Synopsis: It’s New Year’s Eve in 1922, but no one is in a celebratory mood. Nucky plans to change his business model, much to the dismal of Gyp Rossetti, Richard becomes the caretaker for Jimmy’s orphaned son and tells him the truth about his real mother behind Gillian’s back—who is raising the boy as her own. Nelson is going under the pseudonym “George” and pedaling door-to-door to make extra money. Meanwhile in Chicago, a new Irish smuggler is becoming a thorn in Al’s side.
Review: As a season opener, this may be Boardwalk Empire’s most unassuming in that, it takes very little time—other than the ‘last season on Boardwalk Empire’—to let the audience get back in the early ‘20s feel of the show. It sucks you back in immediately. All of the characters seem to be at a crossroads; they are all struggling in some way or another, yet these struggles are veiled by the gaudy façade of lavish parties, roaring music and flowing liquor.
When the episode begins we see Gyp getting into it with a minor character he had a miff with in last season, then when the debate seems settled civilly, Gyp kills him with a crowbar—what a way to begin the season. We’re next sucked over to Nucky interrogating a man tied to a chair who’s been accused of stealing liquor from one of his warehouses. Then we are sent to Chicago where a very blunt and very cocky Irishman, working for O’Donnell, Dean O’Banion, decides to insult Al, Torrio’s operation, and then his son—Al’s son, as in Al Capone…that Al. Afterword we see Nelson, now calling himself George, as a door-to-door salesman pedaling electric supplies. Finally that brings us to Richard taking care of Jimmy’s orphaned son, who Gillian has been raising as her own, however this displeases Richard, so he takes it upon himself to tell the boy about his true mother, despite whatever consequences may come.
The episode then proceeds to weave and flow the way that every other Boardwalk episode has, pretty straight forward with its minor twists and turns; one being that Nelson accidentally saves Dean’s life from Al, and through doing so makes an unlikely friend, while Gyp runs his mouth just a little too much, which may get him into trouble with Nucky and the rest of the guys.
The episode was pretty damn good, and so far it’s been my favorite season opener since the series premiere. Remember it’s only the first episode of season 3, so there’s plenty of time to catch up and get in on what could easily be the greatest show on HBO.