Boardwalk Empire: ‘Two Imposters’ Review

With only one episode remaining before the season finale, the show creates one of the most compelling episodes to date. With all the things that happened this episode. I reckon it could have made for an excellent season finale. Last week’s episode we saw Mr. Sleater’s and Margaret’s relationship come to a heartbreaking conclusion. Masseria is informed of the happenings of Nucky’s attempt to move on him by Lucky and Lansky and reacts accordingly. The episode starts off only hours after Nucky’s receival of Masseria’s suprise delivery.

This episode of Boardwalk Empire was a roller coaster ride. There should be nary a complaint of Boardwalk being too slow this episode. Only minutes in and pure unadulterated mayhem ensues. The show begins with us learning of Margaret and the kids departure on a bus out of town. Thank god, I’m sure they wouldn’t want to be here for this one. Nucky seems to have gotten all his bridges burned by Arnold Rothstein and is left to fend for himself.

With no allies in sight, he attempts to hold up in the Ritz anticipating Masseria’s men. He places several guard men throughout his household for protection. Nucky question’s Eddie on his knowledge of Margaret’s affair. He determines that something was going on between the two after her psychotic reaction to “the box” last episode. Nucky usually comes across as a heartless womanizer and not so often, a helpless romantic; but now he has finally gotten a taste of what it feels like to be betrayed by the ones he loves.

Eddie attempts to contact Eli but the phone isn’t working; a sure-fire sign that the shit is about to hit the fan.  Jimmy Darmody once told Nucky “You can’t be half a gangster”.  This theme is something we have been seeing several times throughout the season. Everything comes to a boil and Nucky is left holding the bag in one of the most intense and heart pounding scene of the episode.(Yes, there is more then one) For whatever reasons people seem to dislike Nucky for his character flaws; you have to give him some respect for his ability to hold his own.

The loyalty of Nucky’s men are definitely in question here. Money can’t buy you everything and that certainly shows. On one side we have Nucky who can’t keep a couple of men posted in his home.On the other hand we have  Chalky, who has all his men to resist $25,000 to turn Nucky in; and all out of respect for their boss. The best type of loyalty comes from respect and fear. Nucky gains loyalty through other means but I’m certain he will be changing his stance on the subject sooner rather then later.

Eddie is injured in the shootout and Nucky attempts to seek medical attention for him at the hospital. The hospital head stares at him blankly in fear, Of course, Rosetti already has Masseria’s men waiting at the hospital. More bullets fly and Nucky hightails it out of there with Chalky White as his next destination.

Meanwhile, Gyp Rosetti walks freely among the Ritz. He sure has come a long way. The last time the short tempered character was at the Ritz, he was only a guest, throwing out vicious albeit hilarious insults. Now he owns the place and his putting his feet up in Nucky’s office accordingly. He is at last reunited with the dog he imparted to the Thompsons but doesn’t see the Ritz as a suitable base.

In New York, Lucky Luciano attempts to get cash for heroine from a suspicious buyer. This endeavor doesn’t turn out out good for Lucky. He is warned by his partner Meyer but he goes ahead with the deal anyway. I always liked Lucky’s character but he never really got  a chance to thrive. He’s been under so much pressure and always has to kick up to someone. The deal goes sour with the revelation that the buyers were cops.

Gillian continues to treat Richard like he doesn’t deserve happiness. She warns him to be careful of dreams that  couldn’t possible come true. His deformity has always held him back from happiness. Richard is one of my favorite characters on the show because he has such a pure soul regardless of the things he has done. The essence of his character isn’t tainted. There is always reasoning behind his actions.

Richard has been a notable figure in Tommy’s life and I could definitely see him playing the role of his father. Well ,just about anything would be better then living with Gillian at the brothel. That certainly isn’t the best environment and Richard wants to separate him from it. In a way, Tommy, gives meaning to Richard’s life. They both are looking out for each other now.  Now that he has Julia; he has someone to share his life with. Julia’s ability to look past his ailment shows true character. She sees him for more than what is visible on the surface. I really want things to end well for these two; their relationship tugs on the  heart chords.

The last time Nucky and Chalky White met, Chalky’s  proposal to open a black run club on the Boardwalk was rejected by Nucky. It was hard to tell if Nucky was being selfish or really had too much on his plate at the moment to even give his proposal consideration. After the events unfolded this Episode, it seems like Chalky’s dream will be coming to fruition.

Nucky  is hoping for an army in Chalky’s men but Chalky isn’t a character who easily forgives. Chalky won’t give him his men but he will  give him the opportunity to get the hell out of dodge, while he still has the chance. Nucky owes Chalky big time. He gives Nucky refuge and gets Eddie treatment for his gunshot wound. If you don’t love Eddie then I think you should check if you have a heart. The guy is loyal like a pup. I would be devastated to see his character go. For all the crap Nucky gives him he never complains. He doesn’t get professional medical care but he gets the next best thing; a medical student that was intended to marry Chalky’s daughter.

Eddie goes off into and drunken,feverish, and mostly German speech which I believe eventually inspired Nucky to stay and fight. This scene and similar ones are the reason why I love Boardwalk empire. We are given the chance to examine characters from whole new perspectives; even the servant is a multi dimensional character.

Rosetti establishes a new base of operations at the Artemis Club and Gillian gives in reluctantly. She doesn’t really have much choice. I can see this being the breaking point for her character. She can’t really take much more stress after the death of her son. She is losing control right from underneath her. She finds one of Masseria’s men fornicating in the lounge and she wails on him. She doesn’t have much to call her own. She is pretty much a broken person and despite it being a whore house she will hold on to it. She continues to try to uphold its reputation as a classy joint for her own reasons.

On Nucky’s ride out of town with Chalky, they are stopped by Masseria’s men. Chalky doesn’t give up Nucky but sees that by his actions he is in far too deep to go back now. Him and Nucky are a team now and Nucky is determined to take back what is his. Yet, they aren’t in this fight alone. Eli has made a deal with an unlikely ally…

This penultimate episode will be hard to top. I’m itching with anticipation. What will Richard do with his armory of weapons? All signs are pointing to him going on a bloody vindictive rampage at The Artemis Club. If he were to do this, I couldn’t see him surviving the ordeal unscathed. My only hope is that Gyp comes down in a epic hail of bullets along with him.

Review Score: 10/10 (Masterpiece)

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