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S05.E08: Eldorado

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The series finale.
 

Nucky plans to relocate to Manhattan. Margaret impresses Nucky and a grain company stockholder.

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The series finale.

 

??? Nucky moves closer to Lansky & Lucky ??? So they won't have to drive 2 hrs to kill him?

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??? Nucky moves closer to Lansky & Lucky ??? So they won't have to drive 2 hrs to kill him?

 

I was also confused by this too, along with Nucky's strange willingness to just give up his Atlantic City holdings. 

 

But then it started to make perfect sense to me.  Recall seemingly minor subplot about Nucky and Margaret short selling the Mayflower Grain Company stock- the company Joe Kennedy was involved in, and whom Nucky failed to convince to partner with him earlier in the season. I believe this plot is going to be hugely important in the finale, and define the epilogue of Nucky's life.

 

 

Quick primer on short selling

If you already know how short selling works, skip to the next section. :) 

 

For those who aren't familiar: normally you buy a stock, wait some period of time, then eventually sell it and hope to realize a profit.  But a short sale means you sell the stock before you actually own the shares- the brokerage will basically "lend" you shares from other shareholders, usually at some interest rate- and then at some point you will have to buy that same number of shares on the open market to replace the ones you sold.  Short selling is like the opposite of regular buying: instead of betting on the price to rise, you're betting on the price falling.

 

This is extremely risky but potentially hugely lucrative, in part because you can short sell a block of stock far in excess of the money you actually have on hand.  For example, if I had $1,000 and was sure a stock was about to drop in price, I could short 100,000 shares of a stock currently trading at $10/share, and then a week later if the stock has fallen to $8/share, I make a tidy profit of $200K, putting almost no money of my own into the deal.  However, if the stock price instead rises, I have to pay the difference out of pocket- and since my margin balance was only $1,000, if the stock price goes up even a single penny (100,000 shares * .01 = $1,000), you better believe the brokerage would make what's known as a "margin call" forcing me to sell immediately while my margin balance could still cover the price difference.

 

Still, if you know what you're doing, you can make a lot of money very quickly; George Soros famously shorted the British pound on September 16, 1992- believing as most investors did that it was overvalued in the currency exchange markets- and made a whopping $1 billion in profit in a single day.

 

 

Nucky's con job- and revenge against Joe Kennedy

Prior to the creation of the SEC, richer traders could essentially manipulate the market this way: short a lot of shares, existing shareholders panic and dump their stock just to minimize their own losses, and voila- you've engineered yourself a big payday, direct from the pockets of the existing investors... investors like Joe Kennedy, for example. 

 

If you've ever seen the movie "Trading Places" with Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy, what they did with Frozen Concentrated Orange Juice futures was this kind of manipulative short sell (and also stupendously illegal, as they had insider information).  I believe Nucky plans to do the same thing to Mayflower that Billy Ray and Louis did to the Duke Brothers:

 

  • Short sell hundreds of thousands of Mayflower shares, causing the price to plummet
  • Buy the replacement shares at the now lower price, making a tidy profit
  • At the very same time, use the profit to buy additional shares outright at the low price
  • Nucky is now a significant shareholder in Mayflower, effectively spending Joe Kennedy's money

 

When Prohibition ends in 1933, the demand for newly legalized liquor will cause the prices of the grains and hops used in their manufacture to skyrocket... which happen to be the very kind of goods Mayflower Grain Company deals in!  It's extremely risky, but it makes some of Nucky's actions this season all become so much clearer, including why Nucky was so willing to just give up what remains of his Boardwalk Empire to Luciano and Lansky, and why he'd move to New York City- he'll want to be near Wall Street, after all.

