The 8 Bloodiest, Booziest Moments From Last Night’s ‘Boardwalk Empire’: ‘William Wilson’

By: 10.21.13  •  121 Comments

stephen root boardwalk

HBO’s Boardwalk Empire is one of the most sprawling and involved shows on TV, with a cast the size of an extra large beer barrel (or at least equal to The Wire). So this season, the show’s fourth, we’ll be breaking down the eight most bloody and boozy moments from every episode, including last night’s “William Wilson.”

cop blam

What a delightful way to begin an episode. Al is understandably livid — he’s snorting cocaine, his brother’s dead, he’s snorting cocaine, and did I mention he’s snorting cocaine? He’s so incensed that he’s not above shooting an on-duty police officer in the middle of a crowded street, while the cop just wanted to read about the equally happy-go-lucky Leopold and Loeb case. We’ll get back to Al later, but this scene is worth highlighting.

dumb kid

Unlike this one. Enough with the Willie, please. The character’s horrible, the actor’s even worse (he looks like a comatose soggy poodle, and has the personality of one, too), and he’s bringing Edgar Allen Poe down with him. While not daydreaming about smoking joints with his topless girlfriend, Willie takes in enough of his professor’s on-the-nose description of Poe’s “William Wilson,” about doppelgängers AND MURDER, to feel guilty and angry for being a horrible person. He leaves Temple and doesn’t fall into a bottomless well, unfortunately.

gillian heroin

Meanwhile, in one of the few subplots that’s actually taking place in the Boardwalk Empire, Gillian is detoxing to clear the heroin, alcohol for the VEINS, out of her system, with her friendly Ron Livingston at her side. (When will Livingston’s real-life parents admit that he was adopted and he’s related to Kyle Chandler?) All we know about this Roy fellow is that he’s too good to be true. What’s he hiding up his newly divorced sleeves? PREDICTION: he doesn’t actually work for Piggly Wiggly; he’s a Kroger man through and through. Either that, or he’s a shady motherf*cker who Richard will have to “take care of.” Could he be an actual decent person? Nah.


“Kill that Irish f*ck.” Al Capone’s been waiting his entire life, or at least this whole episode, to hear that. At first, Johnny Torrio is reluctant to order the hit on Dean O’Banion, until he gets screwed over in a brewery deal that ends with him and O’Banion getting arrested by a bunch of billy club-wielding cops. As one does.

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