In true season finale form, the latest episode of Boardwalk Empire delivers a handful of deaths, a few big reveals, a good portion of revenge (and due comeuppance), the dashing of some dreams and the granting of others, and a begrudging understanding waged between two antagonistic parties. Following an opening sequence highlighting the leviathan of gangster-on-gangster crime sweeping Atlantic City (delivered with an irreverence straight out of Chicago), we pick up right where we left off: Nucky holed up in a remote Jersey cabin, building an army with the men of Johnny Torrio and Chalky White; Gyp Rosetti claiming base in Gillian’s brothel, waging an attack on Nucky with Joe Masseria behind him; Lucky Luciano apprehended by two undercover cops after the attempted sale of heroin. So how does all this play out for everyone?
Where We Left Him: Hiding out in his nephew’s warehouse with Eli, trying to keep peace among his troops —Torrio’s men, led by Al Capone, don’t take kindly to White’s men, and vice versa.
What Happens: Nucky institutes a plan. Having sent Mickey Doyle off to the Pennsylvania distillery that he and Sen. Andrew Mellon have business with, Nucky tricks his gabby goon into spreading the word of the profitable location to Arnold Rothstein, who himself phones Nucky with a trade: controlling stake in the distillery’s soon-to-be-prosperous brewing business in return for his convincing of Joe Masseria to call off his dogs in the fight against Nucky. The ex-treasurer agrees, arranging for his army to slaughter all of Masseria’s men just the same following their order to leave base at Gillian’s brothel and head back to New York.
Additionally, Nucky and Mellon have arranged the giving up of Rothstein to the law following the whole ordeal. Finally, the takedown of an unsuspecting, unarmed, unmanned, unbalanced Gyp Rosetti, which Nucky masterminds (although at this point, it isn’t too much of a struggle), and the assimilation back into a life of sad, lonely, incognito prosperity.