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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Boardwalk Empire 3.1: Happy New Year 1923

It's New Year's Eve 1923, the hour of Boardwalk Empire's Season 3 premiere.   It's a little after Nucky shot Jimmy dead, at the very end of last year's finale.  It's not clear who among Jimmy's people know what happened to Jimmy, but we'll get to that presently.

In the meantime, we meet Gyp Rosetti, a mobster with a skin so thin he kills a man on the road who tried to help him and in the process offered the slightest criticism.  Rosetti's a psycho who by the end of the episode has not only Nucky but Rothstein, Lucky, and Lansky on his list.

The New Year's Eve Party is classic Boardwalk Empire, done up in perfect period style with costumes and music.  Eddie Cantor provides the entertainment, with Lillian "Billie" Kent, who winds up half naked looking good in bed with Nucky after the party.

Out in Chicago, Van Alden's selling irons, and accidentally saves Irish mobster O'Bannon's life from Capone's ire.  Will Van Alden end up working for O'Bannon?  He's halfway there.

Nucky asks Manny to kill someone for him.  It's New Year's Eve, but, as Manny's wife helpfully advises, just for the "goyim".  Right, the Jewish New Year is in fact tonight - L'shana tova.  Manny's a great character-

But that brings me back to what I saying at the beginning.  It's not clear who knows what about what happened to Jimmy, but Richard has found out who was responsible for killing Jimmy's wife - the undeclared love of Richard's life - and in the one big surprise of tonight's episode, Richard shoots Manny dead. What will Richard do if/when he finds out that Nucky killed Jimmy?

I'm going to miss Manny and his Yiddish, but it's good to have Boardwalk Empire and the 1920s back on the screen.

"As a genre-bending blend of police procedural and science fiction, The Silk Code delivers on its promises." -- Gerald Jonas, The New York Times Book Review
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