Boardwalk Empire 5×07 ‘Friendless Child’: Rot gut riots

Boardwalk-empire-season-5-episode-7

This is the second to last episode you’ll ever see of Boardwalk, and man is it a doozy. From the very first frame, it feels different this time, almost cinematic. Is it just me or did the cinematography and editing really hit their mark this time? Not that they’re not always fabulous, but it’s particularly sharp. We catch up some old characters that we haven’t seen since the beginning of the season, perhaps for the last time. There’s a war brewing, and everything is about to boil over.

First let’s cover the flashback, which actually makes much more sense now that Nucky is older and much more they’re more interesting. After scooping up Gillian Darmody at the boardwalk, Nucky brings her home to get her cleaned up and a hot meal. His wife takes a shine to her and suggest that they find her a situation and take her out of the orphanage. Gillian begs Nucky to let her stay and he very reluctantly agrees. Late at night, the commodore comes knocking asking for Nucky’s help. Once he gets to the commodore’s mansion, he finds out the sinister truth: that the commodore is a pedophile and has been for quite some time. He seems pretty upset by this revelation, but he also just promised the

Source: HBO

Source: HBO

commodore’s assistant to keep quiet so there’s not much more he can do it would seem.

There’s a lot of kidnapping this episode. Nucky kidnaps Bugsy Siegel, Lucky kidnaps Nucky’s nephew, Willy. This brings everything to a head and Nucky finally agrees to meet Lucky to exchange his hostage with Willy. Both crime families meet up on a dark desolate road to do the deed. Both sides are on edge when Lucky tells Nucky that he wants it all: Cuba, Atlantic City, the liquor runs, and the whole shebang. With Nucky’s new devil-may-care attitude, this seems like as good a time as any to speak up and get out.  However, during the exchange, Bugsy tricks Willy and both of them end up over on Luciano’s side. Luciano repeats his demands but not before killing off the ear-hacking Archimedes and our old friend Mickey Doyle. Poor Mickey, he wanted to own that dang night club so bad. Now he’ll never get the chance.

Finally, Nucky relents and tells the gang they can have it all: Atlantic City, I mean everything. This isn’t a surprising move especially after watching both of his buddies die. Plus let’s face it, his heart hasn’t been in it for a long time. Lucky makes Nucky gets down on his knees. For a moment, we’re unsure whether or not he’ll be blown into the next world. Nucky offers to get rid of Salvatore Maranzano for good in the next twenty four hours and Luciano seems pleased with this idea. Finally, Lucky rounds up his crew and they head back to celebrate. Nucky makes good on his word, and Capone and his gang kill off Salvatore just like Caesar was killed off in Rome.

Source: HBO

Source: HBO

At the end of the episode, Nucky returns to his home a broken man. He tells his helped to beat it for good and sees a letter sitting on his night stand. It’s from Gillian Dormady. It’s a desperate plea for help, she’s begging Nucky to come help her at the asylum as he’s the only one who understands who she really is; the only person who still knows what she was like before her tragic life unfolded before her. It looks like the letter has touched him intensely. We shall probably see Gillian in the final episode next week.

So what did you guys think? I loved this episode and I can’t wait for the finale. I’m sad to see Boardwalk go, but I think the producers, writers, and actors did it justice with the shortened season. Tell me what you thought in the comments below!

Sarah S. is an aspiring couch potato and currently haunts the Midwestern United States. She spends way too much time watching TV and being a pop culture junkie. When she’s not ranting about movies and TV on social media, you can probably find her with an iced latte in hand or fixing everyone’s problems. Sometimes she writes really silly stuff on Twitter and Tumblr.

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