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Boardwalk Empire 4.11, 'Havre De Grace' Review

Bw Empire

rating: 3.5

Boardwalk Empire's penultimate episodes usually usher in a calm before the storm, but in the case of 'Havre de Grace' it was very calm coming off the events of the previous episode. There was no immediate aftermath of the attempted assassination against Chalky aside from his belief that Nucky has sided with Dr. Narcisse and ordered the hit. There were a couple other developments, especially in Gillian's story, but not much more was moved forward. But even a slow episode of Boardwalk Empire is a good episode of television. Chalky had a good time to reflect on his mistakes, once again being called out for his poor decisions. It seemed like he began to realize how distracted by Daughter he had become after speaking to his mentor, played by guest star Louis Gossett Jr., though this did not stop his infatuation with her as he was clearly devastated by her abandonment at the episodes end. Chances are Daughter will return in the finale, but for the moment Chalky is completely free to pursue vengeance against Narcisse and Nucky. Things in Atlantic City didn't move forward too much either as Nucky remained in a state of hiding, bringing Eli and his family to the hotel for the weekend. Eli is also making the same mistake years ago by underestimating Nucky's intelligence, even with his warning to Agent Tolliver. It remains a question of whether he's aiding Tolliver more out of spite towards Nucky or to protect Will as his resentment and/or jealousy towards Nucky surfaces and fades at varying levels. Nucky, though, has caught on that something is amiss and his first thought went straight to Tolliver. The awkward discussion at the dinner table only confirmed his feelings that Eli was keeping something from him and we now have to wonder what he's planning. Will the sit down meeting he's suggesting be a bloodbath ala The Godfather? His story may have moved slowly, but it added that one big development. Gillian's story has been the most removed from the main events this season. She's hardly had any interaction with the main cast members as she's been more focused over Roy and her heroine addiction. I always thought there was something strange about Roy, that he was holding keeping something from her. Their love story never really connected with me because it felt somewhat forced, at least on his end. Now, however, we know it was meant to feel forced as Roy revealed himself to be a Pinkerton agent investigating her. The only question is was Roy investigating the death of the man she passed off as Jimmy the whole time or decided to focus on that once it became clear to him she had a hand in this person's disappearance? What is clear is she just can't catch a break as it seems she may be heading away from the show for a long time unless something changes next week. 'Havre de Grace' was a slow episode of Boardwalk and I wished it continued the tense momentum it established last week a little more. The exclusion of Chicago may have to do with that feeling as well, but as I said even a slow episode of Boardwalk is good television. The final pieces now seem to be set for everyone in the finale and it will be interesting to see who exactly is left standing by Season 4's end.
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Richard Church has a Bachelor of Arts in English and a diploma in Television Writing and Producing. He is an aspiring writer for short stories, novels and screenplays. He is also an avid fan of comic books and graphic novels.