In the second season finale of Boardwalk Empire, Nucky Thompson made a pivotal choice that will effect his future as treasurer of Atlantic City. After finding out that former protegee (and defacto heir to the throne) Jimmy Darmody was making moves against him, Nucky pulled the trigger and ended the young man’s life. Though he had been involved in his fair share of wheeling and dealing, Nucky tended to let others do the brute work for him, never getting his hands dirty and keeping his public persona at least partially based on truth. Now that he’s had a taste of the dark side, will Nucky choose to stay “neutral” or embrace the violence he’s oversaw for years?
Judging by the trailer for season three of Boardwalk Empire, I think we have our answer, with the tagline for the season being “You can’t be half a gangster”. Nucky’s always been an interesting character study, the politician that (at least somewhat) believed the image he put out in campaign ads and public appearances, so it should be fun seeing how much of his “gangster” side starts peeking out. For two seasons, he’s been able to keep both of his lives separate from one another, but that was before he made the decision to off Jimmy. Nucky’s a smart man, but he can be extremely arrogant and if he gets on a bit of a power trip next season, it’ll only take one false move before the empire that he built begins caving in around him.
The third season of Boardwalk Empire premieres Sunday, September 16th at 9:00 on HBO, with Treme premiering the following week at 10:00. You can still catch episodes from the first two seasons through HBO’s weeknight-only marathon, as well as an additional preview of season three here.
Are you looking forward to the next season of Boardwalk Empire? Should Nucky embrace the dark side after killing Jimmy last season? Will that action make Nucky more respected in the city or place an even greater target on his back?