Boardwalk Empire Review: You Say Goodbye and I Say Hello

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When it comes to influence on Boardwalk Empire, few characters command more than Nucky Thompson. On "The Pony," though, Nucky was made to feel like a donkey when he deceived his way into an audience with Andrew Mellon. Nucky does not buck easy, as we know, and he held his ground in the face of the pompous politician, striking an important deal. 

Thanks to the Mr. Means setting him him up as some Prohibition version of Abe Froman, Nucky settled his legal issues with Daugherty. But his personal life took a turn for the worse after Billie's would-be costar insulted him. More on that later.

Scene from "The Pony"

In one of the craziest scenes we've seen this season, Van Alden finally let off some steam at work. Luckily for him, his wife is one nimble Norwegian and proved she is as good at running a still as she is as raising a family. With Van Alden coming unhinged as he listened to his debt to O'Bannion diminish drip by drip, she did well to devise a plan to hold their family together.

Al Capone seemed to recognize him at their meeting to discuss Joe Miller, though, so I'm guessing we will see a run in between those two again at some point. Maybe Nelson will eventually become actual muscle for the fraudulent florist. 

Torrio was back from his holiday with a new lease on life. He tried to convey to O'Banion how life is too short to kill yourself over a few dollars, but the message behind his anecdote fell on deaf ears. Capone seemed perplexed as well by his newly insouciant mentor's attitude, but I think he also started to see the writing on the wall. Torrio was more concerned with osso bucco than bootlegging and may hand over control of the business to his protege. Recall how he focussed on Al's decision making when the matter of Joe Miller came up. 

While it seemed Al Capone was being prepped to jump in the driver's seat, Margaret was ready to literally take the wheel when she asked Owen to teach her how to drive. While I like seeing her become a more independent woman, the time spent on her quest to educate the pregnant masses has expired like the milk Mrs. Shearer admitted to drinking on purpose. I understand it was a difficult time for women, but with all the interesting story lines demanding screen time, to dedicate multiple scenes to the discussion of acquiring diaphragms was a bit much. 

Gillian was looking for some protection of her own as she casually mentioned to Gyp Rosetti where Nucky and Arnold Rothstein would be dining together. Then Richard appeared to tell her the bar was restocked. While his message to her was of little importance, I have a feeling Gyp may have shaken the hand of and dismissed with an insult about scaring mice, the man that will do him in at some point. 

Nucky was willing to play along as Gillian played the role of the grieving mother. When all pretenses were dropped, however, there was no mincing words as he reminded her of just who she was dealing with, a speech which made my list of top Boardwalk Empire quotes this week. 

One of the funniest moments of the episode was when Nucky introduced himself to Andrew Mellon at the midtown Manhattan social club and got zero recognition. As I mentioned before, he did give Mellon something to contemplate, but then was labeled an interloper and forced from the premises. Nucky achieved what he had gone there to do, but it was clear the way he was disrespected stuck with him as he in turn called Billie's friend Gil an interloper after their fisticuffs. 

It has become quite clear over the last couple weeks that Nucky is looking for a change in his life. He contended that people always want something new, but in his case I think he is yearning for the way things were. What life is he trying to recapture though? The one he had with Margaret, or has he always been trying to fill the void left by the passing of his wife and son years ago?

Whichever it is, after the closing scene, I'm sure Nucky is just happy to be alive even though Billie most likely is not. Being in business with Nucky is starting to be as dangerous as partnering up with SAMCRO on Sons of Anarchy

What did you all think? 


Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.7 / 5.0 (28 Votes)

I absolutely loved the scene from last weeks ep in which Nucky tells an amused Margaret he could teach her to juggle. She told him it was late, it was just too late. Too late for anything to repair their relationship. If we have learned anything from this series, we have learned that Nucky does not like betrayal. I can only imagine what will happen when he learns of his wife and his protege getting it on. While I can understand a bit when people say Harrow will probably team up with Nucky (common enemy: Gillian), I don't see how Harrow could bend his principles when he knows all too well that Nucky had a hand with Jimmy's death. The scene between Nucky and Gillian was great. The final explosion mouth dropped. While the chatty guy bored Nucky to tears talking to him, I'm sure Nucky will feel extreme guilt knowing he told Billie to go on ahead, he'd meet up with her. He's already full of guilt after what he did to Jimmy, this will pile on more. Van Alden's! His dark side has always been present since season 1, I have a feeling he's going to go deeper into the underworld.

C f ohara

@Tony I agree with your comment that Richard will become Tommy's guardian. I loved the scenes with the two of them last week. "I told you I have a sister?" "You need to fix your glasses." etc. I just posted a bunch of memes I made from this week's episode on out tumblr site. Check them out if you can. Its tumblr(dot)tvfanatic(dot)com


I can't help but think that Gillian will meet her demise this season. Whitlock brought up the matter of Tommy's guardianship. Richard looked at Gillian with disdain as she was faking tears for "fake" Jimmy. On top of everything else, Gillian tried to have Nucky killed. All of this leads me to believe that Gillian will be killed, and Harrow will take over as Tommy's guarian. Maybe Harrow will have had enough of Mrs. Darmody's psychosis and decide to align himself with Nucky in order take her and Gyp down. With Billie gone, I would think that Nucky would/will have a renewed interest in Margaret. Does that mean he will find out about her and Owen's relationship? How will he repsond to that if he does find out? Could he off his bodyguard/protoge in back to back seasons? I have a feeling that Rothstein and Lucky will make some kind of deal with Masseria, and he will "ok" the hit on Gyp in the end. I also love that I could be completely wrong on all of this. The final four episodes should be great. I thought that there were a couple slow episodes this season, but overall it's been pretty darn good. The writers have done an excellent job developing Rossetti as a formidable nemesis for Nucky. The Capone/O'Banion/Van Alden storyline is (slowly) becomming very interesting. Lucky, Lansky, and Rothstein, as usual, make the most of their screen time. Margaret is a little boring sorry to say. The women's clinic was cool for an ep or 2, but it's starting to lose it's luster.


Man, VanAlden just SNAPPED didn't he????? Chris you have a point that it could be Richard that offs Gyp. To me, it was clear from the moment I saw Gyp that he will eventually meet his demise. I also agree the side story with Margaret and women's issues are to remind us just how suppressed women were back then, and that they have touched enough on that. Also her and Owen's little trysts are getting boring.......only a matter of time before Nucky figures it out. Gillian is just plain nuts.......of course she had that poor guy cremated so noone would figure out it really wasn't Jimmy....Richard knows it wasn't Jimmy as did Nucky and I liked that Richard told Gillian that Jimmy deserved better. The scene with Nucky and Gillian was priceless.....She will definitely get what's coming to her sooner or later. Also going to be interesting to see how Capone comes up through the ranks.....


I think Billie is gone now too. The very last moment before the place exploded was Nucly and her trading find glances, so you have to know what Nucky's number one priority will be, from this point forward. And if he finds out Gillian's role in that bomb, she's toast too.


Boardwalk Empire Season 3 Episode 8 Quotes

Eddie: I don't quite know how to say this.
Nucky: Just start yammering like always.

Jimmy deserved better than this.