Boardwalk Empire – To the Lost
Season Two: Episode Twelve (Season Finale)
Directed by: Tim Van Patten
Written by: Terence Winter
The Spin: Admittedly the season finale’s “big bang” was exactly what I thought it was going to be, but I have to give credit to Winter and Van Patten for making me think during the better part of the hour that maybe it wasn’t going to conclude that way. It seemed Nucky and Jimmy were going to make amends. Jimmy came through in a big way and brought justice for Chalky White (Michael K. Williams) – thus ending the strike are we to assume? Then he helps commit the most egregious bit of witness tampering I’ve ever seen – with Harrow (Jack Huston) at his side of course. All of this benefits Nucky, right? And ol’ Nuck seemed to be in a forgiving mood. After giving one of the more unorthodox marriage proposals, he and Margaret get hitched, thus solving her moral dilemma of testifying against him (as his wife, she can’t – badda bing!) Then he offers up his dope of a brother (Shea Whigham) a nice ultimatum – take the fall for that other stuff and go to jail for a few years – it’ll make up for trying to kill me. Poor, poor Esther Randolph (Julianne Nicholson) – she’s suddenly in court with no ducks in a row anymore – because they’ve all been shot down one way or another by Nucky. Look who’s off scott-free and looking like the family man of the year! Hooray for Nucky! But oh wait, there’s that thing, you know…
…and so he does off Jimmy, because apparently he didn’t believe that bit Jimmy told him about Eli ordering the hit on him. You see, he knows his brother Eli’s a dope and wouldn’t have come up with that idea himself…right? (DOH!) Under the guise of delivering Manny (William Forsythe) up to Jimmy, he takes him out in the rain, and while Jimmy tries to give him one last guilt trip before it’s all over, he tell’s the kid – “You don’t know me. You never did. I’m not looking for forgiveness.”
Oh – and then there’s the real surprise in the closing moments. The new Mrs. Enoch Thompson – who her then husband-to-be signed over the deed to all that land when his situation had looked grimmer and that Congress has now granted funds for a major highway to be built through – can’t seem to get that olde-tyme religion outta her soul and she signs over the deed to the Catholic Church. DOUBLE DOH!
Things Learned This Evening: Rothstein (Michael Stuhlbarg) often has no opinion one way or the other. Swedish nannies will change their identities and run off with strange men at a moment’s notice. Blood is thicker than liquor. Margaret is an insufferable Catholic.
Wait Until Next Season: What will become of Gillian, Tommy and Harrow now that Jimmy “re-inlisted”? How in the world are they going to work Van Alden (Michael Shannon) back into the story now that he’s fled to the Midwest? When will Margaret’s actions start making any sense? Will Manny still be a key player?
Commentary by David H. Schleicher
To my readers and Boardwalk strollers: Thoughts, reactions, comments?