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 episode, including last night’s premiere, “The North Star.”
Now that Eddie’s gone, the only person who truly knows Nucky, knows him as well as he regretfully knows himself, is Margaret, and she wants nothing to do with his lifestyle. Or him. She’s broken away, with a job in “an office downtown” and a life of her own. It’s what Nucky thinks he wants, to be able to go to the pictures once a week, without the threat of a hit being placed on him, but he can’t have it — he’s had Eddie make his bed, and now he must lie in it. “No one knew how to look after you like Mr. Kessler,” Margaret says in lieu of an actual farewell, carrying Teddy’s birthday gift from another woman. That barb hurts Nucky more than any punch in the face could (figuratively).
Oh god, the People Look Through a Dead Man’s Residence scene. Always depressing. The crap we own, most of it is just that: crap, unneeded and expensive junk to distract us from the inevitable end. This book, that photo, these clothes — they lose all significance when their owner is six feet under. So sad. To everyone except the heartless Mickey Doyle, who says, “If this were my room, I’d kill.” He catches himself, “I didn’t mean…” before adding, “Eh, f*ck it, he can’t hear me.” *awkward giggle* May Kessler’s ghost haunt Doyles for lifetimes to come. Anyway, he and Eli come across Eddie’s security deposit key in a bucket of birdseed.
Hey, Richard’s back in New Jersey! Yay! And he runs into Julia’s father, who’s dying of cirrhosis! Boo! Paul’s pre-death wish is that Richard doesn’t make the same mistakes he did: don’t run, don’t try to find happiness elsewhere when it’s right in front of you. “I don’t want to do this all by myself. But how can I trust you?” Julia asks Richard, with Tommy nearby, as the reunited fake-family walks the boardwalk at night. Like Nucky, Richard wants to be the man a woman and her boy, sort of, can rely on, and I trust that Boardwalk Empire season four won’t end the same way as season three, with Richard forced to choose between family/love vs. killing time. (Not that I wouldn’t want to see Shooting Spree, Pt. 2.)
More bars should be run by women in dresses brandishing shotguns.