December 16, 2013

Boardwalk Empire (Season 4)

Terence Winter, 2013
Any fan of the Boardwalk series by now has come to expect a certain level of consistency. In the first three seasons, you learn a great deal about what happens. Authentic set pieces, comprehensive character structure, period music, short life expectancy. Terence Winter clearly has no problem developing a character and ending his or her life suddenly. It's one of the more gripping parts of the series. Swift bloodshed. Because of the historical element to the show, you are already aware of the fate of some. Some of the legendary names we've heard echo through American culture since we were children. But for others that's not the case. Other characters are more shrouded, but with large stories. Along with the consistency that the series provides, there's a real sense of accuracy. You are literally standing in the time period. There are so many ongoing story-lines, all equally alluring. It's difficult to find a flaw in Boardwalk. Perhaps there isn't one. The twelve episodes are constructed so perfectly. The season finale delivers and makes an impact. This series sits high on the shelf. It's hard to compare it to some of the better series to come out in the past ten years, probably because it's really carved out a nice niche. And it doesn't seem to be losing any steam either. And perhaps the only flaw of this amazing series is the wait time until the next season.

And so the series progresses on to the fourth season. Nucky continues to build his empire, and this season decides to expand to the Florida for assistance in efficiently importing his product. Al Capone is feeling like he is growing up and feeling like a big fish in a small pond faster than his boss Johnny Torrio would like him to, and begins to grow resentful. Van Alden is continuing to make new friends in surprising places, and in season four he finds himself getting the attention of the Capone's. Margaret is attempting to move on with her life, outside of the criminal world and in a more legitimate setting. Chaulky White is now running Nucky's old nightclub, an acquisition he made after his huge favor to Nucky last season. Gillian, struggling with her heroin addiction, finds new love that appears to be promising. We are introduced to new characters. The federal agents, led by young director J. Edgar Hoover, appear suddenly and are hungry to uncover the prospect of possible organized crime family. Dr. Narcisse is a new face to New Jersey, bringing with him a ominous energy that doesn't appeal to some, including Chaulky. The finale is heartwrenching and satisfying. It will stick with you. Or at least it should. 

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