Twelve episodes of blood, sweat, and tears have all been leading up to this moment. The season three finale of “Boardwalk Empire” sure delivered the goods, and then some. In a season that sometimes felt like a collection of endless loose ends waiting to be tied, “Margate Sands” was the glittering gem of treasure we’ve all been waiting for. Tonight’s season finale answered most– but not all– of our burning questions, including: Where is Margaret? Will Gyp live or die? And, most importantly, who will control Atlantic City?
There’s no question that Nucky’s back– but where does he go from here? Let’s dig deeper into “Boardwalk’s” season three finale, “Margate Sands.”
We opened the episode in pure chaos; with Capone and his cronies in town, there is little Atlantic City’s mayor can do to keep control. By this point, everyone should know that there’s a big twister a-coming in the form of war between Nucky Thompson and Gyp Rosetti. Anyone not involved would do best to stay inside and simply ride it out.
The cracks in the Gyp Rosetti/Joe Masseria alliance were beginning to show early on in the episode, making it a little too easy for Arnold Rothstein to intervene on Nucky’s behalf. For a (rather hefty) price, Rothstein agreed to persuade Masseria to abandon ship at the Artemis Club and leave Gyp Rosetti hanging. Nucky would get his revenge on Rothstein a bit later on.
Things continued to look up for Nucky as he solidified his alliance with Chalky White, and also managed a quick heart-to-heart with his brother, Eli. At least Nucky has a couple of devoted friends on his side after seemingly losing Margaret forever (but more on her later.)
At the Artemis Club, it was an intimate showdown between Gillian and Gyp. For once, Gillian acts like a semi-decent human being, and politely asks Gyp if she and Tommy could vacate the premises– temporarily– in search of a safe hideout. However, Gyp tells his gal Red that he would feel too “anxious” not knowing where she was. This prompts Gillian to turn to the sharpest tool in her arsenal: her unparalleled skills of seduction.