire Review: Fools Rush In

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Two episodes of Boardwalk Empire Season 3 remain, but it will be difficult for the either to top "A Man, A Plan." It had just about everything a fan of the show's heart could desire, as nearly every major character was featured.

The opening scene on the beach could have been the subject of a Norman Rockwell painting, as Richard carried two ice cream cones toward Julia and Tommy, who were busy making sand castles. All of a sudden, though, the mood shifted and the beach reminded me of those scenes in Jaws where everyone stood to look at the ocean with that confused look on their faces.

This time it was the cry of "whiskey" - not "shark" - that sent the beach goers into a frenzy and had them running into the water instead of out. 

Nucky Makes a Request

Richard no doubt had flashbacks of Angela as he saw his new crush sitting there next to his ward. Julia's father is no Jimmy, however, and Richard dealt with him appropriately when Julia's virtue and his war wound were insulted. I simply could not get enough of Richard's assertiveness this week. Whether it was choke slamming the man who could end up being his father-in-law or making his move with Julia on the beach, I would have paid way more than a dime to see additional scenes of that caliber. 

Fatherhood was a constant theme tonight. It played a big part in the latest addition to Gyp Rosetti's body count. From the moment he opened his mouth about the rogue waves, you knew Franco's days were numbered, but his initial explanation to Gyp about what happens to the sea when the wind shifts was a very telling part of this week's list of Boardwalk Empire quotes. The tide has turned in Atlantic City, setting Nucky and Gyp on a collision course, the fallout of which already has affected many others.

Lucky and Meyer may have had a partner in Nucky, but because of recent shifts in alliances, they were stuck between a Roth and a hard place. Yes, Arnold Rothstein turned the two entrepreneurs down, but he did it with sick swagger, didn't he? His speech about the break off shot in snooker, and then walking away from the table having perfectly demonstrated it, was a great illustration of his point that a deal will always wait but fools will always rush in. Too bad Nucky wasn't privy to the same advice. 

Information is power, but is can also prove deadly in the wrong hands. For a second time this season lives were lost when a character seeking their own interest divulged valuable intel to a highly motivated party. Recently Billie Kent and others were killed thanks to Gillian's loose lips and here Owen's attempt on Masseria's life went topsy turvy after Lucky shared Nucky's plot in order to secure a partner for he and Meyer's heroin deal. 

Prior to the news of his unborn heir, I'm pretty sure Owen's plans to walk away from his life of crime did not include Margaret or Katie. He told them both something they wanted to hear, but I think always planned on disappearing from both of their lives. We will never know the full truth of course, but I'm confident Margaret will learn of the promise made to Katie by her cryptic lover. While Margaret's stock has decreased in value each time the maternity clinic has taken up valuable screen time this season, her reaction upon seeing Owen's lifeless and battered body in the box was some of Kelly MacDonald's best acting to date. 

Her hysterics were so convincing that they might prove to be her undoing as it was clear Nucky's eyes were opened to what has been happening under his roof. The question that remains is whether or not Nucky is so desperate for a "normal" relationship that he will be willing to forgive his wife and make good on his promise to set things right in their life together. 

Nothing on that front will likely be dealt with until Nucky's business with Rosetti and Masseria is concluded. Nucky stood a chance last week after Masseria told Gyp that his problems in Atlantic City were his own, but now Gyp will most definitely have his boss's army at his disposal. My feeling is Nucky's only chance to survive this battle will be to enlist the aid of Chalky White and his supporters. Chalky's idea to add a little color to the boardwalk club scene was a sound one and will come to fruition I think once Nucky realizes Chalky is his only hope for victory. 

Chalky had certainly thought his new business idea through, but the same could not be said for Van Alden and his Norwegian venture. I assumed the men who picked up Cicero George were O'Banion's boys, so I was thrilled to see it was actually Al Capone flexing his muscle. Like Chalky White, Capone's presence this season has been sorely lacking, but this week's fork full was a great step in the right direction. 

While I have missed seeing certain show regulars on a weekly basis, their omission has made room for the likes of Gaston Means whose scheming and ice cold delivery has yet to ware the slightest bit thin on me. 

