BOARDWALK EMPIRE Season 4 “All In” Review – No Joke!

In the last three episodes of Boardwalk Empire’s fourth season, we’ve seen a couple of chess pieces take their places as the Kings in the show made serious power moves.  Nucky going forth in Tampa, Dr. Narcisse getting ready to sell heroin, and a host of other power players–both major and up and coming–staking their claims.    Here’s what went down before you watch tonight’s episode:

Meyer Lansky decides to make a deal with Nucky for a cool $500K to be a business partner in Tampa.  Rothstein is in no position to make the move and is definitely feeling a certain way about things not panning out between him and Nucky, so Lansky steps in.  Hey, time waits for no man.  Do your thing, Lansky.  The thing is you can tell he really cares for A.R. (as he calls him).  I like that.  We also get to see a more violent side of our diminutive gangster as he waits for the asshole card player who kept throwing little jibes at Arnold, Nucky and him during a very tense game of poker at Chalky’s club.  I don’t know what he was saying to him, but he gave him the beat down.

Eli’s son Willie decides to take his revenge on Henry, the local college douchebag fratboy and it goes so horribly wrong.  He kills the kid after spiking his liquour.  Unfortunately, it’s Nucky’s booze and a few kids know it.  Of course, Willie should’ve known better, but now he’s ended up in a situation where he’s killed someone, screwed up his chances at college, and possibly his uncle’s business.  God, what a moron.  We’ll see what happens with that.

Dunn Purnsley and Dr. Narcisse team up, and Purnsley is super eager to turn his back on Chalky.  Narcisse can barely hide his tolerance for Purnsley, but finds him useful.  Hell, it’s not long before Dunn is busting heads for Narcisse.  I still don’t know what’s going to happen but I think Purnsley is going to be in one hell of a pickle when all hell breaks loose.

Eddie has a good time with one of the Capone brothers who comes into town for business, and boy do they eat and make merry.  Unfortunately, we see that Agent Knox was on top of it and as Eddie says farewell to his new friend and drinking buddy, Knox and another agent detain Kessler and drag him away.

Van Alden hangs around the other Capone brothers, Al and Frank, for awhile and finally lets the cat out of the bag that he cannot stand O’Banion.  Al offers him a job when they suddenly hear something rustling in the back of the truck their driving.  It’s another associate of Dean’s who fell asleep in the truck.  Of course, he has to get off’d.  They give the poor guy a ten second head start, but being as how he’s not built for any type of exercise, he’s still within shooting range.  Van Alden shoots and misses, then the gun jams.  Al, who is most likely coked out–that’s his big thing now–let’s go what seems like hundreds of bullets into the guy.  It seems like Al is in a downward spiral.  What will stop him?

Still no sign of Margaret.  Girl, please come back!  This season has been really good so far, but this was probably the slowest episode of Boardwalk Empire so far.  It was definitely a necessary episode, but it was pretty slow moving.