Film & TV

Boardwalk Empire: Season 4 Review

Warning! Spoilers follow. 


Season three of Boardwalk Empire ended with the destruction of Nucky’s life as he knew it. The bomb in the club, Margaret (well Peggy) leaving him and his bootlegging operations taking a huge hit all because of Gyp Rosetti (Bobby Cannavale).

Whilst season three saw Nucky (Golden Globe winner Steve Buscemi) almost meet his end, this season focused on him rebuilding what he once had. After forging a truce with Masseria (Ivo Nandi), Nucky turns his head to Florida to open up a deal there. Whilst the change of scenery was a well earned break from the boardwalk of Atlantic City, most of the scenes in Florida could only be seen by the odd palm tree through a window or the constant thunder storm that they seemed to have.

Eli, Nucky’s brother, proved to be a thorn in Nucky’s side. Faced with the difficult decision of letting himself go to jail or set his brother up, Eli being Eli chose to set Nucky up…again. This backfired when it turns out Nucky knew all about the set-up all along which resulted with a face off between the two. After Nucky chose not to kill Eli – Eli returned home to find Agent Knox, the man who threatened him with the difficult decision, in his house. Knox meets his demise as he is brutally killed in Eli’s living room with Eli’s bare hands.

BWE-4.12-Nucky-gunNucky and Eli face off

However, the focus wasn’t just on the Thompson brothers. Chalky White (Michael K. WIliams) took the lead with tensions growing as a new face arrived on the boardwalk: Dr Valentin Narcisse (underrated Golden Globe winner Jeffrey Wright). Narcisse being a heroin peddling, self-righteous black supremacist (that you don’t hear everyday). Things aren’t too bad until Narcisse starts shifting drugs on Chalky’s territory. Narcisse has a bit more leverage than Chalky though, forcing Chalky to run away and take refuge with some friends of his. Just when Chalky thinks he has one over on Narcisse, things don’t quite go to plan.

Chalky arrives to the meeting w/ Narcisse, who has MaybelleNarcisse and Chalky sit down to ‘talk’

It’s at this point we see the fate of everybody’s favourite marksman, Richard Harrow (award winner Jack Huston), become sealed. During a final meet between Narcisse and Chalky, Harrow’s always steady aim seems to fail him ending with the shooting of Chalky’s daughter instead of Narcisse. Harrow manages to escape but not before taking a shot to the stomach. A fitting end for what has been an unlikely hero for Tommy Darmody. Whilst this moment has filled viewers with grief and sadness, it is consoling to know that he is finally at peace with his family.

richard-harrow-gets-married-season-4Harrow is finally at peace

With Harrow’s story being tied closely to Gillian’s, we saw what came to be the end of her run. This in turn signalled the end of what was a constant fight for her Grandson, Tommy. Whilst not necessarily gone from the world of boardwalk, it is unlikely that she will make any more appearances after confessing murder to an undercover Pinkerton. We always knew there was something off about Roy Phillips’ understanding nature when it came to Gillian’s drug habit which make us think that he was just after something. It turns out he was, except not quite what we expected. Despite him stabbing her in the back after she placed all of her trust in him, it goes to say something that after everything she was ‘a courageous woman’ to him.

After all of this Michael Shannon’s Van Alden take’s the stage as the reluctant muscle for Stephen Graham’s brilliant portrayal of gangster legend Al Capone. Van Alden begins as a quiet and timid man, working as a florist just trying to get by and feed his family but after running into Capone he’s no longer just a florist. He becomes a man fed up with his life trying hard to contain his anger and dissatisfaction. He goes from timid florist to a trusted man of Capone’s with a serious violent streak in him, setting Van Alden up for what could be a fantastic fifth season.

de1a37feea1c4f1ecf6010b4bbb43ac4 Graham (left) and Shannon (right) as Capone and Van Alden

Season four of Boardwalk Empire came to entertain us with the usual deceit, backstabbing and violence that we have all came to expect. The introduction of new characters and farewells to some that we already knew and loved made for an exciting season. Enough loose ends have been tied up to give us closure, but the beginnings of many more set the show up for what could be a brilliant final season.

Boardwalk Score

What did you think to the fourth season of Boardwalk Empire? Looking forward to the final season? Let us know in the comments section below


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  • I don’t get how your opinion is fact but if that’s what you think then by all means go ahead and think it. I wasn’t trying to go out of my way to disprove anyone. I just wanted to know why you don’t like Shannon. It’s unfair of you to not consider other people’s opinions or even take the time to listen to them.

  • Look, Lewis, everyone is entitled to an opinion but you are being brash. I can not believe you were being so arrogant and assertive with your opinion which is simply based on an actor’s jaw

  • I don’t care if you agree with me, myself and everyone else knows I am right. Just because you ‘wrote’ the article doesn’t mean you can go out of your way to disprove my factual opinion

    • Can you not see that everyone else is disagreeing with you? He did write the article, I know this because it was submitted through myself. And he isn’t trying to disprove anything, he, like everyone else, is just trying to point out how brash you are being

  • Thank you for providing an actual explanation rather than just insisting that you are right. Although I don’t agree with you, you are entitled to think what you want and if those are the reasons you do not like Shannon then fair enough.

  • You know what. Shannon is crap because of his delivery, his voice and tone is irritating and appalling and his jaw is annoying. That’s why he is a bad actor

  • But you just said it did. So how come you’ve just changed your mind. Why is Shannon such a bad actor then? Please, tell me.

  • Kieran, my opinion counts as does the person who wrote the article but none of yours are valid. Ollie, I will do as I please. Charlie, why should I debate when I am right?

  • Dude! What the hell is your problem? In today’s world you can’t go around set in your ways, you have to consider others

  • If our opinions count for nothing, then surely yours doesn’t either if it’s just an opinion. With the way the story has gone, O’banion would have died much sooner and Capone would also be dead.

    • Wow! Really? I’m sorry but that is below the belt. I would usually avoid causing offence but “your opinion” consists of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D being an amazing show with the hollowest character being the strongest. When you have 3 different people opposing your opinion you don’t just disregard it, you debate it

  • However I have seen Man of Steel and Michael Shannon gave a superb performance as Zod. So in reply to your comment on Michael Shannon being a bad actor I disagree based on his role in the Superman flick

    • Seriously? I admit I have only watched three episodes of this show so my opinion may not be as weighted as many others but from what I saw Michael Shannon was one of the strongest actors in this show. And, from what I have been told, his character too becomes one of the strongest.