This week, “Boardwalk Empire” brings the violence. And that’s what gangster-film and TV aficionados hope for, isn’t it?
You know what I’m talking about: Sure, all the scenes in which characters get “developed” — mainly through conversations and social interactions — are valuable. They move the storyline along and contribute to our understanding of the characters in the context of their lives and times — in this case, the corrupt underworld of Prohibition Era Atlantic City.
But for those of us who appreciate the artistry of the best gangster movies and TV shows — “The Godfather” (parts one and two; Part three? Not so much), “Goodfellas,” “Casino,” “The Sopranos” — well-placed and well-timed scenes of gangland violence are the icing on the cake. And the best filmmakers (Coppola, Scorsese, David Chase of “The Sopranos”) know exactly when to bring the pain.
The same is turning out to be true about “Boardwalk Empire,” which has the second episode of its second season this Sunday (Oct. 2) on HBO. We’ve seen it, and we don’t think we’re spoiling it by giving you this short list of scenes and details to look for when watching the episode:
Concerning the aforementioned scenes of violence: You’ll know what they are when they happen. Besides being action-packed, they serve a purpose too. They each involve a major character and help establish just how powerful each of these characters is.
Speaking of power, keep an eye on Margaret: It turns out, the widow Schroeder (Kelly Macdonald) is shrewder than you might have thought.
The old guard: Underlying the conspiracy that’s been hatched by the aging Commodore (Dabney Coleman) to seize power away from Nucky (Steve Buscemi) are the Commodore’s old cronies. After you get a look at this group in Sunday’s episode, you might ask yourself, “How old is too old?” It’s what Nucky’s wayward brother, Sheriff Eli (Shea Whigham), is likely asking himself when he gets a look at this bunch (one of whom is Dominic Chianese from “The Sopranos”).
Bugsy: Keep an eye out for the introduction of a new character, the very young Bugsy Siegel. He’s played by Michael Zegen, seen most recently on “Rescue Me.”
Enjoy the show.
“Boardwalk Empire” airs Sunday nights at 9/8c on HBO.