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All Episodes Talk: Booze, Broads, and Buscemi

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I so wish they would just spin off the Chicago part of this. For me, my interest in anything concerned with Nucky ended when Richard got off the train in Wisconsin. I'm still fascinated by Van Alden though.

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I was so heartbroken with Richard's end...I'll be in for the last season but I'm glad it's the last one.  I think they may have gotten as far as they could.

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I agree the show lost a lot when Richard died. I've been indifferent to Nucky and most of the characters for awhile now. It's the right decision, and I will tune in to see how my remaining favourite characters fare.

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I think it's time for it to go.  Someone on TWoP said that they killed off all their emotionally engaging characters, and I agree.  Once Harrow bit the dust, I knew I was only going to tune into season 5 out of obligation.  Sad.

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With Richard's death and the tragic mess that Chalkie is in, the time has come for BE to fade to black. Devoted fans like me are losing heart and no amount of Van Alden can save it. I'll definitely stay for the fifth season simply because I'm intrigued by the Rothstein/Margaret plot line (Nucky's face whenever he finds out about that will be priceless). The main character (Nucky) ceased to be interesting or engaging 2 seasons ago.

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Yes, Richard Harrow was the last truly decent character . I'll stick with it to see if Gillian somehow gets out of prison and tries again to regain custody of Tommy.

And Al Capone should figure heavily in the last season, since he's now running the Chicago business.

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I think another one of their mistakes was scattering the characters.  Van Alden and the Chicago gang are in, well, Chicago, Rothstein, Luciano, etc. are in New York and now so is Margaret, Richard was in Wisconsin for a while, Nucky and Chalky are in Atlantic City, the newer characters no one cares about are in Tampa...it got to be too much, and certain sets of characters could no longer interact with each other, or only interacted every great once in a while.  IMO, it sucked some of the life from the show.

 

I'll stick with it to see if Gillian somehow gets out of prison and tries again to regain custody of Tommy.

I wonder what will become of Gillian.  Something tells me she might off herself in prison, but that's just my speculation.  She's a horrid human being, but I can't help but feel sorry for all the shit she's been through.  You get the feeling that if she had been loved and nurtured as a child, she would have grown up to be a decent person.  She's one of the saddest television characters ever, when you think about it.

Edited by Billina

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Amen to what you all said...too scattered, Chalky in a mess, Richard gone. How could they expect us to stay tuned to a show anchored by what is (now) an emotionally barren, robotic Nucky?

While Richard's death was the last straw, I think -- with the benefit of hindsight -- the show started to go off course the moment Margaret signed Nucky's rights to that property over to the church in her muddled attempt to appease the heavens for her daughter's sake.  That was very, VERY unlike the practical Margaret we came to know. It also broke up the Power Couple of Margaret and Nucky that was facinating to watch, since they complimented each other so well.  After that, it was only Richard and Chalky to root for, and, well....we know how that turned out.

Edited by A Boston Gal
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A place to discuss particular episodes, arcs and moments from the show's run. Please remember this isn't a complete catch-all topic -- check out the forum for character topics and other places for show-related talk.

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I stopped caring about the show when Margaret left and they killed Jimmy.  Killing Richard was the last nail in the coffin (no pun intended).  I agree with the person who said they got too many people involved.  I understand Capone was a big deal and that the prohibition was nationwide, but the show is called Boardwalk Empire, not "Gangsters Everywhere".  The show was so great in the beginning because we attributed to get invested with this handful of complex characters in Prohibition Era Atlantic City.  I cared about Margaret and her family.  I was intrigued by the sibling relationship of Nucky and Eli.  I was curious about why Eddie was so devoted to an employer that treated him so poorly.  I was disgusted, but creepily drawn into, by the Gillian-jimmy-tommy-and lesbian wife family dynamic.

 

Now, just don't care. Pretty much every character I gave two shits about are dead.  The writers got lazy and instead of writing a good story, fell back on killing everyone and/or breaking the record for the amount of tits-and-ass they could show per episode.  They lost that game to Game of Thrones, anyway.  The. Only fitting ending, imho, would be for Margaret to somehow take all of Nuck's money and  become the manager of the Ritz, as a final F-U to the world of Atlantic City.

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I've changed the topic to being about the past seasons because we will have one more season left.

 

Please use this place to discuss particular episodes, arcs and moments from the show's earlier seasons. Please remember this isn't a complete catch-all topic -- check out the forum for character topics and other places for show-related talk.

