HBO’s Boardwalk Empire is one of the most sprawling and involved shows on TV, with a cast the size of a beer barrel (or at least equal to The Wire). So all this season, the show’s fourth, we’ll be breaking down the 10 most bloody and boozy (and booby) from every season, beginning with last night’s premiere, “Resignation.”
No lie: I want a punching telegram from Michael Shannon. More on him later.
Nothing in Kessler’s story is particularly bloody or boozy, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t take notice of the man who can barely pour his boss’s tea, but still demands pride and respect. Kessler gets it, too, after Nucky denies his resignation: the most stable (figuratively, not literally) man or woman in Nucky’s life will no longer be cooking breakfast and fetching underwear; instead, he’ll…well, we’re not sure what his new responsibilities are exactly, only that he has them, and that he’s looking over Nucky’s affairs while he’s in Florida. PARTY AT KESSLER’S. And all it took to receive the promotion was getting shot in the leg and nearly dying. THANKS OBAMA.
Rub and shake Chalky’s head like a Magic 8-Ball, and your future will read, “DEAD.”
There’s no topping Gyp Rosetti. The man was all physical presence. He was big and loud and not very wise but powerful enough that he didn’t have to be. Dr. Valentin Narcisse is the complete opposite. He’s not immune to violence, as Cora learned the hard way, but he prefers to resolve situations through words, not wounds. It’s impossible to not be drawn into the ways he speaks, with his intoxicating, thick Trinidadian accent and habit of speaking in Bible verses, and what comes out is intelligent and precise and sharp. “One looks down in secret and sees many things. You know what I saw?” Narcisse asks Chalky. “A servant, pretending to be a king.” After only five minutes with Chalky, he’s able to find the exact words to cut the man to his core quicker than any knife could. He’s the best decision the Boardwalk Empire writers could have made. But what kind of doctor is he…?