Saturday 03 Dec 2016

Boardwalk Empire Ends
Matt Seinberg

For five years, I faithfully watched the HBO Series "Boardwalk Empire," enthralled by the wheeling and dealing of Atlantic City kingpin and bootlegger, Enoch "Nucky" Thompson, and his interesting gang of characters.


Fifty-seven episodes.

There was nothing like watching some evil guy get what he deserved, that's for sure, and during the first couple of seasons, Nucky wasn't afraid to get his hands dirty by doing the killing himself. The prime example of this is when he shot Jimmy Darmody in the head at the end of season two.

Jimmy was a trusted henchman of Nucky's until he tried to set up his own gang, but Nucky wasn't going to let that happen. At that time, if Nucky didn't like you, that was it: you were dead.


Did Michael Pitt provide a hint?

In an interview roughly nine months ago, with “Huffington Post,” actor Michael Pitt, who played Jimmy Darmody, said that Nucky deserved the same fate as his character, shot in the head. Was he giving something away or just stating an opinion?

This season was very short, only eight episodes. The producers introduced flashbacks of Nucky and his brother Eli, from about age eight until they were young adults. Sure, we got to see how normal they were as kids, and how Nucky was influenced by Commodore Louis Kaestner, played in seasons one and two by Dabney Coleman, and then by John Ellison Conlee in the final season.

It was a turning point for the newly married Nucky when he turned over a young Gillian Darmody to the Commodore, telling her he would always take care of her, full knowing the foul things the Commodore wanted from her. We found out in season two that the Commodore was Jimmy's father and, for that reason, he plotted, with the Commodore, to take everything Nucky had or to kill him. Neither event happened.


Chalky White fave character of many.

One of my favourite characters over the series was Albert "Chalky" White, an African-American gangster who was an ally of Nucky's. Michael Kenneth Williams played Chalky, with a perpetual sneer and a badass attitude. That's why he was the defacto leader of Atlantic City's black community.

While Nucky was a gangster, he at least showed signs of a heart and, at times, conscience. Sure, he had Margaret Schroeder's husband killed, but he made it up to her by later marrying her and taking care of her two children.


Lose ends knotted.

Many loose ends tied up in season five, including the killing of some prominent characters including former Prohibition Agent, Nelson Van Alden (Michael Shannon), gangster Mickey Doyle (Paul Sparks), Chalky White. Al Capone (Stephen Graham) going on trial for tax evasion.

Nucky shot Jimmy in the left cheek. As it turns out, Tommy Darmody shoots Nucky the same way. Nucky dies on the Atlantic City Boardwalk, for the second time. The first was when he handed Gillian over to the Commodore.

Who were those two mysterious fellows, in the suits, that were holding on to Tommy at the end?

Final scene, dim the lights, the show's over.

Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.

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