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Boardwalk Empire Season Three Premiere Recap: Richard Harrow Gets Revenge


It has been nine long months since Boardwalk Empire last aired a new episode on small screens across the country. Heading into this season I had many questions about the future of this show following the departure of Jimmy Darmody (Michael Pitt). I was extremely disappointed with the season 2 finale as I stated in my recap - as I simply didn't see how this show would perservere without Jimmy Darmody.

Boardwalk Empire photo: www.oregonlive.com

Turns out things are hunky dory in 1920's Atlantic City afterall. Out is Jimmy, but in comes a new menace to Atlantic City - Gyp Rosetti, played by Bobby Cannavale who is best known for his roles on NBC's Will and Grace and Third Watch.

Rosetti is in no hurry to make any friends with Nucky, Rothstein, or Lucky as we learn later on. He also makes no bones about taking someone's life, in this case a good sumaritan who tries to help him out with a flat tire.

New Years Is Upon Us as 1922 Draws to a Close

It is New Years Eve in 1922 and there are many changes looming. It has been sixteen months since Jimmy Darmody was whacked by Nucky. And, he has transformed from a former politician to a "philantropist" and full-fledged gangster.

He shows his clout early on by teaching a thief a lesson for "doing his job" while Micky Doyle was taking a dump in the outhouse. Nucky orders the thief's execution at the hand of Manny Horvitz, who appears poised to rise through the AC crime world.

Owen and Nucky then order Manny to carry out the hit on the thief's boss, Roland Smith. Horvitz reluctantly does so as he wants to spend the evening with his wife, to ring in the New Year. He then asks to get bumped up the foodchain and to have his own operation. Nucky obliges. Later on we see this is all but a moot point though.

Van Alden and Al Capone Meet in a Strange Way

Al Capone is in a bitter struggle for neighborhood control with his crosstown rival Dean O'Banion. When O'Banion tells him to basically F himself, he gives a bigger FU by making fun of his deaf son. Capone rushes towards him and would rip his head off, if not for the intervention of his comrades. Torrio tries to calm down Capone, but he isn't hearing any of it.

Capone and one of his goons waltz into O'Banion's flower shop later that evening and are ready to carry out a hit when Val Alden strolls in. Van Alden as you remember fled for the hills when news of his escapades broke. He is going under a false name and looking to make a career as a salesman. Turns out his timing couldn't have been better for O'Banion who was about to get whacked. In humurous fashion, O'Banion claims that Van Alden has something in his suitcase for Al if he makes a move.

Capone and his partner in crime leave. The joke of it is, Van Alden and O'Banion never met in their lives.

Gyp Rosetti Isn't Making Any Friends at Nucky's Party

The backdrop behind Nucky and Margaret's New Year's Eve party is the looming battle that is about to brew between Gyp Rosetti and everyone else. He wants to buy booze, but Nucky no longer wants to be directly involved. For now on he'll have to deal with Rothstein "at a 50% markup."

Rosetti storms out of the meeting and puts everyone on notice. Suddenly the loss of Jimmy Darmody isn't impacting the show too much. Rosetti proves to be not be a replacement for Jimmy, but a menacing addition to this star-studded cast.

Richard Harrow is One Pissed Off Man

As I alluded to in my recap last year, Richard Harrow would get revenge on Manny Horvitz. I am also predicting that he will take out Jimmy's mother, who is already looking to control Richard. She tells him to forget about the past and to stop filling Tommy's head with painful stories.

Richard Harrow is extremely angry over the loss of his dear friend Jimmy. He wastes little time in exacting revenge on Horvitz who kissed his wife goodbye before departing the house to do a hit on Roland Smith.

Once he opens the door, Harrow opens fire with a shotgun and blows Horvitz's head clean off.

Just who will be his next victim? We shall see.

Look for Harrow and Rosetti to bring a lot of death and destruction to AC this season, which will be a pivotal season in the future of Boardwalk Empire.

For the season premiere I give it a "Glenmorangie" rating. It was very strong, but not a superior episode. At the same time, the addition of Gyp Rosetti looks like a very good move by Terrence Winter and company.

Show scale:

5 - The Macallan - 12 Year

4 - Glenmorangie

3 - The Glenlivet

2 - Laphroaig

1 - Johnny Walker Black

Contact Dennis Bakay at dbakay@philly2philly.com