Continuing with my sneak preview reviews of Boardwalk Empire - this one of 4.2 - courtesy of screeners from Starpulse, guaranteed to be spoiler free, and to be followed this Sunday with a proper recap/review after the episode has aired in New York, just up the road from A.C.
We learn what Richard, whom we saw on a killing spree in 4.1, is really up to. And, in fact, 4.2 is one of the best Richard shows we've seen in lo these four seasons. We learn about his family, and we see yet another very tender side of him.
Episode 4.2 also introduces this season's (so far) most important new character. We've seen him in the HBO coming attractions, so I'm not giving anything away to say he's Dr. Valentin Narcisse - that's "Dr.," mind you, not "Mr.," as Narcisse instructs Nucky, because Narcisse has worked too hard to attain that title - and he's played to arrogant lordly perfection by the talented Jeffrey Wright. He's not only arrogant but liltingly poetic - as befits his Trinidadian heritage (not Jamaican, as he corrects Chalky) - and he can kill without missing a beat. A suitable opponent for Nucky, and a kind of danger Nucky hasn't quite encountered before.
Speaking of masters - and servants - this is also an important episode for Eddie, who, as we saw last week, is not in the greatest physical shape. There's always been a unique professional relationship between Nucky and Eddie, who has directly and indirectly saved Nucky's life on more than one occasion. Nucky, for his part, knows how important Eddie is to his well-being, and Nucky's actions regarding Eddie reveal one of Nucky's kindest sides.
There were two major characters missing from the first episode. We get one of them back, in fine form, but the other is still nowhere to be seen. I'll talk more about this in my review after this episode airs on Sunday.
PS - Ok, here's one more nugget: look in 4.2 for another new character. He likely won't be quite as important this season as Narcisse, but he's vastly better known in our real history than the person Narcisse is based upon, and who knows what trouble he'll pose for Nucky.