Boardwalk Empire Review: Some Kind of Ruckus

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Nucky barely had enough time to clear Owen's body from his foyer before the fight came to his doorstep this week.

With only one episode remaining in Boardwalk Empire Season 3, "Two Imposters" spent a lot of time setting the stage for the finale.

For a man who is accustomed to eating his meals with silver, Nucky certainly was no slouch with the steel when it was time for some action. He also showed his character when he made getting Eddie to a hospital his top priority. Was it odd he had no idea about his loyal servant's family? Sure, but his affection for the man who has stayed by his side was very admirable considering the threat on his own life.

The scene where Nucky yelled at the hospital chief was just great and was my first addition to this week's list of best Boardwalk Empire quotes.

Reading with Gyp

After being absent for much of the season, Chalky White's recent return to the front lines has been excellent. He has defied the odds his entire life and has looked good doing it. Gyp Rosetti was told Chalky was the man to speak to on the far side of town. Despite Chalky's sharp dress, Gyp seemed to look at him like he was the human equivalent of the dilapidated house from where he emerged. Chalky showed he is no stranger to backhanded comments, however, as he fired back that Gyp wasn't done cooking yet when the Italian mocked him.

Chalky could have also told Nucky to get stuffed numerous times, but having met the alternative, I think his decision to back Nucky was easily made. Just days prior, Nucky had turned him down cold when the club idea came up, but Chalky knows how things are and just how much pride he has to swallow to get what he wants. Nucky is still alive thanks to him, and the price tag will be hefty. I loved their little exchange at the lumber yard where Nucky mused about the two being stuck with each other followed by the close up on their handshake.

While Nucky and Chalky discussed a last stand, Richard was preparing to wage a war of his own. He endured insult after insult from his batty boss, but when Gillian moved to keep him and Tommy apart, a switch was flipped. Jimmy deserved better than what he got at the hands of his mother and Richard will be damned if he is going to let Tommy suffer the same life. Harrow fans have been waiting a long time to see Richard unleash the fury. I think after next week, that wait will be over. 

Meanwhile, back in New York, Lucky and Meyer have been having about as much success in the dope game as Margaret had with her maternity classes. Lucky usually defers to Meyer on matters of the mind, but Lucky's gut was riddled with worry about the money they owed and forced him into a bad decision. How did he not see all those lawmen hiding on the roof? Were they members of the Foot Clan? If Masseria is the source of Lucky's problems, it would make sense that he and Meyer align with Nucky if the opportunity or need to pick a side arrives. 

We know where Chicago is hanging its hats thanks to a surprise visit from Al Capone, in what was one of my favorite scenes of the season. Capone and Nucky are from different generations and might not see eye to eye on a lot of things, but they both know opportunity when they see it and for that Capone is ready to spill some Italian red. 

With just one episode remaining, this mostly was a set up episode, but that in itself was not what kept me from giving a higher rating. Gillian was more painful than ever. I was even shocked to find myself growing tired of Gyp's routine: "I'm pitching my tent hi-ho!"

Also, while it was cool thinking under fire for Chalky to summon Samuel, I was a little surprised at the kid's gall. When a man like Chalky White tells you to jump, you ask how high. 


Editor Rating: 3.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (67 Votes)

This episode was brilliant. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time!! There were so many great moments.
When Nookie is about to flee from the cottage, and chooses to stay and helps his man-servant, it is a special moment. Then when he questions why he dosn't know anything about Eddie' life at all you can see the the cogs turning. It was such a nice relief to get a break from 'Mrs Schroeder' and her moralistic hypocritical whining... My favorite scene of the episode was Al Capone, cool as a cucumber, "Lets have a coffee and talk about who lives or dies." Awesome! Lucky had better not be arrested for long - it's one of the best storylines in the show! Biggest observation: How stupid is Gillian? She's in a house, surrounded by enemies, and she turns and bites the one man who could help her, right in the jugular.... last shred of sympathy for her is vanished.... what a creepy woman....


I certainly wouldn't underestimate him. I simply meant he may find himself written out of the series whether he "wins" or "loses" any sort of showdown. I guess Van Alden is a perfect example of a character that seemed poised to exit the show but who was then drawn back in through circumstances that a viewer couldn't have foreseen. I suppose the same could happen with Richard but it's also possible that his storyline ends whether he saves Tommy or not.


@Paul Don't underestimate Richard.....


@Dirk I think you have to be careful about assuming how a show that mixes "real" and fictional characters will treat history. Things have been loosely aligned in a historical sense but I don't think the show will hesitate to take licence if it suits them. Case in point the real Lucky was caught selling heroin in 1916 at age 19. In the show it happened this week (in 1923). The Richard story line will be very interesting. The "relationship" with Gillian has reached a crisis, evidenced by her insults, having him removed from the house and seeing him taking inventory of his weapons. If that story line travels down a predictable path, it will be interesting to see whether Richard and Tommy walk into the sunset or instead, if he somehow gets tied back to the central characters of the show. Richard has no real alliance beyond Tommy so a showdown between Gillian and Richard could very well mean the end of Richard on Boardwalk...


Cheche give the comments some time. It only aired last night. I think this show is remarkable and moves forward at a decent speed. Never interpreted last week's delivery of dead Owen as the precursor to an all out war by Gyp but Nucky did and that's what mattered (and it's what kept him alive). I was wondering when Capone would rise to the top and what would precipitate it - now we know. (Hope he brought his own baseball bat) Great review Chris!


Great actors and productions values, stiff scriptwriting. The lack of comments speaks volumes of the diminishing interest in this show. Will there be a Season 4?


Excellent episode.....Buscemi was marvelous........can't wait till the finale....Chalky back was great...Capone joining Nucky was great.....Can't wait for Richard to kill Jillian...and for Gyp to die.......


What a great set up episode for the finale. It was completely stripped down to the bone gritty. Buscemi's performance in this ep was outstanding. Went from having it all to having nothing but his thoughts and a knot in his gut as he hid out in the back of a truck. Gillian mocking Richard and telling him he's the one living in a fantasy world? The comment about Julia not being blind was a hit below the belt. Richard has had enough and will do what he can to get Tommy out of the clutches of his delusional caretaker. Chalky yet again brings enormous presence when he's on screen and Capone emerging from a group of men to talk shop with a grin on his face was the icing on the cake.


This episode was thoroughly predictable, as soon as Nucky sent Eli out west, you knew it would come to this. Owen would go, and like last season, Nucky finds himself alone with few friends. If nothing, he is a survivalist, and once again does so. The ones who always come to his rescue are the underdogs, Chalky, Richard, and now Eli. These, plus Van adden, or whatever his name is, are the meat of the show, along with Nucky. This show does a great job, as does the real Mob, of getting rid of pain in the ass characters. Gyp was fun, but has run the course, as did Margaret and Owen, though I am sure she will show up later. History shows, that Rothstein dies soon, and Lucky and Lansky kill off the mustache's, and run the Syndicate very violently, and efficiently. As for the show, look for Nucky to become more powerful, with Richard, and maybe Van adden as his two new nutjob heavies. Eli's son becomes the new heart throb character, which make for some great animosity between Eli and Nucky, which you got a little glance of tonight.

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Boardwalk Empire Season 3 Episode 11 Quotes

I envy you, a little.


There's a fu-king wing here named after me! Get a god damn stretcher!