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For me, I think this show went into the toilet when they not only killed off Jimmy but Angela too.  It felt like the writers just didn't know what to do with the characters so they killed them off (lazy storytelling IMO).  When season three began, I felt this gaping hole in the story, like something was missing; like the show never recovered.  I think they tried with Gyp, but he was such an over the top cartoon character.  I also think the writers didn't know what to do with either Gillian or Richard, shit they should have just had them run off together, it would have made just as much sense as what happened.  

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I have to agree with those who feel the show never really quite recovered after Jimmy's death. It could have, it wasn't impossible by any means, but for me personally, I feel that seasons 1 and 2 of this show were the best by far. Season 3 worked for me at various points but it ultimately felt like there were a lot of missed opportunities to say nothing about perplexing character scenes and motivation.

I still don't understand why we had to watch Margaret and that doctor, I don't think Emily getting polio added anything to the story, indeed we hardly see her and spend more time with Teddy; Emily's polio in retrospect seems like a cheap way to gain instant sympathy for Margaret and her choices. They also didn't really need to make her give that land away.

Gyp Rosetti simply did not work I don't care if they gave that guy an Emmy. Agreed that he was an over the top cartoon of a character who sometimes made it a chore for me to keep my eyes and ears open. He was a pointless horror show and I am not uptight when it comes to violence. (Never had an issue with the Sopranos on that score.)

Gillian's brothel storyline could have been a lot more interesting too but it was mainly used to fulfill HBO's T&A quota rather than to tell interesting stories. Deadwood was a great example of a show that knew how to use brothel life to give great insight into its characters even characters like Alma who who didn't necessarily frequent those sorts of places.

Chalky IMO was the strongest part about the fourth season but I even find, myself feeling disappointed with choices they sometimes make for his character. The failed hit on Narcisse in particular was hard to swallow because Chalky is smarter than that from what we've seen. I also think they understand the strength of scenes with Chalky and his family but then they only give us a few of them, meanwhile we have to put up with things like Gillian going through heroin withdrawal, Eli's son adjusting to life at college, Nucky slapping around some woman in Florida and him getting slapped in return or vice versa, Margaret feeling guilty about something, too much of Billie Kent, etc.

The other problem to me is that the show has lost its best fictional characters. Jimmy, Owen, Richard, and Angela were all tough losses that the show couldn't quite fill IMO. The best of the remaining fictional characters are the Van Aldens, Chalky, and Gillian, and Gillian is so far outside of the story at this point it's hard to iimagine how they'll go about reintroducing her if they plan on doing so. Nucky is technically a fictional character but I'll be surprised if his end isn't all that similar to the real life Enoch Johnson.

We more or less know what will happen with characters like Capone, Luciano, Rothstein, Lansky, and Masseria so that's another reason I think it's important to keep the fictional characters as compelling as the the historical ones since that's often where we end up getting the surprises.

Edited by Avaleigh
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I'm not sure if this is true or not, but after the dismal season 4 ending, I originally heard that the show would go on for 2 more seasons and then suddenly it was one.  I wonder if all the anger on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr made the show runners think that maybe folks might skip 2 more seasons and figured they'd better end the thing.  

 

I hated, hated, hated the end of season 4 and you know what I mean when I say that, I mean the last shot; I was like, "okay show, WTF" talk about lazy, stupid writing.  When I read better fanfic than what I see on the screen, you know there's a problem.

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So true about the show going off the rails with Margaret's action. I loved her and Nucky together. I loved the way she came up to him in the club. I found her character interesting. I hated her becoming that weird prissy person, especially after she helped him get his papers.

Hated everything about Gyo.

I would have preferred Gillian to have a real redemption.

Who is there now to root for?

I'll be watching for the costumes, and for the music, both of which are beyond fab.

So true about the show going off the rails with Margaret's action. I loved her and Nucky together. I loved the way she came up to him in the club. I found her character interesting. I hated her becoming that weird prissy person, especially after she helped him get his papers.

Hated everything about Gyo.

I would have preferred Gillian to have a real redemption.

Who is there now to root for?

I'll be watching for the costumes, and for the music, both of which are beyond fab.

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I enjoy Gillian's presence on the show, as Gretchen Mol is fantastic, and also the character serves as a constant reminder of what a piece of shit our 'hero'  Nucky Thompson really is. 

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When season three began, I felt this gaping hole in the story, like something was missing; like the show never recovered.  I think they tried with Gyp, but he was such an over the top cartoon character.   

 

AGREED. I read somewhere that Jimmy wasn't supposed to be killed off as a character but the director and creator hated working with Michael Pitt so much that they wrote Jimmy off the series once and for all. And I hated Gyp Rossetti too. That character was so over the top and so obnoxious that I practically cringed every time he was on screen (and I love Bobby Cannavale!). Another contender for the character I hated most and wanted to see none of was Dr. Narcisse. YAWN.

