BOARDWALK EMPIRE Season 4 “Acres of Diamonds” Review

Boardwalk Empire season 4 takes it on down to Florida.  Nucky leaves the cold–literally and figuratively–climate of Atlantic City and heads down south to the rainy and sunny climate of Tampa to do business with his buddy Bill McCoy and his hillbilly business partner, August Tucker.

Is it just me or is Nucky one unhappy son of a bitch ever since Margaret and Billie left his life, with the latter leaving life altogether?  I just feel like he needs to get back with Lucy Danziger (Paz de la Huerta) and let the good times roll again.  Hell, I miss Jimmy (Michael Pitt).  Nucky, baby, you’re seriously harshing my mellow.  Still, Nucky takes his scowl on down to the south where Bill tries to entice him by saying Tampa is the “land of honey, money, and it’s always sunny.”  Well, damn!  My bags are packed… But only because the wrestlers train there.  I digress…

Nucky wasn’t really swayed, even when Bill offered to send up a friendly little Cubanita to help him get off… Some steam.  Nucks opted to relax in his room and brood in there.  After speaking to a young hustler about the real estate hustle down there, Nucky opts to leave August Tucker and Bill McCoy in the lurch, reneging on the deal.  He does meet a really nice lady named Sally (Patricia Arquette) who inspires him to soften a bit.  Oddly enough, Nucky still considers Teddy his son.  Hmmm…  Margaret where are you?  There’s still hope!

We cut to my favorite baddy, Dr. Valentin Narcisse, while he conducts a meeting of his Universal Negro Empowerment group and he lectures a room full of affluent looking black men that “the new Negro must be tutored in thought and culture”.  I’m most intrigued at this point, especially because it is now clear that Narcisse is a hybrid of W.E.B. DuBois and Marcus Garvey, who were rivals in real life.  Narcisse comes off so caring and invested, it’s hard to question his intentions at all. Arnold Rothstein and Owney Madden show up to do business and while Narcisse is cordial when he shakes Rothstein’s hand, he takes a handkerchief out of his pocket and immediately wipes his hand as though he’d been touched by a leper.

Come to find out Dr. Narcisse is looking to procure 20 lbs. of uncut heroine, to which Rothstein replies that it will cost $80,000 in large bills.  Narcisse takes offense at this, despite Rothstein’s entreaties that he wasn’t trying to offend anyone.  Narcisse is not feeling it at all.  He dismisses Rothstein, and informs Owney that Daughter Maitland is to perform at Chalky’s club.  He also informs Owney about Dickie Pastor’s untimely demise.

Later on we see Daughter Maitland slink into Chalky’s club where Narcisse gets her a gig.  I’m wondering if she’s here to throw Mr. White off of his game.  In actuality, I’m seeing plans for a major usurpation by Narcisse, who approaches Dunn Purnsley after he notices the strained relationship between Purnsley and his Chalky.  He tries to get Purnsley in on the heroin game and I think Dunn’s as good as gone the minute he says Chalky has “never” been his friend.

There was an out of place story line they had with Nucky’s nephew, but it was sort of lame… Except for the part where Mickey Doyle slaps the shit out of him for trying to score booze.  Methinks, this might come back to haunt him, Micks.  Speaking of coming back to haunt someone, while Gillian is out with Roy Phillips (Ron Livingston), one of the guys that saw her approach the guy she killed to impersonate Jimmy sees them in an ice cream parlor and proceeds to remind her about how they met.  She plays the insulted maiden, and the guy runs off after a stern warning from Roy.  However, Gillian is all shook up.  What do you do when you’re Gillian and you’re all shook up?  You take a hit of heroin!

In the meantime, Harrow is narrowly killed by Carl Billings who is pissed because Harrow didn’t kill the people he was paying him to.  In fact, Harrow was about to leave that life.  He even buried his gun!  Still, in the end, Harrow is a freakin’ reaper and apparently so is his sister.  They both dispatch Carl and his hired gun without hesitation.  A woman after my own heart… All hopes of Harrow enjoying domestic happiness are dashed as he opts to leave the farm and venture out again.

Ultimately, it was a slower episode than last, but still enjoyable, especially considering it laid the foundations for some pretty good story line development in the future.  What did you think?