Throughout this season, Nucky Thompson has been alone, and the ending to the last three episodes certainly haven’t helped that. First, he watches as an explosion kills the girl, Billie Kent, who he has been obsessing over all season. Next, the meeting he sets up to have the surrounding powers join his side ends poorly, with everyone walking out on his out idea. Then, in “A Man, A Plan…” it comes clear to him that his wife that he has been cheating on all season has been returning the favor by sleeping and planning to run away with his right-hand man, Owen Slater, who shows up dead in a box at episode’s end. That’s not exactly a great sequence of events for our central character.
Looking back at it though, it’s not all that surprising that the writers killed off Owen. Let’s say they didn’t, and Owen and Margaret did run away to St. Louis as they had planned. What would that mean for the show? The writers could either follow their disconnected storyline in future seasons (like they have done with Van Alden) or dismiss the characters altogether (which isn’t something the series has done). Neither of those options are very appealing (well, kicking Margaret off the show sort of is), so it makes sense to kill Owen AND to do it in away that also ties into the main storyline. I’m not sure what these means for Margaret going forward, but she once again must feel trapped with Nucky, so it’ll be interesting to see if she tries to break free some other way, especially after finding out that she is pregnant with Owen’s baby.Okay, we get it; Gyp’s irrational, violent, and sensitive to people who know more than him about anything at all. While this might have been the most disturbing murder we’ve seen him commit (being buried alive in the sand as the tide creeps in has crept up my list of “Ways I definitely don’t want to die” list), it felt a bit forced. The last three or four episodes have been a slower pace, and this scene felt like it was included simply because there hasn’t been much action lately.
With only two episodes left, it still feels like a lot of ground needs to be covered with the inevitable Gyp-Nucky showdown looming. With Nucky continuing to lose people around him, will he have enough firepower to survive it?