 

I believe Nucky Thompson has been quietly striving to become a fully legitimate business man, just like Joe Kennedy suggested.  Nucky will be sitting on many shares of a company that is soon going to explode in value, not to mention he still also has the contract with Bacardi for US distribution; he'll probably be far wealthier as a legitimate investor than he ever was in the peak of his Atlantic City heyday.   Plus, being out of the gangster business and a wealthy stock investor, he'll be untouchable by his old enemies; even the mob knows targeting public figures is suicidal.  Luciano is famous for his role in creating modern organized crime, which had its roots in the 1929 Atlantic City Conference- hosted by Enoch Johnson- after the public outrage over Capone's St. Valentine's Day massacre was drawing too much attention to the underworld operations.

 

 

Historical accuracy

Interestingly, in doing a little research, I found this Reddit thread asking about the short selling plot, which contained this insightful comment about stock market history:

 

There were a group of traders starting after the crash in 1929, who manipulated the market with a technique known as "bear raiding." These traders would chose a stock and aggressively short it to manipulate the price down. Essentially a reverse pump and dump. This kind of market manipulation was pretty rampant during this time.

True there's no SEC yet but in 1931 the NYSE instituted a number of changes towards the end of September through 1932 that made short selling extremely difficult.  This all began on the 20th of September when the Bank of England announced it was abandoning the gold standard.  The NYSE completely banned short selling on the 21st and 22nd.  On October 6th, all sell orders had to be labeled as either long or short, and the very first tick test was implemented.  No short sales were allowed on a downtick.  In February of 1932, all brokers had to get written authorization from their customers before lending their shares.  Last episode ended on September 10th if they stick to the history, as it's the date Maranzano was was killed.  So Nucky's still got time to pull of short before the first restrictions on shorting begin.

 

The writers clearly did their homework!  Nucky is "bear raiding", and short selling the fictional Mayflower Grain Company in literally the last couple of weeks he could have actually done so on the stock market.

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Not disagreeing with the short selling scenario; however, there is no residency constraint on short selling, so he could easily stay safely in NJ while executing his plan. 

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Oh, I didn't mean he had to live in NYC... just that Nucky has no business interests left in AC now, just a whooooole lot of bad memories. Once he's finished his Mayflower gambit, he might as well move to the big city since he's going to be a Wall Street tycoon now anyway.

Plus, his wife and step kids are there, so... maybe there's finally a reconciliation between them, once he goes legit? I think we saw a few episodes ago when Margaret came to him about the widow Rothstein that there's still some love buried in there; Margaret might be willing to give it a second go when their money isn't soaked in blood and her kids won't grow up as potential kidnapping targets.

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I'm not sure that Nucky still has the Bacardi contract. In the last episode I think he agreed to give over to Lansky his interests in Cuba.

 

One other odd thing, I'm also not entirely sure that The Atlantic City Conference ever even happened in Boardwalk Empire's fictional universe. In the season premiere, Lanksy & Nucky mention not having seen each other since Rothstein's funeral, which occurred before the conference.

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Hm, I didn't think the Bacardi contract was on the table when Luciano said "everything"- would they even know about it?  Although given the turmoil in Cuba, it might actually be completely worthless anyway at this point. 

 

And yes, the ACC didn't happen in show universe, because in the real world Enoch Johnson wasn't a gangster, he was just a corrupt politician.  Luciano and others would have no quarrel with him for any reason, and unlike Nucky Thompson, the real Enoch was a great neutral party for hosting the ACC- which included Meyer Lansky's wedding, after all.

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OMG, you folks were right. It was Tommy.

Perfect karma. But that makes me wonder. Did Tommy know Nucky killed his dad? He could have. And in a way, Nucky was responsible for Richard's death. He made Richard do that last job that cost h his life.

Glad to see Narcisse bite it.

Edited by Neurochick

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I hated this finale. It WAS karma, but so now what? Tommy gets the electric chair and Gillian has her insides removed? A better ending would have been Gillian reunited with Tommy and Nucky committing suicide after that. 

Edited by DakotaLavender
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I hated this finale. it WAS karma, but so now what? Tommy gets the electric chair and Gillian has her insides removed? A better ending would have been Gillian reunited with Tommy and Nucky committing suicide after that.

