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'Boardwalk Empire' 4.3: Nucky, Sunshine, And Heroin

Paul Levinson Paul Levinson
September 23rd, 2013 7:40am EDT

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A nice change of pace for Boardwalk Empire 4.3 tonight, with Nucky out of his natural haunts in the northeast, and down to sunny Florida for an important business proposition.

It's fun to see Nucky out his element, and away from the people and locales that usually surround him. He's more relaxed - though he declines his host's offer of a woman for the night - and he seems more in control.   This is a cool, on top of it Nucky, someone we haven't quite seen before.

Nucky's decline of female companionship raises the question of what's happened to Margaret, who has yet to make an appearance on the show this season.  But Nucky's mention his "son" - Teddy - being in Brooklyn, near the end of the episode, gives us a good clue as to Margaret's whereabouts.

Back up East, the conversation between Narcisse and Rothstein shines a light on the future of mobsters, lucrative and controversial among the mobsters themselves: dope.   Heroin is of course much stronger and destructive than alcohol - unless were talking about drunk driving and alcoholism - and as we know from the Godfather movies, the mob was split on the advisability of going into the dope trade. Narcsisse and Rothstein are clearly game, but where will Nucky come down on this issue?

One of my favorite parts of Boardwalk Empire is seeing the early days of gangsters who would later become famous.  Young Luciano, Lansky, and of course Capone are key characters in the story, and it was great to hear Rothstein talk about another gangster who would become an icon - his associate, "Mr. Diamond".  That would undoubtedly be "Legs" Diamond, subject of one of my favorite movies of that genre, The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond (1960), starring Ray Danton in the title role.  Diamond led a charmed, can't-be-killed life, until ... well, I don't to give away the end of the movie.

Down the road in Atlantic City, it was good to see Gillian giving a climb to respectability another shot. But her climb won't be easy, since she's also dependent upon shots of heroin.   Will Narcisse and Rothstein be able to feed her need?  This is an especially interesting time for heroin to be rearing its head on the show.  It's 1924, the very year that Congress prohibited its sale.

Note: Watch here for my sneak preview reviews - with no spoilers - of the next three episodes.  They'll be posted during the week, with the full recap and review to follow after the episodes air on Sunday nights.

Photo Credits: HBO