Vinny Ginardi: I promise that I won’t mention it every week, but once again, I didn’t notice Jimmy’s absence all that much. But compared to the season premiere, I did miss his presence more, if that makes sense.
Boardwalk Empire has a wide array of characters, causing multiple storylines to develop, which is why even when Jimmy was still alive, there would be stretches of time when we didn’t see him, just because the focus was elsewhere. This is why the show still has a natural flow without the character who probably had the second most air time throughout the first two seasons. But as I mentioned in our premiere discussion, he was the most interesting character, which is why I miss him. Without him, subplots that aren’t exactly interesting, such as Margaret’s involvement with the hospital, receive more attention (although she has probably undergone the most character development of anyone, Margaret is kind of an uninteresting character). Also, while I love Chalky White, I think we’ve seen much more of his family life than we really need. We saw what his family dynamic was like in season two, did it really need to continue into the third season?
On the bright side though, I enjoyed seeing the effects that being imprisoned for two years has had on Eli. He is disconnected from his son, toward the bottom of the group’s ranks, and seen being teased by a town sheriff. Eli has always lived in Nucky’s shadow, and even though he tried to escape it in season two, he never truly did. Will he stand up for himself more this season?
It appears we made some serious progress in Gyp’s storyline and that he is going to cause some serious problems for Nucky. I’m interested to see how Nucky reacts to the Battle of the Gas station and to see more of Gyp going forward. I feel like interacting him is like playing a game of Minesweeper: push the wrong button and you end up dead.
Mike Aurigemma: Vinny, I could not agree more with your feelings on Eli. It was a great way to bring him back to the show. He obviously will be dealing with issues as he tries to reacclimate himself back into the real world, but I still think he has a good knowledge of how to handle different situations. It will definitely be interesting to see how his character continues to develop from here on out.
As for some other stories that continued to develop this season, I think the Margaret storyline will be interesting to watch from here on out. Although it may get boring at times, I can see her becoming more of a thorn in Nucky’s side than Gyp. She still knows a lot of information and has a lot of power. And we also cannot forget that Nucky is currently falling for another girl and that Margaret clearly still has some tension with Owen Slater who has quickly become the point man for Nucky.
As interesting as it is to see how Nucky will respond to Gyp, I think it will be intriguing to see how Arnold Rothstein and his people react. This was not just a move against Nucky, but also against Rothstein as well. There will be some clear issues between them going forward. We have seen Nucky sometimes back away from being a full-time gangster, but Charles “Lucky” Luciano has never been shy when it comes to that so this is something that I am looking forward to in the next couple of episodes.