Boardwalk Empire Season 3, Ep. 11 "Two Imposters" Review
It is war in Atlantic City and no man is safe. Nucky Thompson found that out very quickly last week when his bodyguard and personal hit man Owen Sleater was delivered back to him in a box after a failed hit on powerful New York Mafia kingpin Joe “The Boss” Masseria. Nucky and his driver Eddie Kessler had little time to mourn or plan as this episode kicked off with three Masseria hitmen storming Nucky’s Ritz headquarters and killing three bodyguards. Little did they know that Nucky picked an opportune time to fall back into “full gangster” mode.
When you watch Nucky setting up the ambush, killing one assassin with a headshot, taking said dead assassin’s shotgun and killing the remaining two, you wonder for a second why he ever even needed Jimmy and Owen. Even with his own deadly skills, Nucky barely escaped and drove to find his whole town, even the hospital, overrun with Masseria and Gyp Rosetti’s men. Kessler took a gunshot to the belly in the first firefight, prompting Nucky to head over to the black side of town and the man who he’s treated as an afterthought for most of this season, Chalky White.
Even though Chalky was initially cynical about helping Nucky after being so easily dismissed regarding his nightclub idea, meeting Gyp Rosetti all but solidified his continued loyalty to Nucky. Rosetti demeanor and wisecrack about Chalky’s race made it clear Rosetti viewed him White and his community as just another sector to be conquered (not to mention, Rosetti referred to White as a jigaboo earlier before their mettig). If for no other reason, Nucky can count on Chalky for the simple fact he wants to collect on the promise Nucky made to give him a Boardwalk nightclub.
Everything connects, Charlie. We need to think it through. – Meyer Lansky
Charlie Luciano has made a big mess for himself in getting busted by the police on an undercover heroin sting (they did those back in 1924?). This puts him and partner Meyer Lansky in a very bad position. How do they pay back Joe “The Boss” Masseria? How do they explain it to their current boss Arnold Rothstein, who turned down their drug deal and advised not to make any moves until the Nucky-Masseria war played itself out? Luciano and Lansky have a become a liability, and being a liability in their business leads to death. Even if you aren’t familiar with history, you can bet Luciano and his crew will have a debt to pay, which will likely involve them putting their services (read: murder) to work in some capacity to resolve the Nucky-Masseria conflict.
Will we see the last of Richard Harrow this evening? It seems likely. He’s a soldier tooling up for war but without Jimmy. This isn’t an action movie, so the idea that he’ll be able to shoot his way through all of Gyp’s men, as it appears he’s trying to do in the preview, does not seem realistic. As long as Harrow takes out Rosetti before he mets the end, that will ease the tragedy of his death should it happen.
Al Capone delivered one of the best lines and endings to any episodes this season. It remains to be seen how Nucky, Rothstein and the other bosses react to his emergence to their status and the level of violence he brings. And where’s Van Alden? We have no idea if Capone has brought him around for extra muscle. One thing’s for sure is we’re getting a significant body count this evening.
9 p.m. can’t get here fast enough.