 

I enjoy Gillian's presence on the show, as Gretchen Mol is fantastic, and also the character serves as a constant reminder of what a piece of shit our 'hero'  Nucky Thompson really is. 

 

Yes. A lot of people hate on Gillian but think about it--she was constantly raped as a young girl, basically because Nucky brought her to the Commodore for him to do what he pleased with her. She lost her son (also at the hands of Nucky) and lost her grandson. She did horrible things too, but what a broken person. She didn't deserve her lot in life at all.

 

My favorite character left is Van Alden (it was always Gillian, Van Alden, Jimmy and Richard for me) and I can't wait to see what Michael Shannon does with the role. He's kind of hilarious in an unintentional way.

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I read somewhere that Jimmy wasn't supposed to be killed off as a character but the director and creator hated working with Michael Pitt so much that they wrote Jimmy off the series once and for all.

 

This is true. I know someone who worked on the set with Pitt and said he was a real asshole to work with.

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This is true. I know someone who worked on the set with Pitt and said he was a real asshole to work with.

 

If that's true then they cut off their nose to spite their face.  The show sucked after Jimmy was killed.  Damn, most folks are able to work with those they don't like and do it ever day, for years. 

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From what I've read, he was more than an asshole, but flat out impossible. Showing up drunk, not knowing lines, ruining takes, wasting money by making them stay over for hours, etc. So yeah, I'd have fired his ass too. And personally, I didn't like Jimmy, I don't like Michael Pitt as an actor, and I didn't shed a tear as he died. I was only worried about how Richard would be affected when he was killed off the show.

Edited by Mindy McIndy
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Mindy, I was just about to expand on my comment, so thanks for clarifying. What you read is 100% right on, especially re: wasting production's time & money due to his bad behavior. His co-stars weren't very happy about Pitt wasting their time either.

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Yeah. There's also video of him accepting an award saying something like, "this sucks, I wish I had a cigarette and I wish I were drunk right now." Um.. OKAY.

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Yeah. There's also video of him accepting an award saying something like, "this sucks, I wish I had a cigarette and I wish I were drunk right now." Um.. OKAY.

Some people have an uncanny ability to yank defeat from the jaws of victory

 

Re: Chalky - I know he is going to have a sad, pathetic end, but I wish it weren't so

 

Re: Harrow - I miss him, I really wish they didn't have to kill him off.  I still think that was one of the most beautifully haunting death scenes I've ever seen

 

Re: Margaret - she annoys me, and I keep hoping she somehow gets caught in a gun fight or something

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Yeah. There's also video of him accepting an award saying something like, "this sucks, I wish I had a cigarette and I wish I were drunk right now." Um.. OKAY.

If it's the clip I saw, he wasn't accepting an award, it was taken backstage when they were all doing press after the SAG's I think.  One of the little kids said something like, "Michael, you always want a cigarette," which I thought was funny.

 

Asshole or not, the show took a nosedive when Jimmy died.

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Asshole or not, the show took a nosedive when Jimmy died.

 

Season 3 was the best season by far with the ferocious Gyp Rosetti, IMO. 

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Season 3 was the best season by far with the ferocious Gyp Rosetti, IMO. 

 

To me Gyp was nothing more than a live action cartoon, a parody of a gangster more than a character.  I mean I just KNEW that he'd be henpecked at home and if I figured that out by episode two, then to me, the character is boring.  The best part of season 3 was Richard Storming The Castle at the end.

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If it's the clip I saw, he wasn't accepting an award, it was taken backstage when they were all doing press after the SAG's I think.  One of the little kids said something like, "Michael, you always want a cigarette," which I thought was funny.

 

Asshole or not, the show took a nosedive when Jimmy died.

 

Yeah! That was it. Thanks for the correction. I thought he was accepting an award though it's been a while since I saw it. And that kid was hilarious.

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The best part of season 3 was Richard Storming The Castle at the end.

 

 

I agree.

 

Richard was the only reason I continued to watch.  Now I no longer have a reason.

Edited by TigerLynx

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I have to agree with those who complain about Gyp. The character was too over the top and there was zero nuance to him. It was basically, "Oh, here comes Gyp. Watch him as he becomes offended by whatever. Watch him as he gets ridiculously violent as a result."