Of course, by far the best addition to the cast has been Bobby Cannavale. His performance tonight only served to further cement his legacy on this show. Last week he stressed the importance of reading and this time he touted the power of math to his men when his shipment came in unharmed. He certainly took Franco and his cousin to school, once again displaying the maniacal inferiority complex and quick temper that has made him such a fan favorite. 


Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.2 / 5.0 (57 Votes)

Wow. I was just beginning to come to terms with Jimmy's untimely death, and HBO did it again. Owen was my favourite character this season and he was somewhat filling the void left by Jimmy for me, so of course it makes sense that he had to go. This show is incredible. It is the only show on television, now or in recent years, that evokes genuine emotion from its viewers. I have spent more than one credit screen with my heart pounding, mouth agape, staring in disbelief. Just when you start to get comfortable and think that you know where things are going, the writers turn everything upside down. I am NOT ready for this season to be over yet. Everything seems to be so unsettled and there is so many plot lines that need attention. I don't know how they are going to wrap everything up in a way that will satisfy the audience. I can only hope they are busy filming season 4!


You guys are forgetting that the crooked prohibition agent said he had a contact in NY who gave him the info of Masseria's movements. This NY contact probably is connected/owned by Luciano.


This episode reminded us why we love/hate this show. You are reminded that this isn't network TV that plays to what the audience wants to see; this is HBO, who has no quams about killing off a major character in such a raw way that feels like a punch to the gut. We would like the show as much as we do if Margaret and Owen had escaped to St Louis together, but it was a harsh way to see their story end. His suggestion of marriage to Katie, I think reflects his habit of toying with women. He seemed genuinely attracted to Margaret from their first meeting and after they consumated their relationship, he turned cold to Katie, and even belittled her in front of Margaret. I think he doubted if Margaret would really leave Nucky (which is maybe why he suggested she would depart first) after all, she's always going to look out for her own survival first. As we learned in the end that she revealed her pregnancy just before he got his assignment to kill Masseria, I thought back to the episode "Blue Bell Boy" where Nucky taught Owen about the penatly for betrayl. Perhpas Owen viewed it as a suicide mission, knowing he'd be dead anyway, now that there was tangible proof of his affair with Margaret. Sadly, I think Margaret was sincere about her intentions to leave with him as this seasons has catalogued her unhappiness


why does Margaret need a diaphragm if she is pregnant?


The big question is, where did Lucky get the information he divulged to Masseria? There were only five men in the room when the plan was discussed. One was Nucky, one is dead and another presumed so. That leaves Eli and Mickey...

C f ohara

As for Margaret's baby @jayne that is a good question. I wonder if she could fake her interest in some make up sex with Nucky and claim the baby is his. all depends on how far along she is. As we've seen on the show the science and medicine behind childbirth are not widely discussed topics. I'm guessing Nucky could be fooled into thinking the baby is his especially if it is something he wants bad enough. He loves her children but I think he has always longed for a child of his own since he and his first wife lost theirs years ago. Remember back to season 1 and the pained look on Nucky's face when he stopped in front of the window where all the premature babies were being treated in incubators. We'll have to see of course. Very good question, thanks.

C f ohara

@Ashley R it was Masseria's men who killed Owen and I'm guessing the FBI agent too despite us not seeing his body up in NYC at the bath house. Gyp was busy down in Tabor Heights with his shipment coming in.


So it was Gyp who killed Owen? They didn't show his death so I didn't catch it or maybe I just missed something.


The question for me is : what's Margaret going to do with Owen's baby??


The Gyp character has become tiresome, like a schoolhouse bully. When you see him on the screen you know someone is going to die by his hands by the end of the episode, just how. The Jess Smith suicide scene was contrived, fake, phony! Especially if trying to show how clever Gaston Means was as a con artist. Though his quip to Nucky on the phone was the best quote. Nucky is more surprised than suspicious of Margaret's strong reaction to Owen's death. He knows Owen was her personal bodyguard and only friend so it's only natural she would be so upset.

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Boardwalk Empire Season 3 Episode 10 Quotes

Nucky: You pack your bags too.
Mickey: Oh tell me I'm going to Paris.

Gyp: Tell me about these waves.
Franco: Sometimes when the wind shifts waves crash into each other from different directions and when they do they make giant waves.