Boardwalk Empire Season 3, Episode 1 Discussion

Throughout the third season of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, our writers will discuss the ins and outs of each episode. Please beware of spoilers.

Vinny Ginardi: When we think of New Year’s eve we think of change, or more specifically, one year ending and transitioning into the next. So while many of our characters celebrated (or at least acknowledged) the ringing in of the new year in the season three premiere, I couldn’t help but notice the change that the characters, their storylines, and the show itself have experienced since the end of season two.

The most obvious of course being the absence of Jimmy Darmody, whom Nucky Thompson killed in the season two finale. While it probably made the most sense for the narrative and I appreciated that the writers would attempt such a bold move, my biggest concern coming into season three was that the show would be less interesting without Jimmy, who had become the series’ most compelling character. But the premiere showed that Boardwalk Empire is shifting into a Jimmy-less era. While his character was felt through other characters (his son, Richard, etc.), Jimmy’s name was never mentioned.

Instead, we were introduced a new character who will most likely be eating up some of Jimmy’s air time: Gyp Rosetti. We meet Gyp in the episode’s opening scene, where he went all Tuco Salamanca and beat a guy to death over a small comment. He’s an easily angered guy and it looks like he will cause some problems for our main characters down the road.

As for our already established characters, much has already changed. We learn right away that Nucky has become much more hands-on in the gangster sides of his business, ordering a man to be executed in his first scene. Nelson’s life is completely different from the one he lived in during the first two seasons (heck, he’s even living under a different name) and Richard Harrow, though still good with a gun, has become Gillian’s caretaker, serving somewhat as a parent to Jimmy and Angela’s son Tommy. And while Al Capone is the same old Al Capone, it appears that he might have one of the main storylines this season with Dean O’Bannion, which is a change I certianly approve of.

Overall I thought this was a great first episode that needed to and successfully served as both a premiere and a transition. It might be too early to tell but a Jimmy-less Boardwalk Empire might not be so bad after all.

Mike Aurigemma:  One of the things that I feel this show has done a great job of so far is really capturing the culture of what it was like back in the 1920s.  This could very easily get pretty difficult to deal with at times, but I think the writers have done a flawless job at that.  This episode once again proved that to me as things that I saw as bizarre were just a part of the culture back then.

These first few episodes will really make or break this season as Vinny mentioned how this will be a pretty big turning point.  We will be introduced to new characters and new storylines and after watching this past episode I am excited about the possibilities.

The plot that will involve Al Capone and Dean O’Bannion is something that this show needs.  At times having all of the drama go through New Jersey could get stale and throwing the Al Capone storyline is going to add some fireworks to the show for sure.

I see Nucky having to go up against two fronts in Gyp who clearly does not care who he has to kill and also Richard who I can already tell will be a thorn in Nucky’s side.  Gyp seems like he will bring some muscle to the table, but there is no way he can out think Nucky and that will eventually be his downfall in my opinion.

There looks to be a lot more side stories that we will see throughout this season as well with Nelson of course being someone to watch and we cannot forget about Margaret who still has a lot of firepower that she can hurt Nucky with.

If there is one person I am hoping to see more from it is Charles “Lucky” Luciano, but as of now I am extremely satisfied with the direction of the show.