The way I see it, Karma doesn't always give you a happy ending and life isn't fair.  It sucks, but that is true.  And a shame for Tommy, because he really was/is the innocent victim in all of that.  

 

For me, I liked the ending because Nucky never, ever wanted to do the right thing.  He had that chance with Gillian and blew it, he also had that chance with Richard and blew it too.  Remember, Richard wanted to adopt Tommy, poor kid was traumatized, and he knew Gillian would wind up with him and that would break his wife's heart.  He asked Nucky to tell the police where Jimmy was buried, so Gillian would go down for the murder of the "Jimmy look alike."  Nucky said yes, BUT Richard had to kill Narcisse, and we all know what happened.  Had Nucky done the right thing, told the police where Jimmy was buried (it was just an anonymous phone call, no skin of Nucky's nose), and let Richard go; perhaps Tommy would have had a good life and NOT come back to AC and killed Nucky.  

 

I liked the juxtaposition of the scene where Nucky had the chance to do the right thing by Gillian, but chose not to.  He could have told the Commodore to fuck himself, taken Gillian's hand, and then he, Gillian and Maybelle could have left AC for good, but Nucky wanted to get ahead; he thought money and position would make him somebody.  

Edited by Neurochick
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Wow, so that was Tommy. A great ending. I loved how Nucky's lifetime lack of empathy caught up to him. It was only right, after his cold treatment of Gillian and the fact that he was still trying to pay off Tommy's problems.

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Well, it was pretty crafty of them to get everybody off the Joe=Tommy bandwagon in the episode immediately preceding the finale.

 

Nucky's killshot being identical to Jimmy's was definitely too cute though.

Edited by alynch
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That actor playing Tommy mastered Michael Pitts Jimmy mannerisms.

Who were the two guys that grabbed Tommy after he shot Nucky?

 

IRS officers.  

 

I think that maybe the problem with this season was that (from what I read last year) the producers wanted 2 seasons to end it and HBO said "you have 8 episodes."  I really liked the ending, but it felt rushed and I am confused about a few things.  Here are my questions.

 

How did Tommy know so much about Nucky?  

If Gillian told him about Nucky, did she also tell him that Nucky killed his father?  

Did Richard tell Tommy that Nucky killed his father? 

Why was Tommy gunning for Nucky in the first place?

Did Tommy suffer from PTSD because of what happened that night in the club, when Richard stormed the castle?

Maybe Tommy wanted revenge for Richard, since Richard was his best friend when he was a child?

Edited by Neurochick
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The fact that the kid was Tommy just pisses me off to think all Richard went through to give him a better life.

Those IRS agents were probably about to arrest Nucky so dead/jail either way.

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The fact that the kid was Tommy just pisses me off to think all Richard went through to give him a better life.

Those IRS agents were probably about to arrest Nucky so dead/jail either way.

 

This is very true.  I think that was the point and the tragedy.  Richard did want to give Tommy a better life and had Nucky not wanted Richard to kill Narcisse, had Nucky just done the right thing for once, told the police where Jimmy's body was so Gillian could go to jail and Richard and his wife could take Tommy, the boy might have had a good life, he probably would have had a chance with Richard.  But Nucky could never, ever just do the right thing, just because it was the right thing to do, and that was what killed him IMO.

Edited by Neurochick
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I wonder if Tommy might have visited Gillian in the asylum? It's possible.

As for Nucky I disagree that he never wanted to do the right thing. I think he's one of those people that always fancied himself as doing the right thing after he did one more wrong thing to get ahead. But there was always that one more thing.

Edited by Growsonwalls
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Could someone please tell me what Tommy said right before Nucky asked who he was? It was something about his grandmother.

 

He said, "When Mima talked about you, I couldn't tell if it was love or hate." Mima was what Gillian preferred to be called rather than Grandma.

 

ETA: I like to envision Winter in the editing room saying, "Fuck it. Nobody ever liked the opening credits anyway."

