The rise of the New Jersey mob is only one of the historical facets of this exceptional HBO television drama. We also learn about politics, race relations in the U.S. at the time, polio, gangland wars, birth control, and many other issues. The clothes, music and sets all lend to a sense of authenticity. The 1920s in the United States were a tumultuous time. This is no different for mobster Nucky Thompson (played by Steve Buscemi) with problems with his “business”, problems in his marriage and having to deal with the aftermath of the execution of his former protégé, Jimmy (played by Michael Pitt). All this leads to good television watching.
Episode 1: Resolution: It is New Year’s Eve 1923 in Atlantic City, New Jersey and Nucky decides to throw a big party. Despite the tension between husband and wife, Margaret (played by Kelly MacDonald) helps her husband with the organization of the bash.
Episode 2: Spaghetti and Coffee: Nucky is allowing his feelings get in the way of his business decisions. Margaret is trying to be successful as a philanthropist.
Episode 3: Bone for Tuna: Nucky is haunted by visions of Jimmy. Margaret tries to get a women’s clinic to open at the hospital.
Episode 4: Blue Bell Boy: Nucky and Owen (played by Charlie Cox) deal with a young man who is stealing booze from them. As time goes on, Nucky begins to regain his moxy and begins to take on his enemies.
Episode 5: You’d Be Surprised: Eli (played by Shea Whigham) tells Nucky and Rothstein (played by Michael Stuhlbarg) about Gyp (played by Bobby Cannavale) taking over the road between Atlantic City and New York. The brothers, Eli and Nucky, undergo a reconnection.
Episode 6: Ging Gang Goolie: In the middle of the night, Teddy (played by Declan and Rory McTigue) wakes up Margaret to tell her there is a fire. Gillian (played by Gretchen Mol) seduces a stranger at a bar that looks like Jimmy.
Episode 7: Sunday Best: Margaret, Nucky and the children go to Eli’s for Easter. Gyp also spends Easter with his family and also meets with his boss.
Episode 8: The Pony: Nucky decides to take on the Attourney General. Gillian begins her plan for revenge.
Episode 9: The Milkmaid’s Lot: Nucky is at the Ritz Carleton recovering from a concussion. There he tries to gather allies for a war against Gyp and Joe Masseria (played by Ivo Nandi).
Episode 10: A Man, a Plan…: Nucky sends off Owen to assassinate Joe. What will be the repercussions of Margaret and Owen’s affair?
Episode 11: Two Imposters: Nucky is crushed when he discovers Margaret and the children are gone. Eli is in Chicago looking for more allies in the fight against Gyp.
Episode 12: Margate Sands: A full out gang war erupts in Atlantic City. Richard (played by Jack Huston) is focused on protecting Tommy (played by Brady and Connor Noon).
Special Features: Boardwalk Empire – Director’s Chair, Newsreels, Scorsese on Season 3, New Characters, American Empires, Boardwalk Chronicle, Distilling Season 2, Digital Copy