Boardwalk Empire 5×08 ‘El Dorado’: I have to see a man about a dog

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“Prohibition is the trigger of crime.” ― Ian Fleming.

 

Now that we’ve arrived at the series finale, I feel a deep sense of serenity and poignancy settling over me. I do think that this finale gave the show what it deserved. A fair send off for all of the years of excellent writing, cinematography, storytelling, acting, and costuming. Let’s take one last look at our favorite characters and how their stories end.

Margaret– After so many misfortunes, it looks like Mags is on the up and up. She’s still working at the brokerage firm and is making a killing. In fact, she ends up selling the Mayflower Grain company for millions of dollars both to the surprise of Mr. Kennedy and Nucky. Joe Kennedy is so impressed in fact, he offers to bring her a lot more business and they shake on it. Margaret has a great line here when Joe makes a sexist remark about her brain being messed up because she’s female or something. She tells him “Imagine all of the things you want. Now imagine yourself in a

Source: HBO

Source: HBO

dress.” Nucky buys her a deluxe apartment in the sky in Manhattan at the El Dorado and it looks like alls well that ends well for Mrs. Thompson.

Al Capone– The walls are closing in on old Al and it looks like the feds are going to win this round. Despite shouting at his lawyer to fix these issues, Capone knows that his fate is sealed. In one of the most heart wrenching scenes on the show, Capone prepares to say goodbye to his family. His wife is terrified that he’ll be leaving for good and she asks him what to do. Capone doesn’t have any easy answers. His next stop is his deaf son who we haven’t seen for quite some time and he’s now a teenager. Capone sits down with him and signs that he’ll be going away for a while. This is the first time we’ve seen Capone show any authentic emotion in forever and their hug goodbye is one of the saddest you’ll ever see on film. Later at the courthouse Capone is all smiles again as he marches up the stairs do be declared guilty. That is, until he sees the two agents that made this arrest possible. For a brief second you can see just how scared he really is…but give it a minute and he’s all smiles again.

Lucky Luciano– After seizing everything Nucky has worked for, Lucky is on top of the world. There’s just one problem: he’s still got some hangers on that are causing him many issues. Including Narcisse. Bugsy Siegel recommends that they kill him in public and send a clear message that the Luciano family is not to be messed with. So that’s exactly what they do and Narcisse is savagely murdered in front of his parishioners. Quite the end for such an interesting character.

Source: HBO

Source: HBO

Eli Thompson– After coming back to Atlantic City to go into hiding from Capone, Eli is holed up on the boardwalk. Nucky goes to see him and say his final goodbye. He leaves Eli a sack of money and tells him to go see his wife one last time. It looks like that is his plan but we’ll never know.

Nucky Thompson– After being beaten at his own game, Nucky decides to head to New York and begin again. Only problem is he’s got quite the laundry list of unfinished business. He stops in to see Gillian Darmody one last time after receiving a letter from her begging for help and forgiveness. Nucky goes on a long spiel about how the past is the past and that he’ll help her but only if she can get herself out of this mess. Gillian just stares off into the distance looking quite morose until she mentions the ladybugs. It’s quite clear that the doctors performed some sort of insidious surgery on her that’s caused her to completely lose who she once was. Nucky looks pretty shocked and heads back to Atlantic City to finish up more business.

We also get a lot of flashbacks this episode of Nucky back in 1897. His wife suffers a miscarriage and she surprisingly doesn’t seem bothered by it. Perhaps because she knows that Nuck is a bad man who’ll never change. Young Nuck also gets into a brawl with his father after he hits his mother and it seems like this is the ultimate end to their relationship. The most important thing that happens in the flashbacks is the commodore promoting Nucky to sheriff after telling him he doesn’t deserve anything. Nucky tells Gillian he knows of a wealthy man who will help them, knowing full well of the commodore’s pedophilic tendencies. We all know what happens next. She never had a chance.

Source: HBO

Source: HBO

In the final scene, weaving in between flashbacks and present day, we see Nucky back on his beloved boardwalk taking a stroll. A young man comes up to him and Nucky already knows what’s coming. The young man pulls out a gun and points it at him. “I’m Tommy Darmody.” He says and shoots Nucky twice causing him to fall back. Then, Tommy delivers the fatal blow to Nucky’s head and its lights out for the emperor. After everything Nucky has done, it only makes sense that his fate was sealed years ago by the act of trading Gillian to the commodore for a chance and making the big time. Let’s face it, he didn’t have much mileage left and this was the perfect end to his character in my opinion.

So what did you guys think? I loved the finale and I hope you guys did too! Let me know in the comments below! Bon voyage Boardwalk!

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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