Edited by alynch
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Nucky knew that selling Gillian to the Commodore was the wrong thing, but he wanted to get ahead.  Nucky also knew that telling Richard to kill Narcisse wasn't right, the right thing would have been to let Richard go and let him take Tommy away.  The right thing would have been to say, "Gillian's a nutcase, Tommy will be better off with you, now get the fuck out of here."  

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I really liked the ending, but it felt rushed and I am confused about a few things.

 

I agree - I think they could have used at least two more episodes.  

 

As soon as the light got snapped on at the apartment where Nucky and Margaret were dancing I knew there was no happy ending or at least staid ending in the offer.  I'm wondering since Margaret is still his wife if she'll get the money, or if the IRS will put a lien on that two million he made.  

 

My fave part of the show was - besides seeing Narcisse get clipped - Capone talking to his son.  He's a murdering braggart gangster and still loves his son.   

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Nucky knew that selling Gillian to the Commodore was the wrong thing, but he wanted to get ahead. Nucky also knew that telling Richard to kill Narcisse wasn't right, the right thing would have been to let Richard go and let him take Tommy away. The right thing would have been to say, "Gillian's a nutcase, Tommy will be better off with you, now get the fuck out of here."

Some people on twitter were saying they think Gillian put the hit out on Nucky. If so, that would really be poetic justice. Gretchen Mol's last scene was ambiguous ... Hard to know what she was thinking.

I don't really like the way they left the Margaret storyline, but Nucky never could do right by her either.

Edited by Growsonwalls
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How did Tommy know so much about Nucky?

 

The fact that the kid was Tommy just pisses me off to think all Richard went through to give him a better life.

 

Tommy spoke to Nucky about what his grandmother told him about Nucky -- "I couldn't tell if she loved you or hated you."   It seems Tommy decided for himself. 

 

What Tommy knew is that Richard sent him to live with his wife, her dying father, his sister and his sister's husband, at a sparse farm thousands of miles from the home, and never showed up. We don't know how or when Julia learned that Richard was dead, and what she told Tommy. After that, we don't know what made up Tommy's life: if they stayed in Wisconsin; if Julia re-married; when it was that she and Tommy parted ways: "I don't have a home."  And most of all we don't know what Gillian told Tommy, or when, how much was true, and what he remembered accurately.  

 

Still, I agree: it's realistic that Richard's plan for Tommy didn't work out without Richard...but it hurts.  

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The fact that the kid was Tommy just pisses me off to think all Richard went through to give him a better life.

Those IRS agents were probably about to arrest Nucky so dead/jail either way.

Yup to the first point.

I guess the IRS agents are a nod to what happened with Enoch Johnson in real life-he went to jail for tax evasion.

 

I have a question - was 'Tommy' the same young guy that had been serving Nucky? The one he gave $1000 to?  Sometimes these folks all kinda look the same. If he wasn't that kid, it seems obvious that posters here have seen him before, where? 

 

I liked the Capone & son interchange. I shouldn't care, but it was kind of sweet. I don't know how Capone treated his son in real life, but I've been watching 'Mobsters' on YT and a fair number of these guys seem to have been good fathers (not so good husbands sometimes). Their children have nothing but good to say about them. That's some compartmentalization these mobsters are able to accomplish. 

 

btw - did y'all note on one of the finale posters on the FB page that Nucky has a bit of blood on his cheek? Nice bit of foreshadowing the shot to his face.

Edited by aliya

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Well, it was Tommy all along.  I feel like an idiot now for buying it last week.

 

Still need some time to digest it all.  Certainly better then a certain other HBO series finale this year (hint:it involves vampires), but I do think that the big time jump and eight episode season, did it a disservice.  I think I really would have loved a lot of what happen more, if more time was spent developing it.  Missed opportunities, I think, no matter who was responsible (either HBO or Terrence Winter for wanting to end it now.)

