This weekend HBO released the first full-length trailer for the fifth and final season of Boardwalk Empire, which premieres September 7. As you can imagine, based both on the mess everyone found themselves in at the end of last season and the fact that this season will jump ahead to 1931 (squarely inside the Great Depression and bumping up against the end of Prohibition), there are some rather significant goings-on going on. Specifically, everyone is shooting at each other and making bold proclamations like “I will not rest until I see you in your graves.” And the tagline for the trailer is “No one goes quietly,” which also seems to imply plenty of bang-bang as they wind things down, as you probably figured.
Here’s the thing, though, and it’s not a small thing, either: A substantial number of the characters on Boardwalk Empire are based on real, notable people who lived in that period. Your Al Capones, your Lucky Lucianos, and so forth. The show has played fast and loose with historical facts on a number of occasions (the real Nucky Johnson was much more of a crooked politician than a gangster), but the question is how far they’re willing to go with that to tell their story. They can’t kill off some of those real historical figures, can they? I mean, Luciano survived into the 1960s. That kind of takes away a little of the finale drama, where the audience is going in wondering if our favorite conflicted characters will make it out alive, you know?
Eh, part of me hopes the show kills them all off anyway. Let’s get crazy, I say.