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'Boardwalk Empire' Sneak Preview 4.4: Downfalls

Paul Levinson Paul Levinson
9/28/2013 1:37pm EDT

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Continuing with my sneak preview reviews of Boardwalk Empire - this one of 4.4 - courtesy of screeners from Starpulse, guaranteed to be 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.

Episode 4.4 is a darker than usual show, in which almost nothing ends up well for the characters on center stage. Murder, humiliation, betrayal, and arrest by the Feds are the fates our characters encounter.

  • One major mobster is humiliated in a high-stakes card game.
  • Two mobsters are betrayed by underlings or seconds-in-command. One is not quite a full betrayal, but will set in motion betrayals in the future. And, if BE follows real history, this betrayal will eventually lead to the murder of this top mobster - who also happens to be the mobster humiliated in the card game. The second betrayal is more a straight-forward perfidy, and it's not clear what its outcome will be, since the character betrayed has no clear analog in our real history.
  • The murder stems from an act of revenge, but the death is not intentional. Also, the perpetrator is not a mobster, and is not Al Capone. Al does throw someone out the window and enjoys it, but it's not clear if the victim is fatally hurt.
  • The arrest comes at the end of the episode, and happens to one of my favorite characters on the show.

Speaking of arrests, this one's part of a new crackdown on organized crime ordered by J. Edgar Hoover. As I indicated in a review several weeks ago, Hoover is moving into the position of major governmental antagonist of Nucky. The arrest moves that antagonism a big step closer to face-to-face.

But not everything is grim in this episode, and in fact we get one of the best scenes in years between Nucky and his brother Eli, which is almost heart-warming.

And I'll be back with more about this in my review after this episode airs on Sunday.

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Photo Credits: © HBO