I can’t believe that we won’t be seeing Al Capone or Nucky Thompson next year. Or Lucky Luciano and Bugsy creating Las Vegas. Yes, Boardwalk Empire came to a series end last Sunday with a bang. With only a few more weeks in Sons of Anarchy and the last Justified lingering on the horizon, it is time to pay some tribute to this incredible show. The show featured the only look back into the past of Nucky (and Gillian) and (aside from the too-obvious dental apparatus) these younger versions of Steve Buscemi and Gretchen Mol were excellent and insightful as to the characters we came to love over four previous seasons. This final season sees several major cast members bit the bullet (no spoilers), but there are no compromises here. Many complained of the 7 year leap forward, but I concur with several podcasts I listened to that this was an appropriate way to bookmark the show – the beginning of prohibition in S01 and the end of it in S05. Most of the cast favorites were back and were awesome (who wasn’t impatient to see Van Alden and Chalky) and some fascinating new characters were introduced (Matt Letscher was an unexpectedly great Joe Kennedy and Paul Calderón was a badass Archimedes, Nucky’s bodyguard). The action starts in Havana with Patricia Arquette‘s excellent Sally, but quickly moves back to New Jersey-New York-Chicago as the gangwar builds up to its explosive conclusion. The 8 episodes cover a lot of ground but do not condescend to the viewer and let us enjoy the characters with growing regret as we realise that these are the last 8 episodes of this show, ever. As for the conclusion, it had a great reveal right at the end and was a fitting finish to this show. I would say that it was on par with the ending to Treme or Weeds but still not as power-packed as the finales of Breaking Bad or Six Feet Under. If you never watched Boardwalk Empire, you should and if so, start from the beginning and have Wikipedia handy if you are not already familiar with the history. If you did watch it, let me know what you thought of the finale in the comments.
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