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Sunday, September 7, 2014

Boardwalk Empire Final Season 5.1: Lucky Rising

The final season of Boardwalk Empire debuted tonight, and a fine beginning of the end it was.

The episode and likely the season itself took a Godfather 2 approach to the narrative, with scenes of young Nucky in the 1880s interspersed with the Nucky we've come to know, now in 1931, and, for the first episode, in Cuba.  Like the series itself, this episode had a winning cinematic quality and great local and vintage color.

Some important deaths in this episode, right off the bat.   Arnold Rothstein has been killed off-camera - in reality, likely over a gambling debt in 1928.  Lucky Luciano kills Joe Masseria in 1931 - in reality as well on Boardwalk Empire.  Lucky now's one body away from being in charge himself. Presumably we'll see Salvatore Maranzano get the same treatment as Masseria before too long this season - he was also killed in 1931 in reality.

 photo boardwalk_empire_golden_days_for_boys_and_girls_zps713590d6.pngMeanwhile, Nucky runs into Meyer in Cuba, and the kicker here is that Meyer is still lying to impress Nucky.   Just how far his deception goes is not clear.  Was he lying to Nucky that he (Meyer) was not having much to do with Lucky these days?   We'll soon find out more about that as well.

Several important threads were not touched at all on this season premier, including Al in Chicago, and Eli, who was last seen in Chicago as well.   There's a suitably sleazy highfalutin Senator on hand in Cuba, and discussion about the fate of Prohibition, but it's not clear exactly how Nucky's interests are faring in Washington, in particular with J. Edgar.   It would be fun to see how Nucky and his businesses fare with FDR and the New Deal, but that assumes the series this last season will make it into 1933.

Boardwalk Empire has always had a remarkable combination of historical flavor and outstanding acting, which carried the series even when the plots got a little tangled and the history muddy.   I'm more than fine with that for this final season, and regretting already that it will be the last we'll see of this.

See also Boardwalk Empire 4.1: Sneak Preview Review ... Boardwalk Empire 4.2: Sneak Preview Review ... Boardwalk Empire 4.2: J. Edgar ...Boardwalk Empire Sneak Preview Review 4.3: Honey, Sunny ...Boardwalk Empire 4.3: Nucky, Sunshine, and Heroin ... Boardwalk Empire Sneak Preview Review 4.4: Downfalls ... Boardwalk Empire 4.4: Bullies and Betrayals ... Boardwalk Empire Sneak Preview 4.5: The Gift of Rage ... Boardwalk 4.5: Two Deaths ... Boardwalk Empire Sneak Preview 4.6: Good Lovin' ... Boardwalk Empire 4.6: Sally and Margaret ... Boardwalk Empire Sneak Preview 4.7: Beds, Promotions, Surprises ... Boardwalk Empire 4.7: Family and History ... Boardwalk Empire Sneak Preview 4.8: The Blues ... Boardwalk Empire 4.8: Knives in the Back ... Boardwalk Empire 4.9: The Imbecile ...Boardwalk Empire 4.10 Sneak Preview Review: Unholy Alliances ...Boardwalk Empire 4.10: Family Treachery ... Boardwalk Empire 4.11: Nucky on the Beach

And see also Boardwalk Empire 3.1: Happy News Year 1923  ... Boardwalk Empire 3.2: Gasoline and the White Rock Girl ... Boardwalk Empire 3.3: The Showgirl and The Psycho ... Boardwalk Empire 3.5: "10 L'Chaim" ... Boardwalk Empire 3.7: Deadly Gillian ... Boardwalk Empire 3.8: Andrew Mellon ... Boardwalk Empire 3.9: Impaired Nucky

And see also Boardwalk Empire 2.1: Politics in an Age Before YouTube  ... Boardwalk Empire 2.2: The Woman Behind the Throne ... Boardwalk Empire 2.3: Frankenstein and Victrola ... Boardwalk Empire 2.4: Nearly Flagrante Delicto ... Boardwalk Empire 2.5: Richard's Story ... Boardwalk Empire 2.6: Owen and Other Bad News for Nucky ... Boardwalk Empire 2.7: Shot in the Hand  ...Boardwalk Empire 2.8: Pups with Fangs ... Boardwalk Empire 2.9: Ireland, Radio, Polio ...Boardwalk Empire 2.10: Double Shot ... Boardwalk Empire 2.11: Gillian and Jimmy  ... Boardwalk Empire Season 2 Finale: Stunner!

And see also Boardwalk Emipre on HBO ... Boardwalk Empire 1.2: Lines and Centers Power ...Boardwalk Empire 1.10: Arnold Rothstein, Media Theorist  ... Season One Finale of Boardwalk Empire

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