"Two clichés make us laugh. A hundred clichés move us. For we sense dimly that the clichés are talking among themselves, and celebrating a reunion." At the end of "Farewell Daddy Blues," the fourth season finale of HBO's Boardwalk Empire, Umberto Eco's famous quote came to mind. The way that the drama chose to write off one of its more popular characters was fitting and emotional, and yet exactly the kind of interplay of clichés the great Italian writer is talking about.
HBO brought out the big guns for the fantastic and fateful finale of Boardwalk Empire with "Farewell Daddy Blues" directed by Tim Van Patten and written by series creator Terrence Winter. And with last night's episode being the last of the sensational fourth season, of course things were going to pop off while the series firmly stuck the landing. A sad, sad landing.
That's got to be it for the slow burn for the fourth season of Boardwalk Empire as "Havre de Grace" brought almost every conflict to a head just in time for the finale. Well, not every storyline was pushed to the edge during the penultimate episode since most of the threads outside Atlantic City were already set up for a big, and most likely bloody finishes last week or even the one before. A slow burn with a lot of wicks to watch.
After last night's illuminating trip down the "White Horse Pike," only two episodes remain in the terrific season of Boardwalk Empire. The two previous installments were more focused than usual, with the period drama concentrating on fewer threads and characters each week in order to position all the storylines for the end of Season 4. To say the action is heating up on the Boardwalk would be an understatement.
The fourth season of Boardwalk Empire has been fantastic. The same way each additional year of The Wire was retroactively identified by their respective setting or conflict, Season 4 of HBO's new illegal drug drama will be known for bringing Harlem into the battle. And the show as a result, as I said, has been both narratively compelling and thematically rich. Time for some "Marriage and Hunting." A combo as old as PB&J.
Whenever 'directed by Tim Van Patten' appears at the end of Boardwalk Empire's opening credits, it's probably going to be a pretty darb episode and "The Old Ship of Zion" didn't disappoint. Instead of the drama's often sprawling narrative, the eighth installment of the fourth season focused on only a few characters and yet that somehow made it seem like even more happened than usual with each thread taking a significant step forward.
The first half of Boardwalk Empire's fourth season was solid, playing up Nucky's increasing isolation as well as developing several feuds in the concurrent threads, and yet it still flew by in somewhat forgettable fashion. Episodes 1 through 4 were overshadowed by the end of Breaking Bad with the final stretch of AMC's illegal drug drama dominating the water cooler conversation for most of the fall season. Too bad "William Wilson" isn't likely to steer the talk (back) to Boardwalk.
Last night's Boardwalk Empire marked the half-way point for the fourth season and "The North Star" spent a lot of time focusing on the show's various families. Family is obviously a common theme in many gangster dramas, especially when it comes to 'la Cosa Nostra,' and almost every storyline in the sixth installment involved one coming together or being torn apart. In some cases both at once.
Nothing too major happened in the first four episodes of the fourth season with Boardwalk busy laying a lot of groundwork in the opening third, both introducing new characters and setting up the multiple storylines for returning favourites. And the HBO drama is known for its slow burn but last night things got interesting. Oh, and in case you were wondering, the episode title,"Erlkönig," is a reference to Goethe's poem of the same name. Well, "Der Erlkönig."
As fantastic as Boardwalk Empire is, it's hard to want to watch and discuss the HBO period drama when the last episode of Breaking Bad is on AMC at the exact same time. The events in Atlantic City are almost always compelling, with 1924 being another banner year for the series so far, however, it's hard to concentrate on a measly fourth installment with the another seminal series airing its highly anticipated series finale. Even when they go "All In."
HBO’s Boardwalk Empire has only aired three episodes this season, but apparently that’s enough for the subscription cable network to give the go-ahead for next year’s Season 5. With storylines in Chicago, New York, Atlantic City and elsewhere, the drama rarely runs out of things to talk about and signing on for a fifth season almost seems to be a formality.
Even though the Emmys forgot to nominate Boardwalk Empire for Outstanding Drama Series at least they came to their senses and awarded the Outstanding Supporting Actor (in a Drama Series) statue to Bobby Cannavale for his fantastic work on the period piece last season. Don't worry, Breaking Bad fanatics. Aaron Paul will win again next year. Well, unless Jeffrey Wright continues to impress as Dr. Valentin Narcisse, Season 4's Gyp Rosetti.
Even if it didn't have time to visit all our favorite characters, "New York Sour" was a bloody good welcome back to the Boardwalk. The Season 4 premiere of HBO's bootlegging drama not only did a nice job tying up a lot of last year's loose ends but also introducing new characters and conflicts for the new season. Kill and recruit, that's the key to Boardwalk Empire's success.
After Boardwalk Empire's fantastic fourth season premiere, the promo for the second episode, “Resignation,” makes this week look every bit as entertaining. "Who's feeling like a hero?" In Boardwalk Empire, probably nobody. There aren't many heroes left on the should have been Emmy nominated drama except for Margaret. Sadly, still no sight of her yet.
Boardwalk Empire has predominantly been a show about bootleggers, gangsters, and illicit activities. It’s a big boys club, and for the most part that has been perfectly alright. Then, last season, Kelly Macdonald’s character, Margaret Thompson, blossomed into an even more complicated woman that fell in love with someone else and got into the women’s rights movement, teaching prenatal care classes. Her voice became a welcome counterpoint.