Boardwalk Empire Season 3 Recap: Nucky Goes to The Dark Side

We get back to Atlantic City and it’s about to be 1923. Several years have passed and Jimmy Darmody is still dead. We meet a mysterious new gangster named Gyp Rosetti who should be called Chip because this guy has a serious chip on his shoulder. It seems like maybe he’s seen and experienced too many hardships and insults being an immigrant here. He does not take too kindly–it seems–to insults, especially those from non-Italians.

Don’t get me wrong, he goes in on everybody, but he really goes off on Nucky, Rothstein, and whoever seems to throw shade his way. Gyp indicated that he was raised in Sicily when a somewhat kind old man who stopped to give the gangster and his cohorts help with a rusted lugnut. The old man throws some snark at Gyp (and you know it’s going to go down because Gyp’s henchmen look at each other like “here we go again”) he gets punished for the remark. Okay, then. Gyp is not one to be screwed with. At Nucky’s New Year’s Eve party, Gyp uses almost every racial slur known to man except the N-word. I’m sure that’s coming soon. Gyp comes from a new school of gangsters. They’re angrier and less diplomatic.

Nucky is a full on gangster and we see this within the first 15 minutes. He is not the smooth politician we knew last season. He’s gone over to the dark side. He orders a hit without even blinking an eye.   We’ve already had two murders and I have the feeling there will be more murders in the first episode. It’s kind of odd not seeing Jimmy there, but Nucky’s new crew looks just as menacing and troublesome. Manny Horowitz is down with Nucky’s crew too. I guess it makes sense considering he conspired on Jimmy.

Margaret is still trying to figure herself out and is still trying to “fight the power” while questioning how far she wants to fight in this episode.  She puts on one hell of New Year’s Eve party though.  Although, that very same party has a guest that will most likely compete for Nucky’s attention. The thing is, I kind of like her. She’s something of a mix of Margaret and Lucy.  But this is clearly an indicator that Nucky is severely pissed at Margaret for giving the land over to the church.

We see Jimmy’s mom (and molester/pedophile) Gillian hosting a gathering of ladies of the Artemis Club and it looks like she’s right back to doing what she does best: turning tricks and pimping people out. She still lives in the big mansion left to her by the Commodore and Jimmy, but as damaged as she is she can’t do anything legit. She will always suck the life out of people because she’s hurt and she’s angry for being raped. One of the new recruits to the Artemis Club, Evelyn, seems to take a liking to Harrow. It would be so nice for Harrow to finally find someone. He’s so lonely. (Harrow Fangirl here).

Back in Chicago, Capone may have found another target to kill off in Dean O’Bannion and I am absolutely okay with that because this guy made fun of Capone’s deaf son. I’m with Al on this.  Johnny Torrio is asking Capone to take it easy on Dean, but Torrio is too easy on the guys who insult Capone any damned way. Is that going to really make things easy on their relationship? You’ve gotta know what’s going to happen with between Torrio and Capone.

There are a lot of the same scenes happening this season. Rich men in really nice suits sitting with their legs crossed sipping some good hooch and smoking some good cigars while they do business. The men make lots of jokes at the expense of the a female aviator (“aviatrix”) named Carrie Duncan who is attempting to be the first female to do a cross-country flight. Nucky says she should “spread her legs” and let her husband be the one to spread his wings. Oh, Nucky! So progressive.

Agent Van Alden is a classic case of the mighty falling. He’s a door-to-door salesman who gets a taste of humble pie as he tries to make a living. Oddly enough, he finally has luck with Dean O’Bannion as he comes in just in time to save him from an early grave. Methinks Van Alden will join the Dark Side too. Especially with his growing family with the nanny/wife.

Harrow has stepped in as somewhat of father figure/friend to Jimmy’s son, trying to remind him that his mom was Angela Darmody not his grandmother Gillian. Gillian has some serious issues and has no business raising that child. She seems intent on having him forget his mother but why? There is no end to Gillian’s depravity.

This season is going to be a lot darker, a lot more depraved, and a lot more violent and that’s just counting Gyp Rosetti. Add Harrow’s axe to grind for Jimmy’s murder, and Nucky’s falling head over heels into villainy and you’ve got a bloody season on your hands.

Episode one ends with Margaret getting to the beach early to see Duncan flying over the ocean with a couple of spectators. This is highly symbolic because Margaret does not inherently want to play by the rules. She is just being a good Irish Catholic girl but not necessarily all the time because she wants to but because she has to.

The end of the episode will leave you shocked. I just have one question: where the hell is Chalky White? This episode needed more Chalky.

What do you think of the ‘Boardwalk Empire’ Season 3 premiere? Do you still miss Jimmy? What do you think of Nucky’s new attitude?