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."


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. 

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Boardwalk Empire Season 4 Episode 9 Quotes

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


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