 

I am glad that Nucky died, because after everything he did, he had it coming.  The flashbacks tonight (awesome as always), really showed how horrible he was, even if he wasn't one-dimensional.  But, yeah, I won't say it was a "Hell Yeah" moment, because Tommy will probably be in jail; maybe for the rest of his life; and Gillian is still probably going to done for.  I do think that this might be on purpose: that, in the end, no matter what, Nucky was the worst thing to ever happen to the Darmondy family.  

 

Narcisse's death though, was just awesome.  I loved that the Almighty "Doctor" Narcisse, died like a regular punk, while he was in the middle of one his long, big, over-elegant, flashy preaching, that he probably listens to at night, every time he went to bed.  And, it wasn't even for a big cause: it was all to make a point to everyone else that Lucky and crew mean business.  A fitting end, to a man with that ego.

 

Liked Nucky's final scene with Eli.  I do hope Eli finally wises up, and doesn't waste that money and the second chance he got.

 

Figures Margaret will making it out alive.  Loved the dance scene, but I knew for sure then, that it meant Nucky was on his way out.

 

Al Capone accepting his fate and interacting his son, was a decent way to show that while he is a horrible person, he is a human being.  Even if he is one who totally deserved to be locked away.

 

I know it's too late, but I'm still sad we didn't see to see the Fall of Rothstein.

Edited by thuganomics85
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Their children have nothing but good to say about them.

 

Yeah, I believe that's the same with Al Junior as well from what I've read.  I can tell you this - Capone bought a lot of groceries for a lot of people during the depression and was much loved for it.  There were a lot of farmer fruit cellars holding a lot of liquor in appreciation.

 

I dunno - I think they could have done without Tommy being this fucked up with revenge.  I would have been alright with some of Luciano's gang doing him in.  Or him just walking into the sunrise along the boardwalk.  I think his visit with Gillian shook him up quite a bit as well as Sally's death earlier in the season - I think he always knew what kind of person he was down deep, and it wasn't a very nice one, nor a good one.  Whatever good intentions he had in his life were ignored for his ambition and self serving selfish ways.      

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I'm indifferent about Nucky dying. I feel like the point if this last season was to show he was never really living anyway.

How badly did Michael Pitt piss off the producers? So many flashbacks, none of him. Maybe they felt that would have tipped the Tommy hand but most people guessed who he was anyway. Jimmy was so important to the show. Didn't Nucky shoot him in the cheek too? I would have loved one foggy, grainy flashback of that. I wanted Gillian to ask him what happened to him or where he was buried. Gretchen Mol owned this season, especially her last scene. As soon as she winced I could feel that crude, giant incision across her abdomen.

The thing that made the finale for me was the callback to Al and his son (amazing actors, those triplets) and to see how much he loved him when he said goodbye. I know that was all fiction but it was so moving.

Margaret's line about imagining all you want, now imagine yourself in a dress. Her character had a great arc over the series. I only wish we got those extra episodes to really say goodbye yo everyone.

Edited by Lambie
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The scenes with young Gillian and present day Gillian were heartbreaking. You saw young Gillian -- a stubborn, spirited girl. Rough around the edges but she had hope. Then you saw Gillian in an institution, being an "extra good girl." It's like she had been returned to the orphanage for good.

Re: Michael Pitt I had heard that he was using drugs heavily on set and going on drug fueled rages.

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The flashbacks were specifically designed to give more insight into how Nucky arrived at a place where he did what he did to Gillian, an action were were aware of season 1.  There was a very strong focus here and it was about when Nucky really died.

 

Nucky saw in his father someone he did not want to be and saw his way out in terms of power and raising his status in the world.  He saw poverty as having caused him his beloved sister.  He was powerless to help this girl and at that point he surely thought I must overcome this powerlessness.  Yet there was no limit.  He arrived at a crossroads where there was another powerless girl in a mansion.  His mentor, Leery, said goodbye to the Satanic figure of the Commodore.  Nucky could have too.  Nucky had a wife who loved him.  They would have gotten by.  But Nucky's fixation on the power and wealth his Dad did not have caused him not to notice that negligence and abuse were the truly abominable things about his Dad.  Here was this powerless girl and he was given a chance to protect her.  Instead he went along with the program.  There was also that other powerless girl, the one under the pier.  Mabel, good at heart, was ready to take Gillian in.  She saw this was a good person who had suffered,  Nucky and Mabel could have raised her, provided for her, and been a family.  Nucky did not register this.  He did not get why Mabel was actually disappointed in him.  That Mabel knew Nucky's true responsibility, more than power or wealth, was to help Gillian.   