I stopped watching the series after that season (so news about Richard was surprising), but I'm not upset about the show coming to an end. It felt like a bait and switch by the beginning of season three. The show started off with these fictional characters (or characters inspired by real people, see: Nucky) and then the show runners got themselves too involved with the real life gangsters. Because of that, they spread themselves too thin concerning themselves with the lives of these historical gangsters to the detriment of the fictional characters they'd created.

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What happen to the individual episode threads? Was I seeing things?

 

There hasn't been individual episode topics since we created this forum, but we will start the episode topics for S5 soon enough. 

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I've been catching up on this show. I watched seasons 1 and 2, but then kind of lost interest in season 3 and never got back into it. Something about it was missing the mark, and I never understood that. It had all the right ingredients to be another awesome HBO show, and it is pretty good and I've enjoyed it. But somehow it just (barely) missed the mark. For me it seemed to move at a kind of "leisurely" pace and I found it hard to stay engaged. That sounds really ludicrous, given all the violence, sex, and duplicitous behavior by almost every character, but that's the only way I can describe it.

 

I've watched through season 3, and I'm into season 4. What's interesting is that it holds my attention more when I'm able to watch a block of episodes at a time rather than just one per week. 

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I'd read the same about Michael Pitt, and believe all of it, but damn did he do an amazing job with that character, drunk or not!

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In hindsight, I wonder if the show might have been better off if they'd recast Jimmy instead of killing him off. They still could have used the same party line that Pitt wanted to pursue other opportunities. I'm someone who loved season 1, liked season 2 okay, got increasingly bored in season 3, and tuned out after that. Jimmy was envisioned as a character that bridged several storylines and you could tell they struggled to write around his absence.

Edited by SilverShadow
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Sounds good to me, Silver Shadow. Anything that would have provided alternate storylines to Margaret signing over Nucky's land, thus starting the tortuous downward spiral of her character's intelligence, would've been a welcome relief.

Edited by A Boston Gal
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We can think that now that we've seen what followed Jimmy's death, but I for one who have had screamed bloody murder at the time if they had recast Jimmy :-)  Drunk or not, Pitt was an amazingly endearing tortured soul and had incredible chemistry with ANYONE he shared the screen with, and I'm sure I would have been disappointed with any replacement.

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I wouldn't have liked Jimmy being recast, either.  I don't think it would have worked, since Michael Pitt, though a difficult pain in the ass, played the hell out of Jimmy.  I was 100% engaged with every single one of his scenes.  He just has that way about him.

 

However, I don't think the show was beyond hope with Jimmy's death.  They could have kept Angela and Richard alive a bit longer, and they could have fleshed out Gillian and Margaret's stories, but for some reason they thought killing everyone off was the way to go.  I will never understand that.  They had other characters/actors who were just as strong as Jimmy/Michael Pitt, but they said "screw it" and shot most of them in the head.  Maybe that's more true to life, considering that this was a show about Prohibition era gangsters, but still.  A little life could have been pumped into this show around season three, they just didn't want to do that.  It was disappointing.

Edited by Billina
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I didn’t see this show while is aired but just finished a binge watch on the advice of a friend.  I really enjoyed it.  I’m not familiar with the history of prohibition or the depression, so I can’t comment as to the realness of the era or the characters, but I thought the show was very well cast.  I’ve heard some say Buscemi was miscast, but I didn’t think so.  Not knowing a thing about the character he was based on, I thought he was perfect in the role he was meant to portray. 

I have to say, I thought the ending was a bit lame.  I did expect Nucky to die, but I also expected it to be self inflicted.  How does Tommy even know who he was?  I guess in the sense of karmic justice it makes sense, but it terms of realism, it is hard to buy. 

In reading through all these threads, I can see the obvious faults of the series, but I think watching episodes back to back is different than watching from week to week and season to season.  What I did appreciate was that pretty much none of the main characters got a happy ending, because none of them deserved it, even the ones I liked.  Real life is like that, we are all a mix of bad and good, and karma has its way with each of us. 

Now, can someone (if anyone still reads this forum) explain to me why Gillian would become a mindless mess after getting a hysterectomy?  Removing a uterus is a far cry from a lobotomy.   

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On ‎7‎/‎15‎/‎2018 at 12:10 AM, Fable said:

Now, can someone (if anyone still reads this forum) explain to me why Gillian would become a mindless mess after getting a hysterectomy?  Removing a uterus is a far cry from a lobotomy. 

She wasn't really a mindless mess-- she was trying to play harmless so Nucky would get her out of the sanitarium. 

As far as I'm concerned, it's no coincidence that Tommy Darmody didn't kill Nucky until after he'd confirmed he would not "fix it"/help Gillian get out. 

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