Continuing with my sneak preview reviews of Boardwalk Empire - this one of 4.10 - courtesy of screeners from Starpulse, guaranteed to be specific spoiler free, and to be followed this Sunday with a proper recap/review right after the episode has aired in New York City, just up the road from A.C.

This is a real hit-the-fan episode, bursting with gunplay, verbal confrontations, great lines, and surprising, unholy alliances.

First, on the death count - lots of peripherals killed, and two major characters are in deadly peril from bullets.   I won't tell you their names, because you'd know that one survived, based on his name, and what we know about him in real history.  As for the other ... well, I said above, this review will be specific-spoiler free.

The unholy alliances are disturbing, gratifying and, in one case, a real stunner that drastically ups the ante against Nucky.   One takes place totally in New York City, and we could sort have seen it coming. The stunner entails Atlantic City and NYC.

Nucky gets off the best line, telling Narcisse that he's wanted to ask him a question since ever first they met - "who the fuck do you think you are".   The delivery is vintage Steve Buscemi, in a tone of voice we've admired since Reservoir Dogs.

Alliances - unholy and otherwise - speak to loyalty, and the position of Eli, pressed by Feds, trying to protect his son but loathe to sell Nucky down the river, is the central theme of this taut episode.   The last scene could have come right out of The Godfather - and, come to think of it, there's 1920s music that sounds like it could have come from The Godfather in one of the scenes in Florida.

And I'll be back with more detailed proper review shortly after this episode airs on Sunday.