 

When Mabel suffered a miscarriage, Nucky's place should have been there to comfort her.  Instead Nucky viewed that tragic moment in terms of his lack of status.  He did not see the person who was really in front of him.  He did not understand why she had become disillusioned with him.  Mabel had once said she would have let Nucky kiss him if he had wanted.  But Nucky thought she did not view him as acceptable enough.  That he ranked too low in status.  And now after years had gone by, he still thought the same.  In that moment, he did not get it.  He didn't comprehend this person loved him.  He took a tragedy and made it about his own insecurities.  But he is given a chance again.  There is Gillian.  He finds her and can help her.  At this moment, that is what Mabel really would want. And in that moment with the Commodore, he betrays Mabel and he betrays Gillian and he betrays himself. 

 

The final meeting between Gillian and Nucky finds him refusing to take responsibility for the destruction he made of her life.  That he did the last thing he should have ever done and caused this smart, kind person to be raped by a loathsome creep.  And he never recognized the misery he brought upon her.  Even when he could have worked his ways to get her out of prison he didn't.  He betrayed her in every way.  He looked at his sister dying and he thought I won't ever let something like that happen again.  Yet that is exactly what he did.  He sealed his literal death when he did not get Gillian out.  He really sealed the figurative death of his soul years before.  So when he dies it is similar to Pat Garret and Billy the Kid, the great Peckinpah film.  In that film, the death that is truly overwhelming is not an old man dying as he is ambushed.  The real death is when he betrayed his soul.  That death is not in the vacant eyes of Nucky.  It is in the hopeful eyes of a young Gillian who only wanted someone who actually cared about her.   

Edited by dohe
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In honor of an outstanding show that I've had the privilege to watch for the last five seasons - I'm watching from the beginning again. Starting right now. Even though I've had the biggest spoiler tonight.

Steve Buscemi and the rest of the cast were the best. And the writing out of this world.

Edited by Kitkat52
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"The flashbacks were specifically designed to give more insight into how Nucky arrived at a place where he did what he did to Gillian, an action were were aware of season 1. There was a very strong focus here and it was about when Nucky really died."

You nailed it for me! Thank you for your insight.

Edited by Kitkat52
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Here's the thing. I'm not sure if Nucky ever understood how much he damaged Gillian. Nucky is that type of person whose motto is "get over it." I think in his mind Gillian would have a "very bad night" and get over it. The final scene in the asylum just showed that Nucky still couldn't empathize with Gillian.

Gretchen Mol played that scene perfect. Just vacant enough to tell us that she was no longer all there but with enough in her eyes to make us think that even in her reduced state she would never forgive Nucky.

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I thought the finale was excellent. The Capone scenes. The Gillian flashbacks. Everything. Not a happy ending, but a fulfilling one, which is something that we don't see in finales much anymore.

Could someone tell me what surgery Gillian had in her abdomen? She was behaving like someone who had shock treatment. Also what was with the TV Nucky saw in the booth on the boardwalk?

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I said out loud, "I will call this the anti-Sopranos ending."

 

I'm not a fan of killing off the main character on a show. I can't call bs on the storyline itself, but it was kind of out of nowhere -ish for me. The show overall is good enough, that I'd cut TPTBs some slack since they wanted two seasons, and could have developed the plot more. 

 

I really wish that we were able to have more AR and Margaret. Although, now I want more Margaret and Kennedy too. 

 

I do think it's important that they showed how Nucky was in the position to "select" Gillian, way back then. I always thought Nucky was kind of squeezed into it, but this was a much more conscious choice on his part. 

