The Playlist

Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 4, Episode 8 ‘The Old Ship Of Zion’

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • October 27, 2013 10:19 PM
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  • 7 Comments
Boardwalk Empire, Season 4
Yes, “Boardwalk Empire” takes a long time to coalesce, but we’ll admit, when its early chess piece moves begin to fall into place, and you can see the forest for the trees on the board, boy does it get good. In tonight’s absorbing episode, Nucky Thompson’s (Steve Buscemi) latest booze shipment from Florida arrives with some unexpected cargo. It’s Sally Wheet (Patricia Arquette), Nucky’s lady in the Sunshine State who is overseeing the business. She's the mercurial firecracker who got into a fistfight with Nuck and then made love to him in the season's sixth episode, “North Star.” Arriving unannounced, she throws Nucky for a bit of a loop. And what’s more, she’s hard to pin down and seems to be in no mood to pick up where Nucky and her last left off. In fact, Atlantic City underling gangster Mickey Doyle (Paul Sparks) appears to be taking a shine to her, and she doesn’t seem to mind the attention. Nucky doesn’t really know where he stands and he doesn’t like it. Several threads simmering all season come to a boil tonight.

Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 4, Episode 7 ‘William Wilson’

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • October 21, 2013 10:35 AM
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  • 0 Comments
There are traitors in our midst and they are myriad. Named after the Edgar Allen Poe poem that appears in William Thompson’s (Ben Rosenfield) college lecture, “Boardwalk Empire” episode “William Wilson” centers thematically on duplicity, doppelgangers, and those who are not what they appear to be.

Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 4, Episode 6 'North Star'

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • October 14, 2013 10:01 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Thematically, we’re following a “North Star” considering guiding lights reunite several estranged members of the “Boardwalk Empire” cast, even if it's a bit of a mid-season episode lull. Perhaps the writers had to give audiences a reprieve after the sad suicide of Eddie Kessler last episode. “North Star” takes Nucky (Steve Buscemi) back to Florida to finish his land deals with Bill McCoy (Pearce Bunting) from earlier in the season and meeting him in the Sunshine State are his new partners Meyer Lansky (Anatol Yusef) and Charles “Lucky” Luciano (Vincent Piazza). And so new alliances are formed, Nucky, McCoy and the new Italian man in Tampa, Vincenzo Petrucelli (Vincenzo Amato). But old alliances also crumble. Luciano gets spooked by Petrucelli as he has ties to his boss Joe Masseria (Ivo Nandi). If Joe were to find out that Luciano was making side deals on his own there would be hell to pay.

Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 4, Episode 5 'Erlkonig'

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • October 7, 2013 12:02 PM
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  • 7 Comments
"Boardwalk Empire" either canters or gallops, there's usually no in between trot, but we suppose we should accept it and be happy that things are moving forward at a nice gait (though pacing would be nice). The fifth episode of the fourth season, the German word "Erlkönig"—named after a thematic poem read during the episode—was about as explosive as it gets for a mid-season entry. Two characters died, one recently introduced and brimming with promise, the other a longtime character 'Boardwalk' fans recently grew to have tremendous affection for. But the episode could have easily been titled "Loyalty" considering how heavy the theme (and lack thereof it) hung over the proceedings.

Podcast: The Playlist Talks 'Breaking Bad' Finale & Where The Medium Of Television Is Heading

  • By Erik McClanahan
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  • October 1, 2013 4:08 PM
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  • 9 Comments
On this latest episode, host Erik McClanahan is joined by Editor-In-Chief Rodrigo Perez, Managing Editor Kevin Jagernauth, our British correspondent Oliver Lyttelton, and later in the show by writer Cory Everett to talk about the recent "Breaking Bad" finale. But since we've already written about the episode, we try to dig deeper and do more than just recap the finale. Throughout the chat we spin off into other, grander topics involving television as well. How is the medium changing with streaming, binge watching and recaps on every site? Even though most people agree this is a golden age of television, there's still plenty of formulaic material and tired tropes found in even the best shows, "Breaking Bad" included. Warning, SPOILERS abound in this podcast so don't listen unless you've already seen the finale or don't care.

Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 4, Episode 4 ‘All In’

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • September 30, 2013 12:29 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Boardwalk Empire, Season 4
It’s difficult (futile?) to write a “Boardwalk Empire” in the face of the “Breaking Bad” finale, one of the most talked-about, pored-over and beloved shows in recent TV memory. And ironically, “Boardwalk Empire” had its best episode this season so far last night. While a bulk of the show was still chess-piece writing, it felt more charged and alive than usual, especially the unexpected and magnetic face off between Atlantic City's Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi) and the Big Apple's Arnold Rothstein (Michael Stuhlbarg).

Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 4, Episode 3, 'Acres of Diamonds'

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • September 23, 2013 12:03 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Boardwalk Empire, Season 4
Another day, another chess piece episode of "Boardwalk Empire," a writing epidemic/phenomenon endemic to long form television of late and arguably one that affected last night's penultimate episode of "Breaking Bad" as well. A bridge building type of narrative, the worst example of "chess piece" writing is an episode wherein almost nothing really happens (all moves are lateral and almost never forward) and instead the seeds are sown for action down the road. Sure, something always happens, but the worst offenders are overt about the fact that every dramatic event that took place is simply in service for a bigger narrative beat down line -- episodes turn into a long lead ramp to the main event which renders middle episodes a type of slow-moving stasis.

'Breaking Bad,' 'House Of Cards' & 'Behind The Candelabra' Among Big Emmy Winners

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 23, 2013 8:56 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Last night TV's finest -- which these days tends to include some of movie's finest too -- gathered for the Emmy Awards, while the the rest of us stayed glued to "Breaking Bad" and to some extent, the series finale of "Dexter." Either way, both options were better than that dubstep dance routine to "Breaking Bad" on the awards show. And once the jokes were over, and tributes were finished, some statues were handed out honoring some fine folks.

Recap: ‘Boardwalk Empire,’ Season 4, Episode 2, ‘Resignation’

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • September 16, 2013 11:02 AM
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  • 6 Comments
The point has been made, “Boardwalk Empire” can be a deliberately paced show, but on tonight's episode “Resignation,” it appears at least one of the fourth season’s key elements is in place. That would be Dr. Valentin Narcisse (Jeffrey Wright), the brewing antagonist, whose striking demeanor and decisive words cut to the core of every character. Narcisse, at the very least, would make a worthy adversary for any character on this show.

Recap: ‘Boardwalk Empire’ Season 4 Opener ‘New York Sour’

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • September 9, 2013 9:50 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Shows that exist on a single premise—how long can one man’s reign last—can only live on so far. Even Walter White’s saga from chemist to crystal meth kingpin is coming to a close in a few short weeks. But Walt’s rise and transformation from cancer patient to monster was never linear and began as a quiet secret. This path was never supposed to be in the cards for Walter. Fate intervened, it happened and we waited from season to season just how deep he would go and how far his soul would be corrupted. And then he became Heisenberg and there was no turning back. HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” has an entirely different premise built on greed and power with men who started out being greedy and power-hungry.

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