The second season of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire ended with the Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi) cleaning house, Godfather style. He made killing a more personal task, whole-heartedly embracing the cold side of his inner gangster. We bid farewell to old favorites, most notably Jimmy Darmody (Michael Pitt). While other characters, such as Agent Nelson Van Alden (Michael Shannon), were for forced to make life-changing decisions.
Following last week’s premiere of Sons of Anarchy, Boardwalk Empire Season 3 premieres this Sunday as one of the top returning gritty dramas of the Fall TV season. The pacing of the series has ostensibly changed. Now that Nucky has turned full gangster, things are different in Atlantic City. Showrunner Terence Winter is giving viewers more action this season, without sacrificing the brilliant dialogue that makes Boardwalk Empire so compelling to watch.
Without giving away too many spoilers, here are 10 Focus Points to watch out for in the Season 3 premiere, “Resolution”.
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- The opening 10 minutes. Phew. Suffice to say, gangsters will be gangsters.
- The season kicks off at the turn of the New Year. It’s a time jump from where we ended last season, but more importantly it’s a symbolic close to old ways and a start to a very new direction for several characters.
- Bobby Cannavale appears as Gyp Rosetti. He’s a ruthless hot head representing Sicily. The Sicilian gangster will stand at odds with some of Nucky’s bootlegging decisions.
- Manny Horvitz (William Forsythe) and Mr. Doyle (Paul Sparks) are now working with Nucky. Their old ties to Jimmy have been forgiven and forgotten.
- Richard Harrow (Jack Huston) has become a surrogate father to Tommy Darmody (Brady Noon / Connor Noon). Richard still lives in the past, reminding Tommy of his father and mother. However, Gillian Darmody (Gretchen Mol) wants Tommy to look to the future, forget about his mother and call her “momma.” Richard now serves as “caretaker” for Gillian’s house and the Artemis Club, which she runs. Pay close attention to who Gillian makes a check out to in her first scene.
- Al Capone (Stephen Graham) still has a problem with authority. He makes a New Years that he’s bound to break. A civil war may be brewing in Chicago this season between Chicago’s north and south side.
- Feminism rises further to the forefront this season through a female pilot named Carrie Duncan. The pilot is attempting to fly solo across America. Through her flight, we’ll see the sexist ideals of the men on the Boardwalk, juxtaposed with the seeds of women’s liberation. This will be shown through Margaret Schroeder (Kelly Macdonald). She’s turned Nucky into an unwilling philanthropist after signing over his land deed at the end of last season. You’ll also see how different husbands treat their wives throughout the premiere.
- There’s some dark humor at the hospital where Emily was treated for polio. There’s some blood symbolism mixed with sexism.
- Now that Agent Nelson Van Alden is no longer an agent, he’s taken up a new job in Chicago and a new identity. It’s a little sad when you first see him. He now goes by George Mueller. I won’t giveaway the job, but someone does call him “a real lummox.” Now that he’s in Chicago, he’s hovering around Capone’s hemisphere. He’s still a straight-laced stiff, but financial issues may create some interesting choices for the ex-cop.
- Nucky is definitely more sinister this season. However, he’s also publically embraced his kingpin label. Nucky is compared to King Tut, a moniker he happily accept. You’ll see people digress into greedy animals at his New Year’s party
- Mr. Rothstein (Michael Stuhlbarg) gets a new opportunity that may bode well for business, but may raise the body count.
Don’t expect the body count to drop this season. Jimmy may be out of the way, but on the Boardwalk – as well as in Chicago and New York – territory wars don’t stop.
Boardwalk Empire Season 3 premieres Sunday, Sept 16 at 9PM E/P on HBO.