 

I'm indifferent about Nucky dying. I feel like the point if this last season was to show he was never really living anyway.

 

 

He was kind of wandering around aimlessly this episode anyway. I figured he was just going to wander away and that would be that. No one wanted him. Margaret is clearly the only thing left of a friend that he had and she's got her own shit going on now, so it's not like she was getting back together with him. I think just being rich and sitting in some lavish apartment all alone might have been more fitting. 

 

I'm a little disappointed that we didn't see the actual repeal of prohibition either. I don't know why the show wasn't given an extra season. It's not like HBO has ratings demands. It's too bad they couldn't negotiate 8+8 or even a 5+5, sort of how Breaking Bad did. 

 

Well, I didn't think I wasted my time. This was a good series. I do wish there were more shows where they'd just let the narrative unfold. TPTBs on shows tend to do too much. Sometimes you have to just let it ride. 

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Sorry but I have to be a spoiler for something in this season by saying that I just felt too overwhelmed by those big square fake teeth of young Nucky. I might even have some nightmares tonight about those.

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Brutal ending. Nucky dies as he lived most of the series. A cold, cruel bastard who thought money could buy everything. 

 

I'm surprised with the downer ending feel of everything that they actually killed Narcisse. I thought, "Devil You Know," ending was more appropriate for the character. Although I guess with his death it means the embargo against Daughter could be done even if Narcisse did plan to screw Chalky.

 

We really didn't need to see Gillian this season except for the last two episodes. I think her storyline would have gained power if she had suddenly snuck up on us. 

Edited by loki567

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Jimmy was so important to the show. Didn't Nucky shoot him in the cheek too? I would have loved one foggy, grainy flashback of that. I wanted Gillian to ask him what happened to him or where he was buried. Gretchen Mol owned this season, especially her last scene. As soon as she winced I could feel that crude, giant incision across her abdomen.

 

Gillian knew what happened to him and where he was buried.  That's the whole reason she is in the insane asylum now.  Richard made a deal with Nucky to tip off the police where Jimmy's body was so that Gillian would be convicted of killing the Jimmy look-alike, since she was saying it was actually Jimmy.  Once they had Jimmy's remains, she was convicted of killing the other guy.

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It was crucial we see what was happening was Gillian.  Her screentime was much needed because it needed to hang over those flashbacks.  From the moment that Nucky watched his sister dying through to the end, the presence of Gillian's current fate needed to be evident. 

 

As for Nucky's death, I expected it and I don't think it came out of nowhere.  If the show is heading, in flashbacks, to the figurative death of Nucky it makes sense to mirror it with the literal death of Nucky.  I think that is why so many people figured the teen may be Tommy.  There had to be a comeuppance and it had to reflect the damage he had done. 

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After having a couple of hours to ruminate, a couple of lines are seeming key. Ones from Young Gillian: "Mrs. Thompson said you want to be good, but you don't know how." The other comes from Nucky when he's visiting Gillian at the asylum: "What do you expect of me?"

 

The answer to Nucky's question should be obvious. He should get this woman whose life he ruined out of this hellhole, just as he should've looked out for her way back when. He genuinely can't see how bad he is in these situations. He deludes himself into thinking that he's merely a pragmatist who's good in most situations. I think we're meant to contrast him with Capone in this episode, a man who despite being a murderous psychotic is capable of admitting to his son that he's done bad things. Nucky would never be willing to do that.

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Tommy needed a lot of coincidence for his revenge plan to work...besides Nucky surviving various attacks, how did he know that Nucky would get him out of jail? 

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Tommy needed a lot of coincidence for his revenge plan to work...besides Nucky surviving various attacks, how did he know that Nucky would get him out of jail? 

 

I don't think Tommy was ever really plotting revenge. He was seeking Nucky out as this figure who he remembers being spoken of when he was really little. He only decided to kill him in that final moment.

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Wow.....the end of a series....

