The first episode of the fifth and final season of Boardwalk Empire airs tomorrow night. While previous seasons had been separated by a year or a year and a half, the fifth season begins in 1931, seven years after the end of season four.
To be honest, the decision to move so far ahead in the show’s future is a bit jarring, since the writers are skipping over a number of key historical events, including the war between Al Capone and Hymie Weiss, Dean O’Banion’s successor, for control of Chicago; Arnold Rothstein’s murder; and the Atlantic City Conference to divide up Rothstein’s empire, which was an early attempt to organize the gangs on a national level. The trailer shows that Prohibition is clearly coming to an end, and Nucky Thompson is preparing to adjust to the disappearance of the juicy profits from selling illegal alcohol, while Charles “Lucky” Luciano is trying to organize the various gangs into a national commission. Actually, 1931 was a pivotal year since the Castellamarese War between Joe Masseria and Salvatore Maranzo ended in 1931, and Al Capone found himself in court facing charges of income tax evasion.
Unlike previous seasons which were always twelve episodes, the final season is only eight episodes, which basically sucks. Not only is my favorite historical-themed show ending earlier than it should, but it is not even a full season.
I know, everyone is probably wondering what will happen to Nucky (Steve Buscemi), his ex-wife Margaret (Kelly MacDonald), Nelson Van Alden (Michael Shannon), Chalky White (Michael Kenneth Williams), or even Nucky’s brother Eli (Shia Whigham), but for me, it is Mickey Doyle. The most annoying character on tv, Doyle (Paul Sparks) makes Dickie Bennett on Justified look charming.
To help viewers better understand the historical context of the series, I have prepared a timeline of the gangster wars of the Prohibition period.
Here is a trailer for Season Five.