Boardwalk Empire

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Boardwalk Empire Review: Lost In the Fog

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The focus shifted to Van Alden and Chalky this week, as Nelson came clean about who he is, while Chalky's family duplicitous dealings crept into his home life.

As Boardwalk Empire Season 4 Episode 9 got underway, Van Alden's wife gave him grief about his job and Chalky's mate couldn't look him in the eye because of her suspicions about his. 

A Turf War

Up to now, Van Alden has been a pawn passed back and forth between O'Banion and the Capones.

Already living a double life of sorts, he has been bullied into playing on both sides of the fence with little to show for it. In swearing to Al that he would kill O'Banion, he signaled he had had enough. Killing the guys from his old office showed just how adamant he was about putting an end to his recent passivity. 

As he revealed his true identity to O'Banion, it seemed pretty clear he was going to go through with his promise to kill to florist. 

I used to believe in God, but now I don't believe in anything at all.

Van Alden

O'Banion was momentarily saved by the bell when some customers walked into the store, but soon after met his demise, gunned down by three assailants. It will be interesting to see if he tries to take credit for the execution when he next sees Al and his brother, but in the meantime he grabbed the cash and reminded his wife just who she was married to. 

Chalky's wife is all too aware of what her husband does for a living. When he told his daughter she could cross Dunn Purnsley off the guest list, the look on his wife's face showed she knew what had happened to Chalky's right hand man.

This wedding is the paramount moment for his daughter, though. So when her dad excused himself from their meeting with her future mother-in-law, she was determined to know just what was so important that it could not wait. With her knock at the door of Daughter's room, Chalky's two worlds collided in a sticky mess. 

Chalky certainly is justified in wanting to kill Narcisse, but the fallout from his relationship with Daughter is just what Nucky had warned him about. All the same, I think Chalky was also within his right to expect Nucky to have his back after saving his life. 

Heard a lot of "we" last year, when you was in trouble. Now it's just "you."

Chalky

Nucky has been looking for a change all season. His future in Atlantic City is not as clear anymore, which is why I think he reached out to Sally.

A fog has rolled into his life: Eddie is dead, Margaret is in New York and Eli is busy with his own family's affairs. Nucky really doesn't have anyone he can confide in, no one to turn to. Then he sees a man like Arnold Rothstein down on his luck and I think Nucky is beginning to see the writing on the wall.

As a side note, I thought it very interesting that we saw Rothstein looking not himself while chalking his pool cue. It was a far cry from scenes like the one in Boardwalk Empire Season 1 Episode 2, where we saw him masterfully navigating the table of balls while holding court. 

All good things come to an end I guess. Nucky has had a great run in Atlantic City, but maybe a change of scenery is needed. He seems to be looking at Florida and Sally as a new lease on life. 

Gillian has turned her life around and is seeking much the same thing as Nucky. With Roy at her side, if she could get Tommy back, her life would once again have meaning and stability.

Roy, though, might not be the man he has claimed to be, if his suspicious phone call was any indication. I initially thought he was talking to his wife as Gillian walked in, but the way he changed his tone after telling the person on the other end that it would not be much longer, got me wondering if his meeting Gillian wasn't so accidental after all. 

While I don't think Tommy belongs with Gillian, her telling Roy the story of how she came to know the Commodore reminded me that before all her condemnable acts, she herself was a victim. I got the feeling the stage is being set for her to be betrayed by Roy and might be approaching her demise.

Reminding us of the injustices she suffered at a young age seemed to be a plea that we not just remember her for all the bad things she has done in her day, but instead to feel pity for the life she was forced into.

Richard was forced into his own Hell while at war overseas, but he is doing his best to make a life for himself. Marrying Julia and asking Nucky for a job is a good start. We know how much Tommy love him and Julia seems to be the glue capable of holding the once shattered man together. 

Even if Nucky takes a hiatus in Florida, Knox's ultimatum to Eli still remains. Though there is little he can do to protect himself from his brother's potential betrayal while it remains a secret to him, I hope for his sake he takes Richard with him to Florida to watch his back down there. 

Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.2 / 5.0 (16 Votes)
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Interesting to see all the players moving around. Gillian trying to position herself (at great physical expense, dealing with her addiction) to regain custody of her grandson. Roy "helping" her, seemingly with another agenda, Richard being the stand up guy. Eli being in another tight spot. And Rothstein, down on his luck for a change, maybe leveraging a connection with Margaret. And Van Alden, who knows what the hell to make of him??

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Interesting to see all the players moving around. Gillian trying to position herself (at great physical expense, dealing with her addiction) to regain custody of her grandson. Roy "helping" her, seemingly with another agenda, Richard being the stand up guy. Eli being in another tight spot. And Rothstein, down on his luck for a change, maybe leveraging a connection with Margaret. And Van Alden, who knows what the hell to make of him??

Terrie

Of course Van Alden will take credit for killing O'Banion. He has to or the Capones will kill him, which if they find out that he didn't they may do anyway............. Nucky has turned into a complex character this season, which I guess he always has been. Maybe I missed something, but I don't understand why him and Margaret are not divorced. It's clear Margaret doesn't want to go back. I feel Nucky struggles to be accepted. Like you Chris, I suspect he will head to Florida again to be with Sally. I'm still wondering about Eli and just what he is going to do. I am leaning toward him turning on Nucky because he's still mad about Nucky taking care of the situation with his son instead of telling him about it and letting him take care of it. I do not think Tommy should be with Gillian at all and I don't feel sorry for her at all. She will probably relapse anyway as soon as this is all over. I agree with you Chris that Roy could have some other motive for being with Gillian. So who is going to end up dead? Chalky, Narcisse, or Daughter? Chalky is pretty fired up at Narcisse and that could lead to a fatal mistake for Chalky. Plus Chalky's family is now suspicious of him and his activities outside the home.......... Chris what's your thoughts on the up coming finale?

C f ohara
@ Terrie

We keep hearing mention of Masseria. Narcisse wants to meet him, he is involved with Tampa now and Lucky broke off ties with Meyer because of him. I think NY and AC are going to tango before the season is up, or the table will be set at least, for some sort of East Coast clash next season. As for who is going to end up dead, I think they are setting up Gillian like I mentioned in the review. Also Eli's issue with Knox is so that he really doesn't have a way out other than himself dying. Willie is home now, I could see Eli being killed off and Willie having to go to work with Nucky to provide for the family. Then again Nucky could always just help pay the bills. Torrio also might meet his demise to pave the way for Al to really get things going next season.

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@ Chris O'Hara

Personally I don't think Torrio will meet his demise. It seems as though if the character really existed then they make the character go out the same way he died in real life like they did with Frank Capone, Dean O'Banion, etc. so I think, for example, Masseria will die like he did in real life by getting taken out in his favorite restaurant when Lucky excuses himself to go use the bathroom so that the hit can take place. That's my prediction anyway, probably won't happen until next season after said East Coast War

Boardwalk Empire Season 4 Episode 9 Quotes

Heard a lot of "we" last year, when you was in trouble. Now it's just "you."

Chalky

We lived for each other. A child and a child.

Gillian