nucky’s childhood is sad sure, but like, who gives a shit? i mean, rlly? this wrinkly apricot has ruined so many lives and i’m not about to join the ‘pity nucky thompson uwu’ train
what the fuck is even going on? why did we jump ahead to the 1930s? why is nucky in cuba? what could possibly be so interesting about nucky that sally wheet decided to join him? why is chalky in jail? why is chalky in jail? why is this milton nigga cruisin’ for a bruisin’? where are lenore white and the children? what is the show even about anymore?
- NUCKY THOMPSON to face a serious threat from CHALKY WHITE and to deal with the consequences, and the same goes for DR VALENTIN NARCISSE.
- NARCISSE to deal with being J EDGAR HOOVER’s lackey.
- ELI THOMPSON to face a life on the run with NELSON VAN ALDEN and to integrate himself in AL CAPONE’s world, but to eventually face his brother once again.
- WILLIE THOMPSON to become Nucky’s new number two. And for his uncle too see Jimmy in him
- MARGARET THOMPSON to return to the core of the show, her friendship with ARNOLD ROTHSTEIN to be explored and also to be drawn back into Nucky’s world one way or another.
- DAUGHTER MAITLAND to return into CHALKY’s life.
- Despite the events of the finale, to at some point check in on TOMMY DARMODY and JULIA HARROW.
- GILLIAN DARMODY to bounce back despite prison life, either exploring her new lifestyle inside or eventually fighting her way out, either way bringing her back into Nucky’s orbit and exploring their complicated relationship.
- LUCKY LUCIANO and MEYER LANSKY to grow but get back their friendship.
- If SALLY WHEET is to return then give her a bit more depth and have her stay in Atlantic City, and if she eventually encounters Margaret have the two not be hostile to each other.
I have been debating if I will watch season 5 or not. At first I wasn’t going to watch, and if this wasn’t the last season I wouldn’t watch but I’m curious to see how they’ll fuck up present this show this final season.
Something I want to get off my chest. I think the writers of BE really, really FUCKED UP when it came to Richard. They had a wonderful character, and it was like the writers didn’t know what to do with him. You know what they should have done? Read the goddamn fanfic. It’s bad when the Richard fanfic was better than the Richard story lines they had.
So I asked myself, “why did they fuck up Richard’s character so much? Why didn’t they have a good story arc for him? And I think I know why. It’s the same reason TV needs to have more women/POC/gay/disabled writers and producers. Too many times, white/Christian/abled/straight men see things from a point of view that is restrictive. I remember in the 90’s that a white critic complained about the last name of a black female character; he said, "Black people don’t have last names like that.” So he, a white man knows all the last names that black people have…good to know.
Richard was a disabled character and I think it was hard for those abled writers and producers to see him as a human being. There was no reason they couldn’t have written a love scene for him and that always bugged me about his character; everybody on the show has sex and we see it (this is HBO after all) but for some strange reason, we can’t see Richard in bed with a woman, even his wife.
So I’ll watch, but I know it’ll be fucked up and I’ll miss Richard too.
We have taken our final stroll down the boardwalk of Atlantic City. “Boardwalk Empire” has come to an end. They ditched the title sequence, which is kind of a shame because it was a great one, but there was little room for ceremony, as the series finale had many doors to close for Nucky Thompson. So like the finale, let’s get going.
First, let’s take care of the side characters. Capone is faced with his tax evasion charges. He tries to play it off like it is nothing, but he is clearly scared. Stephen Graham has a great scene with Capone’s son and his final scene outside the courthouse where he gives his usual act to the public but gets more nervous as he gets closer to the door is great. Graham was an unbelievable asset to “Boradwalk,” providing a vital spark at times.
Our antagonists in New York, however, didn’t pan out as much. Lucky, Lansky and Siegel never felt like the big threat the show built them up to be. Narcisse, who met his end in the finale as Lucky and Lansky were making their final power moves, was also a disappointment. Jeffrey Wright was supposed to be the big bad for season 4, they decided for a slow burn with his character but it burnt out before he was able to make an impact.
Margaret and Kennedy play the stock market this week as Nucky’s plan to short the stock for Kennedy’s company came to fruition and forced Kennedy to play his game – getting the stocks to hit near bottom and then buy them back super cheap. It works for all involved. Margaret meets with Nucky in New York and they seem to have made amends, even leaving the door open for them to possibly get back together.
Of course, the finale was Nucky’s hour. The episode started out with him swimming in the ocean and getting pretty far out there. As we learn from later on when he says goodbye to Eli, he was trying to go past the point he didn’t have a choice of turning back, ‘but you can’t know you passed it until it’s too late.’
This quote sums up Nucky’s life and what we learned last week about Gillian being his original sin. Nucky does go to see Gillian, but he offers her little assistance, only getting her a private room and leaving some money for her in an account on the chance she does ever get out. He asks her what more she expected of him, but Gillian is too far gone now to give him a real response.
However, that moment of no return for Nucky is revealed in the series final moments, a series of cut backs between the past and the present.
In the past, Nucky oversees a parade but spots Gillian in the crowd. He runs her down and contemplates what he should do with her. The Commodore asks to speak with Nucky; Nucky asks for Gillian to wait. The Commodore removes Nucky from Deputy Sheriff. This upsets Nucky, believing that he has earned the right to be Sheriff, but the Commodore tells him things only come through him, it doesn’t matter how hard you work. Nucky walks away, but the Commodore’s lawyer stops Nucky and tells him he can be Sheriff, if he gives Gillian to the Commodore. Nucky, reluctantly, agrees. He tells Gillian that the Commodore has been good to them and that he will always protect her.
In the present Nucky gets a call that Mickey’s kid from the train yard was arrested and Nucky gets him out. Nucky once again tries to tell him to do something good with his life and give him some more money. The kid rips it up. Nucky gives up trying to help him. The kid follows Nucky down the boardwalk and reveals to him that he is actually Tommy Darmody, Jimmy’s son. He pulls out a gun and kills Nucky. The finale ends with young Nucky swimming in the ocean and grabbing a coin like he was trying to in the first episode of the season.
The finale sort of served as a microcosm for the entire series. It started off well, with interesting storylines and a grand idea, but as we got deeper into it, it couldn’t balance character and action. There was too much going on, but it was never given the proper time to make us really care for it. Having Tommy kill Nucky makes sense, but the moment didn’t feel truly earned, which could be said a lot of times over the last two seasons.
One thing that can not be denied though is what this show meant for Steve Buscemi. The long time character actor finally got his shot at being a leading man, and he made the most of it. Buscemi was consistently good throughout the series run, presenting an interesting and conflicted character. I fear that Buscemi won’t find as strong of a role again, and that is a shame because he proved that he deserves it.
In the end, “Boardwalk” was a show that slipped under the radar. It had rich characters, but was too low-key. With shows like “Game of Thrones” and “Breaking Bad” on the air at the same time, “Boardwalk’s” slow-burn strategy and lack of “oh my god” moments kept it form really breaking out. Still, it was well written, well directed and well acted – to paraphrase Nucky, it was a nickel, and for a time it was marvelous, but then the world found dimes and quarters. So long “Boardwalk Empire,” we’ll have a drink for you.