Boardwalk Empire recap: 'Friendless Child'

October 20, 2014 5:10 AM

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The decision to bump off two major characters in last week's episode of Boardwalk Empire made for an excellent hour of television, but the unfortunate trade-off is that the show's penultimate episode, "Friendless Child," is almost painfully anticlimactic. Even next week's series finale runs the risk of being bereft of heart-pounding drama, because there's no one left to care about should there actually be more deaths in the offing. (Raise your hand if you batted an eye over the murders of Salvatore Maranzano, Mickey Doyle—finally!—or Nucky's strong and silent Cuban bodyguard, Arquimedes. Nope. Didn't think so.) Nucky is at the end of his rope—by the end of this week's episode, he's been forced to give over all of his holdings to Charlie Luciano and Meyer Lansky. Whether or not he closes out the series above or below ground, he's a ruined man. Plus, we already know Luciano and Lansky come out the winners in this mob war because it's not like either gangster is going to defy history and get killed next week for the sake of giving Nucky a happy ending.

Fed up with "19 men dead" and "at least $1 million in lost revenue," Nucky announces he can be "impetuous myself," and unintentionally turns his latest battle into, in the words of Luciano, "a family matter." His kidnapping of Benny Siegel as an intimidation ploy backfires horrendously, with Luciano...

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