 

1. Narcisse died! - Hooray!  It was all I asked from the series finale, so as soon as that happened I was at least 80% happy with the ending.  I wish it could have been a little more painful, but I love that he got killed while spouting off his usual nonsensical condescending paternalistic ramblings.  "I always like to think of Ecclesiastics in time such as these....blah blah blah blah blah........" boom!

 

2. Gillian - I'm glad they didn't get entirely too gory in showing her night with the commodore (and why was he called that, was he in the navy, an early member of the Lionel Richie group?).  But it was still just so heartbreaking, she was so trusting, so innocent.  She should have run, but for the first time she decided to trust.  And then whatever they did to her in that sanatorium, it really made me feel less sorry for Nucky.

 

3. Tommy - I guess she was somehow communicating with him while she was in the home.  When he tore up the $100 bill, and pretty much indicated that he gave away the $2000 it seemed really strange.  

 

4. Capone - I'm again impressed with the historical details, they even had him cover up his scar with makeup which he did in real life.  The conversation between him and his son had me all sorts of verklempt.  I know he is a crazy SOB, but that was such a sweet conversation between the two of them.  It reminded me of the time when his son was so young and he just scared the little boy to tears....and then he felt so bad he just hugged him.  It was just so sweet.

 

5. Margaret - for the first time in a long time she didn't annoy me.  She isn't my favorite character, but she impressed me in shorting the Mayflower stock. 

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As for Nucky's death, I expected it and I don't think it came out of nowhere.  If the show is heading, in flashbacks, to the figurative death of Nucky it makes sense to mirror it with the literal death of Nucky.  I think that is why so many people figured the teen may be Tommy.  There had to be a comeuppance and it had to reflect the damage he had done. 

 

If the series had happened in a vacuum I wouldn't have been surprised by his death.  But most of the deaths of historical figures have been accurate.  Massaria and Maranzano died the same way they did in history.  Al Capone goes down for tax evasion.  Lucky really has a droopy eye (I think from a beating he took).  I had just thought that they would end up having Nucky go to jail for tax evasion, but I'm not complaining, I just think they really surprised me in an interesting way because all of the other character deaths (if they were historical figures) were pretty accurate, Nucky's was the only one I can remember that wasn't

 

Tommy needed a lot of coincidence for his revenge plan to work...besides Nucky surviving various attacks, how did he know that Nucky would get him out of jail? 

 

 

I don't think Tommy was ever really plotting revenge. He was seeking Nucky out as this figure who he remembers being spoken of when he was really little. He only decided to kill him in that final momen.

 

He said something about how his grandmother talked about Nucky all the time, and he couldn't tell if she loved or hated him.  Maybe he took on this job with Nucky to see if he was a man that he should love or a man he should hate.  Nucky pushed him away even when he had done nothing wrong.  Even if Nucky pushed him away just because he reminded him of himself Tommy wouldn't have known that, he would only know that he had been cast off for some unknown reason.  And then when he is crying out for help, Nucky doesn't offer anything besides money.  I mean, its hard to fault Nucky for any of that because he had no idea it was Tommy and he had gone out of his way to be helpful in that he gave him $2000, and then $100.  $2100 is a lot of money right now, and I can only imagine how much it was back in those days.  But, I think to Tommy all he saw was a man that pushes people aside and tries to fix everything with money and decided that Nucky was not a person that deserved love.

 

 

Hm, I didn't think the Bacardi contract was on the table when Luciano said "everything"- would they even know about it?  Although given the turmoil in Cuba, it might actually be completely worthless anyway at this point. 

 

 

It would make sense that Lansky ended up with Nucky's Cuba holdings.  I know historically Lansky lost a lot of money when Castro took over Cuba, because he had a lot of money tied up in the casinos down there.  

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It (Nucky) really all made sense when he said about when he was a bell buoy and he was given a nickle, he wanted a dime and when he was given a dime he wanted a quarter.  He always wanted more.  I thought the opening with him swimming and the buoy bell ringing would also be the ending, especially when he was talking to Eli about swimming further than he had dared before. 

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