Boardwalk Empire Season 3 Episode 1 - Resolution - Recap
HBO is back with the third season and first episode of the 1920s era "Boardwalk Empire". It's New Year's Eve, 1922. The illegal booze is still flowing and Enoch “Nucky” Thompson (Steve Buscemi) is back in control as public humanitarian while carousing with gangsters and corrupt politicians who run the illegal acts of Atlantic City.
Nucky and his wife "act" the part of the married couple but struggle with the past and current affairs of both parties. Margaret Thompson (Kelly Macdonald) understands her role as the social and good wife but gets scolded by Nucky for speaking out at the New Year's party to Dr. Landau, the medical director of St. Theresa's Hospital. Earlier in the day he had taken her on a tour of this hospital which Nucky and Margaret have contributed to.
At the hospital during the tour, Margaret witnessed a pregnant woman come out into the hallway and start to have bleeding problems. Margaret later had a conversation with one of the more outspoken physicians (Dr. Mason - played by Patrick Kennedy) at St. Theresa's Hospital. He confided in Margaret that the woman she saw had suffered a miscarriage due to an E. coli infection. If the hospital was more adamant about discussing prenatal care with their patients this occurrence may have never happened.
The start of season three gives a hint of Margaret's sense that she may have a greater part in humanitarian works while Nucky sticks with his philandering. Nucky has also left behind a sense of tolerance for those that have done him wrong. His character has become more violent after the attempt on his life in season two.
In one of Nucky's first scenes he questions a thief about the robbery of one of Nucky's liquor operations. He takes the side of the thief and tells him he was only just doing his job. After the interrogations is over, Nucky has him killed.
A stem of new characters are added to the show this season. Lilian "Billy" Kent (Meg Steedle) makes an appearance at Nucky and Margret Thompson's New Year's Eve party. Most of the men can't keep their eyes off of Billy while she milks the partygoers attention with her dancing and flirtations. Her real interest is the kingpin himself and in a later scene Billy offers more than just dancing to Nucky.
Gyp Rosetti (Alex Moaba) is a violent gangster who begins by killing a helpless stranger who stopped on the road to offer the gangster a helping hand. In another scene, Rosetti goes straight at Nucky's jugular with verbal attacks when Nucky lays out his plan to the group of other mob bosses about his new role as chief liquor wholesaler. Rosetti is fearless with his words and promises to be a thorn in Nucky's side during the upcoming episodes.
Dean O'Banion (Aaron Shiver) is also new to the show. A florist and gangster in Chicago's den of evil, O'Banion begins season three by having words with notorious gangster and killer Al Capone (Stephen Graham). Capone sets off to kill O'Banion but is fooled by O'Banion's quick thinking when Nelson Van Alden enters the florist shop and unsuspectingly helps the gangster O'Banion escape a bullet to the head.
Puritanical religious fundamentalist and former government revenue agent Nelson Van Alden (Michael Shannon) still remains a fugitive of the law for the murder he committed in Atlantic City. This former law official is now posing as a salesman named George Mueller. Nelson attempts to solicit sales on the night of New Year's Eve. He struggles in his new job at Fair Day Electric Iron Company, but has the same determination and drive that his character has portrayed in past seasons when hunting down illegal bootleggers. Nelson is now the low man on the pole though. His colleagues robbed him of top salesman honors and a cash bonus he was expecting.
In season two, Nucky's protégé Jimmy Darmody (Michael Pitt) turned against the Atlantic City ringleader. The season two finale finished with Nucky pulling the trigger and Jimmy falling dead. Jimmy's wife Angela (Aleksa Palladino) was also killed which left their son Tommy to be cared for. Jimmy's controlling mother (Gillian Darmody - played by Gretchen Mol) has taken the boy and started to raise him with her influences. She's now running a high-class whorehouse and often leaves the boy with Richard Harrow (Jack Huston) who was Jimmy's right-hand man and did much of the killing in past seasons. In an ending scene of this episode, Harrow takes revenge for the killing of Jimmy and his wife and shoots the butcher Manny Horvitz (William Forsythe) dead. Harrow still pines over Jimmy's wife who he had a secret crush on.
Episode one of season three's "Boardwalk Empire" gives an indication of an increased rise in violence between rival gangsters as they fight for power, cash and territory.