Boardwalk Empire: Season 3
Boardwalk Empire: Season 3
Wow. Season one got off to a painfully slow start, but the beginning of this season has been more intense than even the end of last season. I can’t believe we’re only five episodes in and we’re getting scenes like the Eli and Nucky fight. That’s season finale shit. Richard asking Jimmy if he would fight for him immediately had me crying, and the garage scene was just so gruesome. Barely noticed that Nelson wasn’t in this episode; my only complaint with the season so far is how much he’s been leveled down. But this episode was the finest hour of the show so far. Intensity beyond recognition. OH AND THE SCALPING SCENE, DAMN.
This episode was on fire. This show has such a knack for taking things in ways that I was not expecting. I thought the pregnancy thing was pretty dumb at first, but I’m loving the way that they are handling it from Nelson’s perspective and toying with his emotions and morality like this. Brilliant. Everything with Jimmy was great, everything with Richard was of course perfect. I kind of like Slater, which I wasn’t expecting at all. But the best part of all was of course the dinner scene. I seriously thought it was going to be such a slow-burn for things to really pop off in this rivalry, was not expecting everything to get this heated in the third episode. So A- status.
I found it interesting that none of the main characters really interacted in this episode, but the ones featured each had their own path they went down (although now that I see the episode title, kind of obvious). That was a nice little turn and a good move for the second episode of a season. The stuff with Chalky was incredibly intense and Jimmy’s big moment was unspeakably badass. I also think Margaret Schroeder is the best written female character on television right now. All of that being said, I’d be lying if I said the absence of my two favorite characters wasn’t deeply felt.
Everything I wanted. Richard Harrow is my favorite character by a long shot, so I’m loving him getting a lot more attention. He broke my heart with his scrapbook. Nucky getting arrested was a nice season opener twist, there were some really intense scenes as well (the shootout, damn). Real quality acting all around, especially from Michael Shannon. I’m still so pissed that guy didn’t get an Emmy nom when he deserved the win this year. I also really dug them bringing back the consequences of Nucky burning down the house, I wasn’t expecting that. I really hope it doesn’t turn into a shitty kid storyline like a lot of shows have though. All in all, a very solid start to begin a season that completely reminded me why I love the show so much.
A fantastic end to a fantastic season. The season did a solid job of wrapping up the storylines while teasing a bit into the drama of the next season, mostly this whole revolt against Nucky thing. I did think that the finale was a little too anti-climatic, given the wicked intense episodes preceding it, but it was still a fine finish. Mostly though my favorite moments came from the couple of episodes before it. Nelson’s complete descent into madness (the scene where he killed Sebso gave me fucking CHILLS), Jimmy lashing out all of his PTSD and insecurities, Margaret becoming her own woman and standing up for herself while having to look in the mirror at the woman she’s become. And the whole realization of pretty much everyone that Nucky seems to be a very selfish man who just uses everyone for whatever he can gain from them.
It’s a really fantastically written and arched show, they did a wonderful job of not getting too far ahead of themselves. Shows like True Blood end up introducing too many characters and too many subplots that they lose sight of themselves and it all becomes this mess with plots that have nothing to do with anything and characters that it’s impossible to care about anymore. Boardwalk Empire crafted everything with precision, there isn’t a scene that’s not important to the story and every character gets their fair shake.
My only real complaints with the season as a whole were that it started off way too slow, the finale was a little soft and I thought the whole Nelson having sex with Lucy thing was kind of ridiculous, especially with the obvious move of having her be pregnant. It’s great in giving Michael Shannon more material for him to nail (guy was consistently the MVP of the cast) but from a plot standpoint it was obvious and absurd. Oh, and it was really nice having a lot more Chalkie in the last few episodes, I was sad that there wasn’t as much Michael K. as I was expecting.