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The Playlist

Recap: ‘Boardwalk Empire’ Season 4 Finale “Farewell Daddy Blues”

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • November 24, 2013 9:58 PM
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  • 21 Comments
Boardwalk Empire, Season 4, Farewell Daddy
“After today I’m not making plans,” Atlantic City kingpin Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi) says on the phone. If only he really knew how true that might be. He’s evidently retiring and telling his Florida business partner and occasional lover Sally Wheat (Patricia Arquette) that after he wraps up loose ends he’s moving down South to Cuba, taking her with him. It’s understandable—the New Jersey mobster’s become hip to the fact that something fishy is going on with his brother Eli (Shea Whigham) and that it probably involves a maybe-not-so-crooked FBI Agent Knox (Brian Geraghty), which can’t be any good.

Writer Terence Winter Says Scorsese’s ‘Wolf Of Wall Street’ Is Like ‘Goodfellas’ For The Seductive Stock Broker Set

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • November 21, 2013 5:05 PM
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  • 2 Comments
The fourth season of HBO’s mob drama “Boardwalk Empire” ends this Sunday. It’s an engrossing conclusion that brings heartbreak, tragedy and left-turn surprises you probably wouldn’t have expected. You’ll have to tune in Sunday night for more, but trust us when we say the underrated show is doing some of its best work this season and it’s must-watch TV in general, with one of the best casts on television right now (Steve Buscemi, Michael Shannon, Jeffrey Wright, Michael K. Williams, Kelly McDonald, Shea Whigham, Michael Stuhlbarg and many, many more).

Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire,' Season 4, Episode 11, ‘Havre De Grace’

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • November 17, 2013 10:00 PM
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  • 5 Comments
Boardwalk Empire, Season 4
Out of the gloomy, dark fog, voices and the faint outlines of faces appear. Chalky White (Michael K. Williams) and Daughter Maitland (Margot Robbie) are once again in the backseat of a car. But this time, instead of driving to their would-be demise (as they almost did at the climax of last week’s episode, a harrowing conclusion that saw the injured Chalky escape death by a hair’s breadth), they’re being taken to safety. Though you might not know it from the icy demeanor of their chauffeurs.

Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire,' Season 4, Episode 10, ‘White Horse Pike’

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • November 10, 2013 10:41 PM
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  • 9 Comments
White Horse Pike, Boardwalk Empire
Entertainment Weekly added “Boardwalk Empire” to the lesser half of its “Fall TV Winners & Losers” section in the magazine this week, The Hollywood Reporter griped about the show at the beginning of the season, and, to be totally transparent, this writer did the same. But what’s become incredibly apparent with the 4th season of HBO’s engrossing Atlantic City-based mobsters and bootleggers drama is that, sure, while the show is typically slow to get moving, once the momentum begins to build, the carefully crafted narrative begins to tighten and all the pieces fall into place. Once this occurs, you can get as hooked as Gillian Darmody was to smack. Those without the patience to absorb the full breadth of what has revealed itself to be a terrifically played-out season are poorer for it. So full mea culpas all around.

Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 4, Episode 9 ‘Marriage and Hunting’

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • November 3, 2013 9:45 PM
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  • 9 Comments
Boardwalk Empire, Hunting and Marriage, Season 4
In the blink of an eye, fortunes change. One week you’re up, the next week you’re down. It’s strange to see a seemingly unassailable man like Arnold Rothstein (Michael Stuhlbarg) down on his luck, but that’s exactly where we find the Manhattan gangster in this episode. It’s perhaps a shock just to hear through dialogue that Rothstein’s empire is crumbling, but the writing has been on the wall for a few months now, especially as revealed in “All In,” the episode where the gambler lost his shirt in one of Nucky Thompson’s (Steve Buscemi’s) Atlantic City clubs.

Novelist Dennis Lehane Tapped To Pen Remake Of 'A Prophet'

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • October 29, 2013 1:40 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Well this makes a certain kind of sense: Dennis Lehane, the Boston crime writer whose novels "Gone Baby Gone," "Mystic River," and "Shutter Island" have been successfully adapted into films (and whose sprawling 2012 historical novel "Live by Night" is about to be adapted by Ben Affleck), will now be the one adapting material, as he has been tasked with Americanizing the French crime thriller "A Prophet" for producers Neil H. Moritz and Toby Jaffe (via Variety). The original film was about a Muslim kid who becomes a crime lord in prison. But replacing "Muslim" with "Boston" should be easy enough.

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.

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