Without mentioning the undeserving nominees (*cough* Homeland S2 *cough*), it's shameful that Boardwalk Empire was not nominated for Best Drama at this year's Emmys. The third season of the prohibition drama might have been the best the HBO series has produced so far and was easily one of the finest shows of the past year. Recognized or not, it's "Business" as usual on the Boardwalk with the new spot assuring customers that Season 4 will continue to deliver a high quality product. Competition breeds excellence and "no reign goes unchallenged..."


The trailer isn't shy about breaking the show up geographically and there's no better place to start than the titular Boardwalk with the reigning king. Nucky and Eli's recent victory against Bobby Cannivale's Gyp Rosetti (who did deservedly receive an Emmy nom) has afforded the Thompson's a little bit of breathing room at the top but obviously that stability can't last for long, especially with dummies with Mickey Doyle poking his head in the picture or wildcards like (the amazing) Richard Harrow roaming AC. And then there's his headstrong wife Margaret (conspicuously absent from the spot), various flings, government eyes and then those coming for the bootlegging crown. Oh, and Gillian's alive (yay...) with her own set of troubles, including a visit from Ron Livingston.


Meanwhile, as Nucky struggles to hold onto his territory (as usual), Stephen Graham's Al Capone is busy expanding his power in Chicago with the help of his brothers. And their ruthlessness. Last season, Torrio handed over the reigns to the Italian mob to his hot headed protege and Capone instantly found himself in a turf war with the Irish gang lead by Dean O'Bannion and brought him face to face with everyone's favorite agent on the run Michael Shannon's Van Alden/Mueller. And not only is the O'Bannion-Capone conflict going to come to a head this season but the latter also enters a war with the Chicago Police Department. So don't worry about a lack of action in this thread.


New York was the main source of conflict for Nucky last season with Gyp and his men representing a bigger boss' interests but it seemingly ended with Joe Masseria content to bury the hatchet along with his lieutenant. Instead, he's entered into business with Rothstein, Lansky and Luciano and it looks like they are up to their usual violent dealings. I especially like the scene where Rothstein is losing his cool at the card table since so much of his self-worth is built upon his gambling prowess. As Lansky says, he doesn't like to lose. Nucky's response is better and shows that the bad blood between AC and NY is still there and bubbling. But it's a different section of New York that is the biggest thorn in the Boardwalk power players' sides.


The major threat for the fourth season, and the person who's been dominating most of the promotional material, is Jeffrey Wright's Valentin Narcisse. Sorry, Dr. Valentin Narcisse. Wright's character is the 'King' of Harlem's illegal booze scene and he takes interest in Atlantic City because Chalky White, with Nucky's help, is opening a African-American club on the Boardwalk. This doesn't sit well with Narcisse probably because it is impinging upon his business. We've seen how well attempts to put Nucky in a corner have worked in the past. In case you missed it, here's the "Kings" trailer (the second spot with that title)...

Boardwalk Empire returns for its fourth season Sunday, September 8 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO. Created by Terence Winter, the series stars Steve Buscemi, Kelly Macdonald, Michael Shannon, Shea Whigham, Vincent Piazza, and Michael Stuhlbarg.

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