With every character on HBO's Boardwalk Empire leading a double life, season two is about making changes or facing the consequences. The stylish series also digs deeper into the futility of Prohibition, much as The Wire tackled the War on Drugs. The central figure, Atlantic City treasurer Nucky Thompson, aims to please all of his constituents, but loses several powerful supporters after bootlegger Chalky White kills a Klansman. Estranged from his brother, and former assistant, Jimmy, Nucky and his common-law wife become more of a team. If domesticity suits Nucky, FBI agent Van Alden looks askance at drinkers and nonbelievers, even as he holes up with Nucky's pregnant ex-girlfriend (Paz de la Huerta, the weakest link in an otherwise strong cast), while his wife remains in the Midwest. With enemies like the Commodore trying to remove him from office, Nucky hires Irish Lothario Slater (Charlie Cox), who helps to keep the booze flowing, meting out the occasional head-butt as necessary. Other new arrivals include a brutal butcher and a persistent federal prosecutor, who wields more power than the other wives and girlfriends combined, though Jimmy's mother becomes more Machiavellian by the minute. Nucky also joins forces with Arnold Rothstein, while Jimmy aligns with Al Capone and Lucky Luciano. Of course, it wouldn't be a gangster epic without casualties, and several men give in to their darker impulses, resulting in some spectacularly bloody business--including the murder of a major character. Also, heroin enters the picture towards the end of the 12-episode arc and seems likely to play a bigger, more destructive role in the next season.
Character Dossier, Back to the Boardwalk, The Money Decade, Updates to the Boardwalk, New Characters, Season Two Promo Spot, Audio Commentaries
English, French, Spanish
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