Last nights episode of Boardwalk Empire was easily the best episode of the season so far as every single thread of story line that seemed to be skipped from episode one and two was picked right back up in episode three. Nucky is running out of options, and reaches to the White House to lend support and keep him out of prison. Due to Nucky’s charges being a state level and not a federal level the White House can not get involved and Nucky remains stuck. There is one good thing that seems to be going in Nucky’s favor and that is Captain Bill Mchall, who is bringing booze to Atlantic City is still on his side. He has a sit down with the Commodore that shows his loyalty is still with Nucky, unfortunately the Commodore controls the coastguard and his ships are seized. It was good to see Nucky finally snap out of his funk by the end of the episode and even have the courage to walk right up to the Commodore and knock his lobster dinner to the ground. The episode really got the season going into it’s full swing. Nucky still hasn’t figured out how he’s going to overcome through all of this but at least he got the opportunity to show the Commodore and Jimmy to their faces, that he isn’t afraid of them. He even promises to ruin them, which is hard to believe just yet with the position he is in, but there very well could be foreshadowing.
This episode had a perfect combination of both character development as well as story line progression. Agent Van Alden has always seemed to be extremely stone faced and angry about something and his relationship with Lucy Danziger, who is also pregnant with his child, is no different. He never seems happy with her and is always finding something to be angry with her about. You really feel for Lucy, and when Eddie Cantor, Stephen DeRosa, comes to visit her she tells him of how awful her life is being trapped in her apartment all day. By the end of the episode Van Alden buys Lucy a record player which makes her happy that she finally has something “fun” to do, and it even makes Van Alden happy to see her dancing. It shows that he does actually have a soul and isn’t a heartless monster, well at least not all the time. I’m kind of torn on Eddie’s character. This is the first time he has made an appearance this season and in season one we only saw him on stage doing his comedy act and with a ton of makeup. Eddie would’ve been practically unrecognizable it wasn’t for him being stuck in his act at all times. Everything he says has the same cadence and delivery as his stage act. It’s a mix between slightly amusing and annoying and I’m not sure which way I’m leaning more towards. Maybe that’s just how comedians were in the 1920′s or maybe the writers just wanted to make sure you knew who he was. Either way I hope he makes more appearances throughout this season.
I think my favorite part of the episode had to be the scene between Eli, and his father. This is also the first time Eli and Nucky’s father makes an appearance in the season. While it is already established that their father is clearly not right in the head and his old age has gotten the best of him he seems to have to together at least at first. We see him reading the paper and telling Eli that he needs to do something to help his brother. He seems to be making sense and then all the sudden he says to Eli’s face that he has nothing to worry about his brother Eli has no idea what he is doing. This is a slap in the face to Eli and he takes it as such. Ethan Thompson has obviously mistaken his son Eli for Nucky but still seems to know the difference between the their level of competence. Hopefully that will serve as a wake up call to Eli and he will return to Nucky’s side and leave the Commodore but it is hard telling at this point. Things seem to be slipping away from the Commodore and back into Nucky’s hands, but that shift hasn’t completely started yet. I can’t wait for next week to see what Nucky is going to do to fulfill his promise.